Product Type: Blackberry Smartphone
Newest Review: ... to blackberrys in general but I will go on to explain why I am on the fence. Pros - of course the blackberry messenger is a way to... more
Addicted to Blackberries
Blackberry Curve 8900
Member Name: Bluetedgirl
Blackberry Curve 8900
Advantages: Does what I need it to do, email, gps, phone, calender, texting, basic camera!
Disadvantages: Navigation isn't the easiest, lots of settings, definitely need a data plan!
I have had my curve 8900 for a year and a half now, and have pretty much come across all its great things, its not so great things and its downright annoying things!
So let's take a look in detail shall we:
*Design / Weight / Style tactileness etc*
The phone is handleable, which is something I can't say about the iPhone - it has rounded edges and sits in your hand easily enough that you can use it one handed with your thumb - something my little hands can't do with the iPhone. It has an easy to use track ball, tactile buttons that though are close together they can be distinguished under the pads of your fingers, with a strategic tactile dot on the 5 key to show you where you are on the number pad. I have a black one, with silver edging, the customary blackberry sign on the back and shortcut buttons on the side.
Not so good:
Whilst the blackberry is quite robust even when used without it's magnetic case, I do find the battery / back housing very flimsy. I have on occasion dropped it and the back has clipped out (there's only one clip at the bottom) and the battery has fallen out meaning that if the phone is on it has to do a reboot when you put the battery back in (known as a cold boot), which takes ages!
Put the sim card in, which is a bit fiddly, and away you go, I am on O2 and it just, worked! So refreshing! The call and hang up buttons are easy to find, and you soon get used to the symbols on the blackberry screen as to where you look for stuff.
If this is your first smart phone you may need a quiet space where you can go through the options and read everything about the phone, it is quite, how to say, technical looking. The various menus for everything can be a bit confusing but it can be negotiated and with a bit of work and a bit of research in the blackberry forums it's not that hard. Initial setup is easy, so don't worry about that, it's just the after setup that may be a pain, wifi, alerts, apps etc.
** Security **
This phone does have a GPS so you can setup an app to wipe the blackberry from a distance if you feel it has been stolen - I haven't done this and so cannot pass judgement on it. It has a keyboard lock key at the top left, but it does not lock the phone, you can do this by setting a password and using the left sided key to lock it. This did change when then new software update came in, and the top left key used to be the lock key but not it's not which is very confusing! But it does work, and you can specify how many times you can get the password wrong before you get locked out! If you want to pass it on to somebody it has a security wipe feature to take off all your sensitive data, and if you want to keep txt messages without keeping them on the txt screen there is a saved messages folder too.
*Alerts, Ringtones, Vibrate etc*
I love this phone's ability to use any song as a ring tone. I have 'Bad Things' from the True Blood series! There are a million different combinations that you can use to alert you of things, from bleeps and alien noises, to bits of songs and the more traditional ring tones. If you upgrade the blackberry to the latest software instalment you have seven different sound profiles: Loud, Medium, Normal, Vibrate Only, Silent, Phone Calls Only and all Alerts off. It's fab! You can have sounds for different email accounts, text messages, photo messages and phone calls. Worth having a fiddle with until you get it the way you want it, it's addictive! Oh and there is an app to assign different coloured LED flashing lights to contacts, the default is red which I like because it stands out.
Not so good:
It's not the best in the world, it can be a bit slow, but it's a phone camera and all I want is to be able to take impromptu snaps when I don't really need a proper camera around, it also takes video, which is pretty good. It is 2048x1536 pixels but you have to hold for a few seconds before it snaps. There is a flash from the LED too. Good enough for fun snaps.
** Internet / Data *
Not so good, in fact, bad! The phone is 2g so what did I expect? It has a browser that is quite difficult to navigate even to an IT lover like myself. But the time it takes to look for stuff is annoying and I wish it were much better.
You do need a data plan if you have emails pushed to your phone as soon as the arrive, and if you are using things like MSN instant messengers and yahoo messengers.
My iPod nano gave up the ghost just after I got my Blackberry, so I decided to give the MP3 player a try, it's fab! The sound quality is very good, the earphone socket takes standard 3.5 jacks so you can use your favourite earphones without the annoying use of an adaptor - and there are side buttons to control the volume, and to be able to skip tracks at will. You can even change the way the music is played, shuffle, repeat and equaliser. I used it in the gym and whilst it might feel bulky for gym wear, actually I didn't notice any different, just strapped it down and went for it! Best of all if you use iTunes or W.M.Player it will sync with your play lists easily through the blackberry manager.
*Blackberry Manager, Contacts, Calender, Calls, Etc*
The blackberry can easily be attached to a computer via a micro USB cord that comes with it, it syncs seamlessly with the software, through which you can sync your calender and contacts with outlook programs, download your iTunes play lists and if you have pictures associated with your outlook contacts they will transfer easily to the blackberry. You can also manage your apps with it, taking them on and off at will.
Not so good:
The calender is quite rudimentary and I find it a little difficult to negotiate, but it is good enough if you just need to double check what you're up to, and it will alert you to things too. At the moment I have it alerting me to take my tablets every day!
** Battery Life **
Battery life is given as up to 5 hours and a half talk time, and I can well believe this. There are a few savings you can make on it, such as having the back light tone down and off after 30 seconds, and programming it to switch off at bedtime and turn on again in the morning, saving you remembering to turn it off/on again and saving around 8 hours of standby time. Of course if you set the alarm this doesn't affect it! I don't make that many calls, but I do use the MP3 player a lot and the push email facility all the time, and my battery lasts a good couple of days, so it shouldn't be an issue.
When using the holster it has a magnetic strip in it that puts the phone into hibernation to save battery life, it's great, and it doesn't switch the phone off and it still works, but you can tell it to behave differently in and out of the holster.
* SIGNAL *
Hmmm: This was an issue when I first got the phone, however it seems to have ironed itself out with the new software upgrade - and I rarely have a problem with it. It sports wifi, GPRS, and bluetooth, with 2g which isn't the best either.
Space is always an issue with smart phones, with photos, contacts, calenders, music and a host of other stuff on the phone - including documents. With a micro SD card slot at the back this is not an issue, I have a 2 gig SD card in at the moment but it is said to take up to 32 gig, how true this is I have not verified - I know there have been issues with technology balking at cards over 16 gig - but I have faith in Blackberry!
The not so good:
The SD card slot is tiny, as is the SD card, yes I know that! but! it is fiddly if you have larger hands, or indeed are wearing false nails *flashes her nails, aren't they pretty?* - but once it is in you have no need to take it out. Whether you take it out and plug it directly into your computer, or leave it in and connect the blackberry by the USB cable access to the card is quick and easy, and indeed can be used as a mass storage device for transporting things.
You have a handy calculator, the ability to view documents such as PDFs and word, excel documents, power point and even a memo pad. You can record voice notes, use the GPS to get yourself un-lost, or lost if you prefer to get away from the family, and a host of other apps that you can add. Ooh and Instant Messaging, MSN, Yahoo etc.
I don't use these, but I will make a passing comment that the few I have have been okay, it's not the iPhone catalogue, it's much, much smaller, but it does have a catalogue of them that you can pay for, if you want to. If you are into apps, check out the catalogue before you buy, you may prefer another phone!
I love this phone, it does what I need it to do, and when buying a phone this is what you have to consider. I needed email, to make a few calls and to have a backup MP3 player, it does that well. I think this phone is more suited to a business orientated person, who needs emails, calenders etc, it's not a toy and is not that easy to negotiate until you get used to it, so technophobes may need to have a long hard think before buying this phone.
Summary: It suits me, take a good look before you decide if it's for you, as with any phone purchase.
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