Ah, the life of a gadget - if you're lucky, you surf the wave of hype all the way from patent through peep-tease spy shots to official launch and into the pockets of loyal early adopters. If you're not so lucky - or, to be a pessimist, flawed in some way - then a bad review knocks you off course and all of a sudden all that hype starts to taste sour. Might this be the case for the noble RIM Pearl?
PhoneScoop have picked up one of the little blighters and put it through its paces, only to find that, well, it's not 100% great. Most worryingly, the much-vaunted Blackberry "ease of use" is notably absent in some areas, particularly when it comes to the camera and the galley software:
"It is difficult to remember that the Pearl is RIM's first attempt at a phone with modern media features. Other manufacturers have been making cameraphones and media players for so long that most have pretty solid software by now. But instead of trying to compete with what others offer today, RIM appears to be competing with what most phones offered years ago - not just in terms of media applications, but across all their software."
Once upon a time RIM had the push-email market to itself and could reap the glory no matter how simplistic the handsets - now that Symbian and Microsoft are catching up, they're really going to have to pull the stops out if they don't want their friendly reputation to sink without trace.