T-Mobile and RIM Introduce the BlackBerry Curve 8520

By Kevin Michaluk on 27 Jul 2009 07:12 am EDT

And now it's truly official with the Press Release just crossing the wire....

T-Mobile USA and RIM Introduce the New BlackBerry Curve 8520

Approachable New Smartphone Offers Email, Messaging, Social Networking, Music and Entertainment for People on the Go

BELLEVUE, WASHINGTON and WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - July 27, 2009) - T-Mobile USA, Inc., and Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today announced the new BlackBerry Curv 8520 smartphone, a new addition to the BlackBerry Curve series of smartphones, with availability expected on August 5.

The slim new BlackBerry Curve 8520 is an incredibly approachable smartphone that comes in two attractive colors from T-Mobile - black and frost. For people who like to be connected, it provides easy mobile access to email, messaging (IM, SMS, MMS) and popular social networking sites (including Facebook and MySpace) and features a highly tactile full-QWERTY keyboard for comfortable, accurate typing. It also features rich multimedia capabilities and access to music, games and other mobile apps for entertainment on the go.

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone is a world phone, and is also Wi-Fi(R)-enabled to arm customers with fast Web browsing and Wi-Fi calling. T-Mobile customers can continue to get great mobile coverage and unlimited nationwide Wi-Fi calling with T-Mobile's Unlimited HotSpot Calling service as well as unlimited nationwide calling to five people with T-Mobile myFaves(R) service.(i)

In addition to providing the industry's leading mobile email and messaging solution, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone is designed to be efficient and convenient. It introduces an innovative touch-sensitive optical trackpad, which makes scrolling and selection smooth and easy for a great navigation experience. It is also the first BlackBerry smartphone to feature dedicated media keys, smoothly integrated along the top of the handset, giving customers an easy, convenient way to control their music and videos.

"People increasingly expect a rich, diverse experience with their phones because they're using them in new and different ways," said Travis Warren, director of product marketing, T-Mobile USA. "Adding the BlackBerry Curve 8520 to the T-Mobile line-up gives our customers a phone capable of helping bring balance to the chaotic demands of a busy professional and personal life."

"More and more cell phone users are choosing to upgrade to a smartphone and the new BlackBerry Curve 8520 will undoubtedly convince many more people to make the switch. It delivers all the great messaging, social networking and multimedia features that have made BlackBerry the top-selling smartphone brand in the United States," said Carlo Chiarello, vice president, product management, Research In Motion. "T-Mobile customers are going to love how easy it is to keep in touch on Facebook and MySpace and the full-QWERTY keyboard is amazingly fast and comfortable for typing on the go."

Key features of the BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone include:

  • Full-QWERTY keyboard and touch-sensitive optical trackpad for reliable, responsive typing and navigation
  • 256MB Flash memory and a 512Mhz next generation processor for enhanced performance
  • Premium phone features including voice activated dialing, and Bluetooth (2.0) support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits, stereo headsets and other Bluetooth peripherals
  • 2 MP digital camera with zoom and video recording
  • Advanced media player for music, pictures and videos, with dedicated media keys and a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, plus BlackBerry(R) Media Sync, which makes it easy to quickly sync music from iTunes(R) or Windows Media(R) Player with the smartphone(ii)
  • Access to BlackBerry App World(TM), featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones. Categories include games, entertainment, social networking and sharing, news and weather, productivity and much more
  • BlackBerry(R) Internet Service support for access to up to 10 supported email accounts, including most popular ISP email accounts such as Yahoo!(R), Windows Live(TM) Hotmail(R), AOL(R) and Gmail(TM); and BlackBerry(R) Enterprise Server support, which provides advanced security and IT administration features for corporate deployments
  • Expandable memory via hot swappable microSD/SDHC memory card slot, supporting cards of up to 16 GB today and expected to support next generation 32GB cards when available; a 1GB card is included
  • Built-in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) with support for T-Mobile Unlimited Hotspot Calling service
  • Quad-band world phone: EGDE/GPRS/GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)

The new BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone from T-Mobile will be available on August 5 at T-Mobile retail stores, Walmart Stores, select authorized dealers, and online at http://www.T-Mobile.com.

Prior to retail availability, customers can learn more about the BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone at www.blackberry.com/curve8520.

Reader comments

T-Mobile and RIM Introduce the BlackBerry Curve 8520


O MY GOD! ITS SO COOL =D realy I want this but don't have the money for it but its normal because everybody wants this BlackBerry. why should you don't buy this if you heve the money for it???

This will really improve RIM's foothold in the mobile phones division. By creating this as a low-cost semi-powerful blackberry they can capitalize on those who cannot afford the more powerful blackberries.

Plus, I'm sure many kids, teens would prefer to have one of these over the generic LG, Samsung, Nokia ones that litter the lower-end mobile phone market.

I can also see this as a weekend replacement to those with the Bold or something. Like if it's cheap enough I might take it somedays when I don't want/need my Bold with me etc...

Plus it will also get people used to the optical trackpad.

Edit: It seems it boasts the same app memory and almost same processor speed as the curve 8900/Tour. If it's as cheap as people say it will be, I might pick up one of these to complement my Bold.

I've heard the 8300 Curve series is one of the most selling phones the past few months due to their low price point and I can easily see this selling well too. Especially if you get the Wal-Mart crowd into it.

Alright...I need an expalantion on this idea...a weekend replacement? Why sync 2 phones, and worry about switching between them? Why leave the Bold, which is a far nicer phone than this one, home, and carry a lesser device? Fashion? Silliness?

I think the point of the weekend replacement is for when you're doing something where your phone might get broken. If you're going to an amusement park and planning on riding roller coasters there's a real chance of your phone getting broken/stolen if you've got an expensive one. Same goes for a day at the beach or something. Personally I'd pick up a refurb Pearl before buying a brand new device, but I understand the concept.

As a side note. That video made the Curve 8500 look pretty sexy, but I've seen it in person and it's really not. A very bland flat rubber look in fact.

Please tell me what the difference between this and say a curve? I don't understand why people think that the more expensive the phone is the more powerful it is. It still does the same thing.

I do more with my flip than many people do with their bold but yet I am considered a "low-end" user because my berry cost less.

News Flash... You're paying for fashion. That's it. Functionality is the same.


I understand where your coming from, but there is a huge difference between a Bold and a Pearl despite the fact we BB users can basically do the same kinds of things with any BB.

As much as I love my Storm; my Curve is still in heavy rotation especially when I am having a heavy text, im, and email day. All I do is forward my calls to the Storm and I can continue to T-IM-E without stopping. The Bold is still the flagship device since it does everything and all BB are measured against it. I had a Pearl and loved it to death, but I played with a Curve and was hooked. The 8900 keyboard beats the 8300 hands down. I'd imagine the 8500 has a form factor equal to the 8300 which was cutting edge when it came out a few years ago.

so it will ship with the Desktop Software for Mac? That would be nice! Hopefully the Mac version of the Desktop Software will soon be available for the public.

I know there is a DM for Mac coming out, but will this Curve come with it already? That soon??? Can anyone confirm this?

The story's YouTube grab screams "Out of the box Mac compatibility" yet -- unless I'm missing it --nowhere in the post is the Mac mentioned. Kevin, you owe it to your readers to be more of a journalist and report the story, and not just publish the press release. (My sentiment echoes comments others posted recently chastising CrackBerry.com's commercialism.)

what the heck is this better features minus the camera flash thought we were trying to move away from the flashless camera. Come on RIM what is the deal with that.

the Desktop Manager software for MAC will NOT be available to the public until September.

The Curve 8520 comes equipped with compatibility for POCKETMAC FOR BLACKBERRY. That is currently the ONLY BB-MAC software available. It's actually downloadable from the BlackBerry.com site.

I keep hearing references to the price, but I haven't heard what it will be. Does anyone have an actual dollar amount? And if it's more than $499.99 (the price of the Curve 8900), then I wouldn't really consider it low-priced.

"The BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone is compatible with Apple® computers right out of the box. Sync contacts, calendars, and notes with applications you use most. Use BlackBerry® Desktop Software to enjoy an Apple computer experience on your BlackBerry smartphone."

from the offical Website

So I wonder what the scoop is. RIM's site sure makes it sound like it ships with Blackberry software not pocketmac?

Nice upgrade for the 8320.The micro-USB port is back where it belongs,on the upper-left side of the device.But no 3G means "No Dice".WHERE IS THE DRIFTWOOD?

@ KREBS25,

Yes, I did see that quote on the site, however, the "Desktop Software" they are referring to is "PocketMac for Blackberry", which I currently have installed on my MacBook.

I actually spoke to a technical support rep for T-Mobile this morning & they confirmed this.

The actual BLACKBERRY DESKTOP MANAGER for Mac users is scheduled to be released this coming Sept, according to BlackBerry's own site:



"BlackBerry Desktop Software is coming to Mac in September!

With BlackBerry® Desktop Software you'll be able sync your iTunes® playlists and personal information like contacts, tasks and appointments; install new software, games, and more. BlackBerry Desktop Software will offer the best of both worlds by allowing you to manage aspects of your BlackBerry® smartphone from your Mac1.

BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac is coming soon in September. Sign up now to be the first to know when it’s available.
Register for Updates"

Im not that impressed with this blackberry. Maybe its just me, but if i were on t-mobile i wouldn't go out and buy this. Seems like a cheap verison for blackberry.

I work for T-Mobile, and no we do not have a new blackberry coming out aug 4. We have our my touch coming out but no new blackberry so who ever is reporting this needs to get some more information. We dont just launch phones at certain stores either, we do launches company wide and we always do training on the phones before we get them. so please disregard whoever wrote this.

Don't be fooled, I see lots of people complaining already. This is not a upgrade for everyone just because it's come out now. If you already own a Bold, 8900 Curve, Storm or even a Tour, buying the Gemini (8520) would actually be a downgrade for you.

This is going to be a cheap Blackberry to get more people a Blackberry in their hands. Looking at it's specs it will probably be the cheapest Blackberry yet (aside from the pearls). Don't let the trackpad fool you! LOL, it's a sweet feature but again, might be a downgrade depending on the Blackberry you already have. Peace!

this phone looks fun and will probably attract the teens and such that have sidekicks now. but whats up with the camera?!?!?! should have been at least 3 mp

Dedicated media keys looks like a good move. I moved from an iPhone to the Bold and found the media player (and it's integration) a little lacking.

BBzone reports that the pricing is $129 with a 2 year commitment, which is a whopping $20 savings over the 8900 which has a better screen and camera/flash, and GPS. No info on off contract pricing yet.

New phone with no GPS??! *Fail*
Blackberry with no 3G? *Fail*

With iPhones selling for 50 bucks and up nowadays when is Blackberry gonna step their game up? I'm a proud BB owner but Blackberry is slowly moving themselves out of the scope of competitiveness against the almighty iPhone. (though I hate to admit it)

I don't mean to come in as the bully, but you need to honeslty look at what your saying.

I'm the user of an iPhone 3GS, and I own an iPhone 3G and 1st Gen iPhone too, but saying that BlackBerry is "losing the race" is just pure false.

BlackBerry and RIM HAVE a 3G BlackBerry for GSM networks, it's the Bold 9000. It's a plenty current and well priced device. It's feature set is broad and wide-reaching, and can be used on T-Mobile if unlocked.

It's irrelevant, and prohibitively expensive for RIM to design, produce and therefore create a 3G device exclusively for T-Mobile's 3G Network, which works on a different frequency from any other 3G Network out there in the world. That is why this device is NOT 3G, other carriers already have this device (including Vodafone.)

That show's that there is obviously a demand for a device like this, lower end, slower processor, but more affordable. This device is not "rubbish quality" by any means. It's sporting something's we've not seen in any BlackBerry device to date. Including the optical trackpad, and a dual indicator light.

Sure, these are small things, but they matter, as future devices use them, and make them part of a larger feature set.

Your obviously the kind of person for an iPhone, your need 3G, GPS, and lots of advanced features. The device for you would be a Bold 9000 or possibly the up-coming 9020 "Onyx".

This device serves it's purpose. Low-end, affordable device for consumers, or cost-effective, no frills device for the enterprise market looking to roll BlackBerry devices out to a larger user base, but don't want the expensive of spending <£200 for each user.

Even though I own 3 iPhones, I still respect BlackBerry and what they've done for this market, one that they basically created themselves. I still have a BlackBerry device I use and toy around with when I get bored of my iPhone at times, I can also see myself as possibly getting one of these. I like the idea of something cheap I can pop my SIM card into when I want to have something a little different, sure, it's not the coolest looking device, but I'm sure we'll see mods and different parts we can put on this device, just as we've seen coloured bezels for the 8900 and 9000.

And If I've made any typing mistakes, I am sorry, I've been up about 19 hours now, so I am a bit error-prone at the moment.

I hope blackberry still continues to make upscale devices, they should focus on the younger market, but still put most of their efforts into making high quality devices. Afterall, consumers usually buy the high end devices anyway.

Screw waiting for the onyx, I am so dropping my Bold for this baby...I'm camping out at tmo 2 days before launch to beat the long lines!

ill stick with my 8900 thanks! LOL my brother who has my beat up old 8320 may want to change over but i dont know why he would want to trade for a camera with no flash .... its a sleek looking device and the side buttons are way cool i really like the sleek all black look and the sort of rubberized side buttons and the trackpad is pretty snazzy and it would be a welcome change from the not so reliable trackball of my 8900 BUT i dont think ill be making the transition to the Gemini....it seems like they would have released this BEFORE the 8900 seeing as this is seems to be the "replacement for the 8320"....ill wait around for the driftwood or Odin :D

who gives a duck about a camera with flash,the blackberries that have a flash is useless anyway,cell phone cameras replacing point and shoot cameras is a long way off,these things were meant to be used in BROAD DAYIGHT.

I'll stick with my Bold. This is definitely a downgrade. Did anyone notice it has a 2mp camera? What about that its only 320x240 pixel like the curve?

I must say this phone has caught my attention coming from the 8330, this phone does look sexy.......and i will be checking this one out someone that doesnt need all the processing power of the bold or Tour, this will def be a hit for RIM

This carrier exclusive is bullshit. Maybe they don't get the whole "2-yr contract" thing? Just make a fucking GSM phone for GSM carriers...sheesh.

8520 (vs 8900):
dedicated media player buttons
slightly sleeker look (but size and weight are identical)

no flash on camera
worse camera resolution
worse screen resolution

Conclusion: Keep your 8900.

Entry-level and Blackberry shouldn't go together. You end up paying the same for the most expensive BB in the long run since its the monthly bill that really hurts you.

This is just a waste of money.

I would love to win this for my new wife as a wedding present. We have been married for a month now, and noe I am down in bed from a major surgery, so she is taking care of me now. Anyway thanks Crackberry Nation, Keep up the great work...

This is a nice bb on the cheaper side of things. It looks really nice as well. it will probably do a perfect job for people who want bb's but dont want to go all out.

see i'm really not sure about this phone, as it lacks most of the things that the 8900 has, and yet i'm somewhat tempted to wait for this one on o2 and not just buy the curve. is that a really stupid idea?

Im definitely not interested in this handset, I dont understand the big hype about the dedicated media buttons - If u want that feature its available on plenty other handsets. Urm and hence the model number 8520 is LOWER than 8900/9000 so why some people wanna downgrade due to the edition of a few media buttons - is nonsense to me. Personally Im waiting until winter to upgrade to something new and improved.