On the features front the big news is that the Pearl 8120 includes Wi-Fi. It is incredibly easy to scan for networks and then join them.
As with the original Pearl there is a camera lens on the back of the casing. It is vastly improved from the 1.3-megapixel camera on the original Pearl, and can now shoot at resolutions up to 2-megapixels. It’ll also capture video too, which its predecessor couldn’t do.
There’s music playback to complement that 3.5mm headset jack, but RIM lets things down by not providing any hardware control buttons. To play around with playback you need to go into the music application, which gets a bit annoying at times.
Anyone looking for a 3G connection should look elsewhere as the Pearl 8120 is quad-band GSM with GPRS and EDGE. To be honest, I didn’t really feel hampered by the lack of 3G.
If you are a Facebook fan there’s a dedicated app that might come in handy if you feel the need to update your profile while out and about.
Battery life proved reasonably good. I got the Pearl 8120 to play music continuously from a full charge for just over twelve hours. This won’t beat many dedicated music players, but it is very competent for a mobile phone.
With the Pearl 8120, RIM is clearly trying to push further into the consumer’s consciousness and retain its business fans too. The device doesn’t go far enough to capture all consumers – where’s the 3G and the oodles of internal memory, for example? But it does show that RIM is trying harder than ever to break out of its ‘businesses only’ box. Design-wise it’s on the button. Features-wise there is still a little way to go. And as a whole, it’s certainly recommended.
Score in detail