Results 1 to 5 of 5

Devices: BlackBerry Pearl 8100 and SideKick 2 After reading N8's showdown post about his devices, ... Smartphone News forum

  1. #1
    EricaJ1073's Avatar
    EricaJ1073 no está en línea PINStacked!
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Smartphone Showdown Round 2


    Devices: BlackBerry Pearl 8100 and SideKick 2

    After reading N8's showdown post about his devices, I have decided to write my own review about my 2 main devices.

    Device #1: SideKick 2
    Pros: Full QWERTY keyboard, OTA software updates. Standalone AIM client (the SK3 has AIM and MSN), popular in the Deaf/Hard of Hearing community.
    Cons: Not 3G or EDGE. No themes. 3rd party apps limited to on-device catalog and are pricey ($1-almost $6). Internal battery. No Google Talk.
    Rating: 4/5 stars

    As most of you know, although I love the BlackBerry and the things it is capable of, I have always also been a fan of the SideKick. I first became addicted to it when I got my Color SideKick 4 years ago, summer 2003 (same device lasted that long. In fact, it just finally died 18 months ago when the USB port stopped charging the phone. I got the SK2 for Christmas 2005. It up and died 6 weeks later and I got a new SK2). I somehow missed owning the original B/W SK (don't ask LOL). I plan on also upgrading the SK3 in January (if still available pending the release of the SK4, or SideKick Quad. By the way, the prototype of that is UGLY LOL).

    On to the good stuff.

    The best feature of this device is the QWERTY keyboard for all you who heavily use text/email/IMs (me included). The keys however are rubber and can sometime be a little slippery and cause typos or dialing the wrong number (there is an on screen dialpad for that when the screen display is flipped to cover the keyboard). I got to borrow a friend's SK3 this past weekend and love the feel of the new keys (almost like the Pearl). The keypad also lights up when you want it, or when needed, and turns off after a certain length of time when not being used.

    Screen: The SideKick is the only QWERTY device I believe that features a swivel screen that covers the keypad to avoid accidentally typing or calling someone. However, it is not that bright even at full brightness. Not sure of the resolution but that can be found by searching for specs on the device.

    Device Buttons: The SideKick features a Jump button (bottom left), a Menu button (top left), a Cancel button (top right), and a Done button (bottom right).

    Also on the top of the device itself are the Left and Right Shoulder buttons (these are used for various purposes). In the camera app, the Right Shoulder buttons takes the pics. During a phone call, the Left Shoulder button mutes the call. The Right Shoulder button activates/deactivates the speakerphone. In Multimedia messaging, the Left Shoulder button starts/stops a voice recording. These can be assigned as Jump Buttons to any application you want. The built-in camera started with the SK2. The Color and Original Black & White devices had a detachable camera accessory.

    In between the Menu and Jump buttons on the right is the D-pad (joystick). In between the Cancel and Done buttons are the Send Call (green) and End Call (red) buttons, and the trackwheel. These are self-explanatory.

    On the bottom of the device itself are the + and - keys (on the left). They raise and lower the volume of the device and change to any sound profile preloaded or one you add to the device. You can have up to 8 Sound Profiles to alert you to a voice mail, text, IM, email message, phone call or system sound such as Delete, Key Click, etc.

    Speaker: Located on the back of the device is the speaker. It's a round speaker. Self explanatory on what it does.

    Camera: The camera on the SK2 is used to take pictures (using the Right Shoulder button). The flash is located on the back also. The reflective mirror is also on the back. As I mentioned above, the SK2 was the first SK to have a built-in camera.

    Now for the guts of the device, AKA OS and applications.

    OS/Memory: The OS for the SideKick is the Danger hiptop OS. This OS has been updated many times via device upgrades and OTA software upgrades. The nice thing about the OS upgrades is that you receive these unannounced until they are ready to be installed. The download happens in the background while you're using the device. You get notified via onscreen popup that the upgrade is ready to install. You have 3 options (Update Now, Remind Me Tomorrow, and either Remind Me Later or Don't Remind Me-I don't remember what that last option says). The best option is Update Now. It takes less than 5 minutes to complete the upgrade and reboot the device.

    The bad thing about the OS on the SK2 is that it can be very slow or even stop downloading if memory is too full (how in the world it knows that when I have 4 3rd party apps on it is beyond me LOL). I hope the 3 improves this LOL. The memory of the SK2 is limited (I forgot how much it came with).

    Applications: The SideKick's applications have expanded over the years. The applications currently available now (on the SK2) are: Catalog (Download Fun); AOL Instant Messenger; Email (6 MB capacity); Phone; Phone Messages (SMS-130 message capacity; messages are stored on the device and SIM card), Voice Mail & Alerts); Address Book; Web Browser; Camera (has a capacity of 36 pictures); Calendar; To Do List; Notes; Rock and Rocket.

    On the SK3 you have the addition of MSN Messenger (preloaded), and Yahoo is no longer available in the Catalog but is preloaded onto the device.

    Additional games, relay services (i711 and Sprint IP-Relay, for those who are unable to use a regular telephone or cell phone, and interpreters for the Deaf/Hard of Hearing. I installed both and 5 minutes later deleted Sprint's version. I did not like the interface and lack of options. Both apps have icons which the user clicks on to access the apps.), ringtones, message alert options (Message Sentinel), etc. are available via the Catalog.

    On Screen Menu: By pressing the Jump button, you have access to a menu where you're able to adjust the screen brightness, sound profiles, wireless connections (an Airplane Mode, where you can turn off all wireless, is available on the SK3), network options, etc.

    Battery Life and Charging Options: If you are a heavy mobile user, the battery life can seem to suck as it will die in less than a day unless you have no more than 2 chargers (home and car charger). Talk time, according to is 4.5 hours and standby time is 3 days.

    Security Options: The SideKicks come with various security options: Privacy Lock (a 3 digit code you enter each time the device goes to sleep or you turn it off and back on); a Key Guard (Standby picture, similar to older BlackBerry devices, comes on the screen to remind you to wake up the device); Identification Tag (owner information similar to the BlackBerry).

    The SIM Center allows you the ability to have a Fixed Dial Number list to restrict calls. A SIM PIN that can be changed is also included. You can also set the SIM card to lock anyone else out of your device if lost or stolen.

    So although the SK may have problems and seem limited to those of you who are used to being able to do whatever you want to a device, this may actually be a device that can be used for fun or serious reasons. I bought it for both reason.

    Now for my Pearl.

    Device: BlackBerry Pearl 8100 (T-Mobile's black version).
    Pros: Smallest BlackBerry/SmartPhone on the planet; SureType, stable BlackBerry OS.
    Cons: Cramped Keys, lack of useful relay services for Deaf/HOH/Hearing or Deaf Interpreters, Device can be slow and the hourglass will spin.
    Ratings: 4/5 stars

    I recently did a review on this phone

    I will, however, add a few things to this comparison. The first week I had the Pearl, my thumbs literally hurt which had me wanting to return the phone but I stuck with it and it no longer hurts. It took a lot of long breaks from typing to get over the cramps. Apparently, I'm not the only one who dislikes this.

    Also, due to my current college major and future career, the BlackBerry is lacking 2 apps, 1 that I have installed on my SK2 and those are relay services (see above in SK2 review). Where are these apps, BlackBerry???? (I am a sign language interpreting student LOL) You have to add the contacts to AIM to be able to use these. Can we say unlimited text needed for this? LOL
    I also had problems with the BlackBerry acting slow but a few battery pulls and OS upgrades fixed this issue.

    I don't have any pics to post of the Pearl (can someone add one for me? I got an error message trying to attach one to this message).

    All of this said about each device, both have features people will love and will hate. That's just the nature of wireless products. Hope this helps someone choose the smartphone that meets their needs.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    flash24's Avatar
    flash24 no está en línea Device Pro
    Join Date
    Aug 2006

    Re: Smartphone Showdown Round 2

    I will rate the sk3 a 3 out of 5.

    -Limited applications just like you said

    -The screen is just like the sk2, if there is an improvement.. I don't see it.

  3. #3
    moses2628's Avatar
    moses2628 no está en línea Stack level 6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006

    Re: Smartphone Showdown Round 2

    BB is the true winner!

  4. #4
    ljbyar's Avatar
    ljbyar no está en línea Device Pro
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Ask Me

    Re: Smartphone Showdown Round 2

    Great Comparison Erica!

  5. #5
    EricaJ1073's Avatar
    EricaJ1073 no está en línea PINStacked!
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Re: Smartphone Showdown Round 2

    Finally LOL I was wondering what happened to this post.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts