Blackberry Curve/8330 review 5/6/2008
I've had mine since the end of last week... (via the sales demo program) Some people in Howardforums were able to order from Verizon's CS, but its not officially supposed to go on sale until this friday (may 9) for B2B, and Monday (may 12) for B2C.
Until the official launch date, some of the required service books (think of them as configuration files for services) may not be ready, so things like Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger, VZNav, MMS messages, etc might not work.
Think of the VZW 8330 as this... The Pearl/8130 with.. Higher capacity battery (same as used by the GSM Curves), more memory (fresh out of box before removing anything... under Options -> status... File Free: 44,202,602... File Total: 83,623,936), full qwerty keyboard, different size/shape screen (due to qwerty rather than suretype). Like the pearl, the curve supports 8gig MicroSD, but unlike the pearl (with microSD slot on the outside), the MicroSD slot is under the battery on the Curve.
The Curve has 2.0MP camera, 3.5mm headset jack, v4.3 OS and its features/additions (like voice notes recorder, video camera, spell check, multi color calendar entries per each email address you have setup, etc).
No, its not world edition. No GSM capabilities in this unit. GPS is just as locked down as the 8830 and 8130. Its not REV A, nor is it upgradeable.
The key layout is more akin to the 72xx/87xx series than the 88xx series. And I like that better. I never liked typeing on my T-Mo 8800.
Everything I liked about on the Pearl/8130 is on this Curve 8330, with the QWERTY keyboard this time!!
This 8330 is everything I like about the size and form factor of the T-Mobile Curve/8320 I carry around for work, but with newer OS, slightly better camera, and 4.3 OS, but minus Wi-fi (which I don't use), and Add aGPS via VZNAV (which I rarely use, but its nice that its there when I do need it!).
All in All... IF work took away my blackberry tomorrow (not likely as I'm the BES admin :D), I would run out and buy a VZW Curve 8330 for personal use! its fast, stable, works.. everything I've come to expect from RIM.
You had asked about HTML email. That is still a feature which RIM has yet to impliment. There are two parts needed. Server and Hand Held. The first part, Server side support, was supposed to be included in the Blackberry Enterprise Server v4.1 SP5 update that was released mid/late april, and in the forth coming BIS update the wireless carriers will get later tihs year... Rim held the HTML email support out of the SP5 update. No word on BIS support. The second part, Hand Held support, is said to be part of the Hand Held OS v4.5 coming later this year. However, since the server support isn't there, having the Hand Held OS wont be enough to enable it.
So, we're still waiting to see.
As for speed. Out of the box, the 8700 and 8330 feel similar.. but that could be limited to my thumb speeds rather than device :) Changing screens, switching apps.. its too close for my eyes to call.
Do I think the 8330 is a worth while upgrade. yes. Do I think its worth $300 for you to upgrade... Only you can decide that!
A few other things.. ok, while kind of geared towards review..
The GPS on the 8330 is the same as the Pearl/8130 and 8830. Sorry. Its locked and only works with VZNAV. It works with Google Maps w/Directions the same as it did on the Pearl and 8830... Can it be cracked/hacked/unlocked? I Doubt it as no one has done it for the VZW 8130 or 8830 yet, have they?
The retail box includes...
Pocket (pouch, sleeve, whatever you want to call it)
3.5mm Wired Stereo headset with MIC and send/end button
User manual (small version)
Quick Start Guide
Blackberry User Tools CD (includes desktop manager for windows and Mac)
VZ Access Manager CD (used only if you subscribe to tethering.
The holster for the 8300, 8310 and 8320 works well on the 8330. So, any wireless carrier store should have (like T-Mobile or ATT). Best Buy also sells (http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8464084&st=Blackberry&lp=6&type=product&cp=1&id=1184768698480 )
The ball on the CDMA Curve is very similar to the ball on my T-Mo 8120 and 8320... and a little better than on my VZW Pearl/8130. i.e. it rolls smooth and is responsive, where as my VZW Pearl has its moments where if you roll the ball too fast, it doesn't respond.
Speaker is fine. Its loud enough. Plays music just fine, its as clean and loud as a speaker that small is going to get.
Mp3 ring tones play loud enough for me to hear while I'm watching TV in the living room of my condo when the Curve is in my bed room with the door shut.
Not Official, but... for bluetooth profiles that I have used or discovered via my PC with the Curve...
* Object Push... I can confirm for Ring Tones and Pictures (have to be in the media application, and use the menu button... Send via Bluetooth and Receive via Bluetooth options are there.) I have not tried contacts, music or video yet.
* Headset/Handfree (wireless bluetooth mono headset)
* A2DP (for stereo audio)
* Dial-up Networking