Blackberry Curve 8310 Review – Retro Mobile Phone with Rollerball

Blackberry Curve 8310 Review: Originally released in May 2007, this Blackberry model in the Curve series presented somewhat of an upgrade on previous models, and arguably set the style for what we regard as the main golden era for these types of handsets. Previous models were slightly more square and Palm Pilot looking. The next iteration trialled called the Pearl spawned many more features such as a camera, microSD card, bigger screens and enhanced media features, but the new Curve family added back the QWERTY keyboard that gave popularity to these devices and also added a trackball for easier navigation.

All this while remaining in a very compact and stylish case.

Full specifications here.

There were plenty of related models to keep us busy: Blackberry Curve 8300, Blackberry Curve 8320, Blackberry Curve 8330, and Blackberry Curve 8900 can all be considered variants. The first three were released more or less at the same time and have identical features aside from the 8310 has Wi-Fi and no GPS, and the 8320 has it the other way around. For vintage usage we would think Wi-Fi probably edges it.

The Curve 8900 came the following year and featured greatly updated looks and upgraded internals with a superior camera and a superior screen. It was one of the last models to feature the trackball navigation as thereafter the optical pad came in and never looked back.

Blackberry Curve 8310 Review: Pros

  • The form factor is nice. As with many Blackberry devices this is not too small, but not too large and offers a reasonable sized screen, suitable for media content.
  • The phone also offers a few features that are still standard today. The phone supports microSD cards up to 4GB and can play MP3s. With the welcome audio jack it is still possible to use this as an audio device of sorts.
  • There are still a decent amount of business-related functions that may have some use, such as voice memo recording.

Blackberry Curve 8310 Review: Cons

  • It is apparent why the optical pad surpassed the trackball models, as it is far better suited to these phones nowadays. The trackpad was not bad in itself, but becomes tiresome to use after some time.
  • The keypad isn’t the greatest although for the time was perfectly acceptable and at least made it possible to write longer messages. In todays era of massive phones you will need very dainty fingers to type quickly on this.
  • The screen display is rather underwhelming compared to others around the same time. Perhaps this the operator (Vodafone), but the theme was distinctly uncolourful and harked back to the CSTN models which only supported 4096 colours.

Future Prospects and Current Pricing:

Currently, Blackberry models are some of the cheapest second hand ones on the market. The usage of these older-style handsets has greatly mirrored parent company Research in Motion: they have largely become redundant now thanks to improvements elsewhere. The BB OS was a competitive advantage for so long but the Messenger model has been replaced by several apps.

Whether they will become collectors items or not is debatable. It seems that they were produced in mass numbers and this is reflected in the price. The failed Blackberry Playbook (a competitor to the iPad Mini) was dumped onto the market at absurdly cheap prices not long after its release. The older Blackberry handsets, particularly the mono ones are rare though and command premiums.

Where can I get one?

Both eBay and Amazon have regular sellers offering second-hand models.

Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.


Blackberry Curve 8310 Disassembly Instructions

If you would like to learn how to take apart the Blackberry 8310 for repair purposes, a link is here.

Blackberry Curve 8310 Video Review

For a tour of the Blackberry Curve 8310 and its features, here is a video:

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