The RIM BlackBerry Curve (aka BlackBerry 8300) is the smallest and lightest full-QWERTY BlackBerry to date, and we're absolutely stoked on the design. The device is really more about the revamped look rather than new features (though there are a few enhancements), but it's still a good choice for consumers and mobile professionals alike.
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Simply put, it was love at first sight. Though we don't fully understand the name--it's no curvier than the BlackBerry Pearl or any of the other latest BlackBerrys--the RIM BlackBerry Curve offers a best-of-breed design that beautifully combines a full QWERTY keyboard into a sleek and compact design.
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The BlackBerry Curve is comfortable to hold and use as a phone, even though it has a wider body than regular cell phones. The outer edges also have a soft-touch finish to give them a rubbery texture, thus making it easier to grip.
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As with all BlackBerry models, the Curve does not have a touch screen, but we still found the device easy to use and navigate with the provided controls.
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On the left spine of the Curve, you will find a mini-USB port as well as another programmable convenience key, and--good news--the BlackBerry 8300 is equipped with a 3.5mm headset jack, so you can plug in Walkman-style headphones.
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The top view of the phone--not much to see here, but there is a mute call button.
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Hey, slim! The sleek RIM BlackBerry Curve (middle) is shown compared to the BlackBerry 8700c (left) and the T-Mobile Dash (right).
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With its compact dimensions, you'll have no problem slipping the BlackBerry 8300 into your bag or purse. It still might make for a bit of a tight fit in a pants pocket, but it's much improved over past models.
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Fortunately, the Curve's QWERTY keyboard is much improved over that of the BlackBerry 8800. It reverts back to the styling of past models, with more spacing between the keys for easy typing. As with the latest BlackBerrys, the 8300 also features the trackball navigator.
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The BlackBerry Curve gets a camera upgrade with a 2-megapixel sensor and a 5x zoom lens. Yet, despite this improvement, we were a bit disappointed by the picture quality. The 8300 produced clear pictures, but the colors had a gray overtone.
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Though it's inconveniently located behind the battery, the Curve is equipped with a microSD card slot for carrying tunes, videos, and other files.
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Photo by: Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks / Caption by:
The BlackBerry 8300 ships with a number of accessories, including a belt holster and wired earbuds. You also get a USB cable and a travel charger. For more BlackBerry add-ons and downloads, check out our cell phone accessories page.
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