Review: BlackBerry Curve 8300 – Curvy Qwerty smartphone

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bb_curve_review.jpgThe propaganda

The Curve is the third BlackBerry to use the new rollerball navigation, as seen on the Pearl and 8800 and the second to get its own name in addition to a number. Despite its moniker, though, it’s not actually that curvy. In fact the BlackBerry Rounded A Bit would probably be a more accurate name.

Inside, it’s got a tarted up interface, better multimedia handling and a 2MP camera. In addition, it includes the normal BlackBerry email and web functions you’d expect to find.

The good

The Curve feels very consumer focused, making it more like the Pearl than the 8800. Camera snaps are two megapixel, stretching to 1,600×1,200 pixels, which seems a little on the low side these days. Pictures taken in bright surroundings are decent, but it can struggle with excessive noise in low light.

The media playback side of things is much improved – finally you can view video fullscreen, for example, and there’s support for MPEG-4, H.263 and WMV video and MP3, WMA and AAC audio.

The full Qwerty keyboard will be welcomed by those that don’t like predictive text and the spell check will prevent sloppy mistakes.

The bad

Squeezing in a full Qwerty keyboard means it’s still a relatively large device, measuring 60x107x16mm. It feels a little awkward to use as a phone. Call quality also wasn’t brilliant with both parties sounding a little muffled at times.

Despite its beefed up multimedia credentials, you still can’t record video. You also have to remove battery to get to the MicroSD card, which is annoying.

Geek Sheet

Connectivity: 850/900/1800/1900MHz GSM, USB, Bluetooth

Internal memory: 64MB, MicroSD card slot

Display: 2.5in, 320×240

Camera: 2.0 megapixel

Push email client

Battery: 4 hours talk time, 408 hours standby

Dimensions: 60x107x16mm

Overview

Pricing is yet to be set, but you’ll no doubt be able to pick one up for free on contract. The multimedia side of things has been improved and it retains the strong email capability of other BlackBerries. It is a little on the large side though, and calls could be clearer.

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If this reviewed has impressed you, you’ll be blown away by the Blackberry Torch

Related sites: BlackBerry Curve 8300

Will Head

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