Blackberry Curve 8900

The BlackBerry Curve 8900 was recently launched in the region and targets business users. Is it the smartphone for you?

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Blackberry Curve 8900
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  March 10, 2009

Ratings Breakdown

Editor's Rating:
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Key Specs

Bluetooth: Y
Camera: 3.2-megapixel
Data services: Edge/GPRS
Media player/capture: Y
Memory: 256MB

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The BlackBerry Curve 8900 was recently launched in the region and targets business users. Is it the smartphone for you?

Aesthetically the 8900 looks its price, it boasts attractive, sleek dimensions that won’t occupy too much space in a pocket or purse. The device’s name comes from the fact that all four corners are smoothly rounded and weighing in at 110g, the Curve is a featherweight.

As far as usability is concerned, the 8900 is almost perfect. The QWERTY keyboard proved very useable and precise though people with larger fingers may find the Bold 9000 more to their liking, as it’s a larger phone. The roller ball works well and makes it easy to navigate the phone’s interface, which in itself is quite intuitively designed. The device’s LCD screen generates crisp, vibrant visuals so using the Curve is quite an experience; the icons have an attractive glow and polish and text is also sharp and legible. And, thanks to the LCD’s brightness you won’t struggle to see what’s on screen even when you’re outdoors at mid-day.

The Curve offers GPRS and Edge support and this makes it quite data friendly. 3G support is amiss on this model however, so if you’re looking for the fastest data performance and wish to one day perform video calls, the 8900 isn’t the smartphone for you. Using the phone’s GPRS and Edge data options, the Curve performs well. Web sites appear reasonably quick, e-mails download quickly and instant messenger performance is lag free. BlackBerry maps also works a treat with reasonably up-to-date maps and the ability to lock onto satellites in quick time. The only slight niggle is that the BlackBerry’s roller ball is somewhat imprecise when it comes to interacting with certain websites.

Although this BlackBerry has a prominent business focus it also includes a 3.2-megapixel camera and a media player. The former works quite well when sufficient natural light is present however its low light performance can be iffy. Shooting in poor light the camera’s shots had noticeable noise even when the flash was used. On a full charge, the Curve gave us three days of battery life in mixed mode use (phone calls, texting, instant messaging, web browsing, checking e-mails and using the camera). Using the phone’s WiFi capabilities drain the battery quite rapidly; on testing with a full charge, we were left with a little under 50% of battery time after using the WiFi for an hour and a half.

The only really annoying issue we came across during our month long test period was that the Curve restarted itself on two occasions. In both cases, the phone took over five minutes to become useable. We attributed this to buggy operating software given that the phone is quite new on the market.

For: Great to use, plethora of features, decent battery life, LCD is top notch, slick looks, intuitive user interface.

Against:
Camera isn't the best at low light shots, somewhat buggy operating software.
Verdict: Although the Curve isn't flawless it is ultimately quite a polished business phone that offers bags of features and functionality in an easy-to-use package. Well priced too.

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