Vodafone has confirmed that it will be selling the new Blackberry Pearl 3G smartphone from RIM on pay monthly tariffs only, fairly soon although it failed to give an exact date other than "coming soon".
Those interested can register their interest on Vodafone's website here (opens in new tab) and more details have emerged about the phone which is the first to come without a proper QWERTY keyboard or RIM's proprietary SureType technology.
The Pearl 3G comes with an ARM-based 624Mhz processor, a 360x400 pixels screen with 238PPI display resolution. In addition, it is the first Blackberry smartphone to come with 802.11n WiFi support.
The rest of the configuration is fairly standard. It is stocky but small and weighs only 93grams. It has an optical trackpad which replaces the normal pearl-shaped trackball on many recent Blackberry smartphones.
Its 3.2-megapixel camera comes with Zoom, Autofocus, flash and video recording plus its inbuilt GPS allows for geotagging. It will be bundled with the Blackberry OS 5.0 which will be superseded by version 6.0 fairly soon.
Interestingly, the device will come with RIM's Blackbeery App world which will give users access to hundreds of apps. That compares poorly with the tens of thousands available on Android and the App Store.
The Pearl 3G also targets a younger audience thanks to dedicated multimedia keys as well as an emphasis on social networking buttons. Vodafone hasn't said yet on which contract the phone will be available.