RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review
Just like the Pearl, the Curve sports a 2 megapixel camera and Roxio-designed media player, which allows the user to play and manage music, videos, ringtones, pictures and voice notes. Coming soon is the BlackBerry Media Sync feature, which will allow users to sync their iTunes library with certain BlackBerry devices such as the Curve.
The media player is good and simple to use, but not overly loaded with features. It supports folders, and will sort your music by Artist, Album and Genres. It also supports album art and playlists, which the user can create on the go, and the other options are Repeat and Shuffle. Audio formats supported are MP3, AMR-NB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA and WAV, while the video formats are MPEG4, H.263 and WMV. The 3.5 mm headphone jack means you can use standard headphones to listen to your music.
In addition to the media player, Sprint gives its users access to the Sprint Music Store and SprintTV. The Music Store offers $0.99 over the air downloads and also features its own music player. Like the RIM Media Player, the Music Store is fairly sparse on options but is attractive and gets the job done. SprintTV offers a mix of both live TV and on-demand clips, including exclusive made-for-mobile content.
The 2 megapixel camera performed very well. Pictures were crisp and color saturation was superb. They were just a little dark, but we really had to nitpick to find something wrong with it. Options are sparse, the only real adjustment is the white balance, but the results speak for themselves. Especially since the camera is almost an ancillary feature we were pleasantly surprised with its performance on the Curve. Video performance was more pedestrian. It records at 240x176 in normal mode or 176x144 for MMS mode, and is more on-par with what you’d expect from a cell phone. Performance isn’t bad, it’s just not good. The only option is Color Effect, and videos can only be recorded when using a memory card.
The Curve has 96MB of onboard memory and the microSD can handle up to 8GB of expansion. Unfortunately, we noticed some lag at times with the Curve. The device never fully locked up, but there were a few occasions when it hung for a good minute or two when trying to perform simple tasks such as viewing a picture or going out of an application. For such a simple, mature OS we were surprised to find this.
BlackBerry Maps is included with the Curve, and other third party solutions such as Windows Live Search can be installed to the device via a web download. They can utilize the internal GPS found on the Curve, however Verizon has blocked access to this. While none of these solutions offer voice prompts, they are fairly robust GPS programs and we are disappointed to see Verizon force their customers to pay for a service that should be free. We were of course able to purchase VZNavigator, the only GPS solution available from the carrier. The Sprint Curve features unlocked GPS that can be utilized by these third party applications, and Sprint Navigation is included in the BIS plan, though it costs extra with the BES plan. Google Maps is also available, but at the moment does not work with the internal GPS for some reason. It works on other devices such as the Pearl, so we assume there is some issue that Google has to iron out.
Sprint has Pocket Express, formally known as On Demand, which gives users quick access to news, sports, weather, stock quotes, entertainment, travel info and many other things. Pocket Express also serves as a portal for the user to download games and ringtones. It is a very handy application that packages lots of information into one place and makes it easy for users to be more productive.
The BlackBerry Facebook application is pre-loaded on the Sprint Curve, and Verizon users can download it over the air but have to find the link on their own. Sprint's inclusion of things such as this, TV and the instant messaging clients make their offering more compelling and consumer-friendly. While Verizon users can sometimes download these same applications or third-party alternatives (GTalk can be downloaded via RIM's website, but there is no TV option for Verizon) Verizon almost seems to intentionally go out of their way to strip the Curve (and other phones) of functionality. The out of the box difference between the Sprint and Verizon versions is drastic; the Sprint Curve is just plain better for the general consumer.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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!
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?
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.