First Look: BlackBerry Pearl 9100 / 8100 Comparison Photos

BlackBerry Pearl 8100 vs. BlackBerry Pearl 9100
By Kevin Michaluk on 14 Dec 2009 12:27 pm EST

BlackBerry Pearl 8130 (left) vs. the new BlackBerry Pearl 9100

It looks like Christmas came early on the good 'ole CrackBerry tip line. I woke up this morning to some nice 'presents' in the form of these BlackBerry Pearl 9100 photos. A few weeks ago we dropped a number of first-look BlackBerry Pearl 9100 images here on the blogs, but missing from that set of eyecandy were comparison photos to the original BlackBerry Pearl.

In these photos, the new Pearl is compared to a dummy unit of the Telus BlackBerry Pearl 8130. Though the 8130 is a dummy unit, it's a solid representation and gets the job done. As you can see, at first glance the new and old Pearl are similar in appearance, and then the latest RIM BlackBerry styling from devices like the Storm2 and Bold 9700 jump out at you on the 9100 - trackpad and beveled edges on the glass like the Bold 9700, battery door cover like the Storm2, sliced into a narrow form factor with a fierce looking keyboard.

My big question to everybody.... do you think now that the trackball (the original PEARL) is gone from the device, that the new Pearl needs a more manly name?? Sound off in the comments!

More BlackBerry Pearl 8130 / 9100 Comparison Photos

BlackBerry Pearl 8100 vs. BlackBerry Pearl 9100
BlackBerry Pearl 9100 (left) vs. the BlackBerry 8130

BlackBerry Pearl 8100 vs. BlackBerry Pearl 9100
BlackBerry Pearl 9100 (top) vs. the BlackBerry Pearl 8130

BlackBerry Pearl 8100 vs. BlackBerry Pearl 9100
BlackBerry Pearl 9100 (top) vs. the BlackBerry Pearl 8130

Reader comments

First Look: BlackBerry Pearl 9100 / 8100 Comparison Photos


I must admit i dont find the new 9100 very attractive. All the phones look like they are getting the same make over.
Although i do like the idea of a trackpad and 5.0 on a pearl, but i honestly think the older pearl looks better.

I agree. I think that the old pearl looks better than the new one. I think the new Pearl needs a little more contrast. All black is sleek but it can be boring when the entire BB lineup is basically all black.

I'm nostalgic...the original pearl was my first blackberry ever. Brings back good memories. That new one is sweet looking!

the 8130 looks way more professional, especially the keyboard. The 9100 looks childish, the letters look stuck on with a sticker. Its too smashed together. Its a nice device otherwise.

Anttehninja, all the new BlackBerrys look childish including the tour, Bold 2 and last but not least the all new pearl.
BlackBerry has changed it's design from serious business oriented, to rubbery, curvy, stylish type of design.
It did take me a while to adapt to that new form though. On the long run, I think you will like the curvy type. :D

with the second or third post.. all the devices are getting the same makeover.. same look... so we'll all have the same berry.. just diff numbers..

They should retain one of the codenames. Either Striker or Stratus would sound sweet, but knowing RIM, they'll probably just call it the Pearl 9100, just like they named the Onyx the Bold 9700, the Oden the Storm 2 9520/9550, or the Javelin the Curve 8900, etc.

Before these leaks came out, I always imagined what would the new Pearl look like. I imagined it pretty much like this, but with either a white trackpad or a translucent one, that allows light to shine through. To me it'd make more sense to keep the 'Pearl' name with something like that. Yeah... now I'm trying to imagine something like a trackpad changing colours.

LordOfFreedom, I can dig that! The phone's name is Pearl; if that trackpad would be made to look like a pearl, it would be out of this world!

Letters on the 9100 looked a little cluttered, but otherwise it is pretty beutiful. I think it should just be officially called the stratus instead of pearl. JMO

Stick with the name Pearl, everyone knows what you're talking about when you use that name, it fits the device.

My GF would KILL for this over her Tour, she loved her 8130.

The 9100 keyboard looks terrible. Letters and numbers all over the place. I like the colored number key look of the original Pearl better, too. Gotta love the trackpad, though.

The characters on the keyboard do look a little too "blocky".

It could still be a work-in-progress.

It's also possible that the keypad itself will have a different look for different carriers, just like AT&T 8100s got all silver keys for the numeral section (middle 3 columns) instead of top half silver/bottom half black keys that everyone else got (like the 8130 pictured above).

Overall, I like it and can't wait to ditch my old 8100.

as long as they dont call it the BlackBerry Track we're But that is one good-looking phone. If I still had my 8120, this would be my upgrade.

I almost bought the 9700 until I saw this on the horizon.
When will it be released? I will get this one as soon as
its released.

I do wish people would take pictures of these kinds of comparisons with a regular cameras and straight-on shots (with the occasional 3/4 angled "beauty shot"), instead of with (I'm just guessing) cell phones with (I'm not just guessing) super wide-angle lenses giving us super-distorting angled shots. It's really hard to get a good idea of actual size comparisons.

But that's just me.

i think the striker would be an awesome name! so im guessing this hits att first? verizon may have the best coverage but doesnt get the bb love like gsm does.

@ oakie Take a look at the first picture. The charging contacts are there. Bottom right and left side corners. Small Black marks. This is the same as the Bold 9700.
So you have to spend more money again for charging cradles.
Kind of funny to see it beside Telus. Ummmm So this means telus is getting it soon?

the charging ports are not in the bottom it uses a micro usb charging spot in the top left side look at picture 3 and 4 Thank You

I don't think the names don't matter anymore....Curve doesn't look curvy. Bold - now it doesn't have a bold look as the previous one. My Tour... doesn't even have a wifi. Storm2 should be called Tour for that purpose. Well, I don't even know where the name "Storm" came from - Storm 1 wasn't certainly snappy like a storm.. LOL.

Unless it has at least the same amount of internal memory as the Bold or Tour, as much as I like my 8130, I'll never get another Pearl no matter what it looks like or whatever it's called.

so since the pearl was named for the trackball continuing that tradition would make sense for this how about the Blackberry Glide to highlight the fact that you glide over the trackpad with your finger...idk just a thought

The front looks very nice on the 9100 and to those griping about the keyboard...I don't get it, it looks exactly the same as the 8100 with some colors missing.

The back of the devices though, the 8100 looks way better with the square body shape and metallic pieces.

I have gone from a pearl 8120 to the new 9700. I still want the new pearl 9100. I will bite the bullet and pick it up at full price just because I really like the size and the keyboard doesn't bother me at all. With the new 5.0..... operating system and I'm sure tons of memory it will be impressive. I want my pearl and I want it now. When will it be available??????????????

I have the 9000 and i got the 9700 for my pops this christmas. When i picked it up from AT&T i didnt even notice a difference in feel and control of the trackpad. I cant wait for the 9100 to come out with the trackpad!

I don't care what anyone else thinks but the remake of the BlackBerry is just so sweeeeeeeet! Man I hope T-Mobile will get the new Pearl too! I have a 9700 but I think my wife will go for that 9100. She had an 8100 and never got an opportunity to get a real feel for it as we switched from Sprint to T-Mobile. I hope the second chance comes. I will have to check it out too! :D

Not bad at all. I finally gave my 8130 a rest and got an 8530 and I love it also but I do miss SureType. My Pearl was a joy to use; never a problem, never a call the tech support. It was beautiful in my eyes!

For the test samples to arrive here. I'm curious to see if there are improvements in SureType. The name "Pearl" makes no sense anymore, now that the pearl has been replaced with a trackpad. Nice to see it's a 3G version, 2G is getting a bit too out-dated nowadays.

Im seriously cant wait to get one of this pearl 9100 unit. I really like how it looks, the design is so slick. Now im having a dilema, whether to got an Onyx or this new Pearl. Hohohoho....I wonder when will this Pearl available on the market.

I'm not liking the new look either. Couldn't RIM have done the same as the Essex & Tour, left the original shape, upgraded the internals and replaced the trackball with the trackpad? Original Pearl is one sexy lookin thing.

I prefer the older look of the Pearl 8130 than the new one. Maybe with this 9100 they should remove the "Pearl" codename from it, since they had already replaced the 'ball' navigation with a trackpad. It still looks nice though, but personally I get attracted more to the older Pearl series. Perhaps name it with something new, like Sling 9100?

I like some of the new design; but I do love my Pink Henna 8110. I love the chrome down the sides and the dual-color keypad. I think the redesign on the keypad for the 9100 is to make the letters easier to see; but those who are familiar with the SureType don't look at the keys anyway except to dial a phone number or when using symbols. The thing I love about the Pearl with the SureType is that the keys are bigger, easier for me to use than the tiny keys on my husband's Curve or even on a Bold. I do LOVE LOVE LOVE the trackpad. Wasn't sure I would until I tried on at the AT&T store. I'm excited about the 9100 and will definitely get one; but I do hope it comes in a variety of colors to allow people to personalize it. (C'mon, RIM, take a cue from the MyTouch!)

I wanted the pearl back when it first came out but I couldn't afford a BB at that time. Since then I got so addicted to my full-qwerty keyboard that I thought the Curve would be a better device for me personally. But these pics are fab & this phone looks to be a nice upgrade/facelift for the pearl family. I hope they come in cute colors!

I am fairly new the BB world and I am currently using the 8120. I really like the phone and options (you know, since I have never used another BB device) that it can do. I agree with most of you, the keys do look odd and cheap. I would like to upgrade to a new device, but I don't think it'll be the 9100:(

The blackberry pearl 8130 is an amazing phone although it's old it still works amazing with the sure type keyboard and the trackball you just cant go wrong it's way betterthe the new pearl and everyone should know it!! Well that's just my opinion :)