BlackBerry Pearl 3G Hands On

The Pearl 3G might be the tiniest member of the BlackBerry family, but it's definitely not a weakling. It feels sturdy, has features its older siblings don't (Wireless N support!), and is a full-fledged smartphone with all the BlackBerry basics.

The BlackBerry Pearl 3G comes in two flavors—the 9100 which has a 20-key condensed QWERTY keyboard and the 9105 which has a 14-key T9 phone keyboard. RIM's choice to stick an awkward-feeling T9 keypad onto this device is a bit baffling, but it could appeal to a crowd already used to shooting off rapid-fire text messages on their dumbphones.

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Despite weighing in at only 3.3 ounces, the BlackBerry Pearl 3G feels quite substantial and sturdy. It's tiny, slender and could slip into even the smallest jean pockets. While it might not necessarily appeal to the regular BlackBerry crowd and those who require a large display or regular QWERTY keyboard, the device will most likely lure in users looking for their first smartphone—or perhaps their first BlackBerry.