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RIM BlackBerry Curve 8350i Review

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Interface:

The 8350i runs RIM’s new 4.6 OS, first found on the Bold.  It is beautiful; with modern icons and a more refined look overall.  Functionality, however, remains basically the same as past OS versions.  There have been some minor adjustments and tweaks to the categories, but anyone who has used the BlackBerry OS before will find themselves right at home on 4.6.

Home screen - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8350i Review
Main menu - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8350i Review

Home screen

Main menu

The layout is for the most part straightforward, but for a new user can still be intimidating at first glance.  Since every program has its own icon the user is inundated with 25 icons on the main menu, some of which are merely folders which lead to more icons.  This can be overwhelming for someone first picking up a BlackBerry, but once you use it you realize that the OS is very customizable and on the whole RIM’s approach is much better than, say, Windows Mobile (TouchFLO 3D aside.)

The 8350i ran smoothly, maybe the smoothest we’ve ever seen.  There is no hint of the issues reported with the Bold and Storm (which runs the 4.7 OS, a touchscreen version of 4.6.)  Business users, the target audience, will be happy to see that their stable BlackBerry has returned and can go back to focusing on business instead of if their device will crash or not.


Phonebook:

There isn’t anything new about the phonebook, which is a good thing.  It’s as simple and straightforward as ever, and you can store virtually an unlimited amount of contacts.  Each contact 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. Of course as an iDEN unit there is a DC category as well.  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.

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8350i Review
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8350i Review

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:

Calendar - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8350i Review
Calculator - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8350i Review

Calendar

Calculator

Again, nothing is really new here.  Like the phonebook, the calendar function is 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.


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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. stuntz (Posts: 177; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)


seems if this phone was of the qchat origins, phone arena would have gave it a much higher score only real low points are camera and connectivity. And sprint is releasing a cameraless version also for those customers that cant have camera's in the workplace, will they re-review that phone?

posted on 23 Jan 2009, 12:12

2. havanahjoe (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Jan 2009)


I think the reason RIM created an iDEN Curve instead of a QChat device is that they can sell this same device to every iDEN carrier in the world. Telus already announced that they will be carrying the 8350i for their Mike network. In places where Nextel is really popular, this thing is flying off the shelves. Border cities between the US and Mexico are a perfect example. I have seen so many people in San Diego and Tijuana carrying these and I'm sure the number will just keep growing. It's a great device that works perfectly in both countries (and will also work in the rest of Latin America), and QChat is not able to do International DC let alone roam for free like an iDEN device can. I was surprised that it wasn't a hybrid/powersource device like the ic902. They could have created a device that had EvDO and iDEN. The ic902 is a user's nightmare as it has tons of issues, so this could be a reason RIM didn't want to bother. Maybe it's because the PowerSource concept is a Motorola exclusive and RIM didn't want to pay for those rights. Who knows. Incredibly the 8350i works very well over iDENs 1/2 G network for basic browsing and e-mail. Sending a picture does take a while, but I wouldn't say my Bold is blazingly faster than the 8350i, they are sadly very similar after everything gets compressed through BIS and when using AT&T's crappy 3G service.

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Display320 x 240 pixels TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Size4.40 x 2.40 x 0.70 inches
(112 x 61 x 18 mm)
4.70 oz  (133 g)
Battery1400 mAh, 4 hours talk time

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