Considering the Blackberry Pearl

whiteblackberrypearl.jpgResearch in Motion is dropping prices and going white with the Blackberry Pearl according to a press release. Available only on T-Mobile, the white Pearl is going to now be $149 ( less than a third of the price of the cheapest iPhone). It’s definitely worth considering.

I want to be able to easily type on my phone (T-9 doesn’t count), surf the web, send email, text, add apps of my choosing and sync. I loved my Sidekick, but I left them soon after getting my eighth(!) handset; Danger’s closed platform also didn’t do much to make me want to stay with them. I am now using Windows Mobile 5 on a PPC-6700 (catchy name I know). It has that familiar bar of soap form factor of the Sidekick, software from third-parties, and good connectivity, but overall I find it incredibly frustrating due to odd UX choices and unresponsiveness (my friends all know I am using my phone when i suddenly sound like a sailor). Overall I dislike the phone, but I have learned to live with its quirks and until recently I hadn’t seen anything worth breaking a contract to own (which will now be even easier with Cellswapper, the cell phone contract marketplace).

That brings me to the Pearl. I wasn’t interested in it until I handled it. Easy to type on with SureType (that adds two columns of keys to the standard dialpad and overlays a QWERTY keyboard on them), third-party applications, lots of integration points and as a bonus it is very slim. It has an SD slot for music (if I wanted this) and a decent camera. The price is also right if I decide to break my contract.  I’ve been waiting to hop for a variety of reasons, seeing what Apple would do was definitely one of them. In all it seems to me that the iPhone is not a compelling enough package. It’s closed. It’s way more expensive (and I already have a number of MP3 players). I am concerned about how easy it will be to type with. I would love to have video (but can wait) and would also like to have their web browser (but again can wait).

What do you think of the Pearl or iPhone? Are these the two phones you would consider?

[via SFGate]