Average review score based on 579 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
RIM's BlackBerry Curve 8520 is the third generation of the company's compact, full-QWERTY messaging smartphone line. It features the same basic form factor as the original 8300 series devices, but gets some nicely upgraded features and more modern styling in a package that is roughly the same sized as the more expensive Curve 8900. We reviewed a T-Mobile USA version of the Curve 8520, which supports the company's UMA based HotSpot @Home VoIP calling service.
At 106.5g (3.8oz) in weight and measuring 109mm x 60mm x 14mm (4.3" x 2.4" x .6") in size, the new Curve 8520 is slightly lighter than the Curve 8900, but basically the same size. The keyboard on the device is much like the original's and offers great feel, but the backlighting and color of the keys on the blue model we tested makes reading them difficult in dimly lit rooms. We suspect that the black version of the 8520 will be easier to read in such environments. The call keys and the menu and escape keys on the 8520 are flush mounted on the face of the device, but they still offer a good tactile click when pressed.
The new optical trackpad controller takes the place of the trackballs that we've seen on most BlackBerry devices for a few years now. The trackpad is basically an optical mouse that has been turned upside down. It works quite well in general, though is probably a bit more difficult to control than the trackball. The upside, however, is that the trackpad won't get gunked up by dust or facial oils the way a trackball will. In the end, I think the switch to a trackpad is a fair trade that works out for the user in the long haul.
On the top of the phone things changed up a bit from prior BlackBerry models. There is no lock button any longer, and we now have dedicated next and previous track music controls that sit on either side of the dual-purpose mute and play/pause button. A 3.5mm headphone port is located at the top of the left edge of the phone, just above the micro-USB charger and data connector.
As was the case with the more expensive Curve 8900, the overall build quality of the Curve 8520 is very good with one exception: the rear battery cover. It fits better than the one on the 8900 does, but is still slightly loose at times and can make some noise when the phone is used. It's not a deal-breaker by any stretch, however. Otherwise, the build of the device seems quite good, and the new built-in, rubber convenience and volume keys on the edges of the device look like they should be very durable, all the while keeping dust out of the phone.
The only thing about the BlackBerry Curve 8520 that is likely to leave many folks unimpressed is the display. Like the Curve 8300 series before it, the Curve 8520 sports a QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) display. While more than bright and crisp enough for most uses, the display lets the phone down when it comes to web browsing, as you can see in our videos. But using components like that QVGA display and the fixed-focus 2 megapixel camera, which is located on the back of the phone, is how Research In Motion was able to keep the cost of the phone down. For people that just want a BlackBerry for messaging, this will work out just fine.
Somebody forgot to tell the BlackBerry Curve 8520 that it's supposed to be a budget BlackBerry device. Sure, the phone lacks some of the high-end features of other BlackBerry phones, like a high-res screen or GPS navigation, but the Curve 8520 does right all of the things that we expect from a BlackBerry. For e-mail and messaging, it's just as fast and well organized as any other BlackBerry phone. We even like the design. Though it's supposed to be low-end, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 packs some new additions we've never seen on a BlackBerry, like a responsive optical trackpad button and real multimedia playback controls. The keyboard is solid and we rarely noticed a dip in performance compared to more advanced BlackBerry phones. Plus, on T-Mobile's network, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 is capable of cut-rate calling with it's UMA Hotspot @Home calls over your Wi-Fi network. In the end, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 is an easy phone to recommend, especially since Amazon is offering the phone at launch for only a penny, with a contract. Release: August 2009. Price: $1.
Pros: Slick, lightweight design with a nice optical trackpad and media playback controls. Does almost everything the more expensive BlackBerry phones can do.
Cons: Lacks GPS and high-speed networking. Call quality is mediocre. Battery life not as impressive as other BlackBerry phones
The BlackBerry Curve 8520 features a responsive optical trackpad and dedicated media controls. The smartphone also offers Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 2-megapixel camera, and good call quality. i dislike that it lacks 3G support and GPS. You can only save downloaded apps to the phone's main memory.
I love this phone. I learn how to do a new thing with it everyday. I've downloaded several apps and they range from fun to very helpful. The BOOST Mobile Network is 20X more reliable then the Comcast connection we have in our home which is utterly terrible (always getting kicked off and having to fight our way back on!)!
I'm going to order a 16 gigabyte memory card from Ebay for Xmas and then I'll be able to teach myself how to do even more fun things with the Blackberry Curve like putting music and TV shows on the thing so my iPod will be come pretty much useless except for DRM protected files I bought from iTunes Store.
The only problem with this phone isn't a problem with a phone at all. The thing is, if you're going to buy the Blackberry Curve, don't buy the one that's for BOOST subscribers, especially if you live in the rural NJ area!! I have to go outside just to maybe get ONE BAR!! I should have suspected that this would happen because my last BOOST phone was the same way, but a lot of people told me that much of the time it's not the service, it's the handset. They turned out to be 100 percent WRONG!! The service still sucks just as bad using a $200 BOOST handset as it did when I was using a cheap $30 handset I got from BEST BUY!! Don't let them fool you!
I don't understand how BOOST's Mobile Network for using the wireless internet can work in my home pretty much from an area where I'm near a window, but I have to go outside and practically climb on to the damn roof just to get one bar if I want to call somebody. But then again, I have never had a phone that has had good reception in this area. Not Verizon or T-Mobile has been any better. Omnipoint was even worse but that was a decade ago. From what I understand AT&T works wonders, but I don't have good enough credit anymore so I'm screwed unless I switch to CRICKET, but then I'll have to buy a new phone again!
It's been only a few days, but I'm frustrated with the phone! It could be the learning curve from having a Pearl for two years, and I hope it will grow on me. It is a good looking phone (in white), and the quality of the graphics are pretty nice.
I've had a time trying to figure out the folders and what applications are where; again, that should be better once I've become more familiar with it. However, I am finding the call quality to be very annoying! Perhaps it will grow on me, but I have doubts that this is a "grow on you" kinda thing. Of course, it could be my particular handset, but there's that tinny-type echo when I speak and when the other person speaks. I'm not sure how it sounds on the other end, no one has mentioned any issues and I haven't asked yet. I couldn't link my existing wireless headset, but that may or may not be the phone's fault. It is much better on speaker, when I'm not speaking directly into it.
I also need to adjust to the keyboard, definitely an adjustment from the Blackberry Pearl...yikes. Something about maybe the size of my hand, my fingernails, the keyboard layout...the combination is slowing my texting/typing ability. Now that I've figured out BB Messenger(lol) every other word has to be deleted due to a mistype.
*sigh* So, I won't exactly be getting rid of the phone, but I sure hope it "grows on me" very, very soon!
I bought this for my wife to upgrade her from BB 8320. I have used it only for few hours. Please keep this in mind when you read this review as I may not (be able to) update this review:
1. My first impression: I love it. The size and the shape. Both. It is sleek than 8320.
2. I love the track pad vs track ball. It's accurate like track ball and it's amazing. No more dealing with dirt.
Here's what I am little concerned with:
1. Uses micro-usb and not the mini USB. Most of the gazettes come with mini USP. Like your phone, GPS, Car speaker kit, etc. So you will have to maintain a different set of cables (computer and charger) for this one.
2. The keys may not be suitable for individuals who have thick fingers as the keys are kind of flat and not raised like 8320.
3. The sim card loading is not the best. I had problem with loading the sim card and had to seek professional help.
4. I wish it had a radio.
Net net, it's a great phone if you are upgrading from 8320 or similar. Especially if you do not have to pay a lot. I bought two of them for about (couple of months old - like new) $150 each ($300 total).
The downsides of this model is that it doesn’t offer you 3G or GPS, and I wanst able to download the latest version of the BlackBerry operating system, BlackBerry 6.
But on the plus side it offers you that full smartphone experience, the best email service on the planet, one of the best keyboards you can set your fingers on and Wi-Fi will save your data minutes.
Read more: BlackBerry Curve 8520 in pink: exclusive to Phones 4u - Pocket-lint http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/37092/blackberry-curve-8520-pink-review#ixzz18fDDeLpl
This is a good smartphone. It's better than my other Blackberry (model 8820) in that it's lighter, has more powerful CPU, and more built-in memory to handle more and bigger apps. However, as others have written, e.g.: adding a large micro Sd card memory will not allow you to use such memory for installing large apps and you're limited to the 256 MB built-in for apps. You can use the additional memory on the micro Sd card solely for storing photos, videos, music...etc. Another drawback, you can't play back Real Player files unless you convert to .3GP format or similar before uploading to phone.
Easy to learn how to use, and I like the QWERTY keyboard. I would recommend it.
The Blackberry 8520 it's simply an awesome cellphone. Well, it seems that for some people if the cellphone it's not a touch cellphone it's garbage, but this little cell it's quiet amazing. First it's really simple to use, second the Blackberry asistent (when it's connect to a PC) it's really usefull tool letting my cellphone just like i wanted to function. The trackpad it's the most great thing that this cell has, besides you can hear music like if you were using a nokia musci with the butons on the top to manage it.
The only thing i think that made this cellphone quit bothering, it's that it takes too much time to get it on.
But it's an awesome phone. Tottaly recommended
I like the features, color,design and functionality.
I dislike the fact this product has a 320 x 240 resolution screen and also because it has a 2mp camera.
I decided to purchase this product because it is very economical and especially for the touch pad.