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RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review

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User Interface, Organizer and Phonebook:

The Curve 8530 is running BlackBerry OS 5.0 (5.0.0.337 to be specific.)  We’ve officially seen 5.0 on a few devices now, and gone more in-depth on it with our Storm 2 and Bold 9700 reviews.  The quick version is that there are a few tweaks over 4.6 and 4.7, but the average user will only notice that the drop-down menus look different.  It runs very quickly, helped out by the boost in memory (up to 256MB of ROM) and 528MHz processor.

Home screen - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
Main menu - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review

Home screen

Main menu



The phonebook, organizer and other PIM functionality remain virtually unchanged.  For anyone who has used a BlackBerry before you’ll be right at home.  For first time users you can store just about anything you want about a contact, and the full-featured calendar allows you to customize reminders, recurrence options and much more.  Other basic PIM functionality, like tasks, memo and a calculator are available, and voice dialing is handled by Nuance, as always.

Contacts - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
Calendar - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
Calculator - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review

Contacts

 

Calendar

Calculator




Messaging:

One of the better features of OS 5.0 is threaded text messaging.  Standards like SMS and MMS are, of course onboard, as is support for multiple email accounts and BlackBerry PIN messaging 5.0.  Other preloaded IM clients are AIM, GTalk, ICQ, Windows Live and Yahoo Messenger allowing you to keep in touch with virtually anyone.

Messaging - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
Preloaded IM clients - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review

Messaging

 

Preloaded IM clients



As always email setup on the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 is about as perfect as it gets, we simply put in our email and password and that was it. Even with our uncommon work email we didn’t have to enter any server information. The push email arrived nearly instantaneously in our testing. With the BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) the user can have up to 10 email addresses on one device.


Connectivity and Data:

One major advantage the 8530 has over the 8520 is 3G cellular data, EVDO Rev. 0 in this case.  For those still not blessed with EVDO coverage the Curve 8530 has Wi-Fi, something BlackBerry users have been asking about for years but are only now getting across the lineup.  Unlike GSM units, 3G and GPS are not mutually exclusive.  While it does feature the reworked browser first seen with the Bold, the RIM browser is pretty archaic when compared to other smartphone platforms.

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
The browser of the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
The browser of the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review

The browser of the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530



BlackBerry Desktop Manager handles desktop sync as always.  It is used to manage calendar, tasks, contacts and email synchronization with your desktop.  You can also use the data cable to load media onto the memory card, and Media Sync will allow for iTunes syncing of non-DRM files, like we’ve seen with other recent BlackBerries.


Multimedia:

The Curve 8530 has a 2-megapixel camera similar to the original Curve, but loses the flash.  It’s still a decent enough camera, with solid but not stellar results.  Both the camera and video interface remain familiar, and for an entry level model it’s more than sufficient.

Samples shot with the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
Samples shot with the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
Samples shot with the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
Samples shot with the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review

Samples shot with the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530



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.  As you would expect videos look wonderful on the high resolution screen.  The included stereo headphones are pretty poor, but the 3.5mm jack means you can use any headphones you want.  With our higher quality headphones music sounded very good.

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
Media player - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 Review
 

Media player




Software:

The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 has a slightly faster 528MHz processor than the 8520, and the RAM is doubled to 256MB, along with 256MB ROM.  With this increased memory the OS runs very smoothly.  There is not much in terms of software beyond what we have come to expect from BlackBerry devices.  The most notable of which is the BlackBerry Maps, DataViz Documents to Go package, and of course Brick Breaker.  App World can be downloaded which is a portal to thousands of apps, both paid and free.

4 Comments
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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. WKlingbeil (Posts: 215; Member since: 26 Dec 2008)


I've had nothing but trouble with my 8530 since I got it with Sprint. It constantly freezes, the battery drains worse than any Blackberry I've ever owned before (including the original Curve and Tour), it's slow as molasses, and it STILL doesn't have Rev. A. I purchased it because it was free for me, and yes, I was aware that it didn't have Rev. A when I purchased it, so I really don't hold that point against the device. I think this will be my last Blackberry, I'll be looking for something else once I'm available for upgrade.

posted on 24 Aug 2010, 22:52

2. Atlantaguy (unregistered)


In the video review, the reviewer discusses the trackpad and how it's hard to make precise moves with it, but you can go into the menu and easily adjust the sensitivity of the trackpad in up to 10 steps. This phone is also available through Virgin Mobile as a non-contract phone, though you have to pay much more for it up front ($249-$299), but their monthly rates are much lower to use it than Verizon, too. Overall I think this phone is ok. Yes, it feels cheapish, and the camera is only so-so even for a 2MP model. If you're willing to shell out a few dollars for the prepaid version of this, it will pay for itself in just a couple of months or so via the lesser monthly fees. If you go contract, you'll be shelling out $100 or so to use it, and for that much per month, I'd want a super-phone.

posted on 07 Sep 2010, 12:07

3. Robyn Hode (unregistered)


I am with Virgin Mobile (after completing my 2 year contract with T-Mobile) and have the Kyocera Loft. I have been considering upgrading to the Curve 8530 but after this review will wait for VM to offer a better BlackBerry. Now that Sprint has bought them it shouldn't be long till they offer a Bold. PhoneArena offers the best and most comprehensive reviews. I've read virtually every review of this phone and none tops this one. Thanks!

posted on 18 Aug 2011, 11:26

4. BB8530,yuck! (unregistered)


I love my blackberry as a device, as a phone, I believe it is HORRIBLE! a waste of your money and time. Takes way go long on the Internet and I thought this was supposed to be 3G? if constantly freezes. The wifi.. What wifi? Calls fail 90% of the time.. The apps suck as well. They phone should come empty with know apps leaving it up to the customer to download. I do feel naked without my phone, before all the problems started happening my phone was my everything. The update took 3 hours to finish which I wasn't complaining about, but the fact that it DIDN'T WORK was obnoxious. Other than that I have nothing else to say.

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Display2.4 inches, 320 x 240 pixels (167 ppi) TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon S1 MSM7627, Single core, 528 MHz, ARM11 processor
Size4.29 x 2.36 x 0.55 inches
(109 x 60 x 14 mm)
3.74 oz  (106 g)
Battery1150 mAh, 4.5 hours talk time

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