There was a time not long ago when all versions of the BlackBerry looked more or less the same. But in the last few years, our friends north of the border have ramped up their innovation skills with a slew of new models that include fresh designs and features, giving you the freedom to select a model that's right for you. Here is the latest crop of
devices from RIM. ---
RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650 (Sprint)
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650 adds Wi-Fi and doubles the onboard memory. The smartphone offers world-roaming capabilities, strong messaging features, and a solid keyboard.
The bad: Clunky Web browser.
The bottom line:Though nothing revolutionary, the RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650 brings some welcome
additions and offers Sprint customers a solid messaging world phone.
RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 (AT&T)
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 features a sleeker design than its predecessor and adds a 3.5mm headphone jack, a
responsive optical trackpad, and an extrasharp display. The smartphone is fast and offers the full range of wireless options and robust messaging capabilities.
The bad: The
BlackBerry browser lags behind the competition in terms of usability and features. You can only download apps to the phone's main memory.
The bottom line:Though Web browsing is not its forte, the RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 is one of
the most powerful and best messaging smartphones in AT&T's lineup
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520 (T-Mobile)
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520 features a
responsive optical touchpad and dedicated media controls. The
smartphone also offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 2-megapixel camera, and good
The bad: Lacks 3G support and
GPS. You can only save downloaded apps to the phone's main memory.
The bottom line:The
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520 is a sleek entry-level smartphone that
delivers some nice design enhancements and great performance. While
available directly from T-Mobile, Wal-Mart offers the better value on
RIM BlackBerry Storm 2 (Verizon Wireless)
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Storm 2 adds Wi-Fi,
more memory, and an updated operating system that brings a number of
feature and user interface enhancements. The revamped SurePress touch
screen allows for more precision, key rollover, and limited multitouch
The bad: BlackBerry browser
isn't on par with the competition. While improved, the touch screen
still takes some acclimation.
line:The RIM BlackBerry Storm 2 brings some
welcome additions, such as Wi-Fi, updated software, and a better touch
interface, but it's going to face some serious competition from
Verizon's upcoming touch-screen smartphones.
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 (AT&T)
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.
bad: The BlackBerry Curve 8900 lacks 3G.
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.
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 (Sprint)
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 offers
ease of use and a compact design. Its features include Wi-Fi, 3G,
Bluetooth, GPS, and a 2-megapixel camera.
The smartphone feels a bit cheap and it has a low-resolution screen.
Its call quality could be better.
bottom line:Some design issues aside, the RIM
BlackBerry Curve 8530 is a great value for Sprint customers looking for
an entry-level smartphone.
RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230 (Verizon Wireless)
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230
offers 3G, GPS, good call quality, and BlackBerry's strong e-mail
capabilities. The clamshell smartphone also has a 2-megapixel camera and
supports BlackBerry App World.
The bad: The
smartphone lacks Wi-Fi, and the SureType keyboard takes some acclimation
and isn't ideal for heavy e-mail users.
bottom line:While not the flashiest or the
most feature-rich device, the RIM BlackBerry Pearl Flip for Verizon
Wireless is a decent and affordable choice for first-time smartphone