The BlackBerry Curve features a robust and stylish design with a brilliant display. It is the predecessor to the 8300 series, and gets a lot of rave reviews due to noteworthy improvements such as Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth GPS. The phone also comes with a 3.2 megapixel camera plus HTML web browser.
Design (5 out of 5)
At the time of its launch the BlackBerry Curve was the thinnest BlackBerry model with a full QWERTY keyboard. It has dimensions of 4.2 inches in length, 2.3 inches in width and 0.5 inch in depth. It weighs less than the Curve 8320 having a weight of 3.8 ounces. The phone feels a lot more comfortable when slipped into a pocket. Although the sleek profile of the Curve gets a lot of hype, many critics think the solid construction of the device is the most noticeable improvement in design. The finish makes the phone appear sturdier, and this difference is noticeable as soon as you pick up the handset.
The BlackBerry Curve has tapered edges and metallic paint for a fresher, more modern look. It is not corporate looking as most BlackBerry phones are but it does offer a more masculine look. It has a 2.4 inch LCD display able to support up to 65,000 colors at a resolution of 480×360 pixels. The screen is sharp and bright, which should be appreciated by those who have eyesight problems.
User Interface (4 out of 5)
Below the screen are the usual navigational keys like Talk and End buttons, the clear button, menu button and the familiar trackball navigator. The phone’s layout is spacious and simple, meaning users will have no difficulties in navigating or controlling the phone.
The keyboard of the BlackBerry Curve is similar to that of the BlackBerry Bold. But because the Curve is smaller, the keys are understandably roomy and just as big as they are on the Bold. Users may still have some trouble composing text messages or emails. The keyboard is also sufficiently backlit, and the number keys are not highlighted in white but instead in red.
The left side of the phone features a short cut key which is programmable, although the default shortcut is the voice dialer. There is also a headphone jack, microUSB port, volume control, and side button that is fully customizable. At the back of the phone are the flash and camera, and behind its battery cover are the expansion slots for micro USD and SIM card.
Features (5 out of 5)
The BlackBerry Curve uses the BlackBerry OS 188.8.131.52 apart from its more advanced user interface, providing more advanced functionality and better applications in the process. For instance, the phone allows editing of typically used files like MS Word, PowerPoint, and Excel. There is also the ability to create new documents which can be used by upgrading to the Premium Edition of the Storm.
The phone also is able to keep personal information through utilities like password manager, memo pad, task list, voice recorder, calendar and calculator. Other applications can also be downloaded through other websites like Download.com.
The phone also boasts improvements in terms of web browsing. The BlackBerry Curve supports full HTML web browsing through its streaming and RSS feeds, and users can view clips from YouTube, for instance. Navigation of sites has become even better through the onscreen cursor, Column and Page view options. Likewise, there is a zoom in and zoom out function. Although the Curve may not match the full web experience that the iPhone provides, it is definitely better than other BlackBerry browser versions.
There are two options to get connected to the Internet – through the EDGE network and through Wi-Fi. However, what is noticeably missing is the 3G support, but the news is that the manufacturers decided to go without this feature because the 3G radio affects the battery life.
Other features of the BlackBerry Curve include speaker phone, voice dialing, conference calling, multimedia and text messaging and speed dial. There is also an integrated GPS as well as a media player capable of playing all sorts of video and music formats.
Performance (4 out of 5)
The BlackBerry Curve promises to provide the best in voice call quality and users should expect clear audio when using this phone. There is also an enhanced audio option that improves audio quality when making a call.
With its 512 Mhz processor the Curve is fairly responsive. Critics have been bashing the manufacturer for some lags when launching applications like camera and photo gallery, although to be fair, these miscues are quite common among smartphones today. The speaker of the Curve, however, pales in comparison with that of the BlackBerry Bold.
Verdict (3 out of 5)
The BlackBerry Curve may have its share of flaws, but overall this phone is a good buy considering its marked improvements from the Blackberry 8300 series. The addition of the Wi-Fi and enhancements in its operating system make it highly recommended to any user.
If you want to personalize your Blackberry Curve by changing its themes, check out this online sources for Blackberry Curve themes.