Rogers BlackBerry Curve 8900 Smartphone Review!!

By Bla1ze on 7 Dec 2008 12:32 pm EST
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8900 Curve In Hand

Update: Dec. 8th, 2008, 8:30am EST - Rogers & RIM Officially Announce the 8900 >> *

Finally!! It seems like forever ago that we found about RIM's plans for the next-generation BlackBerry Curve, originally codenamed and referred to by all as the Javelin. The Curve 8900 just recently launched in Germany on T-Mobile, and has now made its way to North America, launching on Rogers in Canada first. RIM is a Canadian-based company, so it's nice to seem this early Christmas present from them!

It definitely felt like Christmas yesterday when I was able to score this beautiful package at a Rogers location in Halifax, Nova Scotia (Thanks Matt!). Earlier in the day when speaking to Rogers Customer Care agents they told me I was not going to be able to pick this device up until January... but to that I say Hah! I never was one to stop and take the first person I spoke to's word for it. Though we have yet to see the Curve 8900 be "officially" announced by Rogers, the reports are beginning to flood in that Rogers dealers are getting it in stock. If your local store doesn't have it just yet, give it a few days - it should be available everywhere soon!

In any event, the device is here and in my hands as I type so let's give it a run through, shall we?!!

 

Rogers BlackBerry Curve 8900 Unboxing  

First Impressions

This device is slick. There are no other words to describe it really... overall it is just one slick device. From the form factor to the hardware to the silky smooth operating system the the BlackBerry Curve 8900 rises to the occassion with no fuss at all.

Having used the Bold over the past few months, the 8900's get up and go factor really came as no huge surprise to me, except..in one area... Browser speeds (more on that later I promise). The Curve 8900's one strike against it is that it lacks 3G. For some of you that's not an issue, but for others it is a big one. Unless sending and receiving emails and IMs while on a call is of critical importance, the 3G-lessness shouldn't come across as a big deal as the 8900's browser is quick! If you have been a previous 8300 series BlackBerry Curve owner (as I have) and think the Bold is just "too big" of a device for you to be using, do NOT pass the 8900 up due to it's lack of 3G. You will be missing out on an awesome device!

Body And Form Factor

The 8900 feels extremely comfortable in your hands. Previous Curve owners - think back to when you first held your Curve... it felt just oh so right. The 8900 has taken that feeling and improved upon it even further. Seriously. The BlackBerry Curve 8900 has great style to it. The lines on this device make it look sexy as can be with visual styling from the Bold and the Storm all mixed into one. It has a welcoming appeal to it that compels forces you to pick it up cause you know it's gonna feel soooo good.

One thing that really irked me about the BlackBerry Bold that seems to have been addressed on the 8900 is the silver "trim" on the device. On the Bold it chips and scratches fairly easy - this does NOT seem to be the case on the 8900. On the 8900 it seems more solid and I walk away with the impression that I won't be able to scratch the trim just by plugging it in to my USB charger even though it's probably the same material. It just seems less likely due to how it's inlaid on the device. Some have referred to the trim as being cheap looking but I don't see it... it definitely adds to the 8900's sexyness factor. Bonus points for the 8900 right there! I wish RIM had implement the same thought on the Bold as they did here with the trim being more resistant to scratches.


Curve 8900 vs. BlackBerry Bold

Now I have to say I do love the battery cover mechanism -- it's easy to remove and replace -- but it also does scare me just a bit. The bottom piece feels like if I tap it the wrong way that it may just break. I could easily be wrong here... time will tell! I'm see ShopCrackBerry.com will be able to fill the need for Curve 8900 replacement battery doors should the need every arise.

Another issue I have is the SIM and Media card slots...a bit awkward if you ask me, but not really different from other BlackBerry devices for the most part. Even though the SIM is not located beneath the battery, the only way to get the SIM in/out is to first remove the battery. While the media card is hot swappable, I personally would have preferred and external slot for it, such as the one on the Bold and Pearl series devices. But this a matter of preference. Think back to Kevin's pre-release review of the Curve and he much preferred this new design (also found on the Storm), which I can also see. Most people don't change their media card all that frequently, so having to do remove the battery door (especially with an easy latch mechanism like the 8900 has) to access isn't that big of a deal, and the snap in / snap out of the card is very trouble free. On the Bold it can be a bit trickier sometimes to fiddle with the media card door and figure out if you have the card going in the right away. All in all it's only a minor concern for me - some will prefer the Bold's media slot placement while others will prefer it on the Curve 8900.


Under the hood of the Curve 8900

Like the Pearl Flip and the BlackBerry Storm, the Curve 8900 makes the switch from Mini USB to Micro USB. I had no issues with Mini USB (plus have lots of spare cables and chargers lying around for Mini USB) so I'm not really a big fan of the change. I really don't have an issue with it either...  just a few $ spent at any electronics shop and it becomes a non-issue. Typically this port is located on the upper left side of the BlackBerry. On the Curve 8900 the Micro USB port is on the lower right. It's a bit awkward at first, but I'm sure will be second nature within a few days.

In closing on the Body and Form factor, I must mention the way the Camera is concealed... it's great! It keeps dirt and dust out and makes the device look much more fluid as opposed to the BlackBerry smartphones which predate this design which feature a more open look that (which collects dust and pocket lint!).

Keyboard and Trackball

Keyboard The 8900's keyboard is small but very useable!

Always a main concern of mine, I'm positive others out there have the very same concern and question... How does the keyboard feel?? Coming from the Bold, the 8900's keyboard, while seemingly tiny at first in comparison, feels great! After 20 minutes with the new Curve it already feels as if I have owned this device forever. This is probably the best "narrow" full QWERTY keyboard you are going to ever find on a samrtphone.

I do have one qualm with the 8900's keys though... they are a little on the "clacky" side. I remember the original Curve suffering from this as well. For comparison's sake, I will say it's not as "clacky" as the original Curve series but it's still not as quiet of a typing device as I like. But I guess that will depend on the user as well. I pound away at my keys all day long so the clacking gets loud and a bit annoying after a while. Other users may not be quite as "abusive" to their keyboards and thus not mind it. Some people I know prefer a lot clackiness on the keyboard as it's another form of device feedback and helps you get into fast typing rhythm. The final verdict on the key board? Coming from any other BlackBerry device a user should find this keyboard comfortable, even if you have larger hands and fingers (as I do). If asked for which I prefer,I would be taking my Bold's keypad over this one based on the size of my fingers. However, a lot of folks (especially those with smaller hands) are going to feel right at home here and absolutely love this keyboard bar none. Even if you prefer a big keyboard but want a smaller form factor, the Curve 8900's is easy to get used to and really is that good.

Onto the TrackBall... the infamous, much talked about, black,  aka "atomic" trackball. Aside from the obvious fact of this thing being harder to get dirty due to its color... it does over all feel smoother to me.  It's more like I'm gliding through the menus rather than "scrolling" through the menus. Some of this feeling may be attributed to the fact the 8900's 528 MHZ processor makes for a speedy OS experience, but I'm going to suggest the trackball plays a major part in this improved feeling.

The trackball is the same size as any other trackball - it looks as though I might be swapping out the white ball on my Bold and picking up a black one. But personally I think it goes beyond the color of the ball itself. It has more to do with the material of the ball (definitely different) and how it sits within the housing. The black trackball seems to be set perfectly in the device so that it doesn't allow for "gumming up" or the build up of dirt - which is a common problem for all other devices - even the Bold. This trackball does not give me the impression that it will be an issue, but I guess time will tell on this as well.

Screen

 The 8900's display is awesome!

We have all heard the raves about the BlackBerry Bold's brilliant 480 x 320 display, with even our own Dieter Bohn (WinMob FanBoy) proclaiming its greatness in the Smartphone Round Robin Round Table Podcast, but let me say... RIM didn't slack on the 8900 either! With a high resolution (higher then the Bold's) 480 x 360 screen, the 8900 packs even more pixels into a slightly tighter area (the display is a bit narrower than the Bold's). The snap shot above does not do it justice. The colors are amazing and the display provides great contrast and makes great use of that high resolution. Others have mentioned in their reviews the 8900 seems to have a "warmer" feel to it... I can see this, but it is in no way an issue with the device.

OS And Software

Currently shipping with OS version 4.6.1.94, the 8900's operating system seems to be a blessing from RIM and has actually revived my faith in the fact they do not intend to release devices with buggy OS' (ie Bold, Storm), but can still put out an OS that feels complete and not have me wondering if should back my device up today for fear of some crazy app error that's gonna wipe my device. Maybe I shouldn't be that surprised - Edge devices are old hat for RIM. The 3G on the Bold and touchscreen on the Storm must complicate things just that much more.

The OS is snappy and responsive, navigation is a breeze and the 8900 feels like it wants to be put to work. Complete satisfaction on the OS front from this device.

A lot of the improvements can be felt in the 8900 OS and it clearly shows in the web browser as well. We all remember Kevin's documented issues with the browser on the Bold and while they have gotten better, they are still not near where the 8900 is. There has been some talk in the forums about RIM doing something different on the 8900 in the way treats Edge, and while I haven't stumbled across any official word on the subject, after using the device for a while during my testing I'd totally have too say *something* is going on here. I'm not sure exactly what it is... maybe it's just the speedy processor and glitch free OS working to their full potential or maybe something even more tech-cool is at work. Or maybe it's the fact the 8900 has twice the RAM. THANK YOU RIM!!


8900 left, Bold right. Twice as much Memory on the 8900!

Feel free to inform me in the comments if ya know something else that's going on here, but the fact the 8900 does not come with 3G seems like it will not be an issue for this device as I found the pages load just as fast (some if not faster) on the 8900 then they do on my Bold. Have a look at the comparison chart below for the details. Nothing really earth shattering but it does perform well.

Bold 3G Data

 *UPDATE* A lot have asked for the Bolds 3G numbers, here they are and in all fairness the Bold is running stock 4.6.0.162 that Rogers ships with it. Clearly showing the Java issue on some sites compared to the 8900's 4.6.1.94.

Packing a 3.2 megapixel camera, the 8900 takes nice looking pictures. I have never been one to rely on a BlackBerry (or any other device) camera for those precious moments, but if you need that quick pic fix, the 8900 will not disappoint. You can see the comparison between the Bold and the 8900 as taken below:

Bold Picture
Taken With Bold

Javelin Picture
Taken With 8900

(Here is where that "warmer" screen makes itself known)

Battery life is included in this section. It fits into the OS. If the OS isn't on par don't expect the battery life to be. Now to keep this section fair I'll outright state I have not had the time to give this a battery a typical 2-3 day torture test. I haven't even had the device for 24 hrs yet. But I can say with all the testing I have done between WiFi, web browsing and just general messaging and BlackBerry Messenger, from a full charge the device has only moved one block which is indicative of it meeting or exceeding the 83XX series devices.

Call Quality And Media Sound

This is something that I don't usually pay too much attention to, but in this case it was suggested to me that the Curve 8900 actually has a noise cancellation system implemented into it to improve call quality. Apparently a second microphone has been placed on the back of the phone which picks up background noise and then the software cancels it out for improved voice quality. If you look at the bottom of the camera assembly, there is a little slit opening and it does look like "something" is in there. I tested the Curve 8900 out with a few people and while I can't say for certain that the system really is there...I can say that the over all call quality on this device is really nice and loud and clear... a good phone on both ends of the wireless line is my conclusion.

The device's media sound is also up too par. Like the Storm, the Curve 8900 has one internal speaker vs. the Bold's two. While it does not have the same bass of the Bold, the 8900 still holds its own when listening to music or watching videos, which is just plain awesome on that high resolution screen.

Conclusion

This is a great device. The overall build of the BlackBerry Curve 8900 has me loving it. Now the question people keep asking me is What device do you prefer? or What will be your daily device? and I have to admit, while the BlackBerry Curve 8900 packs a lot of punch into a very small, sexy package I am still a Bold man myself.

The only real factor here stopping me from swaying the other way is the size of the 8900. It's a bit too small for me if you can believe that! My Bold just feels better to me in my hands. When holding the 8900 I feel like Andre the Giant holding a beer can. It's a compliment to RIM that they can build such a small device that contains so much performance.

The lack of 3G here was never even a factor for me, at least in the short time that I have had the device, and I think that will be the cas moving onward as well. I guess the best way to put it would be that while it would be nice if the 8900 had 3G, the device itself is so good otherwise that unless you really need to talk and email at the same time the few extra seconds for browsing and downloading compared to the Bold shouldn't deter you from considering this as your smartphone of choice. From the sheer amount of people that have said they are waiting for the Curve 8900 over all other devices out there, I don't think RIM will have any issues getting these devices off the shelf. The 8900 is definitely worthy of the Curve name, and is a next step to build upon the success of the 8300 series.

That's it for me folks! I hope you have enjoyed my review on the BlackBerry Curve 8900. Please leave any comments and questions you may have in the comments and check out the Curve 8900 forums for more conversation. Keep Crack'n!!

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Topics: Device Reviews

127 comments

Kevin Michaluk

First! haha. Just had to do that :)

Great job Bla1ze! You lucky bugger you. I am soooo envious right now! Hopefully I'll be able to pick one up come Monday. Definitely concur with you on pretty much everything.

Only difference in the end is that I think I actually prefer the 8900 over the Bold. I like having a smaller phone to carry around with me. I think I can actually type quicker on the Curve 8900 too vs. the Bold - less physical distance to move your thumbs (though I am tired of AZERTY..can't wait for this in QWERTY).

Definitely an awesome Christmas present from Rogers.

JSho101

Wow, the 8900 Curve sounds absolutely amazing. I'd love to get my hands on one! Any idea if this device will be available to individuals on other networks (such as AT&T)?

NYCman18

The Blackberry Curve 8900 is supposedly set to come to AT&T later this year.
Though The Blackberry Curve 8900 is released with T-Mobile this past February 18th 2009.
It has Wi-Fi, GSM & EDGE Capabilities....and UMA ;-))

T-MOBILE USA

Kevin Michaluk

Bought my Rogers 8900 today!!! SWEETTTT!!!!

Trackball is definitely just a black version of the white one. Pretty sure it's identical in use.

Even hooked up the TalkSpot service... UMA here I come!

Shawn Roberts

Another BlackBerry without 3G? Why?? I understand that some that some people are okay without 3G but modern smartphones have 3G and there is no excuse for releasing another one without it.

telejeff

I feel your pain. It's a bummer but RIM often focuses on the aggregate phone experience as opposed to the narrow scope of including one awesome feature. While the Storm has proven to contradict this, the storm has been relatively probably free to most new smartphone types. I also think it helps quite a bit that the Storm is on a CDMA network who's EVDO rev a technology has proven to have less hick ups.

With a blackberry device, speed isn't everything. RIM's history proves this by there relatively slow and late adoption of the latest radio/data technologies offered by the carriers. Blackberries wouldn't be the devices they are without RIMs commitment to critical areas such as battery life, reliability, reception, OS stability, etc. A 3G device isn't about swapping out an EDGE radio for a HSPDA one (or a 1xRTT for a EVDO rev a radio). The phone has to be completely engineered from scratch from bottom to top to make a fine product.

I would argue many of the 3G products have not been up to par or have even been failures. The ATT tilt was recognized as the zippy 3G device a while back, but the device is so unpractical and does not make sense for a lot of users (most notably blackberry users). The iphone 3G has reliability has been less than stellar. I don't know if that has been ATT's network, but regardless it doesn't always make sense to rush a 3G product to market if the network is not at an acceptable level.

There was speculation that the bold was rushed to market due to pressures from the carriers. Take the US (ATT appears to be a common suspect here. I don't intend it to be) release of the Bold, why did it take so long? Maybe RIM (and even ATT) was not happy with the Bold's performance. Everyone should reread Kevin's post when he took his Roger's Bold to NY had a lot of problems with the ATT network.

Another good reason is 3G phones may not be as profitable in all markets. For some, a blackberry is just a great messaging device and media device. I'll admit that I don't always have the patience to surf from my curve. It's not strictly speed, but because the user experience is nothing special on any mobile device.

I myself am hoping for a "Curve 8950". A fictional new version of this device that has 3G and does it better than the bold or storm do.

Rembrandt33

I agree with you. I went from a Curve 8320 to HTC's Tilt only to find I didn't like it. It was too heavy, too bulky, and Windows Mobile is so slow compared to the Curve's OS that it cancels out the 3G. I find that the Windows Mobile Explorer is so slow to load pages that I'm not noticing a difference to my web experience. So now I have switched back to my beloved Blackberry Curve and find myself anxiously awaiting my 8900 in the mail.

As well, I find that I use my smart phones more for texting and receiving email then surfing the web. Leave surfing to a laptop where you can get a better experience anyway.

Anonymous

So.. will this be coming to VERIZON?!

JakeHurley

This phone uses GSM technology, and Verizon does not, they use CDMA tech. However, a few months down the road MAYBE, but Verizon just launched the current generation curve (Not 8900).

Anonymous

CDMA version of 8900 is called Niagara

NYCman18

hey Verizon. it's not known if Verizon Wireless will get the Blackberry Curve 8900 at this point since they released the Storm.

Though T-Mobile is the first Carrier to carry the BB Curve 8900. its different from Canada's Rogers 8900 since the back cover is a titanium color with a black front. ;-))

thecyclinghen

Lucky Canadians!!!! I'll switch from Verizon to AT&T the moment it comes out in the US!

neokuji

I understand wanting to switch from/leave verizon, ...don't like all those people following you around!?...want little more privacy in your life!?...well, the deathstar is no answer either!
instead switch to TMobile,(Tmobile will be releasing the Curve 8900 first(February 18))... get the same phone, and save bout $30-$40/month on service over at&t & verizon, not to mention TMobile's UMA capabilities.

spektakle

The browser speed test you did Bold edge vs 8900 edge? How about a side by side of Bold 3G vs 8900 edge to see how much slower it is for everyday. I still can't decide which one to get.

Bla1ze

I did do some testing with the EDGE and 3G but I omitted it and got rid of the data, as I didn't think it was going to be a fair comparison.

But, from what I do remember for the most part the Javelin did perform better, with no java on the Bold it was ahead of the Javelin, but as soon as java got enabled the Bold started to choke, where the Javelin ate it up with no fuss really.

Kevin Michaluk

Fair or not, that's definitely a test we should do up and add in here. When it comes to the Bold vs. Curve 8900 decision, the overall speed a user will experience is an important buying factor.

Bla1ze

it shall be done!! hehe!! I'll get it up and add it as soon as I can.

Jabb

please do.....I was reading this review on my pearl and was impressed but now seeing it on the computer I realized you were comparing edge speeds on both devices instead of bold 3G vs edge on the 8900....useless when 3G is what will mostly be used on the bold

spektakle

Thanks for adding the 3G data, makes an interesting comparison to see if having 3G is that important for basic web browsing. Just makes the Bold vs 8900 that much harder to choose which one!

DonJoseofOrange

Wow, I'm very anxious to try one out once it hits the US. This is a great review Bla1ze, I love it, you did a great job. One thing I'd like to know, is there a light around the trackball, I assume since it's "atomic" black there is no light capabilities like the "pearl" white track ball on 8300 curves.
Can't wait to hear back in regards to battery life!

Bla1ze

Their is no light that shines through of course as it's black but the "outter ring" does light up dimly, great in the dark but still viewable in the daylight as well.

damatojf

I like this device, and I am glad it has reached North
America. Here is my issue--the US is the number one consumer of BlackBerry smart phones. Why don't they release their new
devices stateside first or at the same time as other
countries?

Anonymous

Isn't RIM a Canadian company? :P

bambuco

GREAT REVIEW BLA1ZE!! If i wasn't one of the few waiting for the 8350i to come out and retire my 7100i, i'd most definetely be one of those eaglery waiting to pick up the 8900! Your review answer most all questions i had thought of between the Bold & 8900, the only thing left for me to do was to go out and physically hold each one. Keep up the good work, nice to have Christmas come early, huh? =D

manav

The new curve cannot be better in every aspect then the BOLD. I smell something fishy.

Bla1ze

Put one in your hands and make that determination yourself.

As stated in the review, my Bold will be my daily device, so that right there alone, indicates the 8900 is not all peaches and cream, although I am left to wonder why you would simply NOT believe the Javelin could be a better devices.

It's a EDGE devices...RIM knows EDGE...until the Bold the 8707v was the only UMTS/3G devices they have ever made, aside from CDMA but that's comparable to EDGE in longevity of manufacturing.

The Bold OS is plagued with bugs and while it's getting better over time, it's still not on par with the Javelin OS, but alas I could describe the issues all day, until ya place one in your hands and witness it for yourself, all I have to offer is my honest opinion on the device as a Bold and Javelin owner.

calculatorwatch

So if 3g is easier on CDMA, do you think they might make an 8900 with 3g on verizon wireless? I was all for the storm but now I'm wondering if a traditional form factor blackberry wouldn't be better. But I still want a better browser than the 8330, and I'd rather have a 3g version of this phone than the bold, mostly because this one is a lot sleeker and smaller.

ADberry

Nice review Bla1ze! The camera seems like such an improvement. I honestly wouldnt be able to tell whether the second picture (taken by the 8900) was from a phone or a 5 megapixel digicam. The prospect of getting a non-buggy OS will be a relief for those who plan to buy the first batch of the 8900s. I was going to wait before buying this device but now I am contemplating whether I should go for it as soon as its out...more reviews and discussion sessions will help me decide :)

sonny21

Only if this thing had 3g, then I would buy it for sure. I just hope it' true that they will come out with a 3g version of this.

jfa1

Great review Blaize I am liking this device a lot. Hope ATT releases it soon or gets something out about pricing. I am off contract and looking for a new phone to take the place of the trep 760. This may be it.

BabiCakes

A+!! Great job!!

Your son is a cutie!! =o)

warwick

After all this Bold / Javelin / Storm anticipation, all that remains is for me to finally order an 8900 and a 16gb micro sd card.

Then cut myself off from Crackberry.com for a while, to keep my head free from magnums & curve 4Gs. That should last about a week or so.

neokuji

Impatient much? they haven't even released the 3G curve yet!...LoL...that will be some time now considering the limited coverage area of 3G presently.

Q1911

Thanks for the review!

MapleSyrup

Being on Rogers and having the ability to get the 8900 before the USA makes me proud to be Canadian :P
Now I want one..
Sooooo badddddd..

Garz

Vey nice review Bla1ze! Considering you just bought it yesterday, you got that review up pretty quick.

fantom1023

Great review B1aze!! I think this Curve will be a big let down because it doesn't have 3G!! I know I am disappointed to hear that it doesn't have it, and I don't understand why RIM would release another phone without 3G!! Just my opinion though. And don't get me wrong, I would take one of these babies in a heartbeat, if given the opportunity. Although it will be a while before I see one here in the US. Thanks again for the AWESOME review!! Keep Berrying everybody!! :P

neokuji

I agree the review was awesome!...but nothing else.
I am not concerned with mobileweb, and think this phone is great, regardless of 3G or not! In fact I will take two in a heartbeat this valentine's day(my b-day),for my friend and myself.So be it!
...February 18th release!!!!!!!

shorynot

Would everyone just take a few deep breaths about this lack of 3g that is keeping you from buying the device? Look at the timetable he has posted. Youre talking a matter of seconds when it comes to your average browsing. Are we all realy this spoiled to not buy an awesome device because its no lightning quick. He stated plain and simple in his review, DO NOT pass this up just because of the lack of 3g. It obviously has a better form factor, and more stable os. People crack me up with this. Thanks for the review, this phone is great. Just gonna be hard to operate it while constantly wiping the tears running down my face due to lack of 3g. BOO HOO

Anonymous

You do realize that there are some users that have a requirement to use the phone portion of their BB while still being able to receive emails.

I frequently use my BB to dial in to a conference call and someone will send an email during that call that I am not able to receive due to lack of 3G.

Anton Wahlman

This review states twice, and incorrectly, that the 8900 doesn't allow the user to talk and email at the same time, unlike the 9000. The 8900 is a UMA device (tunneling GSM and other cellular services through WiFi), which means that all packet-switched services come through flawlessly and immediately while you are on the phone, assuming you are connected over WiFi. Most people have WiFi at home and the office, where most people spend 80% or so of their time. The 9000 has not yet been fitted with UMA software (expected in July/August 2009), so if you are in a location where there is no cellular service (such as a basement office or in a remote/rural/boat location), but there is wifi, the 8900 will not only give you full GSM coverage (through UMA), but also simultaneous voice/data coverage. The carriers offering this are Rogers/Canada, T-Mobile/USA and Orange/Europe. If you're on AT&T, Vodafone, et.al. - you're out of luck.

Just another point where the 8900 is vastly superior to the 9000 -- at least until UMA gateways and software have been upgraded to be compatible with HSPA, some time around July/August 2009.

Please correct the review to reflect the fixing of the inaccurate statements regarding simultaneous voice/data.

Bla1ze

I made no mention of the UMA service being enabled on the device simply because I didn't have it, therefore no reference point or observations that could be stated or even the fact I had intentions to do so and under no way are users OBLIGATED to choose UMA either, it's not pushed by the carrier. With the exclusion of UMA at this point, your comment alone shall stand in it's own right as a correction and while the assumption may be there in your statements that WiFi is pretty much available everywhere, this is not the case, I still know plenty of people and plenty of areas around me where WiFi is not even an option, if I can't go to the 5 of my friends house and have WiFi in at least 3 of those places, WiFi is not as common as some may think.

I appreciate your comments and taking the time to even mention the UMA.

jperinger

I guess Wi-fi is to Canada what snow is to Florida? I bought my 8320 specifically for UMA and after two handsets, three OS, three different wireless routers (including a T-Mobile one) I have NEVER had a day of UMA without a dropped call, so don't feel left out. On the other hand, I NEVER miss an incoming call, e-mail, text, etc., so there are good points to UMA. Does Canada have DSL? Cable? Here in NYC we have central heat, too. ;)

Anonymous

Both GSM providers Rogers and Fido offer UMA/Wifi calling in Canada.
You just need a compatible device like this Blackberry or Nokia 8301 or something.

Anton Wahlman

1. 100% of people control their own WiFi at home. Most people spend a significant percentage of their time at home. So that's not a problem.

2. A high percentage of people have access to WiFi at their office. So that's not a problem.

3. That leaves those who are driving in cars (perhaps 10% of your daily cycle?), those in the forest picking berries (no pun intended), or those taking a walk around town. That's probably 20% of the average person's time.

Bottom line: Most people can be on UMA/WiFi in their own home and in their office probably 80% of the hours of the day. Thus UMA is critical to the user experience, in part because of it allowing simultaneous voice/data.

siha

I don't know about you guys, but my office has a secure network and they don't let just anything connect to it...and UMA if I remember correctly requires a carrier's router doesnt it?...even if it doesn't most companies i know don't let the berry acces Wi-Fi if they're paying for your data anyways

Anton Wahlman

No, UMA works over pretty much ANY wifi router. It does not need to be provided by the carrier. I haven't failed with any particular kind of router yet. I get it to work on all sorts of routers in different homes and offices: Linksys, Netgear, D-Link, Belkin, 2Wire and many others. The same rule as laptop applies: Unless it's simply unsecured, you just need the password to get in. Very simple. If I can get in with my laptop, I can get in with my UMA Blackberry.

money69

I also would like to see the EDGE vs. 3G face off which we have heard the new browser on the Javelin is significantly better in terms of speeding up loading times. Im hoping Tmobile gets this out in January as I really really want one.

Also, we heard delays before in previous versions about the camera shutter lag time. Any comments on this??? Did they speed it up??? Should have been a software issue. A Video review if at all possible would be great also!!

Tedesco1

Nice Review there Bla1ze.

My girlfriend and I were browsing at the mall, and ended up at a Rogers booth, flipping the "Flip', when the rep came along looking to help. I asked him about 8900 and he just happened to have a dummy model of the Curve8900 on his desk (and a Bold in his holster). Seems Bla1ze got a little further along than we did lol.

We both handled it a little, and I did like the smaller form factor. Felt nice. I took a few shots of it with my Bold which are now posted on my website (tedesco.ca). Speaking of pics...I am utterly disappointed in the photo quality that Bold produces and can't help but feel a little Curve envy right now. I insist that its not all about megapixels. Please Blackberry please...update the camera firmware on Bold!

nubiancooki

Ok so you put that review up very quickly. Coming from someone who JUST got the Curve a few weeks ago, I'm in awe that there's actually something better that my precious curve coming out already!

R1cowl

Did Kevin say that the video was recorded with a bold? Thats awsome. Very Nice. And an awsome review. I'm still undecided Bold or Curve 8900. Crackberry Rules!

CalAus

Thanks for posting such a thorough review! And so quickly too.

The 8900 sounds great, though I was surprised to hear about the mini USB. Being an novice, I was unaware of the mirco form. The other BB in my household is a 8920 which has the mini USB. So I was hoping that we'd be able to use the same adapters and to cut down on the wire clutter.

Again, thanks for a great review. I'm looking forward to jumping into the BB world!

redwanhuq

Why even think of excuses to use a 2G only phone?? It's nearly 2009. And it's not that much smaller than the Bold, which is faster, has a more widescreen display, better keyboard, and most importantly everything you could want on a smartphone.

neokuji

what are we japan?...relax people!

by the way...wider does not mean better, esp.in this screen's case, keyboard debatable, will give the bold one thing...that 1GB onboard memory! tho the 8900 has 250MB(Flash), and a microSDHC expandable to 32GB(4.6.^xx^)...and most importantly everything you could want on a smartphone.

.m.e.

Bla1ze .. mine is made in MEXICO 3 .. eeeeeek .. out of curiousity, where is yours made ??

BBpixie

Mine is made in MEXICO 3 as well. The bb is working fine so far.

Anonymous

yeah, please post a 3G vs EDGE test because that is what i wanted to see even before reading this review....and the lack of it was quite disappointing. Overall, the review was very good and i hope you add that 3G vs EDGE test very soon.

Shayla R Cakes

I'm excited. I've been trying really hard to ween myself off of my gadgetholism, but I've now fallen off that wagon.

I'm pretty sure T-Mo is getting it (right?) so this is DEFINITELY the next Berry I'm gonna pick up. I don't need no stankin' touch screen.

BBpixie

I totally love your vocab which I'll use - gadgetholism!! haha... I'm not crazy for touch screen either. I did try the Bold, although I have small hands/fingers, the Bold's kbd is not for me. The bb 8900 fits me best.

neokuji

I don't need no stankin' touch screen...Agreed!

BBpixie

Picked my bb 8900 up yesterday from a Rogers Wireless store in my town (Peterborough, about an hour NE from Toronto). Actually I bought 3, one for myself and two for friends. It's a really sweet phone! I don't care for 3G but the bb 8900 sure is faster compared to my older curve. Display totally rawks! Some new features that I'm starting to love. Form factor is sooo comfortable, so me!! Thanks for the review.

Wusty

So sick! I'm Jealous! I wanty!

Casper TFG

Wow!

Very exciting!

I am on the list to get one asap in the UK.

Great to get news!

Love the improved photo quality!

I could do with a slimmer 8300!

Thrilled about the OS & zippier EDGE report!

Good to go!

bigwill5150

When I first read this I was kind of disappointed because I could have saved a lot of money I spent getting my Unlocked Bold. Then I remembered that I would be buying through T-Mobile US (providing they offer it soon). They'll cripple it just like they do their current devices! BTW, cramming more pixels in a tighter space does not make up for lack of screen real estate, although it looks very sharp.

sjr13

Nice phone, the screen looks amazing. The styling really looks like a cross between the Bold and the Storm. IMO

Thanks for the pics and the quick review!

vx1

I knew it would be faster than the bold hahaha, even though I am Bold Owner
I am already a 8900 Curve fan heheh, I did research early on and found out about the HSCSD hi speed circuit switching on EDGE and knew this would be
the case weeeeeeeeeee ... lol

across the board you can't lose with either handset

Javelin Curve 8900 or Blackberry Bold :0)

CarBob

Thanks Bla1ze for the informative review. Am very impressed with the 8900's camera.

Two questions:

Do you know if RIM will in due course be releasing a 3G CDMA 8930?

Since you are a "Bold" man, do you know if and when RIM will be launching the NIAGARA (the next generation of the Bold)? Thanks in advance.

- CB

"BLACKBERRY for LIFE'

vx1

well all I can say is I have seen some accessories made for Bold 2 aka Niagara I guess ... but no real news .. will post if I get anything concrete

DVDL

Imagine if this would come with 3G..there wouldn't be any question what the latest greatest BB is at the moment. If only T-Mobile could push RIM to come up with that! Regardless, looks like a sweet phone. However, because I use my phone internationally as well,the lack of being able to roam on a 3G network still bugs me a bit, the 2way data/voice advantages of 3g is of lesser importance to me.

Newbie14

I love this phone and review so much!! I want one!!! So, would it be possible to buy the 8900 from Rogers in Canada and use it on a US carrier like At&T?

BBpixie

I've bought one and shipped it to a good friend of mine in California. All you need to do is to get it unlocked and it'll work on AT&T.

Those of you nearby or in Toronto, go and get it/them!! A lot of Toronto stores have them in stock now. One store on Yonge St (as of yesterday) got 30 bb 8900's shipped in. Coolio!

Hi-Definition

Hi-Def agrees; it's a completely legitimate comparison to make a side by side test of the the EDGE speed on the 8900 compared to 3G speeds.

Yes; there is definitely a size difference between the Bold and the 8900...but aside from that; the Bold still seems like the superior device to me. Then again; that comparison may be a truly apples to oranges comparison...however I personally don't think so.

angiebutterfly

You are causing way too much excitement for me. :) I'm pleased with what it has to offer so far. I know I'll absolutely loooove it!

Gerardo S

Thank you so much for the detailed and unbiased review which you provided..

I recently had picked up a Bold, after the sales person had offered to give me up to a month to return it - because I was on the edge of consideration with the javelin.

I too have large hands, but do prefer a device which is more compact with full functionality. I had previously downgraded from the 8830 world phone to the pearl becasue of the smaller form factor.

After playing around with the Bold, the lack of 3g isn't too much of a big loss... I would care to find out more about a previous thread from the bold/storm breakdown and why the wi-fi is so damn slow?!?! I'm running a gigbit network and the Bold has 5mps going for it, but still so slow!!

Other than that, the better camera and smother OS have me sold on switching to the Javelin.

Again thank you and happy holidays

AnonymousGerardo S

should read "I'm running a gigbit network and the Bold has 50mps going for it, but still so slow!!"

3083joe

Very nice review, Sounds like a great phone!

Kaylajoy21

Loved the review....

Now i am just depressed that I can't get the new curve. :(

crackcookie

I believe that 3G will only get better as time goes on in the USA, however, for the time being here, maybe the curve 2 and its speeds.

I believe its like this, the old curve used say...two lines for internet, while the new curve uses about 8. so while not always as fast as the bold, its much faster than the old curve.

and as stated before, the internet experience on a mobile device isnt that great, simply due to their inert limitations. Anyway, there is a lot more to a phone than just 3G speeds. I loved playing around with my Tilt, however, it was a terrible device, with amazing speed....which made it near useless. Blackberry gets things right, from the ground up.

Navan

ugh- it's at times like this that I kind of wish I'd waited to jump on the Blackberry train...but then I look at my pretty 8310 and sigh...how can I kick him out in the cold? Hopefully the 8900 will still be the smartphone of choice when it comes time for me to upgrade!

Anonymous

I haven't really seen anyone talk about autofocus on Storm/8900, most people would probably press the trackball (or screen on storm) to take a picture, but if you press the right side convenience key LIGHTLY the camera will auto focus, once it is focused, increase presure on the convenience key to actually snap the shot.

Maybe you all already know this, but like I said, no one has really discussed that as a feature. (and i never read manuals either lol)

STYLN

Has anyone heard if the 8900 will b coming out on Telus? Great review by the way...Im really torn on a new Bold or this 8900....I've def given up on the Storm, so now its down to 2!

Gerardo S

"I've def given up on the Storm, so now its down to 2!"

Lol.. I've been waiting months too. You'll be good to go with either device, which should hold you till when the 3rd generation thunder/storm come out.

carsmovies

I've already mentioned this on some forums but the black trackball on the 8900 is not the newer technology "Atomic" trackball that RIM is currently doing R&D on. It's simply a differently textured black ball placed inside the roller pick-up assembly of the current trackballs in other devices.

pegb856

Excellent Review Bla1ze. Thank you for taking the time to give us such a good and thorough review. As a Sprint user I am not only envious but also hoping it won't be too long before RIM graces us with some 8900 love also.

Thanks again and Great Job!

shownuff

this is funny.. my sister n brother n law work for t mobile.. and i said to them that RIM should make a Curve with a processor.. this was in 2007.. now im really happy with rim... i read that 3G speeds are way over rated especially in Metro areas.. With something like the 8900 i will stick with EdGE.. and in a year or 2 i will switch.. Hey by then we might be using another faster network... RUMORS RUMORS!.. merry X-MAS people...

linkkoriri

We got the Rogers 8900 Curve Dummy Unit at my Wireless etc kiosk, and I was showing a client the new look, and SLIP, right out of my hand, onto the HARD HARD floor of Costco. Well I have never seen such a dramatic smash. It hit on the bottom corner of the fake, and the plastic that holds the keyboard bent up, and HALF the keys went flying all over the place. I spent 5 mins after picking up the alphabet. lol.

Now I know that they dont make dummy units in the same quality, but will the 8900 really have individual keys (not on a rubberized pad like the Pearl), and is the back as slippery on the real thing? (Hense how it slipped out of my hands in the first place).

And is there any stores that got an extra dummy unit that could be FedEx'd to my store? (again... oops) Email me and let me know curtis.corcoran@bell.blackberry.net

Aende

thanks for the great review.
does anyone know if this phone will be coming out in the uk anytime soon?

Paul H

I live in Seattle and the 3G speed on my Bold is great. I never turn on wi-fi because there is not really any noticeable improvement. Also, no one ever mentions all of the content that AT&T provides with the 3G blackberry package. One thing that you get is CV (cellular video) and it has lots of great stuff and it is all included in your BB package price. Is this kind of content available from AT&T or other providers with EDGE devices too?

Apps like Flycast, YouTube and Nobex really work great with 3G. Do they work as well with EDGE? I upgraded from a TMO pearl 8100 which was dead slow, so maybe I have a poor perspective. Moving from the oldschool pearl on crappy TMO to a Bold has me spoiled. I love the AT&T service and of course I love my Bold.

DVDL

Paul, youtube has always been a bit flaky for me (but that may be due to the fact my phone was dropped in a pool at some point hehe) but on my curve Nobex streams fine on an EDGE connection, even when its a relatively weak signal. Can't wait to get my hands on the 8900! =)

vx1

here is a sexy video I found on the BB site
http://na.blackberry.com/eng/devices/blackberrycurve8900/
/curve_videos.jsp?navId=H0,C401,S7

Hootie

So i guess i could have posted this when the post was posted LMAO. My phone is soooo amazing!!! moving from an 8100 to the 8900 is a big step well for me. internet connection is great and not to mention its dead sexy!!

Anonymous

Loved the review - makes me want the phone even more!
When is this thing coming to the US? I checked out the Blackberry website - the 8900 is there and listed. When you go to its page and click "Where to Buy" it says: "In Canada." SUCH a slap in the face, haha. You guys up in Cananda are great, but I want this phone too!!

tnewton3

Looks nice but I'm a Bold man, I finally got my hands on one and I love it. Granted the battery life isn't the greatest, but I love the speed and being able to be on that conference call whilel sufing the net is priceless for me.

Nice job blaze you are a lucky cat.

plantagoo

Hi!

When I choose the same Font and size on the Bold and the curve there is more text(information) shown on the Bold display despite the higher resolution of the 8900.

For example BBAlpha Sans 7 isn't exactly the same on both devices!

Why? I loved the fonts of the Bold. Now I have a higher resolution display which shows less... I don't get it...

Greetings
plant

ComfyJammies

Thanks for the review. Now if only I could take that keyboard and put it on the Bold, I'd be set! Alternatively, put the high-res screen on the new Bold and I'll throw a party! I tried the Bold, and while a little better than the 88xx keyboard, it just frustrates me! LOL I'll never understand why RIM took that awesome keyboard from the 8700 and had to tinker so much with the 8800 and the Bold! The separate keys without those ridges on them make for much faster typing.

I'll still take this Curve! Will it ever be on Verizon?

Casper TFG

Thanks to Bla!se for updating the review with the G3 speed tests!!!

I am LOVING non 3 G devices at the moment!

V excited, drinking the warm Cool-Aid by the fire here in London, UK

AnthonyD28

The important thig here is,
will this phone play youtube videos IN FULL SCREEN ???

MikeTheSith200#CB

I was looking at Blackberry.com and it says the Curve 8900 has UMTS 1900/2100/850 or something. Did anybody notice this?
http://blackberrymobi.msite.tv/specifictions.do;jsessionid=D99D6451EDB30...

MikeTheSith200#CB

I was looking at Blackberry.com and it says the Curve 8900 has UMTS 1900/2100/850 or something. Did anybody notice this?
http://blackberrymobi.msite.tv/specifictions.do;jsessionid=D99D6451EDB30...

neokuji

and you don't pay attention!

koala07

Great review, thanks! I've been holding out on the Bold. I definitely love the size and feel of my current Curve 8300 and I hope to have the Curve 8900. I think the Bold is great, but it's too "big" for me. Crossing my fingers that AT&T will have the new Curve!

Anonymous

For those lucky enough to have gotten this phone - do you find the vibrate to be real weak? I'm wondering if I got a lemon. I'm coming from a 8300 which I found to have almost a vibrate function that was almost too intense. I've missed nearly every call with this phone. Barely moves when it's laying on my desk at work. Low hum at best.

Anyone?

Otherwise the phone is amazing...im in love..just worried about this...

sid514

Just want to add my 2 cents to the whole Bold vs Curve 8900...
I went from having a Curve 8300 to the bold. At first I thought it was way to big and bulky and sure enough after using it for the last 3 months I now love the phone. But seeing that I'm the Gadgeholic that I am, I had to run out and get the new Curve 8900. It feels right in my hands, just like the awesome review say, but, going from the Bold to 8900 is a little disappointing... People say that the 3G doesn't matter, but I see a huge difference in the speed of downloading attachements and pulling up sites... The other thing is now I feel that the curve is too small(I never thought I'd be saying that about a phone). It's only been a couple of hours since crackin' open the 8900 box, and I hope that I change my mind, if not, I'm going back to the bold...

mkeurogh

does anyone know where i can get that sweet wallpaper with the florescent tubes that Bla1ze was showing off the screen with?!

Anonymous

if i buy this phone 'unblocked/unlocked' whatever it is..will it work for vzw in US

Anonymous

you will need a CDMA version

azula265

i understand that the curve 8900 only been released in canada & germany
how come there are so many offer for the device (bb curve 8900) in asia said to be brand new & unlocked? the offer mostly come from hongkong & china
are these genuine or fake? can somebody tell me how to tell the difference between fake & genuine device? thanks

ballerlc3

When does the This new version of the curve come out for verizon. Im lookin to upgrade from the previous version curve for verizon.
Thanks

Anonymous

Dang, that song is purrfect for that BB, that 8900 is so sexy! Wow RIM you did it again. Great review

Anonymous

Will AT&T get the Javelin?

m0bilechic

I agree - this is a great device! Check out my YouTube video comparing it to the Bold and the Storm at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Shm5T0zL0hQ

4rth BB

I have had an 8900 for almost a month. Dropping the 3g I didn’t notice much if any for some sites. One think I have always liked about the Blackberrys is the way the standby feature works between the pouch and phone. It always made the battery last for days, but for the first time they made a huge mistake. The pouch shipped doesn’t have a belt clip so I went out and bought one. After a day I was charging the battery, I chalked this up to all the playing I did. After a week the problem only got worse. I called Rogers and they happily sent me another. Mind you this was after wiping the os, changing settings, yada yada yada. So when the second one showed up, didn’t input anything, didn’t use Bluetooth, no wi-fi, a few short phone calls and its doing it again. Now I am on my third 8900, and the problem persisted till I did some research and found the pouch system is messed up, I switch back to the factory default pouch and it’s the same. Less than 24 battery time with little usage. Leave it out of the pouch, use manual standby, Bluetooth for 4hours a day, wi-fi for 2 each day and I haven’t had to charge it for 3 days now, well I will now. Problem is I have grown up with the fancy click in the holster or pouch… you don’t realize how bad you miss something till you don’t have it. Rim says there isn’t a problem but if you read enough forums, I’m not the only one with this issue.

consideringApurchase

I was going to get the Bold, but found initially that the keys felt harder to type quickly on.

1) They touch one another (vs the curve where they are separated) and so you can accidentally hit the wrong key

Is this just something that you quickly get used to?

2) Sometimes when you type fast, it skips keys.

Is this due to old software on the machine in the ATT store?

I haven't seen any reviews stating that the Bold keys are actually harder to use than the Curve, so wanted to know if my initial experience is correct or not.

Thanks for any feedback.

wwe86

I could not decide which company I went to att from verizon then from att to sprint. All in my first month. I knew about the 8900 but did not know when it was out. I saw the comercial on tv so I checked tmobile website. I went and got it and left sprint. I think it is the best blackberry. I had blackberrys with sprint and verizon pearl and curves now the new curve is the best one. I love wifi on it

Dylan7

Love the new blackberry design. But will this curve be coming to Verizon in 2009?

savage.a

tempted, very tempted.

EminemFan001

does anyone know if this has the blackberry app store on it???

EminemFan001

does anyone know if this has the blackberry app store on it???

Olalekan Ogunbakin

I started using Curve 8900 about three months ago. I have enjoyed every bit of the features on the phone until last week when I wanted take take a snap shot with the camera and next thing I saw was that the flash was on and won't go off until I had to take out the battery. At that point I dicided to reinstall its OS (5.0 version). I've since not been able to use the camera and video as it continues to show black screen and then tells me to close other applications and try reopen it.
Please I need a way out so I can use the camera and the video