RIM overhauls BlackBerry keyboard with Pearl 3G

No QWERTY in sight for this new emailer

Update: read our Hands on: Blackberry Pearl 3G review.

RIM has announced a new BlackBerry device with a radically different keyboard - the Pearl 3G.

Set for a May UK release date on various networks, the new BlackBerry Pearl 3G will come in two separate flavours.

The Pearl 3G 9105 features an alphanumeric keyboard - 14 keys set out in the 'traditional' layout of three letters per key.

The 9100 will be more conventional for BlackBerry users: using two letters per key, although both use the SureType system (similar to T9 predictive text) for speedy messaging.

Pocket friendly

Both models feature a 360x400 resolution display, and have a 624MHz processor with 256MB internal memory, and both only weigh 93g.

There's also a 3.2MP camera popped on the back, with digital zoom, autofocus and a flash - with dedicated media buttons proving the Pearl 3G is designed to be a consumer-oriented phone.

It's also the first BlackBerry to feature support for the superfast 802.11n Wi-Fi connection, helping future-proof the phone against the oncoming tidal wave of tech innovation.

Sadly, there's no mention of the Bold 9650 coming to the UK - despite supporting the GSM frequencies, it seems this is a UK only model for now.


Phones and Tablets Editor

Gareth (Twitter, Google+) has been part of the mobile phone industry from the era of the brick to the tiny device in the pocket... and now watching them grow back up to behemothic proportions once more. He's spent five years dissecting all the top phones in the world as TechRadar's Phones and Tablets Editor, and still can't resist answering the dreaded question - "which new phone should I get?" - with 15 choices.