February 23, 2008

This Girl Loves Her Pearl

Every 2 years, my cell phone contract is up, which means that I "qualify" for all the necessary discounts to make a cell phone affordable. Sure, I realize this is no gift from my cell phone provider…because every time I buy a new phone I have to sign another 2 year contract. So this year I tried to hold out. Tried really hard. Two years came and went, and I stood by my schizophrenic Treo.

But, alas, it was finally time to trade in the old leash for a new one.

I considered moving on to the newer model of the Treo, but my husband, a gadget guru, pointed me in the direction of the Blackberry Pearl. The IT department at my firm (who I had gotten to know really well since they were always fixing my Treo) also suggested the Pearl. I was hesitant at first, because although my Treo had it's kinks (OK, it had many), I was used to it's touch screen, and separate menus for e-mails, text messages, missed calls and voicemail, and although it liked to turn on and off spontaneously, it was an old friend.

It's only been a week since I've had the Pearl, and it is a whole new world. I feel bad about discarding my Treo, but the Pearl is for this girl! Here are some of my favorite features:
  • Calm Awakening: The blinking red light in the corner, no longer means that I don't have service. Now it means that I have a message of some sort awaiting me in my inbox. This has made waking up more pleasant. No longer do I have to abruptly grab my Treo and go to the e-mail inbox to check whether I missed anything important—now I gently roll over, and if there is no red light, I am in the clear. If there is a red light, I pick up the Pearl, and on the main screen it forewarns me, by telling me exactly how many messages I missed.
  • It's A Phone Too: My job mandates that my cell phone must function first for e-mail (well, it's not technically a requirement (that way the firm doesn't have to pay for it), but it is, nonetheless, an implied requirement). Thus, I have had to watch my friends play with their sleek cool cell phones, while all I had was functionality. Now, I no longer feel left out. The Pearl is small and sleek, and works equally well as a phone and an e-mail device. It's pretty too! (It even comes in pink.) Best part though is that it is much smaller than other e-mail devices, and my hand no longer cramps up every time I take a phone call.

  • The Touch of a Button Outweighs the Touch of a Screen: I no longer have to go through 3 screens to get to a dial pad. I can just press buttons on my actual phone, and the Pearl figures out that I am trying to dial (at first it will guess who in my contacts I want to call, and then as I keep going, the number will show up). Even better—I can do this from the main screen, I don't even have to go to contacts. On my Treo, the only way to dial was through the touch screen dial pad. This was annoying, not just because you had to go through 3 screens to get there, but because you couldn't put your face up to the phone without getting rid of the pad--or you would have to suffer the consequences. Every time I checked my voicemail, I had to check it on speaker so I could press the keys to delete and save messages or otherwise my cheek would accidentally delete important messages. Even worse, that dial pad prevented me from being able to call 911. I had to call 911 a couple months ago for an emergency, and when 911 answered, they wanted me to press "1" if it was a real emergency (which it was—more on my strict definition of what constitutes an emergency to come in a later post), but I couldn't bring up the dial pad, and so I couldn't press 1. Luckily someone else had a real cell phone—but, regardless, I am happy to have a phone that doesn't rely on a touch screen dial pad.

  • Voice Command That Listens: This is the first phone I have ever had that has a voice command that actually understands what I am saying…'nuff said.

  • Trading Psycho for Psychic: My new Pearl knows what I'm trying to say, before I even say it. I thought that having 2 letters on each button would be a disadvantage, but the Pearl knows exactly what I am trying to type, before I finish typing it, and I've been able to type a lot faster! My Treo, didn't much care what I wanted. It worked when it felt like working, it let me get my e-mails when it felt like showing them to me, and about a year ago, it spontaneously dialed people from my contacts and then hung up on them (I know others who have had the same problem—crazy huh). I would much rather have psychic than psycho.
Reliable, user friendly and more, I think the two of us have a long friendship ahead of us…well, at least until the next technology comes along.

My new Pearl...
By Day:

By Night:

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