Product Type: Blackberry Smartphone
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Blackberry Curve 8520
Member Name: Tarapea
Blackberry Curve 8520
Advantages: A fab social networking tool, qwerty keyboard, blackberry messenger
Disadvantages: not many apps, breaks easily
Ah, the BlackBerry. Now at first I was completely taken with mine, but I did find some faults along the way...
The Curve 8520 measures in at 109mm high, 60mm wide with 13.9 mm depth. It feels light in your hand and easy to hold at around 106 grams.
The screen is of reasonable size, about 2.5 inches. The first line of keys, caller buttons and touchpad are imposed onto the screen which is a nice touch.
The buttons are spaced quite close together and have quite a tacky plastic-y feel, leading to that annoying clicking sound when texting at breakneck speeds ;) I found it very easy to get used to them though. The 8520 comes with a track pad rather than a track ball, for which I personally am grateful for. I'll never forget picking up one of the latest Nokias in my distant pre-teen years to be faced with a moving ball that I was somehow meant to operate. For anyone similarly affected, trust me, the track pad is a doddle.
You'll find a 2 megapixel camera situated on the back. This doesn't have flash, which led me to immense disappointment. Don't expect much from this little snapper; but then, if you wanted a high functioning camera on your phone I think you'd be more inclined towards an Apple or an Android anyway.
I found scrolling through the menus to be very easy and intuitive. The speed of the track pad can be adjusted for both horizontal and vertical moving, meaning there's a setting to suit everyone here. Personally I prefer the fastest speed, running my finger endlessly across it can get annoying otherwise - I tend to think that arthritis may set in before you reach the other side of the menu on the slowest setting!
Texting is much easier on a qwerty keyboard than a touch screen for me, so I found the BlackBerry very easy to message on. There seems to be an inbuilt trait with them that if you receive lengthy messages you can be waiting on half of them to arrive for some time, most BB users joke about this and it can be a bit irritating after a while.
BlackBerry messenger is a wonderful addition. Most contracts include this unlimited as standard. I use a Virgin Mobile PAYG tarrif and I still can have unlimited BlackBerry Messenger for £6 a month. Considering this is a 'free' and easy alternative to texting, this is an absolute bargain. For all the hype, it does look quite a boring feature. Just a very simplified MSN where you're always signed in. But, once you've added your friends' PINs on there you'll soon find it an invaluable social tool. I love it.
App world is a little bit of a let down. Lets be honest, if you're after a phone that has a zillion apps on it, again you're after an Android or an Apple. The BlackBerry is more a social phone, an area I think it excels in. It's just all down to what you're after.
Here's where it fell down.
OK, so it's a brilliant little phone that cuts my monthly spend on texts in half and makes typing a breeze. But it also seems to break, a lot. I've had software problems, almost daily freezing issues, problems with the WiFi switching itself off and refusing to ever turn on again, and finally now it won't scroll left or right. At all. For a phone, that's a little bit useless. So i've returned it to the phone graveyard that is my bedside drawer and moved back to a Nokia for now. All these faults seem to be so common, if the forums of the internet are anything to go by. Beware the tetchy BlackBerry, if it's still under its warranty then you're sorted but otherwise you could be very disappointed.
Summary: If you're after a phone that's all about being social, this is by the far the best choice.