BlackBerry Curve 8900 Hands-On Video!

By Kevin Michaluk on 9 Oct 2008 07:52 pm EDT

Here it is CrackBerry Nation.. the long awaited, much anticipated, hands-on video first look at the BlackBerry Curve 8900, formerly known as the Javelin!! My apologies for taking so long to get this up... blame Apple! It's like El Jobso knew what I was working on and sent Gremlins to attack my Mac.

Keep in mind as you watch the video that this is an early, pre-release BlackBerry 8900. The commercially available version, as just appeared on T-Mobile Germany's website, will be slightly different (I make note of the known changes in the video). Regardless, by the time you work through all 8m30s you should have a pretty good feeling for the "New" Curve and how it compares to the "Old" Curve, Bold and even the Storm! The video isn't my best work (so don't judge me too harshly!), but I promise I'll get there one of these days... there are a lot of hands-on videos to be made in the next year that will give me some practice. The fun won't be stopping after the Storm - not when there's cool BlackBerry codenames like Apex, Onyx, Colossal and Jupiter apparently kicking around Waterloo ;)

As for the BlackBerry Curve 8900, be sure to check out our Hands-on BlackBerry Javelin Hardware write up and you can look after the jump for a few more thoughts and images. Enjoy the Show!!!

BlackBerry Curve 8900 Hands-On Video: Follow Up Thoughts!

Safe Mode
During the video I make mention of the ability on OS4.6.1 to boot the device up in Safe Mode but I don't actually show what that looks like (didn't want to wait for the device to have to restart), so here are a couple of screen captures that show it in action: 

Safe ModeSafe Mode
Starting up in Safe Mode - Just Hold the Back/Escape Key While Booting

Thoughts on the "Old" Curve
When the Curve 8300 came out I was convinced that RIM had reached a near-perfect balance of what a full-qwerty smartphone should be: small, usable, good looking and packing some punch. I think most people would agree with me that RIM nailed it with the Curve. It's a staple out there today. There are millions of BlackBerry users who absolutely love their 8300, 8310, 8320 or 8330 and for good reason. Nobody I know ever feels "hard done by" for Rock'n a Curve, and if you look at the sales numbers and talk to anybody who sells smartphones for a living and they'll confirm that Curves are still selling like crazy.

Yet once you start using the Bold, and then pick up the Javelin... errr.. Curve 8900, and then try and go back to the Curve 83xx (or any other BlackBerry for that matter), it's TOUGH! The speed of the 8900 and 9000's processors and brilliance of their displays make it hard to use (or want to use) any other BlackBerry. It's going to be interesting to see how RIM positions this device and how the market reacts to it. For the average person the "Old Curve" is still good enough (and has good margin for RIM). But if you're a fan of the 8300 and have the chance to pick up the 8900, you know that's the device you're going to want to get. I could almost see RIM wanting to hold off on rolling out the 8900 to quick (especially in North America), especially considering carriers like AT&T and Rogers are only now getting the 8320. I guess time will tell!

Thoughts on the Bold 9000 vs. 8900 Curve Decision
Get BOTH! Seriously. Don't ask me that question. I don't to even want to think about it. Never mind the Bold vs. 8900 vs. Storm decision. Just give me all three. It really comes down to priorities. Do you need 3G? Then you're getting a Bold. Can cope without 3G and want something a bit smaller? Get the New Curve. Want to experience a touchscreen BlackBerry? Get the Storm.  

Decisions Decisions Decisions..
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!!!

With this latest generation of BlackBerry smartphones, I don't think you can really make a bad decision (not including the 8220 - though it's new, it's not in the same as class as these three). I love the direction RIM is going in.

Sound Off
That's it from me for now. Be sure to post your reactions and thoughts in the comments!!


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Reader comments

BlackBerry Curve 8900 Hands-On Video!


I love all the phones coming out, but this is definitely the one for me. I can't wait to upgrade, oh man!

Excellent hands-on review, as usual!

Excellent vid review there, next best thing to having one. Which, with a little luck, won't be too far down the road. Thanks!

Coool... Glad you're all liking the video. Seriously ran into some computer/software issues (apologies on the interlacing/in motion glitches or whatever its doing). Trying to record HD and do better quality vids, but apparently I still have some lessons to learn here. Looks minty on my computer, but Viddler encoding sort of glitched it up a bit.

Ahhhh well... next time! :)

Its cool man, great job on the review looks great! New Curve is sick, my girl will like this one for sure. When do you guys think verizon will be able to nabb this one up? I like it too but i have my heart on the storm! cant wait! speaking of which, keven, how about that storm video review?

i love them both can you advice on the disadvantage and advantage of each one ?

bold looks smarter?

Hey everyone...pretty new to teh blackberry thing..and with all of the stuff coming out (8900, storm, bold) theres a lot of reading to be done lol. I'm trying to get a grasp on all of this at one time but it's been rough since i'm new to the BB world. I am patiently (angrily) waiting on the bold so that i can port over from TMO to ATnT. The service in my area is just better with ATnT, and i need to join the BB movement. My question though, is whether or not the 8900 is strict to TMO, and if that is true, will unlocking it pose any issues for ATnT? Any answers are greatly appreciated.


I swear, if this phone is released on T-Mobile Germany before the Bold is released in the US, I will import it. 3G is nice, I've been waiting a long time for 3G, but this is pure ridiculousness.

Anyone care to guesstimate how much lower the price point will be for a Javelin compared to the Bold? I'd assume (hope) at least a $100 difference.

You need to de-interlace your video footage before you encode it. That is why you have the funny horizontal bands on your footage in high motion areas.

when will these mythical phones appear in real life? i almost ordered a rogers bold... then i read the horror story of some guy in the forms about service books... this is just torture

Kevin, as always, great review!! I want this device now more than ever. But i love the appstore. I just loaded it and bought some apps! Great idea man. All the crew here at HorizonWireless is loading it tomorrow. Easy way to get the apps. And once again, you beat RIM.

I hate how RIM puts limitations on all their phones, so there isn't one that is better than the rest of them.

Bold is their flagship model, yet its screen isn't as high-res as the Javelin, only has half the amount of ram, and has a crappy 2.0 megapixel camera? wtf.

Javelin is I guess their 'entry' model now, has more RAM than the Bold, much better camera, but has a slower processor and doesn't have 3G. wtf.

And the Storm has pretty much everything you'd want except for Wifi and a dedicated real QWERTY keypad.


The video quality of 8310 is significantly better than the 8800! It looks about the same as the 8900! I'm guessing that the biggest difference is with the browser?

I hope this is released on t-mobile around christmas time. This will be my christmas present to myself. I love it!

I am extremely satisfied by this Hands-On Video Review! The device looks amazing and I cannot wait until it comes to the states...

Good Review!

For those of us stuck on CDMA it sounds like the 9800 will be 3G, which in my mind makes the it more appealing then the BOLD. Very excited to get this (that is if the Thunder doesn't win me over).


I already got the bold and kickstart....but thiss baby isss nextttt oh jeez soo sexy ima rape it everyday haha (jokalan)


I love the voiceover. I was actually waiting for it to go something like this.

[Queue deep voiceover voice]

"In a world full of iPhones... one man constantly gets his hands on the competition... Not scared to leak top corporate hardware secrets and spending thousands on black market electronics (read I spent $14k on an 8900, j/k I know you didn't, just go with it, k)... One man stands alone with a camcorder and a coffee table... One man brings you the hands-on reviews of... CRACKBERRY DOT COM."

[Queue dramatic music with a lot of action sequences]


TMO in Germany: Bold, 8900, 8220, and even the iPhone.

TMO in the States: 8220 and that ugly as sin G1.

It's just not fair!

I'm see'n some storm images that don't match. Some storm images have a smaller screen. Like the one on the video/comercial for verizon. Now the one on the Vodaphone site. They look like no border.... Full screen! What in the world? Are there 2 versions? Or is it in two modes? Or is the latter manipulated?

love the hands on review Kevin... now i have no idea which one i want to use and which one to hand down to my girlfriend... either the bold, the 8900 curve, or the storm... dilemma... guess i'll just have draw out of the hat and find which one i'll hand down... great review by the way... thank for the hard work!!

Excellent vid Kevin.
Those of us who have used this device in person already know that it is a winner for the current Curve users!

Haven't watched the video yet so apologies if you mention this Kevin...but what would your latest guess be on a release date?

Awesome review Kevin, greatly appreciated! I hope that VZW gets this like really soon. I'll probably just get the Storm for the time being, as a hold-over from my 8830WE and then when the 8900 comes out, I'll grab that. Might be nice and give the Storm to the fiance, but we'll have to see if she behaves herself!

Maybe I'll just have two, actually 3 Blackberries instead!

But honestly, anyone have any ideas on carriers and approximate street dates. I know the RUMOR was VZW in May 2009, which is cool.

its SO hard to choose , they both look strikingly similar not to mention the minor details . i like that the "javelin" top buttons are part of the display coever which gives a less cluttered look , keeping it more streamlined . and the processor is so speedy compared to the bold and curve respectively of course . the display is pretty awesome , such a crisper display .

Such an awesome video overall i'm so glad we someone like you to keep us well informed and do all the "hard" work for us checking these sweet handsets out for us CrackBerry users , lol ;]

such a lucky guy any way keep up the awesome work .

Being a Treo owner, I can say that it would have been cool to see the 8900 and Bold (or just one) have touch screen with the keyboard. I think that would be a definite winner.

Having the luxury of both is really nice, and NOT having to slide out a keyboard. I dont see why they never did that. They came out full touch (storm) yet didn't implement both. And this is the main reason I love the Palm device.

If the 800w had a better looking screen like these devices, and never game me all the problems it did, i'd be all over the device.

It's a shame Blackberry cant do what Palm did, or I am sure MANY users would change real quick from the Palm OS.

Would have been killer to see touch and keyboard on these new devices.

Any ideas on when/if Verizon Wireless will get the 8900??? I don't want to leave VW for TMO, but have a Q that blowwws!

Since I have been a faithful Tmobile customer and I will be ready to upgrade next year... this is the phone for me. I personally don't need the 3G so I'll be lookng forward to my Curve II... and then maybe my Tmob Storm?????

I like that the 8900 keys are similar to the Curve's spacing and I like the size of the 8900 compared to the Bold. The only thing I don't care for on the Bold is the overall size of the device. I like the size of my Curve over the size of the current 8800 device.

The deciding factor will be:
* size of the 8900
* can I live without 3G?


Do you have a Don Lafontaine soundboard or text to speech program to make the intro to the video where he says "" Or did he record that before he died?

really no need for the upgrade. i already have an iphone for media and apps and bb is my trusty device for emails and rss feeds. i don't think there is a perfect device that can cover both well since email SUCK on iphone and even the reception is horrible on it. i think curve is pretty much the best bb out there for someone like me who want the best of bb. i am impressed by the storm and i understand that they have to keep up with the younger demograph but i really hate that they got rid of the keyboard. i love that function and as much as i can type fast on touchscreen keyboards, it's very annoying.
maybe later i'd upgrade to the bold but i love how light the curve is and how practical it is.

p.s. by the way, are the verizon curves missing the wifi or did they shut it off? i loved that tmo has the wifi and wifi call feature eventhough it didn't work well always. that's the only thing i wish i had since i can turn the phone function off and use the wifi to retrieve email on my iphone when i have to work.


What happened to the 8950 rumor about the "Javelin" eventually getting the 3G way further down the road?

Hey did anyone notice that he had the same wallpapers running in all three phones?

I have the curve and i like that wallpaper. any idea where i can get that?

WOW, Kevin, the Curve 8900 is one awesome device!!

RIM has really outdone themselves with this baby. The clarity and brilliance of the screen is truly amazing. And the comparison of the pics you took really show how the quality and brightness has improved.

Since my carrier is CDMA, I'm patiently waiting for RIM to introduce and launch the CDMA Niagara, in the not too distant future (I hope).

Keep up the great work.



The 8900 looks sleek, but why the heck the keyboard layout is different then a regular QWERTY keyboard? Its AZERTY, why would RIM do that?


I will be switching from Tmo to ATT due to the fact that my company is going to pick up my bill. They issue the 8310, wah wah, as I have my cracked out 8320 titanium and I am just going to swap the sim. However I just bought my wife the G1 which is pretty pimp, this gives me the leverage to get one of these awesome next gen BB's however at the no contract price except for the 8900 before I leave them.

Question: does the VZ storm have a N.A. Sim card slot? This thing would be like Luke's Light Saber to me. Then again being a Curve-a-holic would I seriously fall in love with the hotter, younger 8900 or see if I can weasel a Bold when I get to ATT?




awesome video man! Looks great, anyone have any ideas if any model will have 3g or not? I thought they were fasing it out all together?