Review by CoffeeGurl for BlackBerry Curve 8520 Phone, Black (T-Mobile)
Why are all BlackBerrys so expensive? Why can’t we get the latest model in a reasonable price? The BlackBerry Bold was $299 with a two-year contract when it was first released on the AT&T network. The new Tour is $199 (with mail-rebate ) in both Verizon and Sprint. The Curve 8900 is $149 in T-Mobile — still a little too steep for some people. Lower end users rejoice! Here comes the new Curve 8520! This new addition to the BB family has a new design and some introductory features, at an affordable price from T-Mobile.

What separates this phone from others of the BB family is the new optical trackpad. Instead of a trackball, you use the trackpad to navigate, scroll and click on the contents of your phone. It’s similar to trackpads found in the new MacBooks and some netbooks, and it is similar to the Storm’s click-touchscreen, and it’s quite easy to use. In fact, it is better than the trackball, in my opinion, because it moves faster and it’s less likely to break or skip applications on you. It only took me about ten minutes to get used to it and so far I’m loving it. The 8520 also sports a new look. It is mostly made of some sturdy plastic, with rubbery edges and side-buttons, and with music buttons on the top of the phone for easy access to your entertainment. This new BlackBerry seems to be marketed for multimedia phone lovers as well as smartphone users. You get a bit of both, for this BB still has its useful business functionalities. The QWERTY keypad is easy comfortable to type on, no much change there. T-Mobile offers WiFi for faster Internet speed as well as making phone calls through that network (instead of using your minutes). All you have to do is be at a WiFi hotspot to take advantage of this useful and affordable feature.

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As good as the Curve 8520 is, there are some downsides to it as well.

* A mediocre camera. It has a 2 MP camera with no flash. A big downgrade from the Curve 8900 and the Tour 9630. If you like to take good pictures, this is not the best camera phone for you.

* No 3G network. But we already know that T-Mobile doesn’t have 3G in most of the country yet, don’t we? (Kind of obsolete if you ask me. Especially since other carriers like Sprint are already announcing the long-awaited 4G network.) You’ll have to settle for EDGE speeds if you’re nowhere near a WiFi hotspot.

* The phone’s overall look is below par to other BlackBerrys. It doesn’t feel as luxurious or as sexy as the Bold, Storm, Curve or Tour. It kind of looks like the older BlackBerrys, actually, especially the frost-colored one. I guess that’s what you get for paying less for a smartphone.

* The screen resolution isn’t as bright as the Bold, Storm and Tour. The WOW factor is cut shorter in yet another cool feature. It’s no big deal, but it’s disappointing nevertheless.

That is all I can think of at the moment. You may take the good with the bad when you decide to buy this phone. However, for the price it’s more than just great. You get it for $129 if you go to the T-Mobile store, or you can get it for even less if you buy it on this site or take advantage of any of the other promotions available in stores like BestBuy or Radio Shack. Good luck and enjoy.

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