Blackberry Curve 8900 Review: The latest Curve model was released at the end of 2008. This was a time of upheaval for RIM, who had really found their niche. Handsets such as the Blackberry Curve 8310 were popular business handsets, but the speed of updates were quick in this era. 2008 also saw the release of Nokia’s contender, the Nokia E71 which made a strong play for the business customer with elegant looks and business-friendly features. The Nokia E63 also came out later, which offered a QWERTY keypad handset to the leisure market.
By now the Curve sat in the mid-range of Blackberry handsets. The Blackberry Bold 9000 was released earlier in the year and featured a slightly stronger feature-set. The Pearl series was still around, but the Curve was to really become dominant and its form factor featured more in resultant handsets.
The Curve retained the trackball method of navigation which in part made the handsets extremely popular. Using a similar mouse pointer made bigger operations on phones such as scrolling much more efficient and was more suitable for a large icon-based navigation system.
With a winning formula already, many of the changes to this model are small and incremental. The screen gets an increase in resolution, the camera also goes up by one megapixel and can now shoot videos. The major changes are not visible: RAM is quadrupled to 256MB allowing for a smoother experience. Most importantly, Wi-Fi is added, increasing functionality.
The Curve obviously was here to stay, but the trackball was not. By the time the next Blackberry Curve 8520 was released, it featured an optical trackpad instead.
Blackberry Curve 8900 Review Pros:
The look was improved over the Curve 8310, and was slightly thinner. The keypad layout was improved with a greater degree of separation given to the central keypad.
The screen also got a large upgrade. Despite being smaller by a tenth of an inch, resolution increased to 480 x 360, which also put it ahead of the Nokia E72. Fittingly, the camera also improved and gained an autofocus sensor.
The Curve also benefitted from the addition of Wi-Fi. This complemented its fairly comprehensive suite of applications, including the Blackberry Messenger service. Multi-media support was strong on the device, with 3.5mm headphone jack, microSD card slot and video/media players.
Blackberry Curve 8900 Review: Cons
No doubt some owners would be glancing enviously at the Nokia E72: the Curve has a shiny design but is overwhelmingly plastic in feel.
The Curve lacks 3G data support, which could be a major own goal for heavy data users who don’t have access to Wi-Fi. Whilst not noticeable for smaller packets of data, this would add up over time.
As with all handsets, many proprietary Blackberry functions would not work without subscription.
Current Pricing and Future Prospects:
This was not peak Blackberry, but not far away. The handsets were sold in very large numbers. While budget phones kept their core fan base as they were never in fashion, things were a little bit different for the Blackberries. Core segments of users such as business and leisure moved on to newer handset. As a result these should be fairly easy to pick up.
Where can I get one?
Interested in more phones? See a list of phones I own here.