Blackberry Curve

Blackberry CurveWe all like a bit of retro. So the Blackberry Curve from Research In Motion should fit nicely into our lifestyle. But what did we think about it after a bout of extensive testing?

Well, we might like be fans of retro chic, but the Curve seems to have missed the mark. It’s not actually that pretty to look at, and with the competitive handsets available on the market there isn’t any excuse for this.

While we’re not overjoyed with the look, does it have more to offer than is obvious at face value? Thankfully it does. For starters, the 8320 is the only Curve model to allow you to connect using Wi-Fi internet access. The 8300, 8310 and 8330 all lack this feature (but then some of those handsets have GPS and the 8329 doesn’t).

It also doesn’t freeze like the Blackberry Pearl was prone too, with the fuller frame packing a bit more computing power. The 8320 also allows you to open attachments and PDFs, which wasn’t possible with older models.

We’re big fans of the keyboard, too. The neat and compact layout allows for smooth typing, perfect if you’re still unsure about all the touch screen models in favour these days. I can use it one handed, leaving the other free to drink wine, eat chocolate or apply mascara…

One slight problem is that the keys are actually a bit loud. Stab away quickly and it’ll sound strangely like stilettos running on the pavement.

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Handily, the phone came with Facebook installed on it already, which is great as this is becoming such an important feature as much for work these days as it is for pleasure. Unfortunately, there’s no way to save your Facebook details, which means you have to log in every single time – a tad bothersome if, like me, you use it a lot.

The 2-megapixel camera is adequate – nothing more, nothing less. There’s no video recording option for YouTube addicts, though…

Overall, the Blackberry 8320 does the job. An easy-to-use keypad nails the functionality, while Wi-Fi access is a real boon for heavy users. Shame it’s not a little prettier.

VERDICT: 7/10

(Handset specifications on next page)

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Colours: Pale Gold, Titanium
Size: 4.2" x 2.4" x 0.6" (107mm x 60mm x 15.5mm)
Weight: 3.9oz (111g)
Memory: 64MB Flash memory, expandable with microSD card
Voice input/output: Headset jack, integrated earpiece/microphone, built-in speakerphone, and headset, hands-free and serial port profiles supported (Bluetooth technology)
Camera: 2.0 MP, flash, zoom, self-portrait mirror
Video formats: MPEG4 Part 2 Simple Profile, H.263, WMV
Audio formats: MP3, MIDI, AMR-NB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA
Approximate battery life: Up to 4 hours talk time, 17 days standby time
Network: Quad-band 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS and EDGE

Related Link: Blackberry Bold review