Well that was quick. Looks like our own Boy Genius wasn't the only kid on the block to get his hands on the BlackBerry Pearl a few weeks early. Reviews aplenty are already extolling the virtues of the much anticipated phone, and while it's not all roses, the Pearl sure seems to do a lot of things right. What's getting the most love seems to be the utterly small -- for a QWERTY-ish smartphone, at least -- form factor, but the bright screen and bevy of software features get a lot of love too. Not everybody is stoked about the execution of the video and music players, but the reviewers at least didn't seem to be overwhelmed by any extra complexity introduced by the new stuff. CNET astutely notes that the phone lacks WiFi, which isn't much of a departure for RIM, but misses the mark set by some of the Pearl's smartphone compatriots. The SureType keyboard has just as many perks and annoyances as ever, but that's to be expected, and there's no arguing over the size savings the Pearl manages because of it. Overall, we're seeing good things for the Pearl and proud parent RIM, and as their media feature sets and design chops improve they might just have a shot at the consumer market yet.

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