BlackBerry Curve 8520 Features and Specifications

BlackBerry Curve 8520 Features and Specifications
By Kevin Michaluk on 5 May 2009 10:06 am EDT

Following up on our Hands-On Review of the BlackBerry Curve 8520, below you'll find a detailed breakdown of the device's features and specifications. We nailed most of it in the review, but now we have further clarification on a few outsanding items. In regards to the new form of navigation input replacing the trackball, this document refers to it as a trackpad, which makes sense - longtime BlackBerry users will have progressed from trackwheel to trackball to trackpad. The Curve 8520 will also support UMA, which is great news for those on carriers who will likely support it (T-Mobile, Rogers...). The baseline device software is slated as version 4.6.1, which also makes sense. While at WES, we've now heard in various presentations that 5.0 software will be rolled out in the fall / August. This means that devices launching in the nearer future (9630? 8520?) will likely launch with non-5.0 software and then get the upgrade at the same time as the Bold, Curve 8900, Storm, etc.. The one key spec we're still in the dark on (missing from the list) is processor. Read on for more!

 BlackBerry Curve 8520 Features and Specifications
Size (LxWxD) 109mm x 60 mm x 13.90 mm (4.29 x 2.36 x 0.54 inches)
Weight (including
106 grams (including battery)
Memory 256MB Flash Memory
Expandable Memory Hot swappable Micro SD (located behind battery-cover). SDHC
Display  High resolution 320x240 pixel color display
Transmissive TFT LCD
Supports over 65,536 colours
2.46" (diagonally measured)
Camera  2 MP camera with Fixed focus, no Flash, 5x digital zoom 
Video Camera Format  Normal Mode: 320 x 240 pixel; MMS Mode: 176 x 144 pixel 
Keyboard  35 key backlit QWERTY keyboard 
Dedicated Keys
Send, End, VAD/PTT (User customizable), Camera (User customizable),
2 x Volume
Media Keys:
1. Play / Pause/ Mute
2. Back
3. Forward
Device lock: Long press of A* key with lock icon 
Trackpad - Located on front face of device, ESC Key to the right and Menu to the left of the trackpad 
User Interface
Intuitive icons and menus 
Tone, vibrate, on-screen and LED indicator; notification options are user configurable 
32 Polyphonic - MIDI, MP3, SP-MIDI, WAV 
Voice Input / Output Integrated speaker and microphone, Hands-free headset capable, Bluetooth headset capable, Integrated Hands-Free Speakerphone 
Not supported
Wi-Fi 802.11b/g enabled
Wi-Fi Alliance Certifications: WPA/WPA2 Personal and Enterprise, WMM,
WMM Power Save planned
Cisco CCX certification planned
Wi-Fi access to BlackBerry Enterprise Server
Wi-Fi access to BlackBerry Internet Server
Direct IP web browsing over Wi-Fi
Support for UMA/GMA 
Bluetooth Bluetooth v2.0 + EDR
1) Headset (HSP)
2) Hands free (HSF)
3) Service Discovery Application Profile (SDAP)
4) Serial Port Profile
5) SIM Access Profile
6) Dial Up Networking (DUN)
7) Audio Source (A2DP)
8) A/V Remote Control Target (AVRCP)
9) Object Push Profile (OPP) 
Media Player
BlackBerry Media Player
Video format support: DivX , DivX 5/6, XviD, MPEG4 Part 2 Simple
Profile, H.263, H.264, WMV3
Audio format support: .3gp, MP3, MIDI, AMR-NB, Professional
AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA9 (.wma/.asf), WMA9 PRO / WMA10, 
Micro USB port allows charging and data synchronization of the device with a USB "A" to micro-USB "B" cable 
Power Adapter
+5V DC / 500 mA AC power adapter, with interchangeable location specific plugs 
Charging Contacts
Charging through Micro USB port. No charging contacts 
1150 mAhr removable/rechargeable cryptographic Lithium cell 
Battery Life
Target: 4Hours Talk and 17 days Stand by
Actual measured figures will be updated on design and test completion 
SIM Interface
Supports 1.8V & 3V SIMs 
Keyboard Security
Password protection, keyboard , and sleep mode 
Multi-Slot Class
GPRS Class 10 (Max 5 slots in total, or a combination of 4 down 2 up to a max of 5 slots at any one time.)
EGPRS Class 10 (Max 5 slots in total, or a combination of 4 down 2 up to a max of 5 slots at any one time.) 
Network Quad-Band: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz GSM/GPRS networks
Quad-Band: 850/ 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz EDGE networks 
Radio Specs
Quad-band support: GSM 850; GSM 900; DCS 1800; PCS 1900

Power class:
850 - Power Class 4; 850 - Power Class E2;
900(GSM) - Power Class 4; 900 - Power Class E2;
1800(DCS) - Power Class 1; 1800 - Power Class E2;
1900(PCS) - Power Class 1; 1900 - Power Class E2

Transmitting frequency: GSM 824-849 MHz; GSM 880-915 MHz; DCS
1710-1785 MHz; PCS 1850-1910 MHz

Receiving frequency: GSM 869-894 MHz; GSM 925-960 MHz; DCS
1805-1880 MHz; PCS 1930-1990 MHz

Bluetooth Radio Specifications
Single band support: ISM 2.4 GHz
Power Class: Bluetooth Class 2

Transmitting and receiving frequency: 2402 to 2480 MHz 
 AMR AMR/Narrowband Half Rate (speech mode version 3), all 6 AHR rates
AMR/Narrowband Full Rate (speech mode version 3), all 8 AFR rates 
Recommended Temperature Parameters
Handheld - Operating: 0 to 50°C / 32 to 122°F
Handheld - Storage: 10 to 30°C / 50 to 86°F, with battery
Travel charger - Operating: 0 to 45°C / 32 to 113°F 
Baseline Software Support
GPRSOS Platform 4.2.0
BlackBerry 4.6.1 Applications 

Topics: Devices

Reader comments

BlackBerry Curve 8520 Features and Specifications


This looks like a very music based BB which is good but how does it compare to the Bold and the Curve....Also the Tour is coming out soon which is a mixture iof the Bold and Curve....

I want UK release dates coz I'm due an upgrade soon and still don't know which BB to get!!!!

Nice. I'm actually not mad at 5.0 software not being released until the fall. That gives Verizon plenty of time to get something stable in 4.7, and also time to have a solid 5.0 Storm build for us.

It also makes me feel good to know that 9630 and 8520 owners wont be steps ahead of us Storm owners in software. lol. Just bein honest...

I'm surprised that GPS is not supported for 8520 but otherwise that the specs are really good. I am still very curious about processor.

Well yeah the you cant really complain with the specifications of this thing but.....It just does not work for me..The look of it does not match up to either the curve of the bold. I also do not like the idea of a trackpad, I bet it wont be anywhere near as accurate...Thats just me though

Actually, the trackpad works VERY well. Just move your finger as though there was a trackball, and the focus moves around exactly like you would expect.

The only downside is that you can easily become confused when you don't feel a ball under your finger if you aren't used to it ;-)

I was actually thinking the trackpad would be more accurtate. think optical mouse vs. trackball. No GPS kinda sucks, but overall, I like it.

So if they are not planning on putting 5.0 on devices until the August timeframe that would lead me to believe the 9630 won't come out until at the very least August. CX has said a few times that it would be released on 5.0 and dev on 4.xx has ceased.

Are they serious about that display res? After launching the Bold and the Curve 8900 they decide to develop a really sweet Curve with a new Trackpad but c'mon, 320x240 resolution. That's like getting rid of my Blu-Ray player in favour of a really old dvd player that has a sweet remote control. LoL. Doesn't make any sense to me.

The only big thing about the 8520 is the track pad. Everything else seems like a downgrade from the 9000 Bold, 8900 Jav, and 9530 Storm. I was expecting some integration of the Bold and Jav in this one or better. I hope the 9630 is not as disappointing as this one. Sorry folks but I feel like this is not a big leap forward. If RIM keeps this up it wont look good for them after Samsung and Toshiba releases their power house phones.

Not getting this. With the curve, tour, storm, bold and pearl flip this seems redundant. Why not just update thier current querty line up with the optical track ball? Are they afraid it wont be well recieved?

They're looking for a replacement for the 83XX series, with a feature set geared toward a younger demographic. The fact is the old hardware sporting the os is like putting sugar on road kill and calling it a doughnut. So it makes fiscal since that the "company" would produce a more current entry level device. There is that audience folks and they need some love to. I've been using the Bold since the launch date and don't plan on changing anytime soon. I think this is a good device for someone just comming to the BlackBerry community. Much nicer than my 7100 series oh so long ago...

You honestly think this is that different than the 8900 series which was just released, what, six weeks ago? And if they are looking entry level, the new curve is 149 on tmobile, so not sure how much more entry level you can get. The curve will also be available on ATT before this device is ever released so its not like Tmobile has an exclusive which would cause ATT to need thier own device. Add to that the tour heading to the CDMA folks, I just dont see the point of this. But then again, what do I know.

If this came out a year ago! Its like AT&T releasing the 8900 this summer? How can you get excited about that (Even though that makes more sense than this). In this industry timing is everything and RIM and these carriers are dropping the ball. RIM need to be willing to take more risks. Why not put the track pad or dedicated music buttons on the TOUR? I am beginning to agree with people that say all RIM phones look the same (except the Storm). RIM's advantage used to be they had multiple handsets to cater to different groups. I don't really see that and I'm hoping that the future brings new exciting handsets.

I agree it "seems" like a step backward but when you consider the less than adequate 3g coverage it makes sense to have a device geared toward EDGE service. I mean I have 3g in some spots some spots I don't in the rural areas none at all. So I can actually see the thought process to bringing the 8900 to their line up. It may have been the direction they should've initially taken and delayed the Bold release until network coverage could support the device not the other way around.

Why do you need a low cost blackberry when you have the 83xx,pearl and 8900 which have better specs and more features and can be gotten really cheap. I don't know how low cost you can go cos it is still a blackberry. Why would you recommend this device to anyone over the other curves? Unless it is under $50 or you just need to have a different phone I would think most people will pass. Don't forget about the pearl flip? I'm no expert but that "low cost" blackberry didn't exactly take off. Don' get me wrong, its a nice looking device. Just a little too late

I said it before, and I'll say it again...

This BB 8520 model is lined up for TMO USA's PrePaid service and/or ATT's Pay As You Go plan.

If they keep the price down on this, ($100?) I can easily see this selling really well. Just look at the current news of the Curve outselling the iPhone. I know it seems like a step backward from an 8900, Bold or Storm, but there's plenty of people out there that would like this/don't need GPS, etc - it's definitely a step up from 8300/8100 series. In this economy, price matters.

The Sprint 8330 goes for $99 and kicks ass over this new phone, feature-wise. It may be older, but with 3G and GPS it's just a lot more functional. This new phone is a huge step back for a Curve owner, but might be nice as a cheap entry-level device.

I agree this will be a pre-paid BB, which is awesome. I wouldn't start all the RIM bashing either. I think if you look at last years profits these guys know exactly what they are doing!

This would also fit as a free upgrade to existing customers. It wouldn't interest me but for someone holding onto a plain old phone or even a sidekick who is due for an upgrade this would be a good deal. Of course it would only be free if you also get a BB plan, so the vendor would be able to sell some premium services as well.

I understand this is a low-cost, entry-level Blackberry - that's all good. However, it should not be touted as any kind of replacement for the Curve, because it lacks 3G and lacks GPS - two of the things I use most on my Curve! This would be a giant step backwards for me, even tho it might be nice for a newbie who wants to save some $.

This would be great if they had decided to make it a poor man's Curve 8900. Add a flash and GPS to the 8520, sell it for $50 on contract and you've got a winner. And by $50 on contract, I'm referring to AT&T and T-Mobile, because we all know that it's still going to cost $200 on a 3-year contract with Rogers.

The ONLY good news: 256MB flash RAM
Worst news: 320x240 screen

This device would have been HOT in 2007, but what is RIM thinking? What carrier seriously would want this thing when there are already FAR better Curve models in EVERY carrier line-up? Seriously, this thing is TROUNCED are at least equaled by practically every 8310, 8320, 8330, 8350, and 8900 Curve out there, and in many cases by a SIGNIFICANT margin!

How exactly does this get trounced by an 8320? Oh yeah, the 8320 has a flash??? 8520 has more RAM and has dedicated media buttons, newer OS, most everything else is the same. I can see this being VERY popular with businesses, they don't need 3G, hi res screens and such. Comparing this to the 8330 and 8900 make no sense either since the 8330 is CDMA and had a year more development from the original 8300 (so shouldn't it have been even more advanced?). The 8350 is larger and had almost 2 years development beyond the 8300. The 8900 is a next gen device and obviously is better in every way.

from the image, especially the left 8520, it looks like the trackpad is under the plastic screen that covers the entire top half (screen, call button, back button, menu, etc.)of the phone. am i looking at that correctly?

Think about people who haven't upgraded from 7xxx or 87xx. A more entry level BB (especially in this economy) may be just the thing they need. It IS an improvement over the 83xx. New OS (not available for 83xx), 256 ram, trackpad, wifi (if you didn't have the 8320). You lose the Flash and GPS (if you had the 8310). Kevin says it runs smoother even if it does have the 312 processor (which we don't know.) I still think Prepaid but only time will tell.

No gps? No flash on camera? I think ill wait until Sprint offers something along the lines of the curve specs but a little more powerful. all i need is skyfire and im set. Sprint curve has everything.....

this is a media phone. dedicated buttons for mp3 use. everyone is haggeling the specs but this is not meant to take the spotlight. just get more bb into more hands. especially teens and young professionals who use their phones for media purposes. revolutionary or not, its still a bb and someone will buy it.

I will stick with my 8900 curve! This 8520is a step down from 8900 2.0 megapixel camera no gps thats ok. I love my bb8900.

Comming from a BB 8703e its a huge improvement.. the egde is almost as fast. still no gps but has a decent camera (don't care though as i am a photographer) the device runs faster and smoother. love the track pad compared to the scroll wheel or the track ball. Plus it was $28.00 with 2yr plan on t mobile... excelent phone for someone who wants music, and can read a map (google maps). excent phone for my uses.

I love it but it really sucks there's no flash! But get covers the first time its droped its broke so the rubber coating does nothing

I love it but it really sucks there's no flash! But get covers the first time its droped its broke so the rubber coating does nothing. Also it does something crazy with themes when u save them but not always they save in ur applications there just no were 2 b found

Hi everyone,

I am a new user of BB just 2 days back I purchased 8520 box piece.

the same night I tried to update the device software, I started getting the message as the device radio turned off. where as I have charged the phone for 4 hours and then inserted my sim.
can any one help me out with this issue.

all these years I was not in a favor of BB but wanted to try it and bought it and here My pain starts.

Since last two days I am falling in love with this device, if this problem is solved then nothing like it, if this is not solved then I will ban myself from BB.

One more funny thing happened yesterday I have installed few themes from mobile9 website after that this phone started hanging.....

Please help me out.

Chris K G

hey! i wanna noe if we can surf the net without using bbm? do applications work on blackberry curve 8520? (like games and stuff).please help n reply ASAP..