Mobile manufacturer RIM and BlackBerry mobile phones usually associated with expensive professional phones. We have tested the newcomer Curve 8520, which like other Blackberry phones are pretty smart. Unlike most other BlackBerry models, which in some cases approaching a hefty price tag of ten thousand, you can buy it for just over three thousand. Still thus far from a cheap phone, but the price is at least not as stiff as other phones from RIM.
Better than Apple
If you put a regular SIM card in your phone, you will not, for example set it up for the e-mail, and you are not right on the web.
Should you use your Blackberry to something reasonable, you must have a subscription with the right services. Something as basic as regular e-mail with the POP3 server, you must have a special subscription to get activated.
If you insert a SIM card with the right services, for example, from Shortcut, which specializes in Blackberry, get the main menu suddenly several icons and options. BlackBerry is, in other words better than most mobiles. Are you a fan of open standards, then BlackBerry is not for you!
We are also not particularly fond of the quirky standards, especially when there are established and fairly open standards that do the same thing.
If you've got yourself a subscription to all the services you need, is another story. You can either buy a full suite of services from a mobile provider that offers it, or integrate your BlackBerry with the company's existing systems. The latter solution has a price with many zeros behind, and is suitable for medium and large businesses.
With everything in place is set up of the phone a breeze. You as a user of the phone run (almost) to relate to difficult settings. The main menu on the 8520 is similar to that observed in previous models, and in other words, relatively simple and straightforward.
You move down through menus, it becomes immediately more complicated. You may have more settings available than in any other phone, and even if you are an avid mobile nerd is a danger that you have to scratch your head from time to time.
We are also not particularly fond of that you end up where you were last in a submenu when you return to a previously visited the submenu.
We'd like to see that the menu system to the BlackBerry had a little overhaul to catch up with the best on the market.
Narrow the start screen
On a pro phone's calendar view on the home screen mandatory for many. This is missing unfortunately 8520. In contrast to the more expensive models, it comes not with the themes that have view of calendar and email in sleep mode. True, you can download various themes through the phone's menu, but these themes cost extra.
That this is a cheap model of BlackBerry's world is also evident on the screen. As usual, the screen is in landscape format, but the size is the smallest made for eager users. The screen is not as sharp and fine as some more expensive models from RIM.
A big plus when the screen was evident at the time of a rare did see the sun. Despite the medium specifications, namely, the screen is very good to see in sunlight, something that many monitors have problems with. Curve 8520 shows here that it does not help with fine properties in the theory and the great name as AMOLED; it is the result that counts.
Narrow over the hips
In return, 8520 is a sleek and pocket-friendly phone. Even if you have a full keyboard available, RIM has managed to squeeze down the size so this is a manageable small matter. The keys are of course not particularly large in such a phone. Letter keys are well lifted and separated, so you can write in good speed without problems. The BlackBerry is currently a marginal product at home, is reflected also in the menus. Menu buttons are on the other hand completely flat, but they are so great that they still are good to serve. In contrast to the trackball, which we are familiar with from previous BlackBerry models, the 8520 one touch sensitive navigation key. This is the type where you just finger above to navigate around the menus, and press it in to access your choice. Luckily, the one of the better control surfaces we've tried, so we do not miss the scrollbar, or trackback.
As mentioned, 8520 has a compact size. Quality impression is also good. The exception is the back cover, which seems a bit shaky. Embossed plastic is also more prominent than, for example, the BlackBerry 9000 Bold. Our sample was not submitted in complete sales package, but after what we have been able to ascertain the Curve 8520 comes with the following accessories:
- RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520
- Data cable
- 2 GB memory card
Design and usability
- Form: Full Keyboard
- Dimensions: 10.9 x 6 x 1.4 cm
- Weight: 106 grams
- Display: TFT, 2.6 inch, 320 x 240 pixels, 65,000 colors
- Shortcut Keys: volume, music player, two programmable shortcut keys
- Input and output: mini jack, Micro USB
- Short positions: Yes, Micro SD
- External antenna socket: No
- Menu System: BlackBerry OS 4.6
- Firmware: 184.108.40.2062
Pro Phones nowadays are often packed with features, including those models that do not cost a shirt.
It is possible the specifications of the Curve 8520 will impress U.S. customers, but for us this is the tame. For data transmission in mobile network, you must make do with EDGE. For a year or two ago, the absence of 3G and Super-3G no crisis in a professional telephone, but in the latter half of 2009, we find a phone for business users should support all the available data rates.
Are you within a wireless zone, you can fortunately surf the web through this with 8520. The battery has usable capacity, so we spent two-three days between charges even with Wi-Fi enabled.
A plus is, however, that charging takes place via a standard Micro USB connector, so that the phone also is charging when connected to a PC using data cable.
Own solution for e-mail
As mentioned previously the BlackBerry's own solution for synchronization. Once you have gone for such a solution, it works great. Push email and synchronization of the calendar works great and is a force at the BlackBerry, which we have pointed out and described the tests of previous BlackBerry models. Address book and calendar are the rest of the advanced type, and other functionality such as tasks, notes and other useful standard features are in place. You can also read and edit documents in the most common document formats. Before we take all of her, it is worth noting that on Windows and Symbian based mobile phones can get the same functionality with a cheaper solution in the back.
Although the Curve 8520 has built-in GPS, it has nevertheless a mapping application built. 8520 has user base stations in the mobile network to determine your approximate position. The phone that is closest to the BlackBerry in the competition to make the proprietary solutions, Apple Iphone, getting increasingly packaging that it has poor coverage. Thankfully, this is not a problem with the Curve 8520. We had no problems with either coverage or sound quality during conversation. You can also use the built-in speaker to have a hands-free conversation. Then it should be fairly quiet around you, when the speakerphone feature was more of the tree. Of course you can also connect to a standard hands-free. Curve 8520 has standard mini-jack input, so you have more flexibility in the choice of headset. Finally you can connect to a wireless headset, and 8520 also supports A2DP, so you can use stereo Bluetooth headsets.
Surfing is a breeze on the Curve 8520, although the rate could be improved. This is partly due to the browser works well, but not least, the solution with the track pad makes it by far easy to navigate around on different websites.
Should you install Java applications in 8520, it is good to bear in mind that Java performance is slightly below average. 3D test was not run, which is a bad sign in terms of compatibility with applications and games with great graphics.
Technology and features
- Mobile networks: GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
- Internet Speed: GPRS, EDGE
- Wireless transmission: Bluetooth 2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
- Retrieving e-mail: BlackBerry, POP3 (subscription required), Exchange (subscription required)
- The quoted battery life: up to 17 days rest, 4.5 hours talk time
- SAR value: 1.02 W/Kg
- Internal Memory: 256 MB, support for Micro SD (2GB included)
- Address: Advanced
- Calendar: Yes
- E-mail reader: Yes
- Features: Alarm, notes, timer, stopwatch, calculator, code list, recorders, maps, search, document viewer
- Sync: BlackBerry (push email)
We have previously supplied the music player in the BlackBerry praise. Curve 8520 also works well to play music. There are additional positive is that you also have output jack, so you can use your own headphones to hear music, and is not dependent on transition or expensive headsets from the manufacturer. Do you like the sound best wireless; you can also connect to stereo headsets. To control the music you have three shortcut buttons at the top of the phone. This makes it easy to change songs or pause the music without having to go into the menu on the phone. It will not appear on the home screen that you actually play a song, so these shortcut buttons are good to have.
You can romp in the five games on the Curve 8520. Two of the games are card games, you have a variation of the classic Brick, a pun, and it is not unknown Sudoku. In the Brick game we'll mark the limitations of the trackpad. The idea is to control a small platform on the right and left to get a ball to bounce between the walls. Here, the trackpad does not respond quickly and accurately NOK to take maximum advantage of the game. The games will be plus for them, despite the lack of 3D effects, and good and elaborate graphics.
No, no and no again!
The Curve 8520 is not a typical camera phone, we were aware of the relationship. Anyway, we gasp for air when we saw how bad the pictures were taken with 8520. Although the sun was high in the sky and the conditions would be perfect for sharp images, the result was a grainy grease up full of noise.
Then we thought it was possible to make it worse, his chin fell even further down when we saw pictures taken indoors during the day. Had we not taken the photos yourself, we would have thought that it was added to a Photoshop effect to your photos.
The only positive we have to say about the camera is the exposure, if somewhat dark, is OK, and the color reproduction is pretty good.
With expectations at the bottom was not much of that video footage comes out a notch or three better than still images. And it does, indeed, the video taken with the Curve 8520. Not to understand that video recording is suitable for anything other than appear on a small mobile screen, but video footage is qualitatively in line with video from other brands with similar resolution.
After hiring a couple of Valium to dull senses the camera gave us, it's time for a little recap. The camera is therefore bad. Unfortunately. The pictures should remain on the phone and not transferred to the PC or paper.
- Media Features: Shuffle, repeat, playlist
- Media formats: MP3, AAC, AAC +. WMA, MP4
- FM Radio: No
- Wireless stereo (A2DP): Yes
- Medieutganger: Minijack
- Java support: MIDP 1.0, MIDP 2.0
- Games and Entertainment: Brick Breaker, Word Mole, Texas Hold Em King 2, Sudoku
- Camera Resolution: 2 megapixels
- Autofocus: No
- Zoom: Digital zoom (Up to 5x)
- Flash or photo light: No
- Video shooting: 320 x 240
- Other: White balance, quality, effects
Although mobile manufacturer RIM does not spit out new models at the same pace as for example, Sony Ericsson or Nokia, it appears a new model at irregular intervals. BlackBerry Curve 8520 is the latest shot at Blackberry tribe, and this time it is a relatively inexpensive phone, we are served by RIM. Like most other BlackBerry phones drives Curve 8520 with a full keyboard. Well almost. To scroll around the menus ask Curve 8520 with a trackpad. This works well.
The screen is of the type of wide screen, but is not particularly large or high-definition. On the plus side mentioned that it is good to see even in bright sunlight. On the screen reveals BlackBerry's own menus themselves. The main menu is appealing, but down in the menus is really on the ball itself. As we have seen on previous BlackBerry models, you have the proper wave of settings to get lost in. What you actually see on screen depends on the services you have in your subscription. Should there be any point in a BlackBerry, you are more or less forced to subscribe to BlackBerry services from a mobile provider that offers this. BlackBerry's solutions can also integrate with companies' existing systems. Have you first opened your wallet so you have the services that almost hear with a BlackBerry phone, everything is sore well! Sync and push e-mail goes out as just that, and the layout is so simple that even the father do it.
One part entertainment, one-piece belly flops
Curve 8520's despite the proprietary solutions, no iPhone. Anyway, it has a little fun under the shell. It has a good music player with the shortcut keys on the top of the phone, and it is also included five games.
Alas, these competitors
If you buy a BlackBerry is decided first and foremost about whether your company has set up a BlackBerry server, or, as an individual, if you want to subscribe to different services. If it has, it's probably not the last bit which determines which phone you have to do, and when we would rather have passed for one of the more expensive models from RIM as the BlackBerry Curve 8900 and Bold 9000. Set open in the selection of a solution, set it up differently. Then we have to take the total costs in the calculation. Great Seller Nokia E71 is cheaper and is better in several areas, among other things, the faster data transfer.