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Home > Hardware Reviews > Mobiles

Monday, July 23, 2007
Blackberry Curve

1. Introduction

It has been a big year for RIM. Their profits are up, their devices have been getting great reviews and their subscriber base is growing by the day. Unquestionably, the big hit for RIM this year was the BlackBerry Pearl - the 8100. They quickly followed it up with the 8800 - bringing a much needed redesign to their corporate clients. Then the 8830 brought both GSM and CDMA into one device.

In steps the BlackBerry Curve to bridge the gap between the "corporate" 8800 series and the "consumer" 8100. The "Curve" is smaller than the 8800, yet wider than the Pearl. It seems to take the best of both worlds, however - the big screen and great resolution of the 8800 and pocketable size and thinness of the Pearl. Add in rich media features and 2.0 megapixel camera and it looks like RIM has a huge hit on its hands. Read on for a thorough review.

The BlackBerry Curve improves upon many of the features found in both the BlackBerry Pearl and the 8800 series. It is very solid to hold, has a full QWERTY keyboard, a big screen, multi-media features and famous BlackBerry email capabilities. The Curve adds some new features into BlackBerry's arsenal like Push to talk, a 2.0 mega pixel camera and A2DP - Bluetooth Stereo Streaming capabilities.

About RIM

Research In Motion is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of innovative wireless solutions for the worldwide mobile communications market. Through the development of integrated hardware, software and services that support multiple wireless network standards, RIM provides platforms and solutions for seamless access to time-sensitive information including e-mail, phone, SMS messaging, Internet and intranet-based applications. RIM technology also enables a broad array of third party developers and manufacturers to enhance their products and services with wireless connectivity to data. RIM’s portfolio of award-winning products, services and embedded technologies are used by thousands of organizations around the world and include the BlackBerry® wireless platform, software development tools, radio-modems and software/hardware licensing agreements. Founded in 1984 and based in Waterloo, Ontario, RIM operates offices in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. RIM is listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market (Nasdaq: RIMM) and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: RIM).

Features Available

The BlackBerry 8300 features complete functionality, including*:

  • Wireless email
  • Organizer
  • Browser
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • BlackBerry® Maps
  • Corporate data access 1
  • SMS
  • MMS 1
  • Next-generation media player
  • Instant messaging
  • 64 MB Flash memory plus micro SD expandable memory slot**
  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • Tethered modem capability — use your smartphone as a wireless modem for your laptop or PC*
  • Dedicated Send, End and Mute keys, a trackball navigation system, plus user definable convenience keys
  • Speakerphone and Voice Activated Dialing
  • Bluetooth® capability for hands-free dialogue via headsets and car kits — mono/stereo headset, hands-free and serial port profiles supported. Bluetooth stereo audio (A2DP/AVCRP)
  • 3.5mm stereo headset capable
  • Integrated attachment viewing
  • Compatibility with popular Personal Information Management (PIM) software
  • High resolution, light sensing screen that adjusts lighting levels automatically for ideal indoor and outdoor viewing
  • Easy email set-up directly from your BlackBerry Curve via the set-up wizard

Enterprise friendly

The BlackBerry Curve smartphone works with your organization's BlackBerry® Enterprise Solution to provide enterprise class functionality, including:

  • Advanced security features
  • Push delivery of data from corporate applications
  • Remote address book look-up
  • Wireless synchronization with corporate PIM tools
  • Single mailbox integration

Unlike traditional mobile phones, the BlackBerry Curve smartphone can be centrally managed and supported by IT departments.

The plethora of features are described in detail on RIM's web site. Here are the highlights:

You love to be where the action is. So does the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300 smartphone. At the hottest new club, a friend's place or work - your messages find you so you stay connected to everything that matters.

  • Get your personal and work emails automatically as they come in
  • Open attachments on the go
  • Choose the account you want to reply or compose from - you can manage up to 10 (supported) email accounts
  • Text friends around the corner or around the world via SMS and MMS*

Day or night, you stay one step ahead with the organizer on your BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300 smartphone. Here's just a taste of what you can do:

  • Fire off an email or make a call - right from your contacts list
  • Keep your meetings and appointments straight and update them on the go
  • Take notes on a call or record a great idea when it hits you
  • Check tasks off as you complete them - wherever you complete them

Experience pure synchronicity. Synch up with your computer for a single, up-to-date organizer.

With the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300 smartphone, you're always just a couple of clicks away from whatever you're looking for on the web.

  • Get what you need fast with a dynamic, highly responsive Internet experience
  • Bookmark your favorite sites
  • Download cool ringtones and get the latest stock updates or sports scores
  • Surf effortlessly with trackball navigation

Can phone features really stimulate your senses? Only when they're enveloped in the smooth, inviting lines of the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300 smartphone.

  • Do some name dropping - with Voice-Activated Dialing (VAD), you can initiate a call just by telling your smartphone whom you want to speak to - it works seamlessly with the built-in speakerphone or a Bluetooth® headset
  • Hear and be heard with advanced sound technology that cancels out background noise and echo
  • Make your smartphone your own with polyphonic and mp3 ringtones
  • Fumble for the right button? Never. Dedicated volume and mute keys let you make adjustments quickly and easily

Take the BlackBerry Curve on a world tour - it's a quad-band smartphone - so you can connect virtually anywhere across North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific.

Get your friends to strike a pose - then just snap and send. With the BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300 smartphone, you can send your latest pics across town or around the globe instantly via email, MMS or BlackBerry® Messenger*. You get:

  • 2.0 megapixel digital camera
  • Digital zoom
  • Built-in flash

And hey, you can even upload shots to your Flickr™ account with Yahoo!® Go.

Get your fill of video and music with the media player on your BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300 smartphone. On a train. In a cab. Wherever your imagination takes you.1 Just plug in a stereo headset and kick back with your tunes while you reply to messages. Or download news or sports clips and watch the big, bright screen as you catch up on what's hot. The expandable memory means you can save your favorites on a microSD card.2

Want to rip a CD? Convert and transfer your music and video files to your BlackBerry Curve? We've included a desktop media manager to make it easy.

1 All audio and video files must be transferred to the smartphone before playing. Files can be transferred via USB cable, smartphone browser application or Bluetooth.

2 The BlackBerry Curve accepts microSD cards; the amount of storage is determined by card capacity.

Whether you're going to your client's office or the latest downtown hot spot, BlackBerry® Maps makes it easy. Check maps for fast turn-by-turn directions virtually anywhere. Simply click on an address in your address book, type it or paste one in and you're practically there.

You can make BlackBerry Maps even better with a Bluetooth®-enabled GPS receiver.

Don't stress over storage space. Your BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300 smartphone uses a microSD card so you'll have room to snap more photos and keep your music and videos with you.*

And when you want to transfer files between the BlackBerry Curve and your computer, it's a snap. We've included a USB cable you simply connect to transfer content directly to or from your microSD card or internal memory. Or if you're into Bluetooth technology, you can move files that way too.

* The BlackBerry Curve accepts microSD cards; the amount of storage is determined by card capacity.

Get online where you want to. You can upload and download large files using your BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300 smartphone as a wireless modem for your laptop — no matter where life takes you.*

Go ahead, browse the web and exchange files - and do it at the speed of broadband.

*Check with your service provider for supported features and services

Work smarter and play harder with third party applications built for BlackBerry® Curve™ 8300 smartphones.

  • Want to simplify your record-keeping? Track expenses as you go.
  • Into games? Play a new one every day and watch your stats improve.
  • Creating and editing documents when you're away from your desk? Download fully functional word processing applications.
  • Need to track your hours from virtually anywhere? Download time and billing software and capture your time wherever your work takes you.
  • Sculpting your body? Chart your diet and exercise patterns.

Push to Talk Features

  • Availability status: Easy-to-read icons let you know when members of your contact list are available, not available, or have their status set to "Do Not Disturb." You can also set your own status to let others know that you're busy.
  • Conversion to voice call: When a quick PTT call needs to be a longer discussion convert the call easily to a regular voice call. Works for one-to-one calls as well as group calls.
  • Quick groups: Save time on group calling by pulling up your contacts and simply "marking" those you wish to include on a call. No need to set up and save groups before calling, unless you want to.
  • Contact alerts: Find out immediately when someone you're waiting for becomes available.

Specifications:

Size (LxWxD): 4.2 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches
(107mm x 60 mm x 15.5 mm)
Weight: 111g
Memory: 64MB Flash memory, microSD expandable memory slot *
Camera: 2 MP, flash, zoom, self-portrait mirror
Voice input/output: Stereo headset jack (3.5mm), integrated earpiece/microphone, integrated speakerphone, and stereo/mono headset, hands-free and serial port Bluetooth®
profiles supported
Notification: Polyphonic ringtones, vibrate mode, LED indicator, MP3 ringtones
Video format support: MPEG4 Part 2 Simple Profile, H.263, WMV
Audio format support: MP3, MIDI, AMR-NB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA, WAV
Approximate Battery Life: Standby time - 408 hours (17days),
Talk time - 240 minutes (4 hours)

OK - lot's to talk about here - so......on to the review:

 




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