Why I Love My BlackBerry Curve 8520

By Bla1ze on 20 Aug 2009 09:05 am EDT
Why I love My BlackBerry Curve 8520

Everytime I mention owning a BlackBery Curve 8520 to another smartphone user, be it in person or on Twitter or in the CrackBerry forums, I often get a similar grilling across the board. These response is usually in the form of a question along the lines of Why would you use an 8520 over your Bold? or You actually use that thing? These questions really make me wonder if people are aware of how great the little device actually is.

Let's start with some basics that some may not be aware of or have forgotten. The processor in the Curve 8520 is the very same one that is in it's big brother the Curve 8900 so you know already that the device is snappy. Also like the Curve 8900, the 8520 comes with 256MB of RAM on board which is actually double the Bold's 128MB of RAM. This jump in RAM makes a big difference in everyday use, especially if you have a lot of apps installed and tend to keep many open. No camera flash a concern for you? I can understand that, however, even without the flash I find the Curve 8520's 2 megapixel camera takes better pictures than the Bold's 2 megapixel camera in most lighting conditions (no, it doesn't touch the 3.2 megapixel camera w/flash found on the Tour/8900/Storm).

The lack of a larger display and GPS are valid reasons I can see some users being turned off from giving the 8520 a fair shake, but really the display on the 8520 is not that bad. The original BlackBerry Curve 83xx series was 320x240 resolution and it went on to be and still is one of the top selling smartphones today. Where you really notice the lack of pixels (compared to 480 by 320 on the Bold) is in the web browser - you see a bit less of a web page, but it is something you used to. The lack of GPS was never an issue for me either, sure it is great to have, but most applications now a days use the triangulation method and will still function almost as well as they would with real GPS integration -- Google maps is great example of this.

Overall the device is great,. The form factor is awesome, the OS is snappy (no need to be on pins and needles waiting for an updated OS to leak), it takes solid pictures, battery life is great and when you scrap the trackball in favor of the 8520's touch-sensitive trackpad which is just amazing you simply have a great little device. If you haven't held one or haven't given it a second look due to specs, you really should because you may find you are missing out on a great device all because it's "seemingly" not up to par with other BlackBerry offerings. In my humble opinion, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 is NOT a downgrade from my Bold - it's another option.

Topics: Editorial

Reader comments

Why I Love My BlackBerry Curve 8520


Yeah, I don't disagree with you at all Bla1ze. I used the Curve 8520 as my daily driver from the beginning of May till pretty much the end of June and loved it. Small, lightweight, and I really do love the trackpad. Right now as it stands in terms of market-available BlackBerrys, I have no issues using the 8520 over a 8900 or Bold or Tour. It looks good and gets the job done.
Assuming the Bold 2 or 9700 or Onyx/Driftwood or whatever it's called now can keep decent battery life with 3G, I think that'll be the one that really trumps the 8520 for me and makes the 8520 seem entry level. But till that happens, I also think of the 8520 as a different option...not a downgrade.
Poll - I tossed in a poll with the post here..should make for some fun results. Curious to see how they pan out! I voted trackpad on this one :)

but unfortunately I have to set my priorities and save up for my vacation in a little over a month. I like the idea of the trackpad and did try it out for a few minutes in a T-mobile store last weekend. I do love my 8900, but it has a lot of similarities to the 8900 which makes me think I would also enjoy this phone too. Maybe after my vacation! ;o)

the 8900 is my baby, haven't had a chance to play with the 8520 as yet, i feel as if its a little unnecessary after the javelin, but i'll reserve final judgment until i've had it in hand. i also think that the poll is going to be a little skewed in favor of trackballs...

I think its a great phone. I have a Bold 900 myself on ATT, but this is one solid phone :)

FYI: I found a coupon for LetsTalk.com online. Use code (25RAFPCVER1) for $25.00 off any order (for this blackberry).

Can't wait for a 3G BB to hit T-mobile USA!

the Bold ,8900 and 8520 are in my household...
the 8520 comes in 3rd every single time no matter how i try to spin it
no flash
ishty screen
no GPS
= not for me... not when i have a Bold.....

I won't pass judgment until I've had a chance to use it for a time. The trackpad is definitely a plus but the lack of flash with the camera is working against the 8520 (for me).

Not to mention that the 8520 feels built better than the 8900...

It's lighter, smaller- and I LOVE the rubber that coats the side buttons!

This is my current favorite BlackBerry, and I have them ALL except for the tour.

To be honest, the only thing that's a drawback for me is the screen and lack of 3G.

But Tmo doesn't offer a 3G BB to begin with, so it's no biggy for those stuck with Tmo.

Besides, the 8900 has a $499 pricetag, vs the 8520's $299 pricetag. (Off contract)

In a pinch, the 8520 is more economic-

It's hard to justify $200 more just for a few more pixels, and flash.

ahem that didnt sound quite right lmao and the last four words i'm willing to bet are not words any man will say willingly :))....anyway yup the phone feels good and it works as advertised but in this world where bigger stronger and faster is a way of life "entry level" just doesnt cut it...
it is a well built phone

Lmaoo, ur comparing the 8520 to the Bold! Hmm there's somethin wrong with you if that's the case...the 8520 is a very good/solid (beginners) device don't get me wrong, but that's all...can't be compared to the Bold

Why beginners only?

The 8520 can do ANYTHHING a BOLD can do- except for surf the web with a HORRID BROWSER on 3G.

So with that said, why is it classed a Beginner Berry?

The only real difference between the two is:

1.) SIZE

2.) 3G

3.) Screen Rez

If your locked to TMO 3G is a non issue.

Screen rez isn't such a BIG difference, as some would let you believe.

And as far as size goes... well... It's how you use it. ;-)

Go in the store and use one-

Because if you did, you wouldn't be so quick to cast stones.

...for actually reading Bla1ze's story and understanding his point. Seems a lot of people are quick to jump to the conclusion that the 8520 is just another 83xx... Sure they read the specs online, but don't really take the time to realize what the device actually is capable of.
I had the 8520 for 2 days, didn't really get to use it before I had to send it off to the person I got it for... but you can bet as soon as I have the chance, I'm going to be giving it a run. (And yes, for all you doubters, I own a Bold and am currently using an 8900, so I'm not just an uneducated beginner. I actually want to use it. :P )

Lmaoo, ur comparing the 8520 to the Bold! Hmm there's somethin wrong with you if that's the case...the 8520 is a very good/solid (beginners) device don't get me wrong, but that's all...can't be compared to the Bold

The problem with the low-res screen is that it is a false economy that RIM did not have to make but buyers have to put up with. Its a step backwards which is not too bright with all the competition out there. The lack of GPS is a big deal. Wireless location is not nearly as good and location based apps don't work with it. Anyone who has used both extensively can tell you that. Yes the trackpad is nice but I would not call it amazing...it's not exactly cutting edge technology. Supposedly you put up with these downgrades because the overall handset is cheaper but its really not. There are plenty of places you can bet a Tour for the same price or less on a better network. This is not a handset RIM should have come out with at this time. Not a downgrade from the Bold? It's a huge downgrade, not to mention from the Onyx which will be out shortly. RIm seems to think they are competing against other Blackberrys not the iPhone, Pre, and other phones. Their slow incremental minor improvements remind me of Palm and what got them into trouble.

I can only think of two place you can get a Tour...

On Sprint or Verizon.

And off contract they're over 400 dollars.

Off contract the 8520 is 299....

I'm hoping that UT will be the status the all other twitter clients will be held to. I would love to have a copy of the paid version.

I don't understand how people are quick to write the 8520 as a low budget device. Screen not as clear, no gps, but other than that and the addition of a trackpad how is it any different than a 8900? Sorry it can't live up to everyone's standards but that doesn't give anyone to talk down on it. It's still a curve.

The 8520 should have been given the 8900's camera,screen resolution,and GPS feature and replaced the 8900.There is no reason to keep two non-3G QWERTY Blackberries.

This definitely would be an upgrade for me since I have the 8320... I was in the Tmo store the other day and I really liked the look and feel of it. And I LOVED the trackpad! If there wasn't the promise of a new BB model with a trackpad coming to Tmo, I would probably be figuring out a way to get my hands the 8520 asap. ;)
That being said, it doesn't have two features that I really, really want in my next BB (which I don't currently have); GPS and a higher rez screen. I don't care at all about 3G... I spend 95% of my time near a wifi network so that's a way more important feature for me. The lack of flash is somewhat of a bummer, but not a decision breaker/maker for me.