T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8900 Smartphone Review

CrackBerry Review: T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8900
By Craig Johnston on 28 Jan 2009 12:01 am
0
loading...
0
loading...
0
loading...

Before I got my BlackBerry Bold I was a BlackBerry Curve user. I had a T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8320. The 8320 has Wi-Fi and supports Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA). The other Curve models were 8300, and 8310. The 8310 has GPS but no Wi-Fi. The 8300 has neither GPS nor Wi-Fi. I chose the 8320 so I could make use of the free calling on UMA.

The original Curve is a great BlackBerry. It fits in your hand well, it is light, the keyboard is great, and the screen is beautiful. When you made the choice on which Curve to buy however, you had to decide whether you wanted Wi-Fi or GPS. Wi-Fi allows for UMA (translation free calling) and super fast Wi-Fi browsing if you associate with a HotSpot. GPS allows for location based services (LBS). Sometimes it became a tough choice because after all, wouldn't we all rather have it all?

Well when RIM sent me the new BlackBerry Curve 8900 to review I was excited. This new Curve doesn't make you have to choose. On top of that, it is a jump forward in technology and features that are very welcomed indeed.

Physical Attributes

To get a better idea how the old Curve 8320 stacks up against the new Curve 8900, let us compare some of the physical attributes. These will cover the size and weight, but also screen resolution, camera, and memory. 

Curve 8900
BlackBerry Curve 8320 vs. BlackBerry Curve 8900


 BlackBerry Curve 8320
 BlackBerry Curve 8900
Size (length, width, depth)  4.21"/107mm x 2.36"/60mm x 0.61"/15.5mm  4.29"/109mm x 2.36"/60 mm x 0.53"/13.5 mm
 Weight (including battery)  3.91 oz/111g  3.88 oz/110g
 Screen resolution  320x240 pixels  480x360 pixels
 Camera  2.0 Megapixel with flash  3.2 Megapixel with mechanical auto focus and flash
 CPU Speed
 312 MHz  512 MHz
 On-board memory
 64 Megabytes  256 Megabytes
 Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900, Wi-Fi  GSM/GPRS/EDGE 850, 900, 1800, 1900, GPS, Wi-Fi

From a size standpoint this new Curve 8900 is 2mm longer than its predecessor, but in your hand it feels exactly the same. Incredibly this Curve 8900 is actually 2mm thinner than its predecessor even though it is packing more radios and features. This new Curve 8900 is also a little lighter weighing in at 110g with its battery installed. When you hold it, you can actually feel that it is lighter.

While this new Curve is almost the same size as its predecessor, it looks a lot better. The new lines on the Curve 8900 look more modern with a hint of those BlackBerry Bold design cues.

The build quality of the Curve 8900 feels better than the older 8320. Although it is still all plastic, the new Curve feels solid. The old Curve would creek slightly if you squeezed it too hard. The new one does not. The back cover looks like it is brushed aluminum but it is really plastic. Even though it is plastic, it fits on nicely and has a new clip which is an improvement over the old Curve.

Curve 8900
T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8900 Back

On the left of the Curve 8900 there is no head phone jack as on the Curve 8320. In fact the only thing on the left side is the left side convenience button (which is defaulted to voice dialing). On the right side you find the 3.5mm head phone jack, volume control, right side convenience button (defaulted to camera), and the micro-USB connector. I like the micro-USB connector because it is very thin and small and less noticeable.

Curve 8900
The BlackBerry Curve 8900 in hand

Under the battery door things have been rearranged. The battery is now horizontal as opposed to vertical on the old Curve. This allows for the SIM card and MicroSD card to be inserted and removed without having to remove the battery. This is a great idea and makes up for the lack of external MicroSD slot that can be found on the BlackBerry Bold.

Curve 8900
New battery configuration

The top of the Curve 8900 has the normal lock and mute buttons, but they are not physical buttons. Well there are but they are hidden under the skin of the 8900. So to press the button, you just press on top of the button icon. This helps smooth out the 8900's lines even more.

Finally the Curve 8900's track ball is different. It is black and does not illuminate, but rather a ring around the trackball illuminates instead. This adds to the "cool factor".

Multimedia

Like the BlackBerry Curve 8320, this new Curve 8900 can play many different video and audio formats. You can use the Roxio Media Manager that comes with the BlackBerry Desktop Software to move multimedia files between your computer and handheld. Roxio even converts them on the fly so that they look and sound good on the Curve.

Curve 8900
Playing Music

You can also synchronize your Curve with iTunes by using the BlackBerry Media Sync. BlackBerry Media Sync connects to iTunes and allows you to choose which media or playlists to synchronize with your BlackBerry. It even grabs the album art. BlackBerry Media Sync will not be able to synchronize iTunes media that has embedded Digital Rights Management (DRM) but as Apple announced recently, they will eventually be dropping all DRM so this will resolve itself as you migrate your library to DRM free. 

Curve 8900
BlackBerry Media Sync

You can of course include podcasts in the synchronization process, but the BlackBerry does not see them as podcasts, but just another audio or video file. It would be great if Media Sync handled podcasts like an iPhone. Other than that I had no complaints finding songs by artist, albums, or genre.

The camera on the Curve 8900 is a huge improvement over its predecessor. This camera is a 3.2 megapixel camera with a flash, however in my opinion the best feature about this new camera is that it has mechanical auto focus. Yes you read correctly. This camera actually has moving parts.

When I first used the camera I was surprised to find that the right convenience button which is used for the camera, has two positions. If you press lightly on the button, it depresses halfway. This causes the camera to bring up a box over the image which turns green once the image is in focus. Then once it is in focus, you press harder on the button and it depresses all the way and the picture is taken. This auto focus allows you to take pictures of people up close without the normal blur from a fixed focus camera. The auto focus also helps for all pictures by correctly focusing and making the images much sharper. This combined with the high resolution means much, much better pictures.

Here is a picture taken on a BlackBerry Bold and the new Curve 8900. Both BlackBerrys were placed in the exact same position and were resting on a solid surface to prevent any movement.

Picture Taken with BlackBerry Bold
Picture taken with BlackBerry Bold 9000

Picture taken with BlackBerry Curve 8900
Picture taken with BlackBerry Curve 8900

The keyboard seems to be the same size as the old Curve and the keys seem to be the same size as well. The keys themselves are slanted away from the center of the keyboard very slightly which seems to help accuracy. I can't remember if the old Curve was like this but I have a feeling that the keys were actually all flat and not slanted. These slanted keys seem to really help. The keyboard has the same key depress feel as before. I had no problems typing quickly even though I have big thumbs. I also like the fact that the keys that have phone functionality are red, like the number keys and the speaker phone key. 

The Interface

The T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8900 has the typical BlackBerry interface. It ships running BlackBerry Handheld OS 4.6.1.114 which is very snappy to navigate around (partly thanks to the much faster 512 MHz CPU). Comparing it to the BlackBerry Bold I found that the Curve was only a microsecond behind the Bold when launching applications, but all other functions seemed equally as fast as the Bold (or at least my eyes couldn't tell the difference).

Because this is a T-Mobile BlackBerry it comes with the MyFaves application pre-installed. MyFaves is a T-Mobile specific service that allows calls to your favorite five people to remain free. The MyFaves application is a 3D spinning wheel allowing you to spin around to the person you want to call. This application sits on the home screen of the Curve and is in focus, or selected by default.

Curve 8900
MyFaves

The one thing that was a little off-putting was that the MyFaves is always in-focus (selected) whenever you opened the home screen. On other BlackBerrys the icon bar is in-focus (selected) by default so you can just click for email. Here you have to first scroll down, and then click for email. Even if you hide the MyFaves application, the focus is still not on the icon bar still requiring a scroll then click. It's a bit nitpicky but it may just be me. I'm sure that T-Mobile and RIM can address this if you choose to hide the MyFaves application.

Other than that MyFaves is a great idea, and the interface is well implemented on the BlackBerry.

T-Mobile has also made sure that this BlackBerry has all of the Instant Messaging (IM) clients pre-installed. Included are AIM, GTalk, ICQ, Yahoo!, and Windows Live, plus of course the BlackBerry Messenger.

Curve 8900
Messenger Clients Galore (anybody still use ICQ?)

The BlackBerry Browser is a big improvement over the previous Curve (unless you upgraded the older Curve to run OS 4.5 that is). The faster CPU helps process the pages quicker, and the page layout is mostly true to the original. The Curve 8900 comes with the browser preset to emulate Microsoft Internet Explorer which means that sites you visit will not try and redirect you to a mobile version. The browser is also preset to have JavaScript disabled. BlackBerrys are historically bad at processing JavaScript and presetting this to off is a good idea.

I did a quick test by loading the NationalGeographic.com site with JavaScript on and off. With JavaScript on the load took 1 minutes and 56 seconds. With JavaScript off it took 56 seconds. This is to fully load up all images and complete the page render. Of course while a page is still loading you can scroll around and click, but for the test I let it fully load.

Zooming in on the pages is pretty quick, but scrolling up and down is too slow. The browser seems unable to keep up and displays a grey background while it gets itself into gear.

Curve 8900
CrackBerry as seen from the Curve 8900
 
Curve 8900
National Geographic as seen from the Curve 8900 (Full)

Curve 8900
National Geographic as seen from the Curve 8900 (zoomed)

The Curve 8900 comes with DocumentsToGo pre-installed (in fact it is part of the OS). DocumentsToGo allows you to download the real attachment to your BlackBerry (as opposed to before where you would be able to only view a distilled version of the attachment). You can then choose to edit that attachment, and even save a revised copy and email it directly from your BlackBerry.

Curve 8900
Documents To Go

DocumentsToGo supports Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files and today T-Mobile supports this extra functionality on their BlackBerry Internet Server (BIS) infrastructure.

Unlicensed Mobile Access (UMA)

The BlackBerry Curve 8900 supports UMA. UMA does two things. It expands T-Mobile's network by using Wi-Fi Hot Spots as extra antennas, and it allows free calling while in Wi-Fi coverage if you choose to add that service to your bill. The Curve 8900 roams seamlessly between Wi-Fi and regular cell phone coverage even in the middle of a call with no audible breakdown.

If you would like to learn more about UMA and how it can save you money, click here to read my UMA article.

3G?

Now that we have been spoiled with the BlackBerry Bold and its fast 3G HSDPA radio which provides much faster downloads and video streaming, it is inevitable that people will see the lack of 3G on the Curve 8900 as a weak point. It would be great to have 3G on the Curve 8900 but that would mean sacrificing the size and weight of the Curve. To get similar battery life with 3G as we are used to on EDGE or GPRS requires bigger batteries and space for that extra radio. With rumors of a 3G Curve kicking around for a while now, it'll be interesting to see exactly what the casing of this device looks like when it hits - I doubt that it will clock in as small and leightweight.  

This is a T-Mobile US device and as of right now, T-Mobile US has just started rolling out their 3G network. In addition it runs on a completely different frequency to the other carriers so even if you SIM unlock the Bold, it will not get 3G on T-Mobile US's network. T-Mobile US does not sell the Bold so current T-Mobile customers will not have the Bold as a comparison device. However the Bold is out there and is very popular for all of its features and professional design.

If we look at this situation through a T-Mobile US filter, there is no issue. No Bold, no 3G. Through this filter, the Curve 8900 is the best BlackBerry being offered by T-Mobile US right now. It has all of the features of the Bold, a much better camera than the Bold, more on-board memory at 256 megabytes, UMA support for free calls, and it is much smaller and lighter than the Bold.

If we look at this situation with no filter and view the Curve 8900 as it stacks up against other devices like the Bold, then there is a choice. If you must have 3G then you must get the Bold. If you are not that worried about 3G but want the best BlackBerry to date, then you get the Curve 8900. When making your choice remember that with 3G comes more weight and size. In addition the Curve 8900's camera is far superior to the Bold or earlier Curve cameras with its mechanical auto focus and large 3.2 megapixel resolution. There is also UMA for free calling, and finally 256 Megabytes of on-board memory, the largest yet.

Conclusion

This is a hot BlackBerry. It not only updates the Curve brand but it turns it into a super BlackBerry. There is nothing to hate about the Curve 8900. It has Wi-Fi, GPS, UMA, a quad band GSM radio, a beautiful 480x360 screen, a 3.2 megapixel camera with a mechanical auto focus, a fast CPU, and a snappy GUI.

This T-Mobile BlackBerry Curve 8900 has all the right features to make it a perfect consumer smartphone, however it is also right at home in a corporate environment allowing its user to balance serious work life with his or her home life.

B2B availability will begin the week of January 26th  (or sooner as many CrackBerry.com members have discovered and taken advantage of) and full retail availability begins on February 11th. Pricing is $199 with a 2 year T-Mobile contract. 

[ Craig Johnston is the author of Professional BlackBerry and is CrackBerry.com's Podcast co-host and resident enterprise guru and all-round BlackBerry expert. If you have an enterprise application or topic that you would like to have addressed by Craig, send him an email at crackberrycraig @ crackberry.com. ] 

Related Links:

Topics: Device Reviews

108 comments

F3AR

Any word on a Verizon version???

thecyclinghen

simply a beautiful device! I cant wait to pick one up!

s2by10

Bold or Curve 8900

My contract has expired with T-mobile so I can switch to AT&T and get the Bold or stay with T-mobile and get the Curve 8900. Decisions, decisions. AT&T to get the Curve 8900?

ah-MIA

I was a T-Mobile customer for over 2 years and I had the Pearl. I wanted to upgrade so I switched over to the Bold from AT&T for about 3 days last week and found it to be big and bulky although very nice. I went back into the T-Mobile store to compare and they are exactlt the same in the features. The 3.2 Pix camera on the 8900 is superb and kicks the Bold's cameras ass by far. I'm so glad I switched over to the 8900 cause it's much smaller, lighter and sleaker than the Bold. On the Wi-Fi it works amazing.

NOW PAY ATTENTION: Here is the best part for those of you who are currently a T-Mobile customer for more than 2 years. They just launched a loyalty plan for existing T-Mobile customers....$49.99 unlimited voice and $24.99 for the blackberry service and $10.00 for unlimited text messaging. THAT'S $85.00 total (plus TAX) for unlimited EVERYTHING>. (Wi-FI Included)! How's that for a deal..! AT&T's Unlimited plan....$149.99 (plus tax)

LOVE MY NEW 8900.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

steveninstl

I ordered 2 of them today from TMO...getting them Friday...can't wait!

syb0rg

the phone doesnt come out till the 11th how did you order it already?!?!?

KingofHeart4711

It pays to reads the forums. I got my 8900 yesterday and im loving it!

tpony

I really like this phone! It has that super cute/cool facor.

Garz

very nice review Craig! Job well done

Entertainment Blog

Nice review article, added to favorites, i beat the music player of that is superb.

rjgonza

Great review, just wish it had 3g :( Also I just wanted to let ya know that you put the GPS under the 8320 and not the 8900 in the initial spec rundown.

DaEverP

I can't wait for this phone to come out!!! I can finally step away from the phone I'm currently using.

joygasm310

thats a pretty good looking picture that the 8900 took. It makes me and my Bold a tiny bit jealous, but not enough to regret leaving tmobile.

Queen4111

Truly a beautiful phone!

mike240se

i love the camera compared to the bold. btw, storm has autofocus too, is it also mechanical?

i want UMA, it sounds awesome, i wish verizon had UMA.

i still wish this had 3g. i hope the verizon version will have wifi, gps, and 3g. maybe use the space saved from no uma for 3g?

BlackberryXtremAddict

Thanks for the good review :)

In everydayuse I for myself dont like the small menu buttons but that depends on your feeling.

Anyway its a nice device but keep in mind that there is no MDS Runtime at the moment(maybe you need that for your business application). It will be there in may soonest.

ochristian

i love this device but the lack of 3G is killing me (it's why i left t-mo in the first place)i gotta have entertainment. i was wondering if any one has heard or has any insight on if this device or any of the new black berry devices are coming to sprint or us cellular. it takes them both forever to get the latest toys just hoping the jump sooner rather than later this time. keep me posted crackberriest and crackberriettes

ddarvish

im still waiting for the perfect phone/plan/carrier

a man can dream and if i were to dream this would be my perfect phone

.. Blackberry Curve 8930 with WIFI and 3G on VZW, and VZW would allow UMA.

haha a fantasy world i live in i know but imagine that combo. I wouldnt know ANYONE who has a smartphone who wouldnt switch!

litchblade

I really love my 8900. Wish I could get the Seidio 1600 extended battery with lower shipping costs... It would be perfect than, although the 8900 is quite okay so far.

The 8900 is the best device so far I ever used.

I would even consider switching to a 8900 model with 3G because battery life will become worse...

sherbert

I have a Bold on Vodafone UK - I hear alot about UMA - is this available in the UK?

Craig Johnston

Yes it is available through Orange (maybe others).
This link will show you which carriers around the world support UMA. Its not updated as often as I'd like but its a start.
http://www.umatoday.com/operators.php

Air Force One

I just tried my Bold browser using wi-fi(like Craig used)and it loaded nationalgeographic.com in 12 seconds with java turned off and in 28 seconds with it turned on and this is waiting for them to FULLY load. So, it seems the faster processor in the Bold shines.

I can also confirm the camera in the Bold sucks. I wish it had the 8900 camera with focusing! I guess it gives the 8900 guys something to crow about.:D

Craig Johnston

Actually in my test I was connected to Wi-Fi/UMA which meant that the browser was going via the BlackBerry BIS server, over Wi-Fi. Direct to Wi-Fi is faster. Also I cleared my cache so there were no images pre-cached which forces everything to load OTA.

Air Force One

But it's not that much faster. I cleared my cache as well for retest but the first time I'd never even been to that site.

I'd bet on the Bold's browser regarding speed every time. No matter the connection.

bgwavrder

Nice job with the review. I really like how you put together the comparisons. So often in reviews, the information is all there but the reader has to scan back and forth to get specific head to head info. This was very straight forward and informative. I'm expecting two 8900's in the mail today!

Carol C

This is my 3rd BB. I had the Pearl ( Hated it!) Then my new baby the 8320 but my 8900 will be here today! This article made me really feel that this was the BEST decision I made! Thank You for this and for the beautiful pictures and descriptions! WTG( Way To go)

AgDon

Really enjoyed the review, it looks like I'll be getting one soon, just don't know if I should hassle with trying to get now or just wait till Feb. The 8900 looks like my best option at this time.

toppoff

Hi all,

I've just moved from an 8707v on Vodafone to an 8900 on Orange here in the UK.

Doesn't look like UMA works (my wife's 8320 on Orange does), but otherwise one of the best phones I've ever had.

Oh and just to make you folks in the States jealous, here's what it cost:

Phone - free
Tarrif - 18mth, 850 anytime min, 500txt - £40 ($57)
Unlimited Blackberry Web & Email - £5 ($7)

And here's the deal maker - £190 ($270) cash back once the contracts been running couple of weeks.

Enjoy...

Craig Johnston

This is my pet peeve about US and Canadian carriers. They don't take a page from the non-US carriers when it comes to deals like this.
Free or even money back means that you don't have to wait to upgrade.

Don Man

As if I was already excited about the new Curve 8900, this article sealed the deal...

Dave Peckens

Nice review here, Craig. What you've written has only solidified my choice to use the 8900 as my new personal BlackBerry device. Good-bye years of personal SureType use. Hello to daily QWERTY and especially UMA!

oneczyrandy

vzw really needs this phone i would buy it in a sec

gnr-met

First of all, great review. Thanks Kevin.

Second, I have come to realize that there is no perfect blackberry yet. This review was very concise, with its pros and cons stated all throughout the documentation. And the longer I kept reading, the longer I was wishing I hadn't gotten the Storm and instead waited for this unit. However, the lack of 3G killed it (that and the horrible my faves interface, lol).

The Storm has 3G, GPS but no wifi. The Bold has 3G, wifi, but a mediocre camera (see above example in Kevin's pictures), and now the 8900 has wifi, GPS, great camera... but no 3G. When will the perfect BB come? Only RIM knows.

Craig Johnston

I answer to the name Kevin too ;-)

gnr-met

Ooops, lol, my bad. I guess because I saw his face on the my faves icon his name got stuck there. No wonder I thought it was weird that he would have his own face there, lol. Sorry Craig. Please fix my post!

csierra72#CB

No, I love the device. I just wish I could get one now through Sprint.

Trader Z

I think I am still preferring my Bold despite the lousy camera. After holding the big Bold for a few months now, the Curve feels like a toy (just size-wise) but this is still a beautiful device and maybe because I have gotten used to holding something wider.

The MediaSync looks great. RIM need to move off their a$$ and get an OSX version going. Easy way to get more iPhone converts. The lack of a Mac version is absurd.

Also, my T-Mobile sales person here in NYC said the 8900 was coming in Feb 20 something. Maybe she was just clueless but she didnt say Feb 11.

Maven454

Wired currently has a review of the 8900 up on their site http://www.wired.com/reviews/product/pr_blackberry_8900 which is liberally sprinkled with errors. I don't feel like creating a login to leave comments, but if other people would care to correct the mistakes that they are presenting to the public about the device, that would be awesome.

tsatsut

can you make phone calls and browse internet or use data services at the same time w/ this phone Kevin??

Trader Z

kevin stealing your thunder craig

Kevin Michaluk

hehe. yeah, Craig wrote this one. Not me. I did help out on some graphics re-sizing though. :) Only makes sense that a T-Mobile device get reviewed while running on T-Mobile's network, and we've already looked at the 8900 a few times on Rogers.

I can answer the question though - Nope. calling and browsing/using data is a benefit of 3G. This runs on Edge so you're in the either/or situation.

tsatsut

sorry craig, anyway thanks kev now i gotta go cop the bold.

lankydwarf

Fantastic review, one thing that is driving me nuts though is the theme that is shown in the picure !!! The one with the MyFaves, I have an unlocked o2 8900 where can I find the MyFaves option or where can I get it ?

Thanks in advance

mkonline

In your conclusion you don't mention the curve's EDGE connection. Does T-Mobile USA support EDGE? Over here in the UK T-Mobile only supports 3G so the connection falls back to GPRS.

dcjr99

Looks very slick, I've been following it for quite some time. I'm certainly liking this device. I love my Bold though so I'm staying with my bold. However that's a great looking phone. Love the review keep it up guys.

DANIEL

Montaz

Craig, this was an excellent review. Thank you. I just received my 8900 yesterday and I love it. The size and weight is perfect coming from a 8120. When I turned on my phone, I did not have MyFaves on the screen, maybe because I don't have the plan?

TheMC#CB

YA man they are amazing i got mine before december and i was about to get the bold and i decided right there to switch definately worth it

mrsFAB

Wow. I can't wait until Verizon gets this phone. If the Storm update does not fix the minor glitches, then I will get the new Curve. Right now, I must admit to loving my Storm (Daisy Storm)!

vx1

yep , I am sold! grabbing one - should have it this week I hope :)

melodie.chia

Interesting post. Batteries can be totally reliable or unreliable. Its a matter of getting the correct brand. Especially for aa lithum battery, important to get long lasting ones.

BlackBerryBob

It figures that a device like this would come out only a few months after upgrading.
WiFi, Bluetooth and now GPS?!? Very nice RIM and, about time T-Mobile.

BBB

loslwm

Similar attributes to the BlackBerry Storm...

Anonym0us

Anyone have any luck ordering this device now as a brand new customer?I know that this device is available to regular users beginning Feb. 11 in USA and that B2B users can upgrade now.

JReel

Oh man, i gotta get one! LOL awesome

diamondprincess07

hey, i have a 8310 and for some reason it deletes all my txt and my whole call log whenever. they tell me to push alt, caps, then delete and take the battery out but that does not work. did u ever have that problem?

TreyDaPrince

Can't wait for this to be released on Verizon. They're gonna make a killing off this from all the people upgrading from the Storm...myself included. ;)

Prafeston

What is B2B users and why can they upgrade already? I've got a Curve on T-Mobile and I shouldn't be able to upgrade till like August. Anyway I can pick this up now?

-Rafe-

Brunos82

Great job on your review it is very helpful. You described everything so well it were as if I were holding the thing in my hand and discovering all those new features with you, lol.

But what the heck is up with these phones being "carrier-locked"? I am FED up with this NONSENSE and so should all of YOUS.

I feel like they have this monolopy over the end-users/consumers and it's so disgusting (acutely annoying)!!!

Discuss....

ANONYMOUS_6969

I have to say this is the best BlackBerry I've used yet. I've moved around quite a bit within the past month.

I first ordered a Bold from ATT but the dropped calls drove me to port my number over to VZW for the Storm. The network was better and the Storm was cook, but all in all I realized I prefer the standard qwerty BB form factor.

I was skeptical at first of moving over to T-Mobile, but I am pleasantly surprised. The network is great here in Los Angeles (Hollywood to be exact) and the call quality is fantastic. All my coworkers comment about how good it looks and how wonderful the UMA feature is.

UMA works well in our building since we have WiFi everywhere.

HofstraJet

I wholeheartedly agree that the 8900 not defaulting focus to the icon bar is weird and annoying. I turn off the myFaves display and whenever I unlock the 8900, it is focused on the Profile icon in the top left corner. I have to scroll down and then click on email to open my inbox. Hopefully they can fix that in a future OS. I otherwise agree with the rest of your review. I took delivery of my 8900 early last week and I love it.

Keep up the great work and the wonderful podcasts. Hope your unemployment ends soon - wish I could hire you as my BES admin. :-)

azmanian_devil

I was in a TELUS store the other day looking to try out a Storm (just coz I had time on my hands), and upon asking the person mentioned that this might be on TELUS end of Feb. I'm hoping he wasn't just blowing steam, but if this is on TELUS i am def trading in my curve (which is only like 2 weeks old lol)

LAazure

I'M SOOOOOOOOOOOO ENVIOUS OF YOU GETTING YOUR HANDS ON THE NEW 8900. I CAN'T WAIT TO GET MY OWN TO PLAY,WORK AND JUST HAVE ONE.
DON'T GET ME WRONG I LOVE MY BBC 8320 BUT I NEED VIDEO PLAYER TO CAPTURE ALL THOSE GREAT PUPPY MOMENTS.
SO,FEB 12,2009 IS JUST TAKING TO LONG TO GET HERE FOR ME. /:-(
THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP ON THE BB 8900.
L A
TUCSON,AZ

Kim817

this definitely convinced me more that i'd be making a careful decision as to which BB to get . Can't wait to get this phone .

and UMA is the best selling point for me , this will be so much easier to keep up with my cell bills .

this is why i love Crackberry !

=D

johnnytruongster

Still undecided but after this review i leanning toward the curve now omg what a tough choice

HofstraJet

Craig - I don't see how you can remove the SIM with the battery installed - it hits the battery. Wonder if the eval version they sent you is different than the final production model?

ANewMoon

This will most likely be my first Blackberry!

CANADAN

I was told it was going to be available for Sprint users.

Kevtigger

Just got mine this morning. Its awesome, I love it. The only thing I dont like is the location of the charger/data port.

Optimus_Prime

*RIM decided to use Micro USB instead of using the regular MIcro USB port on the Javelin. This mean I have to always carry an extra power cable or USB cable. Compare to my old Curve (8310) that use the widely/universally used mini-USB port. Is there supposedly a speed improvement/ advantage in using micro- USB compare to Mini USB?

*Also another thing, Even though using the same layout, the keyboard feel a little bit cramped compare to the original curve.

* love the extra memory. Just one word "WOW".

Optimus_Prime

*RIM decided to use Micro USB instead of using the regular MIcro USB port on the Javelin. This mean I have to always carry an extra power cable or USB cable. Compare to my old Curve (8310) that use the widely/universally used mini-USB port. Is there supposedly a speed improvement/ advantage in using micro- USB compare to Mini USB?

*Also another thing, Even though using the same layout, the keyboard feel a little bit cramped compare to the original curve.

* love the extra memory. Just one word "WOW".

jordanhutchins

you are the best one ever.

T L

I helped someone set up their new 8900 and I have to say that I am extremely jealous. The 8900 is a very nice phone and the auto-focus option for the camera is very impressive. Too bad Sprint will be one of the last companies to get this phone... Sucks...

giantfan30

sorry though not going to give up my bold for the 8900...
might be an exciting device for current 83xx users but being a Bold owner it does nothing for me

stormhater

Just set up my tmob 8900. Tmob service is spotty at best in my area... Anyone unlocked yet and run this thing on the ATT network..?

sweetnattie

I JUST RECV'D THE BB 8900 AND ITS AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL. STILL GETTIN USE TO IT. THE INTERNET SVC IS WONDERFUL AND FAST.

ah-MIA

Hey...Thanks for the review amazing facts. I was a T-Mobile customer for over 2 years and I had the Pearl. I wanted to upgrade so I switched over to the Bold from AT&T for about 3 days last week and found it to be big and bulky although very nice. I went back into the T-Mobile store to compare and they are exactlt the same in the features. The 3.2 Pix camera on the 8900 is superb and kicks the Bold's cameras ass by far. I'm so glad I switched over to the 8900 cause it's much smaller, lighter and sleaker than the Bold. On the Wi-Fi it works amazing.

NOW PAY ATTENTION: Here is the best part for those of you who are currently a T-Mobile customer for more than 2 years. They just launched a loyalty plan for existing T-Mobile customers....$49.99 unlimited voice and $24.99 for the blackberry service and $10.00 for unlimited text messaging. THAT'S $85.00 total (plus TAX) for unlimited EVERYTHING>. (Wi-FI Included)! How's that for a deal..! AT&T's Unlimited plan....$149.99 (plus tax)

LOVE MY NEW 8900

Optimus_Prime

It seem that the Bluetooth file transfer from 8900 to pc is much slower than from my old Curve 8310 to pc?

Optimus_Prime

the size of the Left-Shift Key.

On Curve, the Shift key ( both left and right) are oversized that it actually overlap the 2 keys ( alt & z on the left side). This make it very convenience for one handed operation where it require you to press both the "Alt" and "Left Shift" key and another alphabet. ( esp Alt- Left Shift -H)
With my big and fat fingers, it is much harder for me to press those buttons on Javelin with its "normal size" Left-Shift Key.

carios23

Beatifull phone, my wife and I both got one.

Anonymous898988

Ummmmm, question. What do you mean by on board memory? 256mb for the 8900, and the bold has 1gig of on board memory if that is what you mean.

Edooooooooooo

The BOLD has more total memory (for media and such) but the 8900 has more application and RAM memory. You can always buy a memory card and expand the 8900's memory (up to 16gigs) so the BOLD's memory is a bit decieving. The 8900 is hands down a better device even though it lacks 3G. Also, you can make calls and surf the web at the same time, if you are connected to wifi UMA. Ive had mine for a month and its hands down the best blackberry ever. Ive had 3 friends switch from the Storm to the 8900 after they played around with my phone.

ndnoutlaw

my 8900 was sent to me this week and I couldn't wait.
my brother has the bold and ATT, he can keep them both. he can keep his dropped calls and higher price tag for the service and device.
Great Job Tmobile.....

customer since 2001.

champ1020

When or is this phone going to be released by AT&T or Sprint?

Capricorn Beauty

I just ordered mine today. I was waiting for my upgrade period and it's here. Afer reading this I now feel comfortable letting my Pearl 8120 go (well not go but at least putting it in the box and storing it for good).

MR.Wayne

yes its the perfect Blackberry, Glad i got it unlocked for ATT...wow

pepperfoot

just got mine a few weeks ago and i love it. my curve 8330 is good but this is like 3 steps above. highly recommended.

dmurder7

I just ordered one today! R.I.P. SK3!!! I've waited almost 3 yrs to destroy this piece of garbage. Au revoir!

On a sad note, I just heard today via crackberry that AT&T is gonna have an 8900. Did I make a mistake in getting mine from T-Mobile!? I have two weeks to figure that out so lemme know plz!!!

x_Goddess_x

I am very impressed with my new blackberry curve 8900. It's my very first and I am impressed with all the features its has. I see why they cost a pretty penny now. Although I got a great deal for mine on Ebay ($363) :D

Anywho, my only concern is that apparently my blackberry is from a Tmobile shop which was good cause I am with Tmobile BUT... there are 2 or 3 certain options that aren't in the phone! For example, call barring... the option isn't there! I think it's because the phone is from Tmobile & they try to have you add the whole "family allowance" deal instead, which wouldn't work for my situation :(

The 3.2mp cam w/built-in flash is great, the video is great also! Ok actually the flash is BLINDING lol. I was amazed when I used google GPS for the 1st time, the GPS system worked extremely accurate! So cool!!! I can easily check my email, send instant messages, take notes while talking on the phone, add appointments in my calender while on a phone call & more! I have to compliment the speaker phone... excellent & I use speakerphone ALOT. It felt a little awkward at first hold the blackberry to my ear, but got used to it.

The only cons I have about the blackberry curve 8900 are:
- call waiting (no beep? no pause during calls to notify you of another call coming through????!!!)
- call barring & call restriction option (don't exhist on tmobile blackberry phones?!)
- BATTERY CHARGE! Online it says it holds a charge for up to 3 days, but I'll charge it all night till fully charged, take it off the charger at 730am & it'll be almost dead by 3pm! And no, I don't use the phone constantly lol. Am I alone on this one?
- Instant Messaging option, never worked for me. Always said "service not enabled for this handheld" :(
- Blackberry Messenger - good for nothing, don't even waste your time, you can't even set the thing up lol
- Text msging, on my old Nokia slider phone, I could go to my "recent contacts" list and check mark the people I wanted to send the text to. The blackberry doesnt have that option, you need to choose each person one-by-one.

Pros:
- Screen resolution, camera, video, speaker phone, volume & voice clarity during calls, auto text, auto capitalization, auto punctuation, calender, alarm, 2nd world time clock, internet access, WiFi capability, emailing, IMing, voice notes, ringtones, music player(< WOW, sounds like a little boom box lol), word (to-go), excel (to-go), slideshow (to go), voice dialing, password keeper, bluetooth... ALL EXCELLENT!

Hope this gives insite to Blackberry shoppers! :)

dvmg690

recently upgraded to 8900 like it alot
wish it was 3g.

lisa qiu

Hi all,

How are you?
My Company Xywireless Co.,ltd. is the Leader in Cell Phone Parts wholesale In China. Offering an extensive product range, our main series include OEM mobile phone LCD Screen , Housing Faceplace , Microphone , Speaker , Flex cable, Battery, cellphone case and more. We carry parts for Nokia, Motorola, Samsung , LG , Nextel, Sony Ericsson,blackberry, Audiovox and more.

Welcome to visit our company's website:www.xywireless.net,if you are interested in our products,please email me:sales@xywireless.net,I am looking forward to our pleasant and fruitful cooperation.

Thanks

djdowell

I absolutely love my 8900. In addition to UMA, TMobile has at home cell service through your wireless router. You buy TMobile's router (LinkSys) and put a sim card in it and your home phone becomes a cell phone for $10 a month. You don't need to change your home phone #. It shows up on your TMobile bill as an additional line. Love having a home phone for $10 a month, unlimited calling!! That's why I have stayed with TMobile for over 5 years.

Crackity crack

Thanks for the great review. Does the 8900 take video? Trying to decide among the three. I like some new google phone improvements (video) but prefer the real keyboard of the G1 paired with the touch screen. I like the 8900 camera and keyboard but no 3G and no touch screen. The new iPhone seems to address many of the initial deficiencies (messaging, battery life). Overall, I like the touch screen (with the the additional keyboard), want video, camera flash, want the best word/ppt doc viewing and editing, must have a good music player interface. I want the most features with the least concessions.

TeeStarz

Hi...I have the T-mobile BB Curve 8320 and I've been searching for a comparison review of the BB 8320 vs BB 8900 because I'm upgrading, and this review ended my search..Thnx a lot for this incredible review...I'm getting my 8900 tomorrow and I'm sooo excited!! thnx again

arash84v

Dear Friends,
Im a new Blackberry User.and I'm loving it.
I've used P800,P900,P910,P990,T68i,S700 from sonysericsson.
But I really like the Curve.I'll be charging it till tomorrow,I just leave the phone in charge for 12 hrs only the 1st time I buy it,...just to make the battery last longer.

There is so much to read frm the manual.But Hey I'm a oproud owner of a Blackberry 8900 Curve.!!!!!

tc ya

losmac7

BB forever I love the curve

losmac7

I have been using treos for the last 5yrs.A friend let me use his curve I fail in love with It and havnt looked back I love my BB

rockandroll123

Well at first I wanted to throw it away as it took some time to get used to the keys and I had problems with the desktop software but I live in Indonesia so that makes it difficult to get support ;) It does grow on you and I just like what it does i.e the music has a nice sharp sound to it and the camera is very usable .I'm a light user but go to hot spots sometimes and sent e-mails which is possible and I like to look at word documents as well when I need to research something for my job so this has it all for me really, in a very handy small device that fits easily in my pocket . I still have a problem with the s key as its a bit more difficult to press than the others but that's about it really . The bold was just too big and expensive this a light friendly device and I hope it lasts for many years.

MissFormaldehyde

I owned the original for T-Mobile and received the 8900 for my birthday in May. I cannot say enough about how satisfied I am. I can just imagine how the newest model is gonna be.

mike720

anyone running the new os(5.0) im afraid of burning my phone out aging with these leaked versions????

c.h.u.d.

I finally decided to upgrade to a "smartphone" because I missed my old PDA. I only hope that T-mobile will let me send this thing back because it is such a step backwards from my 5 year old Clie`. Not sure who wrote this PDA interface, but it seems like RIM would be able to improve on somthing that has been out for 5 years. I should have gone with the Palm Pre.

I'm totally disappointed in this purchase.

(I tried posting this earlier, but it ended up on the wrong device....it belongs on the Curve 8900 review)

UPDATE 09-23-09

My first impression of this phone was not very good, but I'm beginning to learn a few more things about it. It's still not as slick as my old Palm OS PDA, but many of the features are there. The memo pad feature which I loved on my Palm, is much more difficult on the curve. The phone seems better, but still not as nice.

Pamelaperez87

I just upgraded from the BB Pearl to this and I'm like omg this is amazing! It has Wifi and the camera on this is just brilliant.

Jack7176

Great phone but the numerical keys are red on black and for people like me, with a color blindness problem, that's a real issue!

shoryder

I just picked up my first blackberry and it happens to be the Curve 8900.The camera is amazing and the high resulution screen is breathtaking.I am officially a blackberry fan.

LuckyBastad

Been using then 8900 for a good while now. I really enjoy the newer features of it as opposed to other BB that I have tried. I give it a thumbs up !