final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Reception and call quality No comments
  • Display No comments
  • Battery life No comments
  • Camera No comments
  • Ease of use No comments
  • Design and form factor No comments
  • Portability (size / weight) No comments
  • Media support No comments
  • Durability No comments
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) No comments
Detailed review
The Curve 8520 is very close to a Curve 8310 so it took me literally no time to adapt. Only thing that changed places is the top mute button, wich is now in the center of a three media keys row, so now I can change tracks whithout having to take it out from my pocket. Thats nice for folks who use public transport like me. 3.5mm headphone jack and a 2 GB card = I don't have to remember where is my Shuffle.

The SD card slot can be reached without taking the battery out, that's a big plus when it takes about four minutes to reboot. It has 256 MB of internal memory, so at last I can have more than 20 apps installed. App World, here I come!

Optical pad looks much more durable than the trackball. I had to remove my 8310's ball for cleaning it after a few months of usage and from then it catched even more dirt. The new optical trackpad doesn't seen to have that problem, and also can be used wearing gloves. I think most new BlackBerrys will come with this solution in the future. Best part of it is that it works like a touchscreen for browsing through long lists (contacts, music, etc.), but you don't block the screen with your fingers, so it's easier to read.

The screen looks the same as the old Curve series ones, but the glass (well, plastic windows) above it is closer this time. As for now, there is no dust between the screen and the plastic, maybe the rubber parts seal it better?

The camera is OK , it's a 2-megapixels, and its missing the LED flash from previous models so by-by to night-drunk photos. Facebook integrations works fine so I can upload my pics as I take them. I like to geo-position my pictures, but it's a shame it doesn't have a GPS receiver. I managed to use an external Bluetooth one, but only some apps recognize it (At least Google Maps works perfect!)

Email and PIM are near perfect, just like every other QWERTY BlackBerry.

Reception is good and voice is clear in my area, but having only GPRS in my area is a bit annoying when checking websites other than the mobile-adapted ones. Luckily most of my bookmarks have a mobile version, and for the rest there's Opera Mini!

I have tried the included WiFi connectivity but as I'm usually on the go it's not as useful as a GPS would be. But it's better than nothing, and it helps Google Maps to triangulate your position if you are not using an external antenna. Also i can be reached in no coverage areas that have an open WiFi, and it may be useful for avoiding expensive data Roaming charges.

All in all, a great phone for it's price