October 1 2007
AT&T Blackberry Curve 8300
Harry Tries Again
I know; I said Blackberry’s are not for me at the end of my review of the 8800. However, when the chance came to check out the AT&T Blackberry Curve, I thought why not. I was very impressed with the 8800 but was all thumbs, so to speak, when it came to communicating with others by text messaging on the QUERTY keyboard. Must be arthritis setting in because my thumbs felt like they were in a torture chamber during that first test period. I now hold the Curve in one hand and poke at the keys with one finger of the other when using it. That is the way I type. I never use my thumbs. A couple of fingers on each hand seem to get the job done on the computer keyboard so why not use just one on the QWERTY keyboard of a Blackberry. It also helps that the daughter living in Phoenix pushed me to do more instant messaging. She also taught me some short cuts. I did much better with the curve.
The Blackberry Curve is much like the 8800 but I found the keyboard to be much easier to use. The look is silver sleek rather than mostly somber black. The edges are more curvaceous than previous models. Overall it is very good to look at.
In the box
Blackberry Curve 8300
USB Cable & travel charger
Hands free 3.5 mm Stereo Headset
C-Rom with Blackberry Desktop Software media manager
Getting started Guide
Quick Start Guide
When doing research for this review I checked the Blackberry website and found one of the best online tutorials I have ever seen. This learning experience gave me a much better understanding of the Blackberry culture overall and the Curve specifically. There is a short Blackberry video included on the Curve so take a look if you decide to go for one.
I will not list the many business features already mentioned in my 8800 review or on the AT&T website. Blackberrys are well known as business friendly. My interest is in the things added or improved with the addition of the Curve to the line. First it has a 2 Mega Pixel camera with flash (a great move) and a 5X zoom. It takes very acceptable photos. Unfortunately there is no video recording as yet. I have included several shots here as well as uploaded most of them to my Flickr site. I was quite happy with the camera improvements.
I copied and played several videos created with the Logitech WEBCAM. Reproduction was perfect. Video downloaded from the web looked quite good. The screen has great color. The screen seems bigger and can be adjusted for brightness.
I truly appreciate the addition of an email spell checker as my ability to spell is almost non-existent. The ability to easily access Yahoo!® Messenger, AOL® Instant Messenger, & Windows Live(TM) Messenger is a forward move for those who need access to these IM services.
The Curve comes with media management software created by Roxio fo media transfers can be done to and from the phone and a PC using a USB cable. This worked very well.
I set up the Curve’s Bluetooth to link with my Genius Bluetooth stereo headset BT-03A. I heard fine stereo sound and was able to answer the phone by pushing the pause button on the headset. Easily linked the Lenoveo Notebook with the Blackberry Curve using Bluetooth and then used the notebook as an external speaker system. I know this is a stretch but I forgot myself. I also was able to transfer files from the Lenovo notebook to the Blackberry during this test.
I connected the Curve, using its 3.5 mm jack, to the Logitech Stereo Speaker System X-240 and had some great background music while working on this article. I like the 3.5 MM head phone jack as I test many headsets that require this standard jack.
When I attempted to import music to the Blackberry Curve I received messages that stated it would only accept my previously purchased music that was not under DMA protection. I had no problem copying my non-protected or CD ripped music. The music player seemed to sound and perform better that the 8800. The Media Player has been updated.
TelNav was slow to respond but worked well when I requested travel directions. I did find it difficult to navigate around the large map of the USA. I ended up in the Atlantic Ocean many miles from shore several times while trying to get to Florida so I could look at Key West. This was a 30 day free trial version. With the Blackberry it cost 9.99 per month if you subscribe and uses about 30 DATA KBs per route on your AT&T plan. It did do a great job on a routing from Key West to where we used to live in South Carolina.
The phone has 64 MB of internal memory. I used a 1 Gig memory card for photos, imported videos, and Music. There was still plenty of room for business files on the card. I understand you can use a 2 Gig and larger cards but I did not test that.The BlackBerry Curve is rated for 4 hours of talk time and as long as 17 days of standby time.
Amazingly I found the Blackberry Curve so easy to use that I could find myself ecstatic while owning one. It seems RIM is keeping their business customers happy while expanding their fun stuff to make the rest of us believers. The ability to access the Internet, do instant messages (one finger at a time) and have all the other features at my finger tip makes the AT&T Blackberry Curve 8300 a very enticing phone. Unfortunately the purchase price of the Curve (List price is $499.00 but it is $199.00 with a new 2 year AT&T contract and a $100.00 rebate card) and the added monthly cost for those options is more than I feel comfortable paying just to expand my hobby. If I were in a business situation or just loaded with money I would snap one up in an instant.