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BlackBerry Curve 8520 Review

Posted by: ShackledMuse

Tagged in: wi-fi , Twitter , review , qwerty , optical trackpad , mxit , Facebook , email , edge , Blackberry Curve , blackberry , applications


Being the winner of the BlackBerry Curve 8520, I couldn't wait to get my hands on the device. I'm a teensy bit of a phone fanatic even though I never had a smartphone before and I thought I might need to have a degree to set the phone up, but that was not the case at all. I usually try to do something without reading the manual first... Silly I know, but hey, there's a reason for my madness.



The Email Setup was a breeze, and I had all my mail accounts synced within seconds. May I just point out it takes seconds to set up once you have a BoltOn BlackBerry Bundle. It took me a bit longer to realize I needed one and where to purchase it, but once that blonde moment passed, everything else was peachy.

The BlackBerry Curve is mainly designed for e-mail usage, 10/10 for the ease it provides when handling your mail. Emails are forwarded to your mobile the moment its received, giving the options of replying, forwarding, opening links, etc. If your mail ends up being distorted, you have the option of viewing it online.


Next, I went on to customizing the phone, fonts and colours and such. There's such a wide variety of themes out there! Not all of them free though, and I have issues with some of the free themes. I'm yet to find one that actually has a decent menu layout, as some of the icons dont show up when you change themes, but I guess thats a different matter.


Unfortunately, there are no 3G goodness, but EDGE doesn't give me any problems at all.
(Haven't had a chance yet to give the Wi-Fi features a test drive, but watch this space) But really now, I have a laptop if I wanna browse media rich websites.


  1. for ring tones, applications, games, and accessories.
  2. for asseccories.
  3. for  more info about all the features

Also, I can't go without my social networking highs, next step was to get the phone facebooked, twittered, and all the sparkles that go with it. I discovered, while browsing till early in the AM, that there are innumerable BlackBerry apps available. Want to learn Spanish? Download it. The entire Bible and Quran, its there. Recipes, E-Books, PayPal, you name it. Search it, download and there you go. Free data service goes down well for insomniacs like me. lol.

Not only is the Facebook application so much easier on the eye than plain old FacebookMobile, the best feature by far is that you can upload (and tag!) photo's straight from your BlackBerry.

Which brings me to next favourite feature of a phone to me.

The camera

There are phones with better cameras out there. There is, however, nothing lacking with the quality of images taken. Take Picture, Set Picture (as caller ID or background image) Rename Image, Delete Image or Send Image (as email. as MMS, to facebook or twitter). Zoom in and out. You can edit the white balance, the picture size (1600 X 1200; 1024 X 768 and 640 X 480), Colour effect. Really, what more do you need for taking pictures on the go?

In fact, we went to Brightwater Commons this weekend, to play some adventure golf. The BB went with, and there's now a new album on facebook, complete with the photo's I took, uploaded AND tagged with my BB     ----->!/album.php?aid=176089&id=608350875

The Trackpad and Keyboard

The curve has a optical trackpad, a little square pad, move your finger over it and the cursor moves. I read bad reviews about the trackpad and screen, also that the 8520 pales in comparison to the 8900; that the screen sometimes lags or the cursor doesnt move at all. I had no problems whatsoever, and its so much better than using arrow keys or a trackball. (I'm so used to it already, that I slide my fingers over my old Samsung arrow keys, instead of pushing it. Force of habit.) From now on, ALL phones should come out with a trackpad. Yes they should.

Now before I go on, please bear in mind that predictive text on your ordinary mobile phones turned me into some type of speed typing demon - heck I can type out an entire message of more than 500 characters without peeking at my fingers and still maintain eye contact with whomever I'm talking to. So I had my doubts about the functionality of a mobile QWERTY keyboard.

Oh my word. I'm never going back to any other form of typing, ever! The keys might appear small, but they dont give any problem at all. Type with caps, use punctuation, symbols, numbers, its all there, on one little compact keyboard. Hardly any spelling mistakes made.

And the rest

  • Media player with convenient buttons located at the top of the device, to skip between tracks, without interfering with my emailing.
  • Word on the go, sheet on the go (spreadsheets)
  • Slideshow on the go.

Apparently, you can phone someone too.

General                   2G Network     GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
Size Dimensions      109 x 60 x 13.9 mm
Weight      106 g
Display Type     TFT, 65K colors
Size     320 x 240 pixels, 2.46 inches
- Full QWERTY keyboard
- Touch-sensitive optical trackpad
Sound     Alert types     Vibration; Downloadable polyphonic, MP3 ringtones
Speakerphone      Yes
- Dedicated music keys
- 3.5 mm audio jack
Memory     Phonebook     Practically unlimited entries and fields, Photocall
Call records     Yes
Internal     256 MB
Card slot     microSD, up to 32GB, buy memory
Data     GPRS     Class 10 (4+1/3+2 slots), 32 - 48 kbps
EDGE     Class 10, 236.8 kbps
3G     No
WLAN     Wi-Fi 802.11b/g
Bluetooth     Yes, v2.0 with A2DP
Infrared port     No
USB     Yes, microUSB
Camera     Primary     2 MP, 1600x1200 pixels
Video     Yes, QVGA
Secondary     No
Features     OS     BlackBerry OS
CPU     512MHz processor
Messaging     SMS, MMS, Email, IM
Browser     HTML
Radio     No
Games     Yes + downloadable
Colors     Black
GPS     No
Java     Yes
- MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV player
- MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
- Organizer
- Voice memo/dial
Battery           Standard battery, Li-Ion 1150 mAh
Stand-by     Up to 408 h

Comments (4)Add Comment
written by Amy, July 06, 2010
What does not having 3G mean? Sorry I am being very doff!
written by ShackledMuse, July 06, 2010
3g is like GPRS on steriods. Connecting to the net is so much quicker with 3G. So the curve is a little slow when it comes to connecting smilies/smiley.gif
written by Mr T, October 14, 2010
How do I set up EDGE on my BB Curve 8520???? Because I dont want to use Wi-fi. Is it possible to browse the internet using EDGE not WiFi on BB curve 8520???
written by ShackledMuse, October 17, 2010
yes it is, just go to setup function on you menu and disable wi fi. it will automatically use edge and gprs then

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