Average review score based on 539 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
I used to have T-Mobile, but needed to downsize my phone expenses. When I found out about Virgin's $25 for unlimited messaging & data & 300 minutes of calls, I pricked up my ears - I haven't needed thousands of minutes of talk time in over a year, communicate mostly with text messages, & WANTED a data plan but it was always too expensive before. Since I had a Blackberry 8320 before, & the reveiws for the 8530 were good, I went for that. I like the trackpad better than the trackball, which had started malfunctioning from getting squished in my back pocket (oops). The QWERTY keyboard is fine & feels good, though if you get a hard cover like I did you'll find it a bit difficult to press the outside buttons. The screen looks great, nice & bright. If you don't like the theme you can check online for free alternatives - I downloaded Skylark :)
The Blackberry software neatly transferred all my contact info to my new phone, plus I have a 2gb card (that's PLENTY of room). When I plug it in to charge, i get an analog clock screen saver (can be changed to digital) - looks kind of like an Omega. 2mg camera, no flash (nuts) but the pictures look fine, plus I have 5 different light settings, which eases the pain a bit. The touchpad zooms in & out with no glitches. Lots of features - video cam with sound! Notepad, calender, alarm, different tones...I've heard that you can't make your own ringtones from sound clips because Virgin wants you to buy downloaded tones, but that's not a big deal to me, I just WON'T.
And HEY, I never had a data plan before! I have Internet, & mapping! The GPS seems to work OK - I haven't used it much yet. There are lots of apps to download from App World, many of them free. What I DON'T like is the way the Blackberry site keeps ending the session before I've had time to do much more than find ONE thing that sounds interesting - seriously, folks, eBay lets me stay logged in for a whole day, & even my bank at least ASKS me if I want to continue my session. Sheesh,
What I also wasn't counting on was that I HAD to pay the extra $10/mo. for the Blackberry email features, which is really just a collator for your various email accounts. So instead of $25/mo I'm paying $35/mo (not including taxes etc) :/ I like the email feature, but not sure I like it $10/mo worth, so now I wish I'd gone for an Android phone. That said, if you're a Blackberry fan, this phone keep you happy & Virgin's plan will save you money. NO the coverage probably isn't as good as Verizon, but it's as good as T-Mobile (looks like I left just in time, as they just got eaten by ATT - poor T-Mobile, I really liked your service & you were good to me!). It's not like I NEED to have phone access while 10 miles offshore on Lake Michigan. I get signal pretty much everywhere I need it. Oh, and call quality is fine too, and the battery is good for...I don't know, all day or so depending on what I'm doing; I usually plug it in when I got to bed & there's always at least 50% left. Absolutely no complaints about this phone, it was a good deal.
The BlackBerry 8530 is a great value for the price. I went from a contract plan to a prepaid plan to save money, but I was resigned to the fact that I was going to lose a lot of features I loved - BUT I DIDN'T! This phone has GPS navigation, is an MP3 player, shoots and plays video with a high quality camera, and the BlackBerry apps - many which are free - give me everything I want and more such as weather, Amazon music store, Pandora radio. I also love the touch trackball that allows you to move around the screen and select items and the flexibility to move folders and shortcuts around on your homescreen is good. I also like that you can have all your emails and texts feed into a single folder for easy viewing, or not, the choice is yours. The WiFi connectively is appreciated, too, because it's often a faster connection than your phone's data stream. Never tried BlackBerry but they have a new loyal customer. Great phone that doesn't break the bank.
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!
I had Palm phones for years (had a palm pilot before they branched into forms) and loved their highly functional devices, especially for business use. However, when the switched to web os, the two phones they introduced just didn't work for me. I moved to Android and that is so NOT a business phone. Hated it! I'm sure there are some people who love the bells and whistles, but it doesn't work if you need FUNCTIONAL.
I was leaning toward Blackberry and wish I had done that with my upgrade, but since I lost my upgrade, I got the 8530 curve from ebay. Love it! It is highly functional and works very well, easily integrates with my office, home, and web email that I use strictly for purchases. It has a few bells and whistles of its own, but I'm not going that way again -- I NEED FUNCTION!
I would have given it an excellent but there are a couple of things that take too many clicks to complete. If i'm in the phone ap and select a contact, and I don't want be given texting options -- I would have chosen text for that! Also, there should be more options available for snoozing an appointment, similar to outlook. 5 minute increments up to 2 weeks would be optimal. If you have are in an environment where your workload is CONSTANTLY being piled on so that you have to sometimes select to put something on the back-burner, you should be able to snooze for more than 30 minutes! This is really a pet peeve for me; I have to end up opening the appointment, which I'm not always in a position to do.
Other than that, I love the other options on this phone. OH, and gthe speaker is so good that I use it for music without headphones, for radio, and for podcast listening.
As for blue tooth, was shocked that when I paired it with my car's bluetooth, it automatically uploaded my contacts! That was really a pleasant surprise.
I pretty much love everthing about this phone, i love boost, this is my third boost phone lol, they have all been good phones just i wanted better lol and this is by far the best, i've been with boost for 3 years now and nothing compares to their price and service, the phone is great, love how many apps there are out there, theres an app for everything, the 3g internet is so fast on it, can take a pics and then the next sec upload it to facebook, just an overall amazing phone, wish more of the apps were free but there still are alot of free apps, but i've had an android phone, not for boost and every andriod phone i know has like 3 times the free apps, like if i want something they would get for free its not mush but still lol, oh other then having to buy some apps, the battery seems to suck, like idk why, i get like 6 hours and then need to charge it again thats with me not using it much, maybe checking it and texting every 20 mins, but other then that i rate the phone an 8/10, if you want a smart phone, this is it, if you want a gps this is it, free app for that by the way lol, if you wanna be able to have an mp3 player this is in, takes good pictures, just can say enough about it lol,
The BlackBerry Curve 8530 generally fits into the BlackBerry line up as a refresher to the now ubiquitous Curve 83xx, and is meant to sit between entry-level models like the Pearl and Pearl Flip, and higher end models like the world-dominating Tour and Bold.
For just $50 from Sprint, users get an innovative trackpad, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, 3G coverage, and a surprisingly impressive 2 megapixel camera -- all rolled into a nicely sized form factor.
The Curve 8530 compares will the Tour 9630 -- both models are available from Sprint, but the Curve is more affordable.
BUILD & DESIGN
Overall the Curve 8530 has a fashion-forward design aimed at a younger consumer audience. Instead of a chrome bezel and pronounced convenience keys that you find on the Tour, you'll find a rubber strip around the side with convenience keys that seem to bulge out of its sides. On the top of the device you find a set of media-control keys.
RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530The front of the phone shows off what is perhaps its best feature -- the trackpad in place of the traditional trackball. Whether you're a seasoned BB veteran or a newcomer, you'll appreciate the intuitive, easy to use reliable performance of the trackpad. This one feature alone might be enough to knock the Tour out of contention.
The keys on the keyboard are a "chicklet" holdover from the previous generation.
The Talk, End, Return and Menu keys are redesigned as if they are part of the screen -- not a design choice I'm particularly fond of.
The screen itself pales in comparison to the beautiful display on the Tour, but there is nothing outright wrong with it. There's nothing to complain about, but if you were to hold your Curve up to a Tour, you'd notice the difference.
The biggest annoyance, design-wise, is the LED indicator light. On a regular BlackBerry there's no way you're going to miss a message. You will not be distracted by the LED light on the Curve 8530, the indicator which is just a touch bigger than the tip of a ballpoint pen, and its light is... understated, to put it kindly.
Size and Weight
The Curve 8530 overall is smaller than the Tour, and feels lighter, though it still has a very sold and composed feeling to it. You won't hate yourself for dropping this phone -- it feels like it can take a beating which is refreshing compared to some of today's delicate phones.
I've already mentioned that the Curve has a big leg-up over its brethren by having a touchpad instead of the trackball. The aspect where the 8530 really hits it out of the park is with its operating system. The Curve 8530 features BlackBerry OS 5.0, currently the only device on the Sprint lineup to do so.
The 5.0 operating system isn't revolutionary, but offers nice many little improvements, such as wirelessly syncing of contacts with certain email providers, the ability to flag messages for follow up, better application permission management, and vastly improved ability to manage ringing profile settings.
BlackBerry Curve 8530 for Sprint The processor on the Curve 8530 is less powerful than some of its contemporaries, including the Tour, and sometimes it would hang. For most of what you do most of the time, however, you won't notice this lack of power. Power users, on the other hand, should consider a more powerful device.
Generally the 8530 is a solid performer, but its call quality is only just average.
I love how easy this phone is to use, while still being a great smartphone. The ability to link your phone to your social accounts (facebook, myspace) is great. I also use this phone for chatting via yahoo messenger, and that is great; many more options make it like chatting on a computer instead of a phone. The email feature is good too; the only improvement I would make is the ability to see ALL mail, not just what has been newly sent to you. TONS of free applications on BlackBerry App World make this phone a great buy. The only thing I dislike about it is that there is no way to "lock" the alt key for typing in numbers nor is there a way to "lock" the uppercase key for typing in all capitals. The battery could last a little longer, i.e. had half a battery and it only lasted about 4 hours, and was hardly using the phone. I decided to buy this phone because I wanted something more advanced, that wasn't a touchscreen. Also wanted something that could handle having a drug handbook (epcrates) on it.
About the phone.
The curve is a rock solid product. They work and generally work very well. Remember that this is not the most modern phone but rather the first on Crickets smartphones. The gps will work in non assisted mode which is a big plus. Browser works well considering its bbOS 5. Email works extremely well.
The screen could be a bit sharper. Its not awful or unusable but on web pages it could be a bit sharper.
If on Wifi you will crash the phone. This is a common problem on Blackberrys and waiting for Rim to fix it.
Crickets network is after all a limiting factor. They don't support BES, only BIS. BES is when you have your blackberry server, Bis is ones that cricket has. BES is better for Corporates, BIS is for small entities.