The latest BlackBerry Smartphone comes to Sprint in the form of the BlackBerry 8350i. This device is a great new addition to the lineup and brings along some great new features current BlackBerry users are sure to love. It packs a smooth design, the latest BlackBerry operating system as well as Wifi, GPS, Bluetooth, a full HTML web browser and much more. The 8350i is available now on Sprint. Read on for our full review!
Network: iDEN 800 / 900
Form Factor: Block / BlackBerry OS v4.6
Dimensions: 111 x 62 x 18 mm
Weight: 135 g
Navigation: QWERTY Keyboard / 5-Way Keypad
Battery Type: 1400 mAh Li-Ion
Talk Time: 4 hours
Standby Time: 7 days
Memory: 128.0 MB
Expandable Memory: microSD / TransFlash
Main Screen: TFT 65,000 colors (320 x 240 px)
External Screen: No
Camera: 2.0 MP / 5X Zoom / Video Recorder
MP3 Player: MP3 / AAC / AAC+ / eAAC+ / WMA
FM Radio: No
Push-To-Talk: Direct Connect / Group Connect
Wallpapers: 320 x 240 px
Screen Savers: 320 x 240 px
Ring Tones: 32 chord / MP3
Streaming Multimedia: No
Email: POP3 / IMAP4 / SMTP / Microsoft Exchange / Lotus Domino
Chat: AOL / Google / ICQ / Windows Live / Yahoo
Predictive Text: SureType
Bluetooth: 2.0 (A2DP / AVRCP / DUN / HFP / HSP / OPP / SPP)
Infrared Port: No
High-Speed Data: No
PC Sync: USB 2.0
In the box we have a travel charger, USB cable, stereo headset, SIM card, 1GB microSD card, swivel holster and manuals.
The BlackBerry Curve 85301 is pretty much the same design as its 8300 brother but a bit "beefier" around the edges. The device feels solid and is easy to hold onto while not feeling awkward at all in the hand. The crisp and clear 320x240 display shows everything brilliantly and we had no issues with it. The trackball sits below between the Send, Menu, Back and End keys. The buttons are solid for the most part, but it's hard to tell if they will become loose fitting over time. The trackball sits a bit low as well but still functions as it should. The yellow ring around the trackball adds to the deisgn and we must say looks very cool. The full QWERTY keyboard feels great and is easy to type on. The keys were a bit "clicky" at first, but after some use they fell into a groove. There is plenty of space between keys so typing (even with fat fingers) should not be an issue for most.
On the right side of the device sits the volume buttons and convenience key. On the left is the 2.5mm headphone port, mini-USB port for charging/syncing and the Direct Connect button. On the back of the device is the battery door along with camera and flash. Inside the device resting behind the battery is the microSD slot and SIM card slot.
The device carries Bluetooth, GPS and Wifi as well. Bluetooth allows you to connect to external devices such as a Bluetooth headset or car speakerphone. The addition of Wifi is a welcome one as you can now connect to Wifi hotspots or a home network for increased browsing speeds.
The 2MP camera isn't the greatest on a smartphone, but its certainly no slouch. There aren't a huge amount of options for taking photos, so it's pretty much what you see is what you get. There is a digital zoom that helps out a bit as well, and you can tag you photos with your location using the built-in GPS. In addition there is video recording, however you will need to have a microSD card installed to save the clips.
In addition to the obvious PTT (Push To Talk) feature of the 8350i, the device also has a speakerphone, Bluetooth, voice-activated dialing, SMS, email, and MMS. The new BlackBerry 4.6 OS packs a great redesign and some great applications. The full HTML web browser is great for viewing pages, although at times renders oddly and makes pages hard to read. There is a built in calendar, notepad, tasks application, media player, clock, instant messaging apps and BlackBerry Messenger. Also included is Documents to Go - a set of apps that allows for editing of Word, Excel and Powerpoint documents right on the device.
The built-in media player supports multiple file types including MP3 and WMA. Using the Roxio software included with the device, you can easily transfer music to the 8350i. Files can be stored on the memory card and played back in the media player, and users can also create playlists and use the repeat or shuffle functions.
Overall the 8350i is a great device and adds to the appeal of the 8300 series. The only device to carry the "i" tag and PTT, it is obviously geared to a specific market. Nextel users will openly welcome the device so they can take advantage of the great features that BlackBerry has to offer. The new full HTML browser, BlackBerry Messenger and email capabilities will all be huge selling points. The device is well built and should stand up over time.