[Our man the Boy Genius hit us up with a few thoughts on having used the Pearl for a few weeks. Here's a bit about what you can expect. -Ed.]
It's pretty apparent that the BlackBerry 8100 is RIM's first real stab at a mass market consumer device, and to be honest, it didn't come out all that bad. But once you get away from the "oh my god there is a camera, mp3, and videoplayer" knee-jerk, it is simply a long overdue update to the 7100 line. Don't get me wrong, I am a BlackBerry fanatic for life. I would get any BlackBerry that RIM releases no matter the features, regardless of whether I have 2 or 10 cellphones and PDAs; you will always catch a BlackBerry on my hip. I just think that for the people RIM is targeting with this device, they won't see results like RIM hopes (at least without a better AIM client, anyway). In fact, I'd wager the only people they will get to transition are die-hard push email fans. The way the Pearl is designed and works, it's much more like a featurephone -- which is a huge improvement -- but people can get plenty of devices that outshine the 8100 in features. Read on for more.