We've been dying to know more about that crazy BlackBerry Curve 8520 with the optical trackball in place of the usual spinner, and the crew over at CrackBerry's finally posted their pre-release review. Overall, it seems like a nice enough phone, and the optical trackball apparently works well, which is a nice surprise given our experience with them. On the downside, it's not nearly as nice as the Curve 8900, and while the overall design has been updated, components like the screen, battery, and camera are carryovers from the Curve 8300 -- a particular shame considering the raves RIM's been getting for its amazing screens lately. Of course, we can't complain too much considering this thing is EDGE-only and potentially destined to be a pay-as-you-go phone, but it sure does look nice, and we're interested in seeing how this design philosophy translates into higher-end sets... like, say, the Storm 2. Check the full review at the read link.

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BlackBerry Curve 8520 gets pre-reviewed