Just as Sprint has been long overdue for the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330, so has Verizon Wireless. However, the time has come for the carrier, and we're happy to say it was worth the wait. With its full QWERTY keyboard and well-rounded feature set, the BlackBerry Curve 8330 is a nice compromise between the RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 and the RIM BlackBerry 8830 World Edition. The smartphone also has integrated GPS, Bluetooth, and a 2-megapixel camera. We are slightly miffed that Verizon has once again stripped out any support for its V Cast multimedia services, especially since Sprint's Curve offers such capabilities. However, in the grand scheme of things, this is a minor issue. The Curve delivers where it counts--voice and messaging--and all with a great design to boot, so we give it a big thumbs up. The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 for Verizon Wireless is available now for as low as $149.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates and discounts.
In terms of design, the Verizon Wireless RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 doesn't differ from the rest of the Curve series. It more closely resembles the Sprint Curve with its slightly bigger build (compared with the AT&T and T-Mobile versions) since it also has a built-in 3G chip. It does, however, come in a silver casing and features Verizon's interface by default. For more information about the Curve's design, please check our review of the Sprint RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330.
Verizon Wireless packages its RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 with an AC adapter, a USB cable, a wired headset, a protective case, a software CD, and reference material. For more add-ons, please check our cell phone accessories, ringtones, and help page.
The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 offers Verizon customers a nice compromise between the RIM BlackBerry Pearl 8130 and the RIM BlackBerry 8830 World Edition, providing a full QWERTY keyboard for easier messaging over the Pearl and a more affordable alternative for users who don't need the world-roaming capabilities of the BlackBerry 8830.
Starting with the messaging features, the Curve 8330 offers synchronization with your company's BlackBerry Enterprise server with support for Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino, or Novell GroupWise for real-time corporate e-mail delivery. You can also use the BlackBerry Internet Service to access as many as 10 personal/business POP3 or IMAP4 e-mail accounts. There's a built-in spell-check function for e-mails (but not text or multimedia messages) and you also get an attachment viewer that opens popular file formats, such as Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Corel WordPerfect, PDF, JPEG, GIF, and more. Unlike, the Sprint version, Verizon only offers the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger. Finally, another differentiating factor between the Sprint Curve and the Verizon Curve is that this model offers AIM, Yahoo, and Google Talk instant-messaging clients in addition to BlackBerry Messenger.
Phone features include a speakerphone, voice dialing and commands, conference calling, text and multimedia messaging, and call audio enhancement, which lets you boost the bass or treble of sound. The address book is limited only by the available memory, and each entry can hold up to eight numbers, work and home addresses, e-mail and Web addresses, company information, and notes. For caller ID purposes, you can assign a photo to a contact as well as a group category--business or personal--or one of 45 polyphonic ringtones.
The Curve also has Bluetooth 2.0 for use with mono and stereo headsets, hands-free kits, and dial-up networking. If you want to use the Curve as a wireless modem, you will need to subscribe to one of Verizon's BroadbandAccess plans, which start at $15 per month. It does not support the object exchange profile. On the bright side, you won't have to invest in a Bluetooth GPS receiver, since the smartphone has a built-in GPS radio. You can use this with a location-based service, such as Verizon's VZ Navigator, or other mobile navigation software to get real-time tracking, directions, local search, and more.
The Curve 8330 is also an EV-DO capable for data speeds of around 300Kbps to 600Kbps with the potential to hit 2.4Mbps. This means you should enjoy faster Web browsing, downloads, and smooth media streams. Once again, however, Verizon Wireless chose not include support for its V Cast music and video services on the smartphone. Given its more corporate-centric features, Verizon seems to think business users won't want the streaming media services, but hey, why not give us the option? Sprint does.