First Live Photos of the Gemini - BlackBerry Curve 8520!

By Kevin Michaluk on 1 May 2009 04:49 pm EDT

If you saw this forum post the other week or listened to our last podcast, you'll know that we've been starting to get a better idea of what the "Gemini" is all about. And thanks to these first live photos, now you can see it for yourself!!!

As it's currently labeled on the Options > About screen, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 features some new innovations from Research in Motion, including an "optical trackball" (so long sticky balls!) and dedicated media player buttons. The Curve 8520 has an updated look too: on the front of the device the LCD protector sort of extends down over the buttons for a more polished appearance; the perimeter of this new Curve is rubberized (rubber coated buttons) and the whole device has that swanky blacked-out look from factory.

Despite the lack of 3G, all-in-all this is looking like a pretty nice extension to the Curve line. It's definitely a device I can't wait to get my hands on (optical trackball?!!) and try.

Be sure to post your reactions in the comments!

Reader comments

First Live Photos of the Gemini - BlackBerry Curve 8520!


I like the optical trackball. I don't understand the removal of 3g. You add a great feature and remove another? strange. Otherwise, it's a good looking phone.

The Curve line currently doesn't have 3G (for GSM carriers). The only phone currenty with 3G on GSM is the Bold.

Much better looking than the leaked pics before. Kevin can you make a video of the Track pad or whatever the Trackball replacement is called and how it functions.

Sounds like Tmobile, just like the 8900, No 3g, has WIFI and its GSM. Tmobile all the way. AT&T doesn't want 3Gless phones anymore.

i think the xx20 models are usually Rogers/AT&T but i have been fooled before. I can't help but think that the back of that phone looks awfully familiar to the iphone...but overall it's looking like a very seamless phone!

i'm certain they're 20's on Rogers in Canada though. 8120 is the Pearl and the 8320 is the Curve. either way....still looks like a good lookin phone.

The Curves and the Pearls actually have four models:
Pearl-8100, 8110 (GPS), 8120 (WiFi), and 8130 (CDMA)
Curve-8300, 8310 (GPS), 8320 (WiFi), and 8330 (CDMA).

Rogers has BOTH the 8310 and the 8320 models for the Curve, but only the 8120 for the Pearl.

Rogers has the 8110. I have it. On the Rogers website it is referred to as "Pearl with GPS". The 8120 is referred to by its model number only. Kind of odd that Rogers would do this, but that's how they market the two phones.

I'm liking the new "trackball", the analog one on my 8900 feels like it'll give out soon. Also like the extended "lcd protector" area, does look more polished.

I'm not crazy about the rubberized parts, reminds me of those bulky Telus phones, bit too "athletic/construction site" for my taste, guess to see it "in-person" will give me a different feel...heh.


Why is this coming out?
Why are they going backward from 8900 to 8520??

This looks like a BB that could go on TMO's Prepaid service phone lineup.

you're correct the xx20 represents t-mos uma devices. the exception being the 8900. however, with the recent release of the 8900 i doubt that this device will be a t-mo release. t-mo is currently releasing 3G data or higher end devices (i.e. behold, G1, Sidekick 09). i'm confident that t-mo will not release another blackberry till late summer ... and that device will be 3G.

xx20 only means its a blackberry with wifi. The 8110 had GPS, the 8120 had wifi. the 8310 had GPS, and the 8320 had wifi. The att 8800 had GPS and the 8820 had wifi. these number have nothing to do with carrier branding. Only that it will have wifi and not GPS.

I'm assuming the optical "trackball" will function similarly to what the Samsung Omnia has as it looks almost identical to the thumb mouse thingy

the samsung epix also have the same optical pad. I've used it on the epix and it is quite nice! i prefer it over the trackball.

i am also disappointed no 3g. with most transitioning to 4G soon, edge is old news. 3g should be standard now.

the lack of 3g is crazy to me... 4G is already out in some area's for sprint, and verizon is going to starting up their LTE 4G tech end of this year early next ...

Exactly! This is why Sprint is always better.
Doesn't anyone understand why Sprint is always the last person to get an upgraded Blackberry... That way out Blackberry's are almost bug free.
No 3G... Come On!!! We are going on 4G already... This 2G Blackberry is going to be outdated before it even comes out!

This looks NICE. Diggin the new trackball and the phone and keyboard look to be a step up in size compared to the 8900. Can't wait til this comes out in stores for a test drive!

... no 3g? rubber buttons?... T-Mobile?? -_-

sorry. Having a 9000 just makes other phones pale in comparison.

I agree with citi, it doesn't make sense to add a great feature then remove 3G. RIM needs to launch a phone that blows the competition away. Having different phones with a few nice features is ok, but why not create something spectacular? That's the Storm's problem; it's just mediocre. RIM has the innovation to pioneer something. Just make it happen!

It looks good. I am not really digging the media controls on top. It seems like RIM is going towards the non-office type people with this phone.

The trackpad looks ok, but they should just bring back the scroll wheel and be done with it!! I hear "retro" is back in!!

And where is the mute button?

scroll wheel is a good idea. i think rim should just upgrade 87xx series, with blackberry button, wifi, 3g, more memory, and maybe a better keyboard...

There are already media buttons. On my 8900, there is the mute key which actually just pauses the song/video. To skip forward, I hold the volume up key for half a second and to skip back I hold the volume down for half a sec. These new dedicated buttons are redundant.

I would like to have the optical navigation, continuous screen on my 8900. Total package. Don't need 3G. Drains battery quick and from what I've heard is not that spectacular especially when you have wi-fi a lot of the time.

Im going to have to get a second job to pay for this one, thats the only way the wife will let me get another BB

it probably wont be coming out until early to mid 2010, and it wont be any more than 299$ if you extend your contract or something similar, i hope you can save 299$ by then without getting another job...

lmao @ chicagoan...but this phone is supposed to hit t mo by late August. I know someone that works in the store, and I was looking at the 8900, but he said I should wait until Aug. for this one. That was when I learned about the phone.

Why no 3g most of the world is moving away from edge!! I like the optical ball. What is the screen resolution? Is it att bound?

Yes 3G is great because it is fast but it also sucks battery life. Everyone I know with a 3G phone gets just a day of use out of it and they are heavy. I can get an easy 2 full days out of a charge with my 8900 Cruve and 3 if I use it lightly and have good reception.

3G is great but it does have some huge drawbacks

I am surprised that RIM would debut their new technology on a non-flagship phone. Bad business move if you ask me...

Maybe there just trying to "test" it out and see how it goes before putting it on one of the major phones.

That's actually how the debuted the mechanical trackball, on the Pearl, a decidedly non-flagship phone.

I've googled it and it seems it could be att or tmobile as the both have the 8x20 curve/pearl and as far as 3g goes the bold is the only 3g BlackBerry with att for now anyway. Looks nice but being a Bold owner seems like a downgrade. Smaller lcd and no 3g.

OMG! I want! I want! I want! That is one sweet looking phone! I can't wait to play with it & push all its pretty buttons.

yea i think its 2006 cos thats the prebuilt calendar start date, just like any other phone will start at a predefined date till its adjusted, oh and i want, big time, sooooo hope it comes to the uk (i work for a carrier so i will get it first!!), i love my storm, but i mean look at that!!!! sweet

i think it looks OK. But going away from the trackball is INCREDIBLY smart. Its the most broken part of the BB. Constantly see people who have dirt get in there and it stop functioning. Heck, mine was already dirty and was locking up needing to be cleaned after 2 months. Who wants to take apart the phone every 2 months to clean this part. Less moving parts=more reliable.

RIM doesnt seem to be slowing down any time soon lolz. Optical Trackball, I wonder how responsive it can be. Pretty enticing! My 8900 is sexier [*_*]

Both gone? One great deature on my 8900 that I wouldn't want to lose. And I agree that it seems to be set up for Tmo prepaid.

Exactly, this BB looks like a Prepaid phone.

It's a smart move if they want to beat Boost Mobile and Metro PCS.

I always thought that the difference between the xx10 and xx20 was one had WiFi and the other had GPS.. From what I've seen between at&t and T-Mo, that's how it compares.

I agree with the comment earlier that this phone makes no sense in RIM's current and upcoming lineup. Don't get me wrong, it is a sweet looking device but what is up with RIM and missing features(no 3G). Why release this on Tmobile when you already have the 8900? Why would it come to any other carrier when we are all already expecting the Tour? Why not put these features in the Tour?Why?Why?Why?

I hope to god this is a low cost device on PAYG. If not I'm really tempted to get it on contract as once I get a job I'm straight in the market for a new phone.

That optical trackball is droolworthy. Hopefully it works nice like the Samsung Omnia's which in my opinion is very good.
Thank god RIM still have plenty tricks up their sleeves apart from a clickable touchscreen ¬_¬

Currently I'm rockin the Bold, but this is truly a thing of beauty! I hope ATT&T gets something close to it. I'm really lovin the optical trackball thingy.

All I can say is WOW!!! I want one of those. Perhaps I'll have to change carriers. Not a problem. No! Not a problem at all!


no flash on the camera, no 3G (ummm, carriers are tooling up for 4G, WTF RIM!? get wiht the damn program)

the keyboard "looks" shorter, and the send/end buttons are HUGE. shrink those down, give us a bigger display, at near-VGA resolution, and a 5+ MP camera.

oh yeah, and get off your asses and make a browser worth a damn.

im really starting to get fed up with RIM.

No way.... i hate plastic on my phones.... if anything, blackberry should take some tips from nokia E71 and make a metal blackberry, with wifi, GPS, 3G, bold's keypad, and this new trackpad. Now THAT would be a great blackberry

I think the back resembles that of the first generation iPhones. Although the front looks like it is coming from 2006 :P

I'm as turned on as anyone else with the optical trackball. I love the fact there is NO crappy chrome paint on this phone, and it does look more rugged which is something lacking in the 8900. Looks like I would have to buy autostandby for this one. Does anyone know hardware specs ie mhz, GB, MP, res? I would expect this to release with a version 5 OS since it's coming out next year. Nice but it better be bringing more if it wants to get my 8900 away from me.

The new baby looks stunning. But I can't see a flash for the camera. If it is not there it is no where compared to Javelin. Of course the CRUVE branding will increase owners pride but the media buttons are not appreciated since BB is not primarily meant for Media playback. Still a provision for TV Out could be included so that business people can simply hook on the an LCD Projector and give a presentation with the in built Documents to Go.

Still efforts of RIM to bring in new models is appreciated. Also they should try to reduce the SAR Ratings of the new models.

SAR Ratings?? 1999 called, they want their public health scare back ;) I want a guarantee that it was disinfected from all swine flu before leaving the factory!

very nice device but bad news is that 8530 does use 4.6 but not 5.0 which is most likely for storm , 8900, bold and pearl flip in later time.

Looks like a "blacked out" 8900 with a Nokia E71 trackball. I'm diggin' it. It looks like my wife's next phone. I hope T-Mo gets it!!

Now who owns that tiger print run? lol. That rug was in the background when more leaked pictures hit of the blackberry tour lol

im sensing this is going to be renamed the curve 8920 and i have a feeling that maybe att will get cant thing that the bold 9010,9020 are going to look the same if they are released...and the Gemini has already been reported as the curve 8930

have i missed it or has rim taken it out? i love that i can set my notification to different colors so i know what kind of message i have while sitting across the room. why is is missing here?

Where the heck have I seen those rubberized media buttons before? OH RIGHT, the Aiwa walkman cassette player my uncle lent me back in '93 had them. Enough said.

I am quite curious as to how that optical trackpad will function though..
The Tour is still the one for me.

Yea, RIM ought ta rethink the 3g and the lack thereof on this one. I sense greed...c'mon, hook us up RIM. Go ahead and knock the competitors out of the box with the "ultimate" phone. Quit spreading sh!t around and procrastinating to ensure future sales...its obvious what's happening. None of us are stupid. Take over the game with this one. Add all that sh!t lol.

This phone looks absolutely gorgeous but how can it not include 3G. I dont get wifi at college with the protected network so I'm rocking 3G all the time. How can they leave it out?!

What the heck is RIM doing?!?!?!? I was with Nextel for years them SH*T I mean Sprint bought them out. I have owned a blackberry as long as blackberry has been out. I currently use the storm and tempted to stray but RIM did it again SH*T phone that could be #1 but they again lack the balls to give it it's all. When The hell is RIM going to wise up and remember they are the king of smartphones! They have IPhone stuck in the brain and it urks me to know end. They need to fix the bugs with the 9530 before releasing more garbage! Blackberrys were spot on 5 years ago! What the F*CK happened?

My company makes the optical trackball.

Same as the one Samsung uses.

It's more like a trackpad than a trackball.

Why o why doesn't it still have 3G? I really do like BB, but the lack of 3G is really silly. All new phones have 3G.

Nice phone but no 3G? Is that chip so big that it can't fit. I love the new optical trackball. But I wonder if the BB buttons are touch sensitive only with the Lcd protector that low.

Optical trackball vs. standard curve-like keypad buttons?

The OPT tball is a nice and interesting feature, i'd like to get my hands on it too... but personally i've got to have a better keypad buttons, so i'm eagerly waiting for the 9630 Tour to come out on Sprint (prob Q2 2010... sigh).

Looks quite awesome (afac trackball, design)
the new trackball Is clealy a breakthrought to what we were used to till this day
(samsung's orientation towards this solution is a proven winner (i780, omnia etc etc))
The flash Is a somewhat a big turn off
and also no 3G (and no GPS(?)) also a big turn off
What about camera Megapixel sensitivity 2MPx or 3,2MPx or better(?)
Also screen seems more bigger and what about It's resolution (same as 8900, higher 640x480 or lower like the Bold's)

It seems like an entry Curve device with a more "media"/"low budjet"/"youth" oriented approach thanks to dedicated media buttons on the top and features that are missing..

for an existing 8900 user It's not quite a device that will move me/rock me as to leap to the newest curve addition

If there's planned another more feature rich device to match or top up the 8900 specs I think that It's gonna be a kiler!

Looks great! Can't wait to give the optical trackball a try. Feel pretty confident that RIM did did a great job.

I think it is a step in the right Direction with the optical mouse. I just think that they should have went 3G and not put out a device with edge.

what a great idea. less pressure put on your fingers while clicking the ball constantly, which definately ends up being a sore. i think the optical trackball will definately catch on to further future models

Don't really like it, don't like that they got rid of the trackball, don't like that it's all black, don't like the rubber around the sides (looks too cheap), the media player buttons are a good idea but I don't like how they are positioned on the device. I also don't like the keys on it, they look too.. hard and stick out too much. I'm going to pass on this one.

My 8900 still sexier looking. The rubber at the top and all black bezel doesn't look as classy. If it had 3G I might consider upgrading but for now 8900 will do.

wow its a decent looking device!

but i hope it doesnt come out too soon, i dont want my 8900 being considered 'out of date'...i just got her 3months ago lol

Come on RIM...get it together. If this curve had 3G for GSM and a 3G CDMA version, Verizon and ATT would crank these babies out! 8520 w/ no 3G = useless!

I wished they took off that plastic to take pics without it. I am not sure about the appearance/lack of 3g on this phone.


I'm currently using the curve 8900 and it is such a great and versatile device! I am sure that the 8520 would be a good device, if not a better one.. especially having the new optical trackball replacing the roller ball, which seems cool. I guess it depends on the user preference of the optical trackball, but it definitely seems interesting having it on blackberry!

I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that this device is coming to T-mobile....this will be a great addition. I loving my 8900!

whats the difference between this and 8900? its a waste to even buy another blackberry if it doesnt have 3g or some new upgraded type software other than that its just like all the other bb's

Jesus, please come down and slap someone at Sprint and tell them we need a Blackberry, Amen!!! I am so done with Sprint its not funny, this is another beautiful device from RIM that will never be seen on Sprint

mmm Not sure about this one, as mentioned before its beginning to look like a Nokia E71 with its squarish track pad. Ok i see the point of replacing the ball as some people had problems with it (i personally didn't) but why not make the pad round to match the other models ? & make it look like the trackball....or is the trackball going to be phased out with all new device updates & the optical trackpad the way forward ?

Also dint understand why they put a new fancy trackpad in but use an old style keyboard, it look cheaper than the 8900

Not the greatest looking BB Ive seen but I'm sure it'll do the job RIM want it to do.

I like the idea of the rubberized components, especially if they help make it more shockproof; I wonder if Colorware is looking at some way to colorize this material. Since my BOLD & I are going to be together through July, 2010, I am wondering what improvements will find their way into the BOLD's successor.
As the population is graying, (Myself included) I would like the option of a keypad more easily read even without my reading glasses. (Translucent white background w/dark - Red/Black/Navy/Green Characters?) even as an option or aftermarket upgrade.
Though I will admit that the black look IS very cool.

I absolutely love this phone because it's so easy to use and plus it's fast on speed. I have the 8530 with sprint service. It's mainly the same as this phone. I don't regret getting it at all. However, I wish the camera was better but I can live with it for now. Texting is very cool! Oh yeah I can't forget about twitter & facebook! Now the app for these two are right on point I have no complaints about that.

The setup is convenient and texting is the da! But seriously the phone is nice and I would definitely recommend it to anyone especially the first time blackberry customer. Try it! I don't think you can go wrong with it.

If you will buy Gemini 8520, I suggest at here it off more 30%