The 8350i was a mixed bag in terms of call performance.  Callers were impressed with how we sounded; they had no complaints and said we sounded loud and clear.  On our end they sounded very distant and hollow however, almost like the earpiece was recessed.  It was like talking to someone in a large room, with no echo.  Voices were thin but clear, and though they didn’t sound the greatest we still had no problems hearing and understanding them.

RIM has historically underrated battery performance, a practice we’re ok with since they’re pretty high to begin with.  iDEN has never been known for stellar battery performance, and the Curve is rated at a good but not great 4 hours or talk time.  In our testing we were able to shatter this rating and got 7h22m.  Needless to say, we were quite pleased.


The Curve is a big step in the revitalization of the Nextel brand.  With the upcoming CABO it may not be the flagship device, but it is a powerful business tool and gives iDEN users a much needed refresh to the aging 7100i.  The inclusion of the 4.6 OS and increased memory shows that Sprint is serious about bringing a top-notch device to the iDEN network, rather than just slapping on a PTT button and running the same 4.3 OS their CDMA Curve sports.  Performance is noticeably improved, and while it is not a QChat smartphone the 8350i is a very solid offering and should be just what iDEN business users were looking for.


  • RIM somehow made the keyboard even better
  • The 4.6 OS is attractive, and more importantly performs flawlessly
  • Wi-Fi finally gives Nextel users some semblance of high speed data
  • It is bigger than past Curves, but the size is still good especially for an iDEN device
  • Amazing battery life


  • The Nextel network means Sprint offerings such as TV are not available
  • GPS cannot be used with Google Maps

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

11 Reviews



1. stuntz

Posts: 178; Member since: Dec 19, 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?

2. havanahjoe

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 23, 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.
Curve 8350i
  • Display 320 x 240 pixels
  • Camera 2 MP
  • Battery 1400 mAh(4.00h talk time)

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