Blackberry Curve 8320
We're no strangers to the BlackBerry Curve, originally released as the Curve 8300 on the AT&T network in June 2007. The Curve proved to be a very popular and strong smartphone, and T-Mobile users lamented AT&T's several month exclusive. Now T-Mobile goes one better with the Curve 8320 which adds not only WiFi but UMA for phone calling over WiFi networks. That's what we call a killer application in tech lingo: something new, cool and downright useful that might just start a new technology trend. We'll cover UMA in detail, along with features unique to the 8320. Since the 8320 is in most respects identical to the recently released Curve 8300, we won't repeat common feature coverage when possible. Please refer to our BlackBerry Curve 8300 review for further detail on features of interest not covered in this review.
What is UMA? It's a technology that allows you to make voice calls over WiFi and switch fairly seamlessly between GSM and WiFi calls. No need for a separate VoIP account and application on the phone (i.e.: Skype). Simply use your phone number and your phone as if it were a normal cell phone. This isn't quite free: T-Mobile offers their $10/month Hotspot@Home service. You must add this to your account to use the BlackBerry 8320 and the handful of other UMA phones offered by T-Mobile over WiFi. Yes, even if you want to use the service on your home WiFi network and not a T-Mobile hotspot, you'll have to pay the $10/month, because T-Mobile provides the backend services that handle tunneling GSM calls though IP networks and they provide the transition between WiFi and GSM calls. But for $10/month (that's the introductory price, it may go up if you sign up after the promo period ends, and family plans for up to 5 lines cost $20/month), we call it a bargain: you can make unlimited domestic WiFi calls. No charges beyond the $10/month fee. Calls that originate on UMA (WiFi) are billed as unlimited Hotspot@Home accounts, even if you walk away from the access point or hotspot and the phone switches to GSM. Likewise if you make or receive a call while on GSM, you'll be billed for the entire duration of that call using your regular plan minutes, even if you get in range of a hotspot and the phone switches to UMA. If you have weak cell phone service at home, make a lot of calls when in range of a home/work WiFi access points, the service makes a great deal of sense.
For those who are technically minded, UMA works only with GSM and it's technically not VoIP as are SIP services. UMA provides a pipeline or tunnel for pure GSM to travel through via IP. The somewhat more common SIP phones turn calls into multimedia streams and send them over the Net (this is a simplified explanation). Seamless call hand-off between mobile networks and UMA is a real possibility, whereas it isn't with SIP.
T-Mobile's Hotspot@Home UMA service includes the option to buy a modified Linksys WRT54G-TM (we assume the TM stands for T-Mobile). The router is $50 and there's a $50 rebate, so it's free in the end. This is an 802.11b/g WiFi access point that can function as your home/work's sole access point or it can be hooked up to your existing network as a repeater. Or, you need not use it at all: we used the BlackBerry 8320 with our existing D-Link DIR-655 802.11n router with no problems whatsoever.
Call quality over UMA was excellent on the Curve 8320. And we didn't have a single dropped call when the phone transitionedRead full review...
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.Read full review...
Blackberry on Cricket
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.Read full review...
Thanks for the opportunity via this medium to share. I was desirous of getting a Blackberry for my daughter. This work out well, the services offer the quality of the phone. Yet, I made one error, I did not check for the usage through a SIM card. Turned out that i ws unable to use the phone since i live outside mainland USA. My service provides only provide through SIM card.
Nonetheless it was a great buy only regret is i can't use it.
I would like to suggest that this is clearly indicated in the future to avoid this inconvinience to others.
Thanks once again it was nice doing business with you.
Oliver WallaceRead full review...
BB curve great phone & PDA for low, used price
Too cheap to pay for data plans and GPS plans, I needed phone, txtg, & PDA functions with USB wired Sync to Outlook databases, and occasional music listening. I have previously used a palm PDA & phone combo; then a thick, but rugged and long-lasting, windows 5 phone by htc. That (after years of service) has lost some capabilities in the last few months, so I explored reviews for all kinds of smart phones. 3 in our family have loved new ATT or nearly-new but unlocked Blackberry curves, without data plans, for phone, texting and music. Even though I fancied the new graphical OS (iPhone and Android) I also don't feel the data plans are worth paying for when we have wireless G/N internet at work, college, and home. So, for phone, PDA and occasional music listening functions, the used BB curve is a fine choice. I am trying to get along without the graphical functions & stylus, and enjoying the slim & light hardware, with very logical OS and clear displays. Syncing with windows outlook contacts, calendar and tasks was just as easy as with the Win 5 phone, took only a couple of minutes to set up. So far, buying these older models at much lower prices has worked out very well.Read full review...
nice phone..!! buen telefono..!!
nice phone for somebody how is using a blackberry for the first time, nice interface, wifi works great and faster when surfing the internet. i would like to have more internal memory (64Mb actual) for downloading applications.
buen telefono para alguien que usa blackberry por primera vez, el software es facil de usar, el wifi trabaja bien y rapido para navegar por internet. me gustaria que tuviese mas memoria interna (trae 64Mb) para descargar mas aplicaciones. Venezuela Movistar.Read full review...
If you need to make phone calls, buy something else
Blackberry Phone arrived, I put in my sim card, no calls enter and no calls go out. Signal is very bad (where with other phones in the same area it's excellence) change of sim card phone calls only possible outside the house. After 24 hours the trackball stopped working. Since you can not do nothing without the trackball, I went and had it fixed 15 USD extra for a not working phone. Tried to install Blackberry maps or Facebook app, it's just loading loading and loading for ever. Surfing the internet is good and fast (depending connection I guess) It's good looking, but if you need to make phone calls, buy something else. I needed a phone that worked so I bought another phone within one week. Double cost for nothing I am very disappointed!Read full review...
These are awesome phones and PDAs
The Blackberry has been in the smartphone biz longer than any of the others and it shows. It has a first rate PDA that not only links with the Microsoft products but for those of us who prefer Lotus Notes, it provides seamless synch capabilities. The Java based OS has made some really great upgrades available such as adding video recording with a software update when I never had it before. The camera leaves a bit to be desired and if you blow the pictures up to 8x10 you will get fuzzy, grainy images. But it is not a camera and it will allow you to record things you might have otherwise missed.
The lack of a touch screen is a bonus. Not only don't you end up with the scrapes from all that tapping, but you don't have to worry about accidental execution of things like butt dialing. Oh, and its solidly built. I have had a LOT of friends having to exchange their iPhone 4s because the just don't hold up. But none of my fellow blackberry users have had this problem and our phones are a lot older.Read full review...
This Blackberry is for use with the Sprint Network. It does not have space for a Sim Card as it uses another type of technology. However it does have a clear ESN number so you can use it on any network!!!
Bringing together these two great things, the great sprint network and the Blackberry you have an amazing combo!Read full review...
8320 Essential for Productivity
Even though the 8320 is a few years old, it still ranks in my book as one of the best phones for general productivity. The big difference in the 8320 is the Wi-Fi capabilities that make it very useful if you decide not to use the 3g network offered by cell phone companies. If your not into the touch screen, but want to upgrade to something with QWERTY keyboard, the BlackBerry 8320 is a good option. I really like the standard 3.5mm stereo input jack that allows for easy hands free use with stereo headphones with microphone.Read full review...