The Good The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8310 adds GPS capabilities to the already impressive and sleek messaging smartphone. You also get a 2-megapixel camera, Bluetooth, and good call quality.
The Bad The Curve 8310 doesn't offer Wi-Fi or 3G support. The Web browser isn't the sleekest, and the camera lacks video-recording capabilities. Also, unlike the T-Mobile version, you only get the proprietary BlackBerry Messenger IM client.
The Bottom Line Still offering an attractive design and excellent messaging capabilities, the addition of GPS makes the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8310 an even more attractive choice for road warriors.
Editor's note: This review has been updated to include the results of our battery drain testing.
Back in May, we fell in love with the original RIM BlackBerry Curve, but a recent refresh of the smartphone has our hearts pitter pattering all over again. The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8310 keeps the same sleek design and robust messaging capabilities of its predecessor, but then adds GPS capabilities. The ability to use your smartphone as a navigation device is particularly useful for mobile professionals who are constantly on the road, running to meetings or traveling for business trips. And we found it to be quite the capable navigator during our road tests using the TeleNav GPS Navigator service. The tradeoff is that for the GPS, you give up integrated Wi-Fi, which is what T-Mobile opted for in the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8320 (we know--we want both, too) and there's no 3G support yet. For this review, we chose to concentrate on the features and performance of the device; for more details on the phone's design, please check our review of the original Curve. The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8310 is available now from AT&T for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates, in either red or titanium.
The biggest difference between the original Curve and the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8310 is the addition of GPS. With this feature, you can use Curve as a handheld navigation device with the addition of a location-based service (LBS) or navigation software, such as Google Maps for Mobile. AT&T offers its own LBS called TeleNav GPS Navigator, which includes color maps and text- and voice-guided driving directions, and local search. You can find out more about the add-on service in our full review of TeleNav, and be aware that the service costs $9.99 per month for unlimited trips or $5.99 for up to 10 trips. Check out the Performance section to see how the Curve fared as a navigator.