I’ve been trying to do a bit of research into the blackberry pearl 8120 and ... BlackBerry Pearl forum
I’ve been trying to do a bit of research into the blackberry pearl 8120 and getting a lot of mixed opinions. You’d be surprised at how little some of the guys at various rogers, wireless wave, the source and futureshop locations really know. I’ve learned more doing my research to confirm what i know in the time it takes them to ask their mangers. This has left me utterly confused about this phone and blackberry in general.
Perhaps I should go on and introduce myself since I joined this forum. I’m a early 20 something student and for the past few years I’ve been using a RazrV3. Yeah, I know, but it has been a reliable little phone, both sleek and somewhat sophisticated with its iconic styling and dependable (never once did it require being taken into the shop). However with my contract nearing its end, I’m looking to replace it. Being a user of the dumbphones for a while, I’ve never really organized my life on/around them. I’m told smartphones are great at helping one get their life together.
My friends have all jumped on this smartphone bandwagon. Infact, 3 of them own iphones and there’s a few that own some of the older blackberries. They all swear that their respective phones have changed their lives and wouldn’t be able to picture life without it.
Here in lies my predicament. I’m making the switch but I’m completely clueless and the more I asked the so called experts, the more I realize they’ll tell me anything in order to get me to buy a phone. So I leave it on the front liners such as yourselves, the people who have to live with their choices, loath or worship it. Here are some of my questions and what I find is important to me in choosing the Pearl 8120. I hope non of these are misconceptions, and please correct me if I’m wrong. I’m kinda new to the whole smartphone thing.
1. I’ve asked people if “wifi” works in the same way as it would... say on the iphone. I know from using the various iphones my friends seem to promote that it can hitch on a local wifi network - say on campus, or a coffee shop – and start surfing the web.
I don’t intend on getting a dataplan. Especially not from rogers, have you seen their pricing? I’m also a CIBC employee so I have access to one of their corporate plans, of which i’ve been using for very satisfying calling and texting.
My question is, by using a wireless hotspot, am I still able to access the web for my applications and the webbrowser? I don’t need a fullfeature webbrowser like the iphone. A decent one which can display basic html, not concerned with flash support, youtube videos or any other rich content.
All i’d need from the wifi access is a simple way to check my gmail account, check google for something or other and perhaps a quick word or two on MSN. All without bothering with a dataplan.
The reason I ask is that I’ve been told by some of these representatives that the wifi enabled 8120 is only for UMA calling (through rogers talkspot or a similar service) and won’t let you access the web. Others tell me I could go ahead and access the web through a properly configured browser on this phone. Some do not even give you a straight answer and one manager at a rogers plus store told me that “theoretically it can, but it isn’t optimized for html browsing”. Still have no idea what he meant.
Also, from looking at the wifi forum here, I noticed alot of people having problems connecting. I realize that is to be expected because the majority of people who connect fine don’t come on the forum to say so. So in other words, do you find yourself going into various coffee shops or other free wifi spots and connecting with no problems?
2. . I work as a DJ so I’m constantly travelling out to various clubs in southern Ontario. When driving around southern Ontario, I still use a paper road map atlas to find out where my next gig is. Paper maps are so 18th century, so I defiantly need somewhat of an upgrade. I’m generally good at finding out where I am, so I doubt I need a GPS system to tell me that. However, where I’m going is a completely different story. I know google releases an application that mimics GPS which is quite handy. However, can I get this to work without a dataplan.. say on the wifi? Also, why opt for the 8110 with GPS when a 8100 with a data plan can get similar results?
3. Robustness and Endurance is somewhat important to me. How would you rate the battery life on the pearl? There are a few complaints on the forum but alot of specs say it should remain on standby a good while. I would require it to easily have enough power to last me 24 hours on a single charge with frugal use. On long days I can go directly from school, to a club in a strange town, end up playing all night and at 5am stumble out having had a few drinks after my set. It would be hugely inconvenient for my phone to die then, as I’m in a strange part of town, too drunk to drive and my phone’s too dead to even call a cab.
As far as quality and robustness is concerned, I’ve heard plenty of horror stories of blackberries being tortured beyond recognition and then being put together and working fine. A huge plus as I’m not in the habit of replacing phones every week. One problem seems to be that the battery cover keeps slipping off but it happens on my razr too, every time I set it down or remove it from my pocket. I consider it practice for owning a pearl. However, there is an alarming amount of problems people are having with blackberries constantly restarting or deleting things randomly, is it something I should be worried about?
So there you have it. Would the consumer level pearl be right for me without a data plan? Can I access wifi in place of having a data plan to browse some simple html, check my gmail account on campus and perhaps chat up a few friends on MSN? Will google’s mobile maps keep me from getting lost? Will the phone’s battery keep me from getting stranded? Can it organize my life with its PIM applications?
Please, give me your own opinion, would it even be beneficial for me to get one, considering I wouldn’t be on any enterprise server and wouldn’t take advantage of push email or other features that make blackberries so addictive. I love how the pearl looks and feels and its many quirks give it character. It’s no iphone, but I’m looking for something that is a phone and life organizer first, not a multimedia machine.
Sorry for making this post a bit on the long side and thanks for baring with me.
What’s your take on it? What can I expect and watch out for in getting myself a pearl? Enlighten the blackberry novice.
PS: Figure I should post this to the Pearl 8120 forum, but I figure it only goes into the specifics of that model in terms of Wifi. Feel free to move it as you see fit.
Last edited by necromantic; 11-11-2008 at 03:53 PM.
Although I know very little about Rogers, I will comment that without a data plan the usefulness of a blackberry for many of your list of desired uses is going to be very limited.
About all you will have with WiFi is web browsing....I dont really believe any app's work on WiFi without a data plan. Google Maps is great and works like a charm without GPS, but requires a data plan. Gmail has an application for your BB that will look just like the web interface you are accustomed to, but I am pretty sure it requires a data plan....see a trend here? Blackberry in general and the 8120 in particular are great phones and I know many people who are very happy with them and even folks that use them without data plans, but that use us pretty much restricted to phone / sms / calendar/ address book....
Hope this helps, and welcome to Pinstack!
holy cow! nice first post!
welcome to the stacks!
look into the 8220.. its much cooler.. and does basically the 8120 does.
guru's please correct me if i am wrong.
Although the 8220 looks cool, I just got rid of mine because it was so flimsy and very laggy. I actually had 2 of them, returned the 1st one because the flip got very loose after 3 days. The second one was no better. Went back to my 8120, so much happier.
~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~
Get and 8120. And tmobile. And get the data plan its only 20 dollars. And you can receive your email straight to you phone. I'd say its your best bet. I have the 8120. It is the love of my life. Good luck. And welcome! I loved your novel
i have been using my blackberry 8120 for a while now.
to answer your questions directly,
1. the default internet application is alright but isnt to MY standards and, compared to the iPhone, it still does fall behind (alittle) on the page view. so, in place of this. i (along with many other people) are using OperaMini. since their update, it is VERY stable, although myspace still shows the mobile site sometimes ...
the WiFi feature is very simple, and cannot connect to ALL wifi types unfortunately ... it should be work fine with routers in coffee shops etc. sometimes, all it takes it a simple restart of the phone.
if you do want to get the blackberry, i recommend data plan ... (go with t-mobile. its easy and cheap ($20). and since t-mobile is a package plan that comes with email, and you are a student, with a personal email on top of that, it would be helpful. this way, you dont even have to check your Gmail (or any for that matter), because it goes straight to your phone just like that) ... just like Gary was talking about. because i am sure that you dont want a first bill off over $200 ...
a Blackberry without a data plan ... its do-able ... but i wouldnt recommend it .... its like choosing between a Laptop with WiFi feature and a laptop without ... everything will still work fine, but you arent using it to its full potential.
2. Blackberries come with a default map program. BUT the 8120 LACKS GPS capability ...
soo ... this may be a problem may not . its up to you. you COULD use Google Maps , though ... it does give you turn by turn directions based on your location, or a location you pick.
3. the battery life of the 8120 (in my opinion is great. i do recommend keeping the phone on standby when you are not using it. i use my phone constantly but if it dont charge it ... i could get about ... 4 days on the battery life
i understand the whole "keep your phone clean" of scratches, blah blah ... but in my experience, and my blackberry's (haha) it is a VERY DURABLE phone ... at first i thought it would fall apart on me cause ... it can and it looks so small ... but, ever since the 8120 has come out, i havent destroyed my phone ... in short, the everyday drop wont affect it. throw it off a 3 story building, and there may be some problems ...
i think that the 8120 is a great choice for anyone ... cause the WiFi feature ...
lol its the closest thing we t-mobile customers can get to 3g network (for now, excluding the Android)
Last edited by ashain_boy; 11-12-2008 at 02:34 AM.
I loved my 8100 and the 8120 is even better. 8120 features that are BIG i-phone killers for me:
1. camera camera camera--it's remarkably good, flash too.
2. Real keys instead of touch keys--I can easily type one-handed if need be
3. Email is flawlessly super reliable and simple to search and otherwise manage
4. I bought a GPS puck for the 8100, works great with the 8120 and Google maps
5. Lots of cool 3rd party apps: FLickR uploader, GPSed tracker, and JiveTalk are my faves.
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