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Blackberry Curve 8300 review

Blackberry gets firmly on the consumer curve

Our Verdict

It's definitely a consumer smartphone, but Blackberry's traditional strengths remain its best suit


  • Peerless email interface

    Great Qwerty keypad


  • No 3G or Wi-Fi

    Memory card slot awkward to use

RIM's BlackBerry has long set the standard when it comes to connected devices, offering a mix of smartphone portability and PDA usability. In recent times, the company has started to offer consumer as well as corporate models.

The Curve 8300 continues this tradition, being focused at the consumer end of the market. A bright 2.4-inch widescreen display and Qwerty keypad make it an appealing option. It's easy to type rapidly and without mistakes, although the buttons are somewhat cramped.

The Curve features BlackBerry's excellent online interface for setting up your emails. Log into your account, type in your email details and your mail will automatically be sent to your BlackBerry. This simplicity is one area where none of its rivals get even close.

Features include a 2-megapixel camera with flash, and expandable memory in the form of a micro-SD Card slot. However, hidden away under the battery, access is fiddly and you'll have to turn off the device to swap cards.

You'll be able to play your music and video files, and there's a standard 3.5mm headphone jack so you can plug in your regular headphones.

The BlackBerry lags behind others when it comes to connectivity, missing out on both 3G and Wi-Fi. This means you'll find internet connections on the move are limited to slower speeds, and you won't be able to connect to company networks.

Unlike its Windows Mobile rivals, there's also no office suite as standard. However, there is plenty of third-party software available, making it easy to access your documents. Google Maps software is provided with the Curve, although there is no GPS receiver built in.

Easy to set up and use, the BlackBerry remains competitive. However, connectivity is poor and it's not the best all-round device.