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RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 Review

BlackBerry Curve 8330

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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.

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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
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

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PhoneArena rating:
7.1Good
Display320 x 240 pixels TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Hardware
312 MHz
GB 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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