Picking a BlackBerry that has smart looks and packs a decent camera onboard is now possible with the 2-megapixel camera toting BlackBerry Curve 8300.

Announced today, the Curve combines the familiar BlackBerry Qwerty keyboard and push email capability with a consumer-friendly design. With smooth, curvy edges and a silver-look finish, it's the smallest and lightest full-keyboard BlackBerry yet.

The Curve incorporates many of the feature elements of the recently released 8800 , although GPS is not included in this model. However, the BlackBerry Maps route planning application is still on-board, with a few refinements added.

The regular BlackBerry suite of push email messaging and instant messenger applications are on-board, along with organiser functionality. This can be synced remotely with a corporate BlackBerry Enterprise Server or locally with a PC or Mac. The non-corporate BlackBerry Internet Service is also supported, so users can access up to 10 existing email accounts. A web browser supporting RSS feeds is included too.

BlackBerry Curve for consumers

The Curve also has the trackball navigation control system employed by Research In Motion 's recent BlackBerry Pearl 8100 and the 8800. A large 320z240 pixel display has light sensing technology for optimising brightness in different lighting conditions.

The onboard 2-megapixel stills and video camera is an indicator that this is more "prosumer" than the corporate-geared 8800. Image editing software is also provided. The Curve has improved multimedia options inside, too, with new Roxio Media Manager software enhancing search and playlist organisation facilities. Videos can also now be played back full screen.

Like the 8800, the Curve features MicroSD card support, although on the Curve the battery has to be removed to swap cards. Up to 2GB MicroSD cards are supported, and future 4GB cards will also work in the Curve. A 1GB card is supplied in the box.

RIM also supplies the BlackBerry Curve with a stereo headset and a USB lead. Stereo Bluetooth capability means users can alternatively use a wireless headset. A 3.5mm headset socket on the side of the Curve enables users to plug in standard headphones too.

BlackBerry Curve 8300: Key features

  • Dimensions: 107(h) mm x 60(w) mm x 15.5(d) mm. Weight: 111g
  • 64MB flash memory
  • MicroSD expandable memory (1GB card supplied)
  • 2-megapixel camera with flash
  • Qwerty keyboard
  • BlackBerry push email
  • Organiser functionality
  • 320 x 240 pixel display
  • BlackBerry Maps navigation software
  • BlackBerry browser with RSS support
  • Speakerphone
  • Stereo hands-free headset
  • Stereo Bluetooth
  • Video record/player (MPEG4 Part 2 Simple Profile, H.263, WMV)
  • Digital music player (MP3, MIDI, AMR-NB, AAC/AAC /eAAC , WMA, WAV)
  • Quad-band GSM GPRS/EDGE
  • Stereo headset jack (3.5mm)
  • Battery Life: 408 hours (17days) standby time; 240 minutes (4 hours) talk time