Get The New BlackBerry Curve For A Penny - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
Mobile
Commentary
8/5/2009
05:31 PM
Marin Perez
Marin Perez
Commentary
50%
50%

Get The New BlackBerry Curve For A Penny

When I saw Wal-Mart was selling the brand new BlackBerry Curve 8520 for about $50 with a new contract, I was shocked at how inexpensive it was. But Amazon is taking it one step further, and users can get the smartphone for a penny with a service plan

When I saw Wal-Mart was selling the brand new BlackBerry Curve 8520 for about $50 with a new contract, I was shocked at how inexpensive it was. But Amazon is taking it one step further, and users can get the smartphone for a penny with a service plan. This is a shockingly good phone for that price.While this is definitely the company's entry-level device aimed at text-happy youngsters and social network addicts, I think it is a competent device for the mobile professional on a budget. I've only had the handset for about a day, but I'm very impressed with it so far. First of all, the device is smaller than handsets like the BlackBerry Bold or Tour, and it just looks like a phone that's easy and fun to pick up.

The major change is the loss of the trackball for an optical trackpad, and I couldn't be happier about this. The trackballs were fine, but they always wind up breaking down and losing sensitivity over time. The trackpad on the Curve isn't perfect (going left to right, or vice versa, is kind of a hassle), but it's a good first step. The back button and BlackBerry menu button are well-integrated with the pad, and I'd expect a similar design to make its way up the food chain with future devices. This should be the most elegant navigation solution for RIM until we finally see that hybrid touch-screen/QWERTY keyboard device you know they're working on.

Another aesthetic design change is the addition of media control keys on top of the handset, and this, too, is much appreciated. I've ditched a dedicated music player long ago for music-capable phones, and this lets me easily start, stop, and toggle through tracks without taking it out of my pocket. There are still some quirks with the music software that bug me, but overall it seems like a solid multimedia machine. Additionally, the side buttons on this Curve have rubberized covers. I don't care much about that either way, but some may prefer the metallic-style keys of the Tour or Bold.

Of course, what good is a BlackBerry if you can't type on it? The Curve's keyboard is reminiscent of previous models: raised keys with ample space between, and plenty of "clickability." While I actually find myself typing faster on the Curve, the keys do have a somewhat cheaper feeling than the keyboard on a device like the Tour.

As an EDGE-only device, the lack of 3G is a pain in the you-know-what if you've grown accustomed to it. While this is somewhat mitigated by the Wi-Fi, browsing on the go, or trying to hop on Google Maps for quick directions can be a pain. The screen's resolution is nowhere near as nice as on some of its big brothers, but it has been decent so far. Additionally, this thing is not subtle when it vibrates - it shakes and rattles like its life depends on it.

Still, from my brief experience with the Curve 8520, I'd have to give it a thumbs up. When you factor in T-Mobile's cheaper data plans, I think RIM will snag a decent-sized new market with this thing.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
News
Top 10 Data and Analytics Trends for 2021
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  11/13/2020
Commentary
Where Cloud Spending Might Grow in 2021 and Post-Pandemic
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  11/19/2020
Slideshows
The Ever-Expanding List of C-Level Technology Positions
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  11/10/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
The State of Cloud Computing - Fall 2020
Download this report to compare how cloud usage and spending patterns have changed in 2020, and how respondents think they'll evolve over the next two years.
Video
Current Issue
Why Chatbots Are So Popular Right Now
In this IT Trend Report, you will learn more about why chatbots are gaining traction within businesses, particularly while a pandemic is impacting the world.
Slideshows
Flash Poll