Clearly focused on the consumer market, the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 is a petite and good-looking smartphone. The Vodaphone version comes with Telmap navigation software and a special Facebook function.

Smartphones have gone from being corporate toys to office essentials for many workers, with internet access and the ability to pick up and to compose emails being critical elements. BlackBerry maker Research In Motion deserves much of the credit for the whole idea and it's pleasing to see RIM continue to enjoy success in this arena.

With the launch of the slimline BlackBerry Pearl 18 months ago, a bid for the fashion-conscious user became part of RIM's gameplan, with increased multimedia functions and the availability of BlackBerry handsets in colours other than its standard slate grey or petrol blue.

So it was that we found ourselves smitten with the purple BlackBerry Pearl 8120 when it came in for review back in November 2007.

A red BlackBerry handset soon followed, and the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 comes in a fairly muted pink should you dislike the shiny black finish of this Vodafone model. (Girls: the pink is cute, but I wouldn't trade it for the purple 8120.)

With the BlackBerry Pearl 8110 we really wanted to know not whether there was such a thing as a prettier BlackBerry, but whether the superb Telmap navigation software worked just as well on the smaller screen of the Pearl as it does on the BlackBerry Curve handset.

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.

NEXT PAGE: the Facebook application, web browsing and our expert verdict > >

For more mobile phone news, reviews and tutorials, see Mobile Advisor, in association with BlackBerry


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