Sprint Launches BlackBerry Curve 8350i

By Kevin Michaluk on 15 Dec 2008 10:20 am EST
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Sprint BlackBerry Curve 8350i

Press Release

Sprint Launches BlackBerry Curve 8350i for Customers Wanting the Most Advanced Push-to-Talk BlackBerry Smartphone Ever

First push-to-talk BlackBerry smartphone with built-in Wi-Fi and Group Connect demonstrates Sprint's firm commitment to the Nextel National Network

OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS and WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 15, 2008) - Responding to the requests of Nextel Direct Connect customers, Sprint (NYSE:S) today launched the BlackBerry(R) Curve(TM) 8350i smartphone. Developed by Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM), the new BlackBerry Curve 8350i is the most advanced push-to-talk BlackBerry smartphone ever.

The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone utilizes iDEN technology on the Nextel National Network. It offers Nextel Direct Connect, the only national push-to-talk service in the industry to offer sub-second call set up to the world's largest push-to-talk community with millions of users.

The BlackBerry Curve 8350i is the first push-to-talk BlackBerry smartphone to offer:

  • Built-in Wi-Fi(R) support, allowing customers to browse the Internet and download email attachments quickly and easily wherever they have Wi-Fi access, and they can also send and receive emails or browse the Internet while talking on the phone.
  • Group Connect, enabling customers to instantly set up group conversations with up to 20 participants.
  • Additionally, the BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone supports:
  • Integrated business solutions, including a large selection of GPS-enabled solutions and access to thousands of other third-party mobile applications for jobs such as dispatch operations and fleet and workforce management.
  • International Direct Connect, which enables instant connections between the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Peru.
  • Talkgroup, which connects groups of up to 200 people at once within the same local market and in the same fleet.

"Because of its unique combination of push-to-talk capabilities and several other advanced features, the BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone is likely to appeal to both individual consumers and business customers," said David Chamberlain, principal analyst with analyst firm In-Stat. "The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone can also address the needs of several industries such as construction, field services, transportation and manufacturing."

"The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone is the most recent example of our solid commitment to iDEN technology and our Nextel Direct Connect customers," said Danny Bowman, president of Nextel Direct Connect. "The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone is designed for customers who require instant convenient push-to-talk services to communicate with friends and family as well as with employees, customers and suppliers. The BlackBerry Curve 8350i is a premium smartphone that strikes a perfect balance between performance and usability."

The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone is slim with a sleek black exterior, a full QWERTY keyboard, a convenient trackball with intuitive navigation and an internal antenna for a smooth, clean design. Other key features include:

  • BlackBerry Device Software v4.6 for a simple and easy user experience with an updated interface, new shortcuts, an enhanced HTML web browser, support for free/busy calendar lookups and more.
  • BlackBerry "push" email for easy and efficient delivery of corporate and personal email.
  • Robust messaging capabilities with support for popular instant messaging, multimedia messaging (MMS) and text messaging services.
  • Integrated GPS for step-by-step directions, navigation and local search as well as support for other location-based applications and services.
  • Advanced media player for listening to music, watching videos and viewing pictures.
  • 2 megapixel digital camera with digital zoom, flash and video recording(i).
  • DataViz Documents To Go preinstalled for editing Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files directly on the smartphone.
  • Speakerphone that provides exceptional sound quality.
  • Expandable memory of up to 16GB through its microSD/SDHC memory card slot, providing plenty of storage for pictures, videos, music and documents.
  • Bluetooth 2.0 support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits, stereo headsets and other Bluetooth peripherals.
  • Support for thousands of applications, including business, lifestyle and entertainment titles.
  • Stereo headset jack for calls, push-to-talk conversations, music and other audio.
  • Removable/rechargeable 1400 mAH battery.

"The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone is ideal for customers who want the benefit of the popular Nextel Direct Connect service together with the power of the BlackBerry platform," said Mark Guibert, vice president of corporate marketing at RIM. "We think Nextel Direct Connect customers will be very pleased with its range of new features and stylish design, and we are very excited to be launching the BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone today with Sprint."

The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone is available beginning today at www.sprint.com or 1-800-SPRINT-1 or from a Sprint business sales representative. It is available for as low as $149.99 with a two-year service agreement, an $80 instant savings credit and a $100 mail-in rebate. On January 11, it will be available in Sprint retail stores nationwide.

The BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone measures 4.4" x 2.4" x .7" and weighs 4.7 ounces. For more information about the BlackBerry Curve 8350i smartphone, visit: www.sprint.com. For more information about Nextel Direct Connect, visit www.sprint.com/nextel.

(i) Video recording requires a microSD card, sold separately.

Topics: News & Rumors

Reader comments

Sprint Launches BlackBerry Curve 8350i

50 Comments

I just placed the "upgrade" order online with Spint/Nextel for the 8350i. I should have it in a day or two. It's coming just in time as my 7520 is dying.

You can't beat teh $149 price for a brand new Nextel BB phone. Especially with all teh things this one does.

My personal past with Sprint/Nexel have not been that great. I hope they upped their Customer Service and Billing Program to go with the new phone. The phone it self looks mighty tasty sorta speak, but we'll see.

Well I out my order in at 12:30 last night and it is on back order. Called up Sprint and sales doesn't even know if the warehouse has the phone yet or when they will get them. How do you release a phone that has been delayed for weeks and not even know if you have any to sell???? Why is it still available to order online if there are none available?? NEXTEL was so much better off before Sprint!!!!

My Sprint rep just called, said my 8350 just arrived via UPS! I think he has more, but can't be sure. He's in Coventry, RI. Owner's name is Al at 401-823-5900. I know he ships, so maybe worth a try.
I'll set it up tonight and report back!

I agree, orderd Friday and they dont even know if they have the phone according to order support this morning. BIG disorganization with Sprint. Best pricing plans, WORST customer service.

I was suppose to have my phone today but looks like I am hanging in limdo with Sprint.

new 8350i's...pre-ordered them Thursday, delivered today as promised. Set up the first one and away it went. Love the black, and actually like the slightly thicker look (due to housing the iDEN PTT & larger 8800 series battery) as it makes it feel a little more substantive in my hands. Love that it comes with a holster vs the regular curve "pouch". Only complaint...who the @!(*!! decided to put the smaller headset jack back into this phone? Other than that though, very nice

oh, and must add, 4.6 runs very smooth

I ordered mine today at the local Sprint store. They said I would have it by Wed or Thur. I just checked my order status and it says in progress.

"Robust messaging capabilities with support for popular instant messaging, multimedia messaging (MMS) and text messaging services" - is MMS up and running, or has it been disabled on the 8350i as well?

I've waited a long time for the 8350i to come out, and now that its here... i won't be able to get it until next year. With overhead cuts and crappy economy, no Xmas bonus means no 8350i. But at least its now out and i'll just have to hang out at the Sprint/Nextel stores and play with the display phones!!!

i noticed sprint declines to note that this phone is 3g capable. also a comparison chart on sprints website list it as not having broadband speeds where available. is this a mistake or is there really no 3g?

This phone is going to be on the NEXTEL network, not the SPRINT network. Remember they still both use different towers even though they are the same company now.
The NEXTEL IDEN network does not have 3G, only the Sprint Network does, and they are moving to 4G very very soon.
That is why it is so cool that this Blackberry has Wi-Fi, that way you can get fast speeds when using WI-FI.
If you want 3G, stick with Sprints Curve, and not the NEXTEL one... but you won't get NEXTELS Wakie-Talkie unless you get the NEXTEL Blackberry.

LOve the look of the phone and the price. Upset that its a better price than some of the other sprint BB. So best believe I'll be calling for a better deal since I use sprint not nextel

Too bad i hate sprint so F@#king MUCH. I would Leave Verizon in a minute for this but the bad part is that alot of people are getting away from the direct connect. OH Well. To all the people getting it Props to you hope you enjoy it and it suits all your need.

Ordered my phone @ 1:30 am , on the 15th. Checked my status @ 8 am and saw that my phone was on back order. I dont believe that this phone an hour and a half in on its release date can be out of stock. Call customer support and they tell me the phone shows up on their system as for sale but its not in stock, the customer rep then tells me i can either wait for it or cancel it. I've been a nextel customer since 1996, and have 8 phones on my account, cant believe this is how sprint does business nowadays...

Yeah, I ordered 6 today for work. All backordered. Was told I'd be lucky if I get them before the new year. We will see...

First impression: very cool phone, for a Nextel. Initial complaint: no 3.5mm headphone jack!

OS 4.6 looks great on the new Curve.

Upgraded to the 8350i online yesterday morning. Got a confirmation of the order but stating it was back-ordered. Called Sprint and they said about two weeks. Checked my status today and it will be here today or tomorrow.
ADDISON,
IL, US 12/16/2008 7:26 A.M. OUT FOR DELIVERY
12/16/2008 7:09 A.M. DESTINATION SCAN
12/16/2008 7:04 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
CHICAGO,
IL, US 12/16/2008 6:34 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
12/16/2008 5:28 A.M. ARRIVAL SCAN
LOUISVILLE,
KY, US 12/16/2008 5:24 A.M. DEPARTURE SCAN
12/16/2008 2:44 A.M. ORIGIN SCAN
US 12/16/2008 1:39 A.M. BILLING INFORMATION RECEIVED

For some unknown reason my bf refuses to get a Blackberry unless it's THIS blackberry! Why? He likes the yellow...of course.

Is it possible to unlock it and use it on Rogers? Nextel uses SIMS don't they? I know all the push to talk features won't be there but that's not why he wants it...idiot man!

Navan....

this will not work on Rogers as it is an iden phone... not a GSM.
Just like a Telus or Bell phone will not work on Rogers they are a different technology.

Yes they both use sims... but they are still different.
Unlocked this should work on the Telus Mike network though. But Rumor has it Mike will be getting it themselves!

Put in my pre-order last week (Wed). Called to check the status yesterday (Mon) and the customer service rep could not find my order so I had to put in another order. Called customer service today to double check my order and it is in progress. The rep advises I should receive my phone by Friday. I've been a Nextel user since 1998, so I'm use to the service or lack of sometimes. Use the direct connect in business, so it is an absolute must for me. Wanted a blackberry for the past year for the e-mail capability but waited for the 8350i. Hope I won't be disappointed. I am a new user to crackberry.com. Found this web site last week when googling blackberry. So far I really enjoy reading the various blogs and the tutorials. My friends warn that I'll get addicted. Bring it on!

Finally got the 8350i up and running, and it's a HUGE improvement over the 7100i.
The keyboard is a little small for my sausage-like digits, but I'll adapt.
So far it does everything it is supposed to do, and transfering your date from the 7100i is easy.

As of yesterday, Al at the Sprint Store in Coventry, RI had three 8350i's left. If you can't wait, try him at 401-823-5900 or email at sprintcoventry@verizon.net!

Good luck!

I had decided to wait until I could extend fully my contract and take advantage of better savings on this 480 dollar phone.
Well, nextel called me today (I had signed up to be notified when this phone was available...which they notified me of via email last week..) and offered to extend my contract (still 6 months left on the old one) , kick back some bucks to offset shipping and activation. AND I qualify for the rebate.
They said they had reserved phones for those who had expressed interest in it some 6+ months ago via a signup on their site.
NOW, whether I see one this year or not , shall remain to be seen.

Looks cool tho!

Sprint/Nextel has been promising this phone to us for about a year. We needed a radio unit that would play wav files. Our voicemails arrive as an email wth a wav file attachment. they kept pushing release back quarter by quarter. then they said, December 1st! we called on the 2nd. oh no, the 15th. we pre-ordered ours and they arrived on monday. w00t!

the only problem is the support folks had never seen these units, so they had a hard time helping us get them activated.

i got up and running on mine yesterday. it's nice. now, i just need to get started on customizing the themes. :-)

john

The only thing that I hate about this one is that it does not support Sprint TV and audio/video when it comes to NFL Mobile Live, even though NFL Mobile Live is still downloadable - in html only. So yes, I agree. This phone would be a 10 if it supported these features. :(

TRIED TO PLAY A YOU TUBE VIDEO AND WILL NOT DOWN LOAD FAST ENOUGH, ONLY A ONE MINUTE VIDEO, KEEPS BUFFERING AND SCRAMBLING. ANYONE ELSE HAVING THIS ISSUE?

Hey Kevin, my name is BJ DeHut and I am a representative for Sprint. Thank you for posting the news about the 8350i coming to Nextel. This is an amazing phone and a lot of our users on iDEN have been craving a phone like this, so we are more than happy to be releasing this to them. This is definitely the most advanced push to talk Blackberry Smartphone ever. Thanks again for posting the news!

I received my BlackBerry Curve 8350i Nextel cell by UPS a week after the phones were launched. So, I've had it for over a week now and love it! I've been a Nextel customer for years. I bought the i930 Nextel phone when it came out, had it for a while, and recently felt that it was time to retire it and upgrade to the new BB. I love all the features that the 8350i brings, especially the push-to-talk feature (which is what I've been used to for years). I'm so sure that I made the best choice in choosing the new BlackBerry Curve 8350i! If you haven't tried it yet I think you should.:)

To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best day and night to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.

I know this phone will soon be released here in Canada on the telus/mike network, but can someone confirm wether they have been able to unlock one and activate it on the mike network? I can't wait for the release.

You have to recognize when the right place and the right time fuse and take advantage of that opportunity. There are plenty of opportunities out there. You can't sit back and wait.