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RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review

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Interface:

The operating system checks in at 4.3.0.127, and there isn’t anything new to write home about here. It is the same OS found on several other models, like the 8830 and Pearl. As always, it is highly customizable and the user can reorder the application screen anyway they see fit, including hiding certain icons from display. This includes creating folders in which you can file applications. It is somewhat similar in principle to the Palm OS. Another nice customization option is that both multi-function buttons can be assigned by the user to just about any task.

Sprint - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review
Sprint - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review

Sprint

Standby screen - Verizon - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review
Main menu - Verizon - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review

Standby screen

Main menu

Verizon

There are several different themes to choose from, and the icons on the standby screen (whose numbers vary depending on theme) are determined by their order in the applications menu. One thing to note, however, is that the application order is tied to the theme. This means if you reorder your menu in Theme A and then switch to Theme B you will have to reorder them again to suit your liking. Switching back to Theme A they retain your original reordering, but switch to Theme C and you will have to reorder for that theme as well.

The trackball is used for navigation around the menu system. It is better than the trackball we found on the Pearl, but still had some play and it was not quite as tight as the 8830. Even though it moves 360o, you can only move horizontally and vertically through the menus, and you cannot wrap around at the end of a menu row. If RIM is going to force us to use this semi-annoying input mechanism then we would prefer it be used like a mouse, giving us greater freedom to move around the menus. What we’d really like to see is for RIM to catch up to 2003 and integrate a touchscreen into their devices (and no, we’re not talking about an all-touch device like the rumored Thunder. Think Windows Mobile or Palm.)

Though we like the customization elements, we’re still not sold on RIM’s UI and have high hopes that the upcoming 4.6 OS will greatly improve the experience. Without hiding icons and creating folders for organization the UI is clunky. There are endless tricks and shortcuts within the UI that make it easy for the pro- such as pressing hitting B or T to go to the bottom or top of a message list, or pressing G while in the browser to automatically go to the address bar- but these are fairly well hidden and only a few are mentioned even in the user manual. It is, in a lot of ways, like Windows; a new user can probably pick it up and get by enough to do the basics, but they won’t necessarily feel comfortable.

Phonebook - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review
Phonebook - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review
Phonebook - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review
Phonebook - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review

Phonebook

A great example of our frustration is changing the ring volume. On just about any other phone in the world you hit the rocker from standby and the volume changes; it might be the simplest operation out there. Not so with the BlackBerry! You have to go into Profiles, scroll down to Advanced, select your profile, scroll down to Phone, down to Volume and then you can finally set your desired level. Sure, you can create a profile for each volume level, but that’s just ludicrous. Not even Windows Mobile makes it this hard to accomplish seemingly simple tasks.


Phonebook:

The phonebook, thankfully, is much easier and straightforward to use. From the Address Book simply choose New Address from the context menu to enter a new contact, or if the person is on your recent call/email list you can save the contact directly from there. Each entry can hold three email addresses, two work phone numbers, two home numbers, a mobile, pager, fax and “other” number as well as a space for a BlackBerry PIN number. There is a slot for both a home and work address, as well as dates for anniversary and birthdays. Contacts can be sorted by user definable categories, each entry can have a custom ringer and picture ID, and there is a section for a webpage and notes. Users can search directly from the main screen by typing in either the first or last name, and as you start to type a number in the phone application the Curve matches it with the contact list. When an entry is highlighted from the main contacts view the user can hit the send button to initiate a call. If the entry has multiple numbers it will bring up a popup window where you can select which one you want to call.


Organizer:

The Calendar function of the Curve is also very robust. It can be managed either on your phone or on your PC, and when paired to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) it can be remotely managed and synced over the air. Creating an appointment is simple, and options such as reminders and recurrence are present. Appointments can also be marked as private for added security.

Other basic PIM functions are available, such as Tasks and a Memo Pad. Tasks is very basic, but reminders can be set and they can also be grouped into categories. The Memo Pad is a basic notepad, no bells and whistles. A Voice Note Recorder is present for taking notes on the go, and a basic calculator is also available.

Voice dialing is handled by VoiceSignal, and as always the software is excellent.

Appointments - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review
Tasks - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review
Memo Pad - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review
Calculator - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review

Appointments

Tasks

Memo Pad

Calculator



Voice note recorder - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review

Voice note recorder


12 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. Jealous_B (unregistered)


I'm very confused how is it that when the Blackberry phones go CDMA and add things like GPS and 3G data theyget a worse rating than the original GSM versions. It has nothing to do with connectivity or sound quality. So why is it that this curve is worse than the original 8300. Even though it is the same design and software as the orginal. I mean your opinion is yours but based on user reviews i've seen thus far i was expecting at least an 8 from the site so a 6.5 really came out of nowhere.

posted on 30 May 2008, 13:41

2. JoeyStyles (Posts: 78; Member since: 11 May 2008)


Good point, what is the beef with the 8330 comparing to the other phones form the 8300 series

posted on 30 May 2008, 16:50

3. the champ (unregistered)


The Sprint Curve includes AIM, GTalk and Yahoo Messenger clients. The Verizon version has nothing, though third-party solutions are available at a cost. - - - this is not true, Verizon offer free download of their chat client that includes msn/yahoo/aim...simply by opening the browser(default home page) you can download facebook, VZnav, chat client, and a few other free apps form verizon. i much prefer the NON bloated Curve over the sprint model that I would have to uninstall all that junk I don't use because it is taking up space for things i would use. oh, and VZnav has voice prompts, as does sprints navigation, even though they said it does not...odd, but whatever.

posted on 30 May 2008, 18:09

4. (unregistered)


from the review..."Interestingly, the VZW portal, however, gave us issues and either partially loaded or more often than not didn’t load at all." if he/she couldnt load the vzw portal then they probably wouldnt have been able to find these applications. also, the review says the free gps apps dont use voice prompts, it doesnt say vznav cant. and vznav certainly isnt free

posted on 31 May 2008, 23:24

5. (unregistered)


I like the fact that VZW's version included more memory ( internally )... although the internal memory is still skimpy. A micro SD card will take care of that. One other thing to note: Only the monthly subscription of VZ Nav is available on the Blackberries for Verizon. The daily option is currently not available.

posted on 01 Jun 2008, 10:44

6. Jealous_B (unregistered)


I wanna say to the phonearena staff that I appreciate that they read the comments, and I hope that that helped influence the change of the score upwards. If even just a little bit.

posted on 01 Jun 2008, 11:52

7. Reviewer (unregistered)


There was some confusion, as we actually wanted to score the Sprint and Verizon Curves differently. Also, #4 is correct, since my portal page never loaded properly I was (and still am) not able to see the downloadable IM application. The text has been changed accordingly, and the score bumped a bit. If we could assign two scores to the different ones the Verizon Curve would get a 7 and the Sprint Curve an 8.

posted on 01 Jun 2008, 15:04

8. JoeyStyles (Posts: 78; Member since: 11 May 2008)


yeah it is great to see a proactive staff great job phone arena now next a web page for your cell phone that would be awesome

posted on 02 Jun 2008, 15:14

9. jamesvillan22 (Posts: 7; Member since: 12 Apr 2008)


u people need to test this phone for both carriers VERIZON! and sucky sprint! stop been lazy and do the review on both of the phones! just cause is the same phone doesnt mean it will be the same experience! u people are getting horrible with the reviews!~ hire some people that know there wireless carriers and there devices gissssss! is like a 7 year old did this review! give me a break if u people are going to give mediocre reviews!~ maybe we all should just go to engadget!~mobile for ur specks and reviews! at least they review the device =-P

posted on 03 Jun 2008, 11:38

10. (unregistered)


did you actually read their review? it was done using both vzw and sprint, as evidenced by the CONSTANT mentions of both devices and where they differ as well as the pictures of both units. hell, the reviewer even posted in #7 clarifying some of the issues brought up in the comments, and gave a separate score for the two different versions. in fact, they blatantly say in the review to say that even though the hardware is the same the s/w makes it two different devices. its cool that you like your company, but dont get all up in arms when someone calls them out for offering an inferior product! and thats not to mention the extra $30/month youre going to pay vzw to even begin to touch the services youll get with the sprint curve!

posted on 08 Jul 2008, 14:11

11. (unregistered)


K, so why when AT&T and T-Mobile have the Curve2, Verizon Wireless and Sprint-Nextel have the Curve? They released it about a year after AT&T and T-Mobile did, so why can't they both replace it with the Curve2?

posted on 07 Oct 2008, 10:59

12. (unregistered)


your micro SD card is lagging because you are using a cheap brand I'm using Kingston with no lag time at all. Keep in mind there are speed raitings to SS memory.

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Display320 x 240 pixels TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Hardware
312 MHz
32 MB RAM
Size4.20 x 2.40 x 0.60 inches
(106.6 x 61 x 15 mm)
4.00 oz  (113 g)
Battery1150 mAh, 4.33 hours talk time

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