By Rosemary Hattersley Tech Advisor | on May 10, 2009
Price: depends on contract
Company: RIM (BlackBerry)
This is one of the key selling points of the Vodafone version of this BlackBerry Pearl 8110. Combined with a GPS receiver, you can now enjoy full turn-by-turn navigation rather than having to enter your current location and then map-read off your screen. You get a year's subscription the Vodafone SatNav service, which for some users will be a real boon.
We used it to great effect on foot in unfamiliar parts of London, but we are also impressed with the way Google Maps on the non-subscription smartphones. For example, we were able to pinpoint our current location just as quickly using Google Maps and entering destination locations is equally swift since it's the self-same keypad you're contending with.
The other point is that Telmap provides real-time navigation for the Vodafone SatNav service for the UK only. You can't use it outside Europe so you'll need to revert to Google Maps or use another satnav device when using the quad-band handset abroad.
The other addition of note to the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 is the Facebook application. If you're the sort of person who likes to be able to update the world on your frame of mind, location and plans to attend or snub other friends' social events at every possible instance, this applet will be of use. Updates and notifications arrives as a tiny F for Facebook icon
We're surprised a more business-focused networking service such as LinkedIn wasn't featured, though with a microSD card slot – the presence of such a card is necessary if you want to use the Pearl's video-recording function – and a 2Mp camera with 5x zoom, the consumer market is clearly the BlackBerry Pearl 8110's target.
The BlackBerry Pearl 8110 still doesn't have a good web browser and it's a dog to use for anything except rudimentary web page navigation. This, really, is the BlackBerry's main failing – and one that this handset shares with its siblings.