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Hands On with Verizon's RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130

Illustration for article titled Hands On with Verizons RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130

Verizon Wireless showed me its eagerly anticipated CDMA Pearl today, and the carrier isn't going heavy handed on this one. Rather than try to VZW the hell out of it, the only software that Verizon will pre-load is VZ Navigator, making use of the 8130's built-in GPS. Otherwise, as you can see in the gallery, it's that familiar smooth Pearl interface all the way, but with crankin' EV-DO connectivity (but of course no Wi-Fi).

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Illustration for article titled Hands On with Verizons RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130
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Illustration for article titled Hands On with Verizons RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130
Illustration for article titled Hands On with Verizons RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130
Illustration for article titled Hands On with Verizons RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130
Illustration for article titled Hands On with Verizons RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130
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Illustration for article titled Hands On with Verizons RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130
Illustration for article titled Hands On with Verizons RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130
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Illustration for article titled Hands On with Verizons RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130

Altec Lansing earphones shown in the photo will ship with it. The charging dock, as well as the rubber and leather cases, will sell separately.

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In addition to the tech specs we shared Monday, here are a few additional carrier-side confirmations:

• Price is unannounced, but will be "competitive" with other Pearls—$150 to $250 with contract.

• BlackBerry data plans are $45 on top of voice plans; an extra $15 will let you turn it into a 3G modem for your laptop.

• The 3.5mm headphone jack may actually be compatible with many of the iPhone-targeted headphones hitting the market, such as V-Moda's Vibe Duo.

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From the fact sheet:

The BlackBerry® Pearl™ from Verizon Wireless

Available to Verizon Wireless in an exclusive silver-grey and backed by the power of the nation's most reliable wireless voice and data network, the BlackBerry Pearl is perfect for customers who want a slim form factor and easy access to the office, family and friends in a single device. With a HTML browser, e-mail, messaging, calendaring functionality and a 2.0 megapixel camera, the BlackBerry Pearl easily transitions from business to personal use and helps customers remain productive and in-touch when they are on-the-go.

The BlackBerry Pearl from Verizon Wireless also features GPS technology and can access VZ Navigator, allowing customers to get mapping, audible turn-by-turn navigation and access to information on more than 14 million points of interest.

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[Verizon Wireless]

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DISCUSSION

i'm playing with a pre-production unit that my company got and the GPS is disabled. this unit doesn't have VZW navigator installed but does have Blackberry maps - GPS disabled and no way to make it work, i'm afraid. I am hoping in the production version they'll enable it but knowing verizon, they'll take you for all you've got. expect to pay $10/mo for the gps. The good news is that the rest of it is pretty good. even the verizon theme is reasonable and not too cluttered or ugly. Internet is also fairly speedy. going to get it when it's out.