I originally wrote this review and posted it on CNET near the end of May. I figured I'd post it here for anyone looking for another view of the Curve. It has since been changed to reflect my use in little ways, with my pros and cons. Enjoy!
I've always been the guy that wants a phone. A phone with no dings, bells, whistles whatever. I just want a contact list and a dial button. But realizing that the trend in phones and consumer products warrants that legends like the StarTac will never surface again, I must adapt and overcome.Pros
My needs for a phone over the years have changed as well. I'm a restaurant manager with a need for constant mobility to allow all kinds of data correspondence, yet I'm not able to commit my time to a desktop to get it done.
Which brought me to the BlackBerry series. I've always kind of had a sense of contempt towards the BlackBerrys. I don't know why. I went to my Verizon Wireless store and started to seriously test these phones (within limits of being tethered to a booth of course).
The Curve (as opposed to the World Editions, or Pearl) seemed the best option.
My battery life is excellent right out of box, I did some additional tweaking such as the backlight timer, brightness etc and feel I get optimum battery performance. My BlackBerry routinely sees 2-3 days of regular texting, surfing, emailing and calling before requiring a charge (I'm not so good about putting it on the charger when I get home).
Call quality is excellent as well. I frequently use the speakerphone to which a lot of people don't experience the talk back of a speakerphone and I've yet to receive any negative feedback about my end of the conversation.
Reception on the phone is superb as well. My kitchens are filled with stainless steel, interference and signal attenuating equipment, all in all being fully surrounded by concrete walls. My previous LG-VX8100 would get spotty reception in various parts of the kitchen and even in my walkin coolers and freezers (which have heavy insulation and steel) that would give me minimal reception. My Curve triumphs all of it. I always notice full service reception on the meter anywhere in my building.
The phone is also extremely easy to use. Within 10 minutes of opening the phone I was able to seamlessly integrate my Gmail as well as my corporate email accounts, as well as establish my blackberry.net email address. One feature I really like is that the phone has the ability to sense if it is holstered. You can change ring profiles and behaviors accordingly, and even set it to lock the phone upon holstering.
The phone also has a good hold on security I feel. I have my security settings to use maximum strength encyption connected to the device and a password, and with these features installed, I see no decrease in performance.
The system loaded software is excellent too, the maps program is fast and very thorough on searches and giving directions (not on the fly, but that is what VZNavigator gives me).
My only cons to offer is that the Backup Assistant feature that Verizon has is not supported. I had to type out 170 contacts emails, phone numbers, faxes etc into Outlook to be synced into my address book on the phone. The plus to this, it that everytime I sync my phone to the computer, any new additions are updated to my Outlook/BlackBerry (depending on where I added or updated it), and my contacts are in my control (if Verizon's feature ever stopped working etc, I still have my master list in MY control).
Also, even as much as I praise the battery life, I always prefer to have an extended capacity battery if offered. BlackBerry does not offer one for the Curve, but an aftermarket one is available (Seidio has one, as well as a battery cover, but I don't like aftermarket batteries or battery covers with a different maker on the back of it). I don't have a real need for it, I just like having it available (living in Florida during hurricane season can put you on edge for power). So for now I'll buy another battery and keep it charged.
All in all, I recommend this phone highly to the mobile professional or text crazy person. The phone keeps you extremely mobile for long periods of time, isn't uncomfortable to type on, is easy to use and gives you impeccable service quality and reception.
- Excellent battery life
- Plethora of (functional!) 3rd party software
- Excellent service signal quality
- Excellent quality speakerphone
- Backed by Verizon's great customer service
- Very easy learning curve (no pun intended), even for new smartphone users (like myself at the time of originally writing this review)
- Stylish and comfortable form factor
- GPS has been locked by Verizon Wireless to only function with VZ Navigator, a $10.00 a month service (the software works and functions great, but this is a con by principle)
- Trackball accumulates dirt from fingers, taining it a different color (easily cleaned however)
- No support for Verizon's Get-It-Now programs, such as managing/purchasing ringback tones, ringtones, music, or games.
- No support for Verizon's Backup Assistant (have to synch your contacts via BlackBerry Desktop software)
- No OEM extended batteries available, only aftermarket
- Paid $199 + tax online w/ free shipping. Also received a $50 rebate from Verizon Wireless
4 out of 5 stars