BlackBerry Curve 8900 - black (AT&T) review: BlackBerry Curve 8900 - black (AT&T)

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.3
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Reviewed:

The Good The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 offers a sleeker design and a vibrant display. The smartphone features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS, and brings new productivity tools, a full HTML Web browser, and a 3.2-megapixel camera. There's also support for the BlackBerry App World and AT&T Navigator.

The Bad The BlackBerry Curve 8900 lacks 3G.

The Bottom Line The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 brings a number of improvements and additions to make it a nice upgrade to the Curve 8300 series. That said, AT&T offers other QWERTY smartphones that include 3G support and for less.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

Editors' note: The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 for AT&T is similar to T-Mobile's Curve 8900 in design. For this review, we will be concentrating on the different features and performance compared with the T-Mobile version. For a full description of the smartphone's design, please see our review of the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 for T-Mobile.

First offered by T-Mobile, the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 is now available from AT&T for $149.99 with a two-year contract. The smartphone is largely like T-Mobile's version except it offers support for the carrier's various services, including AT&T Navigator, and free access to AT&T's nearly 20,000 Wi-Fi hot spots. The hardware improvements and additional features include the high-resolution display, a full HTML Web browser, and a faster processor, and make it a great upgrade from the BlackBerry 8300 series.

However, unlike T-Mobile, AT&T has a fairly good stable of QWERTY devices and the Nokia E71x and the Samsung Jack give the Curve a good run for its money. For $50 less, both smartphones offer many of the same features and add 3G support, which the Curve lacks. The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 is a good messaging smartphone and if 3G isn't important to you or you're a BlackBerry loyalist, you'll be very happy with it. Otherwise, we think the Nokia E71x and Samsung Jack offer a slightly better value.

Features
As we noted earlier, AT&T's RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 has features akin to the T-Mobile model, but it adds a number of AT&T services, including AT&T Navigator, Yellowpages.com Mobile, and AT&T Music. The Curve 8900 also supports the recently launched BlackBerry App World, which you can use to peruse the catalog for new applications. The catalog has a basic, but easy-to-use, interface and features a fairly comprehensive database of applications, which you can view by category, top downloads, or featured items. You can also search by title. We downloaded several programs, including Facebook and Pandora, over AT&T's EDGE network with no problem. The Curve 8900 also comes preloaded with a number of apps and personal information management tools, such as Documents to Go Standard Edition, a Calendar, a task list, a memo pad, a voice recorder, a calculator, a password keeper, and more.

The Curve offers quad-band world roaming, Bluetooth 2.0 with stereo Bluetooth support, Wi-Fi, and GPS. The only thing missing in the wireless department is 3G support, which again, you can get with the Nokia E71x or the Samsung Jack. Alternatively, if you want to keep it within the BlackBerry family, you can upgrade to the BlackBerry Bold. However, we realize not everyone needs 3G, and for occasional browsing, the EDGE speeds are satisfactory (see Performance for more).


The BlackBerry Curve 8900 gets an upgrade in the camera department with a 3.2-megapixel lens.

The Curve 8900 is equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera with video-recording capabilities, flash, autofocus, 2x zoom, and image stabilization. In camera mode, you get a choice of three picture sizes and three picture qualities. There are white balance settings and the capability to add various effects to your photos, and with the built-in GPS, you can also geotag photos. The camcorder records clips in two formats (normal and MMS) with sound and offers video light and color effects.


We weren't terribly impressed with photo quality, however, since images looked a bit hazy.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4

    Starting at: $249.99
    4.5 stars

    Samsung's ultra HD powerhouse takes on the iPhone 6 Plus and LG G3 with some of industry's...

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus

    Starting at: $249.99
    4.5 stars

    Bigger isn't always better, and for many the idea of a smartphone with a 5.5-inch screen...

  • Samsung Galaxy S5

    Starting at: $79.99
    4.5 stars

    The Galaxy S5 has once again proven Samsung’s ability to make an attractive high-end smartphone....

  • Apple iPhone 6

    Starting at: $149.99
    4.5 stars

    It's got a bigger screen and works with Apple Pay. It lacks a battery boost, but it's...

 

Discuss BlackBerry Curve 8900 - black (AT&T)

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

BlackBerry Curve 8900 - black (AT&T)

Part Number: 8900 Released: May 22, 2009
Low Price: $2.89 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date May 22, 2009
  • Technology GSM
  • Service Provider not specified
  • Weight 3.9 oz
  • Diagonal Size 2.44 in
  • Sensor Resolution 3.2 pixels