New toy: Blackberry 8120 a.k.a. Pearl 2

by Volker Weber

blackberry 8120

Yesterday I was finally able to pick up a BlackBerry 8120, otherwise known as the Pearl 2. The picture above shows three hardware differences to the original Pearl. There is a small metal application at the speaker, the headset jack went from 2.5 to 3.5 millimeters, and there is a door for your memory card on the left of the device. This means you can now swap the memory card out without replacing the battery and that you can use your own stereo headset to listen to the music stored on the memory card. Since I have only the bare device and not the complete package, I cannot say anything about the included headset.

The new pearl now has two additional external speakers, one directed to the back and the other one to the top of the device. The camera shoots pictures in 1600 x 1200 pixels and videos in ... need to look up the resolution. The volume switch on the right side of the phone works a little better than the original one. The back of the device has also been redesigned, and the camera lens, mirror, led flash are now arranged alongside the top of the handset. Finally, the hole for the lanyard works better than it used to do.

The biggest change for the 8120 is the addition of WiFi, which works exactly the same as on the 8820. Completely transparent for the user it switches the data connection from cellular to WiFi once it recognizes a known WLAN. There are also a lot of changes in the software, especially SureType, but I need some playtime before writing about them. Also, I am currently running the device on and will be upgrading it now to Stay tuned.

Update: The browser has been replaced with the 4.3 firmware, it is somewhat better, but still not good enough:

8120 browser 8120 browser
8120 browser 8120 browser


I got an 8100 after 6 months with an 8700 and was overjoyed with it. 2 weeks later, 8120 comes out. Not fair :(

Grant Norman, 2007-11-16

The 8100 is the best phone I have every had the pleasure to use, and so the 8120 seems to be going the right way in terms of just a few new and improved features rather than a whole redesign.

Would be great to have Wifi thats for sure...

Vowe - would love to know which you would choose from this or the Curve?

Stuart McIntyre, 2007-11-16

Oooh oooh. When choosing my new phone, I got an 8100 (after umming and aaahing over a Curve).

I don’t regret the choice at all, but a Peal with wi-fi is certainly most appealing! I will be interested to see how you get on with this device.

Ben Poole, 2007-11-16

Volker, the carriers decide for their device variant what they include in the package. RIM offers them the possible options and they choose what they want. Vodafone Germany for example delivered their 8100 with a headset and a microSD card. T-Mobile Germany did not include a headset nor a microSD card with their 8100 sales package.
The E-Plus sales package for the 8120 contains the following parts: device, battery, charger, user guide, 1GB microSD, USB cable, software CD and a stereo headset. O2 Germany has started to sell the 8120 but I have no idea what is included in their sales package.

Abdelkader Boui, 2007-11-16

Stuart, I have no first hand experience with the Curve, but I would probably prefer it to the Pearl 2. I hate the SureType keyboard on the original Pearl, but things may have improved with the new software. I understand that SureType worked well for English, but it did not for German.

Ben, the Pearl 2 will be my backup phone for the next couple of weeks while I test the Jesus phone. Would not want to carry the E90 plus another device. My pockets aren't that large. :-)

Volker Weber, 2007-11-16

I have a Curve and I like it far more than the Pearl or the 8800, though it has its issues not least of which is having to remove the battery to swap the memory card.

Imagine a Curve with an accessible memory card slot and wi-fi.

Perhaps Curve 2 will be my dream berry?

Chris Linfoot, 2007-11-17

Added a link to this write on our website. Thanks!

Hayden James, 2008-03-14

The 'pearl 2' is a lot better than the 8100 !! It has nothing to do with wifi because the blackberry wireless network isn't much slower !! You can trade music an software in like half a minuit using the memory cards, while your phone is STILL on !!! It also has a video camera with a very brite light and the camera is a lot better !!

Barry Scott, 2008-06-18

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