June 12, 2009

BlackBerry Curve 8900 Review

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by Franz Bicar

The BlackBerry Curve 8900 was released last May. It was praised as a very good messaging smartphone. However, it was criticized for lacking one important feature that seems to be present in today’s smartphones – 3G support. So how good is the Curve 8900? Is 3G capabilities really that important that the devices’ lack thereof prevents it from being one of the best smartphones out in the market?

The 8900 features include 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. 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.

As mentioned, the Curve 8900 does not support 3G connections. However, the Curve does offer quad-band world roaming, Bluetooth 2.0 with stereo Bluetooth support, Wi-Fi, and GPS.

Aside from these features, the Curve 8900 is equipped with a 3.2-megapixel camera with video-recording capabilities, flash, auto focus, 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.

The 8900’s picture quality is ok. It’s not the best but it suffice. Overall image looks hazy and somewhat gray, and video quality is a bit murky. Users can easily send photos via multimedia message or upload them to Facebook or Twitter. Of course, you can also set them as your background image or assign them to a contact. The BlackBerry Curve 8900 has 256MB of internal memory, and the microSD expansion slot can accept cards up to 16GB.

The Curve 8900’s full HTML Web browser is a great improvement over past models. Navigating sites is easier with the Page and Column view options and onscreen cursor. There are also zoom in and out functions..

The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 comes with a 1400mAh lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 5 hours and up to 15 days of standby time.



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