After 48 hours with the WiFi-enabled BlackBerry 8320 (Curve), here are some observations…
This device is a lot more attractive in person than in pictures. It’s very light and pretty thin, but build quality is solid. It’s nice to see a standard mini-USB connector (with charger and mass-storage support) and stereo headset connector (4-prong 3.5 mm). The micro-SD card lives under the battery, which is unfortunate.
The user-interface is very good. It’s simple, consistent, and easy to use, but it’s lacking polish in some areas (media player and camera). Then again, after living with an iPhone for 3 months, I’m getting jaded
– sorry for being such an Apple fangirl :). I think a short press of the mute key should show the profiles (I ended up assigning the left-side convenience key to the profiles). It was easy to install my contact and ringtones and to customize the phone.
The BlackBerry Destop Manager is not working for me. I’ve installed it on 2 different Windows XP (SP2) computers and I’m still experiencing the same problem: I can’t install applications.
When I run the Application Loader, everything is grayed out and the Application List shows: “The BlackBerry Desktop Software does not have BlackBerry Device Software for the device that you have connected to your computer. Contact your wireless service provider or system administrator.” When I click on “Add” (the only control not grayed out other than “Cancel”) and select the Opera mini 4 beta ALX file, it tells me: “No additional applications designed for you device were found”.
I still don’t have a BlackBerry plan. Why? I think Research In Motion should support industry standard email/web/MMS connectivity over GPRS/EDGE for people (like me) with regular data plans who are not interested in using push email. In fact, I was under the impression that the “consumer” devices like the Pearl and Curve supported industry standard connectivity, in addition to the BlackBerry plans.
The built-in web browser works fine over WiFi (with or without the SIM inserted), despite the lack of BlackBerry plan – of course, it doesn’t work over GPRS/EDGE. Opera mini 4 beta doesn’t work (both WiFi and GPRS/EDGE) despite changing the APN in the TCP options to “wap.voicestream.com” (for my unlimited t-zones data plan).
Bluetooth works fine, but I’m not (yet) sure if UMA works.
The keyboard feels nice but I’m struggling to read the key labels at times. The QVGA screen is decent, as expected (it could be brighter, perhaps).
The 2 megapixel camera takes decent pictures and features an LED flash, but could benefit from an auto-focus lens with macro. Video recording appears to be missing.
Call quality and reception are very good. Sound quality is average when listening to music with high-end headphones, but I’m being picky here…
FYI, The supplied stereo headset works with the iPhone (both physically and electrically), including the switch/microphone- nice!
– Battery life:
It’s a bit too early to tell, but with WiFi enabled and Bluetooth disabled, so far, so good.
Update: I’ve since upgraded to the Total Internet data plan.