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BlackBerry Curve 8900 Phone, Titanium (T-Mobile)
List Price: $499.99

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Product Description

Updating the look of the Curve with a sleekly styled titanium finish, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 for T-Mobile is the thinnest and lightest full-QWERTY BlackBerry smartphone yet. In addition to its stunning good looks--with titanium-colored finish accented by chrome highlights--the Curve 8900 is packed with communication and location features. The built-in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) supports both voice and data, making it easier to stay connected to family, friends and colleagues using T-Mobile's Unlimited HotSpot Calling service, while the built-in GPS supports location-based services including turn-by-turn navigation.



With its stunning titanium-colored finish and chrome highlights, the sleek and slender design of the BlackBerry Curve 8900 smartphone dresses it for any occasion (see larger image). Check out the Curve 8900 101 video demo.
And, of course, you'll enjoy all the communication and connectivity features you've come to expect from a Blackberry phone--including email served up by the BlackBerry Internet Service and a full menu of messaging options (SMS, MMS, and IM). The handset's advanced multimedia capabilities include a 3.2-megapixel camera with image stabilization, digital zoom, flash and the ability to record video and play video. Other features include a hot-swappable MicroSD/SDHC memory card slot (for cards up to 16 GB; 256 MB card included), Bluetooth for handsfree communication and stereo music streaming, multi-format digital audio player, unlimited any-network calling to any 5 people with a myFaves plan, and up to 5.5 hours of talk time.

T-Mobile Service Options
With T-Mobile HotSpot Enabled service, you'll effortlessly transition between Wi-Fi calling and T-Mobile's wireless network while you talk. You can get unlimited nationwide calls over Wi-Fi--at home via your wireless router or at any U.S. T-Mobile HotSpot. You can also use the HotSpot Enabled service via most open, or unsecured, wireless routers, as well as any secured wireless router for which you have access to the password from the owner. This phone is compatible with the 802.11b/g Wi-Fi standard as well as the following Wi-Fi Alliance certifications: WPA/WPA2 Personal and Enterprise, WMM, WMM Power Save, Wi-Fi Protected Setup. Whenever you're not using a Wi-Fi network, the Curve works just like a regular mobile phone, using your Whenever Minutes under your T-Mobile voice plan.

Additionally, this mobile phone operates on GSM 850/900/1800/1900 networks and can handle high-speed data connectivity via T-Mobile's EDGE network (which stands for "Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution"). As a quad-band world phone, this phone supports international roaming, extending the ability to stay connected while traveling abroad. This high-speed, mobile data and Internet access technology is fast enough to support a wide range of advanced data services (with average data speeds between 75-135Kbps), including full picture and video messaging, high-speed color Internet access, and email on the go.

This phone also includes compatibility with T-Mobile's myFaves service, which allows you to call up to five of your most common contacts--on any network, even landlines--without using any of your minutes. Learn more about myFaves from T-Mobile.

Download cool new games, HiFi Ringers (real songs by today's hottest artists), MegaTones (instrumental versions of songs), and wallpapers quickly, as well as stay connected via the Web, instant messaging, and email.



The Curve 8900 includes Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth stereo music streaming, GPS navigation capabilities, MicroSD expansion to 16 GB, and more (see larger image).
Staying Connected
With BlackBerry's push email technology, your email will find you without having to initiate a connection. BlackBerry devices are designed to remain on and continuously connected to the wireless network, notifying you as new email arrives. In addition to the text, you can also receive and view attachments in a wide range of popular file formats, including Microsoft Office, Corel WordPerfect, and Adobe PDF.

Browse the web with the integrated, full-featured browser, which quickly and efficiently displays HTML pages as well as enables you to set up RSS feeds to stay connected to up-to-the-minute news and blog posts. And keep up with your contacts using a variety of instant message (IM) networks, including the integrated Blackberry Messenger as well as downloadable clients for Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, and Lotus Sametime.

For corporate users, the Curve delivers all the enterprise email and messaging capabilities you've come to expect. It's supported on BlackBerry Internet Service, giving you access to up to 10 work or personal email accounts (including most popular ISP email accounts), as well as BlackBerry Enterprise Server, enabling advanced security and IT administration within IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise environments.

Phone Features
With a refined design, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 smartphone supports both your professional and personal mobile communication needs to help you enjoy a more organized, balanced life. In addition to a sleek, stylish design, the powerful new smartphone includes a large, vivid display--the highest resolution available on a BlackBerry smartphone--as well as a 512 MHz next-generation processor for fast and responsive performance.

The striking 2.4-inch, 480 x 360-pixel display (65K colors) serves up crisp images, text and maps so information is easier to read, even when you're on the go. It also includes a light-sensing feature that automatically adjusts backlighting for indoor, outdoor and dark environments. Like other Curve models, the Curve 8900 includes a trackball navigation system located on the top of the QWERTY keypad, and it features an integrated spell checker with a customizable dictionary to help maintain accuracy.

You can snap vivid photos as well as video clips using the 3.2-megapixel camera on the back of the Curve, which also features a 2x digital zoom, auto focus, image stabilization, and a flash. Transfer pictures and videos between your smartphone and your desktop computer easily using the USB cable that comes with the smartphone, or via Bluetooth technology.

You can also capture video clips on the go, with two resolution choices--480 x 352 pixels for saving to your PC and 176 x 144 pixels for sending via MMS messaging. In addition to recording videos, the Curve 8900 also supports mobile video streaming as well as videos saved from your PC. It's compatible with DivX, XviD (MPEG4 Advance Simple Profile), H.263, and WMV3 formats.

Listen to your favorite music using the included stereo headset, or use an optional wireless headphone thanks to the Curve's support for the Bluetooth stereo audio profile (A2DP/AVRCP). The Curve is compatible with a wide variety of file formats (.3gp, WAV, MIDI, AMR-NB, G711u/A, GSM610, PCM, MP3, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, WMA9/10 Standard/Pro) and dedicated volume controls are conveniently located on the side of the handset.

Handsfree communication is easy thanks to the integrated speakerphone. This phone also provides Bluetooth wireless connectivity (version 2.0 + EDR), and includes profiles for communication headset, handsfree car kits, and file transfer. You can connect your laptop (either via Bluetooth or wired USB) and enjoy dial-up networking--surf the Internet, send email, and access files from a server.

With the Voice-Activated Dialing (VAD) feature, you can initiate a call just by telling the Curve who to call from your contact list--either via the integrated speakerphone or using an optional Bluetooth wireless headset. Other advanced phone features include advanced sound technology that cancels out background noise and echo, dedicated volume and mute keys, and the ability to customize the Curve with polyphonic and MP3 ringtones.



Capture high-resolution photos and videos with the 3.2-megapixel camera on the back.
The BlackBerry Browser on the Curve 8900 is designed to make on-the-go Internet browsing fast and fun--you can even start a search right from the home page. Navigate sites and zoom in on content using a trackball-controlled pointer, set bookmarks and view your history. Plus, the BlackBerry Browser works with a host of other applications to make things like online purchasing and tracking information on your favorite pages easier.

The easier a map is to read, the easier it is to follow. Together with BlackBerry Maps, the crisp, colorful screen of the Curve 8900 is designed to make it easier to find the location of businesses, restaurants, concert venues, parks and more by allowing you to check maps and get driving directions quickly and conveniently. When you're connected to the network, you can even launch maps from your address book. BlackBerry Maps is also designed to help make trips easier by providing route options like fastest or shortest and displaying directions visually along with text-based turn-by-turn instructions.

Whether your instant messaging (IM) account is with Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk, AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ or Windows Live Messenger, you can bring your IM community wherever life takes you. Like the desktop versions, these programs offer features like avatars and emoticons. And, because BlackBerry applications work together, you can also start an IM chat from your address book, call or email an IM contact while chatting or even check your calendar right from a chat.

Other features include:

  • Easily synch with Microsoft Outlook: Stay in synch with your Contacts, Calendar, and Tasks in Microsoft Outlook
  • Edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files: Just download attachments and start typing. You'll enjoy many of the same features you do on your computer--copy and paste, font size and color, even bullets and numbering and more.
  • Remote Search: If you prefer not to carry all your email on your Curve 8900 smartphone, Remote Search can be used to find emails that are still stored on your BlackBerry Enterprise Server using name, subject and other options to narrow the field.
  • BlackBerry Media Sync: Sync your desktop iTunes music files with your BlackBerry smartphone.
  • Free/Busy Lookup: View your colleagues' calendars to see who's available at what time right from your BlackBerry smartphone.
  • RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feeds support: With RSS, you don't need to check important websites for updates, new content can be pushed to you automatically.
  • Send and receive text and picture messages (SMS and MMS)
  • Bluetooth version 2.0 + EDR with the following profiles: A2DP (stereo music streaming), AVRC (remote control), HFP (hands-free car kits), HSP (communication headsets), DUN (dial-up networking), FTP (file transfer), PBA (transfer contacts)

Vital Statistics
The Blackberry Curve 8900 weighs 3.9 ounces and measures 2.4 x 4.3 x 0.5 inches. Its 1400 mAh lithium-ion battery is rated at up to 5.5 hours of talk time, and up to 360 hours (15 days) of standby time. It runs on the 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE frequencies.

Features:
  • Access all your email and messaging with the sleekest, lightest, thinnest full-QWERTY keyboard BlackBerry yet featuring a high-resolution 480 x 360-pixel LCD screen
  • Wi-Fi connectivity for Web browsing and access to T-Mobile's Hotspot Enabled unlimited calling service; unlimited calling to your five most called contacts with MyFaves
  • 3.2-megapixel digital camera with flash and video capture; Bluetooth for handsfree communication and stereo music streaming; MicroSD memory expansion up to 16 GB
  • Up to 5.5 hours of talk time, up to 360 hours (15 days) of standby time
  • What's in the Box: handset, rechargeable battery, charger, wired handsfree stereo headset, 256 MB MicroSD card, BlackBerry Desktop software, quick start guide

Customer Reviews:

  • Needs a 4.5 star option.
    Is this the perfect phone, you will never need to buy another phone in your life.... no its not.

    As far as the phone goes, calls have all been clear, on UMA (this rocks btw), on edge, on bluetooth, and on speaker phone, works great as a phone! clear on both ends.

    I text alot, comming from a non qwerty phone, this one was easy to adapt too, I have normal hands I guess, if you bite your nails you may have issues. Ive tried the G1 and while the keys are more spread out, I felt this phone was more comfortable to type with.

    Emails are awesome, I set up my work OWA, hotmail, gmail, yahoo, and they all work like a champ and notify me when I have new emails. Pretty easy set up as well. on BIS

    Cam is awesome 3.2meg, descent colors for a camera, and a flash. Also has a video cam... not so great resolution, but just ok for MMS, or you tube quality. I have only used mine as a flashlight with the one touch button on the left side and that is super nice to hit that button and the bright LED comes on to light up whatever you need.

    as a pda with the contacts and dates and calanders, all work very well and reminders all work well.

    Contact list has tons of space to put in everything about the contacts

    It also has a normal size headphone jack, and not the tiny one.
    I would have loved to have the normal USB jack and I see alot of people are complaining about that... for me if I needed too, I could google 'micro usb to mini usb adaptor' And see that for a few bucks I can get some adaptors and not have a problem with that.
    And of course e bay has tons of chargers, car/desk/usb and screen protectors and cases... all for pretty cheap.

    And onto browsing... not something I like to do on any phone, because the screen is to small, I looked at the iphone, and g1, and storm, and none of them I could see myself browsing the internet with, its just not easy to read. However apps that have BB adjusted web pages are nice to scroll around, facebook, and myspace, and youtube, viigio, crackberry of course, are easy to navigate.

    The Apps store is a nice place to get alot of free apps, weather included. I use weathereye and it pushes data to the phone and is free, there are lots of them... Since I am coming from Verizon, all this free apps is totally foreign to me hehe.

    For themes I found plenty(free) after googleing for under 5 min, and I could also make my own with a free bb theme creator.

    GPS, and maps. work well and update fast. This is the only time I noticed 3G being an issue, is that the maps did not update as fast as I was driveing.

    I have had no issues with the track ball, and Ive played alot of brick breaker.

    I hear alot about battery pulls with BB's I have yet to do this. and I have upgraded my OS last night to v 4.6.1.231 and that was fun, everything seems a little bit snappier.

    something else I dont like is the memory card slot. With finger nails and all It was a pain to get the worthless 256m card out, Luckily its not something you need to swap since with the usb cable you can plug it into the PC and see the drive.

    Battery life I dont have a problem with, it seems to have no problems holding a charge with a full days use.


    Overall I think this phone is a keeper, Ive had no problems with T-mob even after I returned the G1 after a day. I have not had a dropped call, or been out of a service area yet...more info
  • This Blackberry is a great device and a huge upgrade from the older Curve!
    I have owned this Blackberry since January and I think this phone is great. The email and Blackberry messenger are obviously great features but that's not what makes this Blackberry so good. This is:

    -Great screen. The high resolution is the first thing you notice and the first thing the comes to mind is "Wow".

    -The speed of the device is smooth and snappy. Very fast. The processor is faster than the older one and the internal memory is also increased. You easily notice the difference.

    -MicroSD 16GB External Storage (You have to buy the card)

    -UMA is great to have if you travel.

    -GPS

    -Wifi works good for me. I have no issues. I love having it. And while I'm talking about wifi, the browser is also a lot better than the older version.

    -The 3.2MP camera with AUTO focus is very nice. It takes good pictures.

    Overall who ever gets this phone will not be disappointed. I like this phone over the Bold because of it's size. The Bold feels bulky compared to this one. They are pretty much the same phone except for size and 3G. The 8900 is the perfect size. It's flatter and slightly lighter than older Curve. The only thing missing from this phone is 3G but I can care less since I am always on WiFi. If I'm not on WiFi then the only thing I am doing is emailing, using blackberry messenger, or on the phone. So I don't need 3G and don't care for it.

    I did upgrade my firmware to .168....more info
  • A good upgrade from the 8300
    I bought this phone as an upgrade to my old 8300 curve. For the most part, the experience of using this phone is just about the same as my old phone. Even though there is a new default them and an updated operating system, the blackberry functions just like the original Curves. But I did notice a few differences that I wanted to specifically mention:

    First, as everyone says, the screen is amazing, but it only pays off if you have good vision. In day-to-day use, you will notice the screen is sharp and colorful, but the real benefit is when you browse the web. Because the screen is higher resolution, you can fit more information onto the screen, but, as a result, text and images can be very tiny. When, for example, I read the NY Times web page on the phone, the text is so small that some of my friends have difficulty reading it.

    Next, I wanted to mention that the speed of the user interface starts off fairly slow in the first day or so, as the phone is updating software, syncing contacts, etc. I spent some time deleting unnecessary applications and freeing up space on the phone. After a few days of use, the phone is noticeably faster than my old 8300. (Example: when marking all of my email as read, it happens instantly, as opposed to taking a few seconds with the 8300.)

    Next, I am a big fan of the lock button on the top of the phone (the button is actually underneath the case--you just press the corner of the phone and it locks). It is much faster to unlock the phone with this dedicated button, but it is also easier to accidentally unlock the phone.

    Finally, I have to praise the camera. It is a 3.2MP auto-focus camera with an LED flash that actually seems to work. The image quality is still below what a normal camera can do, but it is a vast improvement from the old curve. The shutter button acts like a camera shutter--press halfway to autofocus, press all the way to take a pic. I would be happy with just using my phone camera on vacations.

    Overall, I'm extremely happy with my 8900, and I have no regrets for upgrading....more info
  • Best Blackberry for Corporate Users
    I have had this phone for 3 weeks now and absolutely love it. I constantly have to send emails for work and this is as close as a phone can get to being perfect for email.

    Before I go to the pros and cons, I would say that this review is based on someone who uses the corporate side of the smartphone first, and browsing second. Nothing is better than an iPhone for browsing, but nothing beats a QWERTY pad for typing.

    Pros
    - Screen is great, a great improvement over the original Curve. If you send a lot of emails this makes a huge difference
    - I don't really care for the screen to be widescreen, it's not a TV and I would rather have a bigger screen for emails then the wider one on the Bold
    - It's barely bigger than the Pearl, which has half the keys
    - It's nicer looking than the Bold, which is clunky and has that ugly leatherette on the back
    - WiFi is great. If you're in an office with WiFi you won't miss 3G and not having 3G isn't that much of an issue since I don't really need to stream Youtube when I am walking around
    - The battery life is better than my old Pearl, especially since I upgraded the firmware. Also for those who have issues with the battery life, it also depends on what apps you have in the background. The older BBs don't have the memory and processor to run things like IM in the background and all of these drain battery
    - The keypad is great. It's as close to using a PC as you can get, which is amazing given the size of the pad. I love it
    - The phone's camera is actually pretty good given it's not a proper-sized camera. It can actually take decent night photos with some light, which is not the case of many phones. The flash is actually pretty strong for a such a small device and can double as a little flashlight


    Cons
    - The big one is no 3G, though I honestly think this is overhyped. Half the people with 3G iPhones have to turn it off to save battery and if you use the phone for work, calling, or IM 3G doesn't make a difference. Yes you can get data and voice at the same time, but you can do this on WiFi and generally you wouldn't be on a phone call and sending an email at the same time. Still having 3G would have been better, as I would rather pay a bit more and turn it off then not have the option
    - The browser is much better than prior iterations but Browsing has never been a BB forte. I use Opera Mobile, which is much better, but it's still not even close to using the UI of an iPhone

    I admittedly cannot live without my BB and this phone is not helping with that. Nonetheless as smartphones go I think this thing is as good as it gets for corporate use, though 3G should have been put in.

    This is a great BB, IMO, the best one RIM has ever made....more info
  • This thing is nearly perfect
    I trust you already know the specs, so I'll focus on the only negatives.

    1) the trackball thing sometimes gets stuck and won't move. I think this might be a common problem and I don't have a lot of confidence it will continue to become easily unstuck several years from now. This is - by far - the largest negative.

    2) the usb connection is a micro, not mini, usb. nothing you probably own will fit it, so you will need to buy all new accessories.

    3) the micro-sd card that comes with it is WAY too small. I found an 8GB card to be adequate for photos, music, etc.

    The pros are size, keyboard and screen, but everybody else already covered that....more info
  • Good improvement over prior Curve models
    Updated OS, 3.2 mp camera, restyled case.

    Those the three main upgrades in store for anyone who previously owned a Curve. While the 8900 is a nice upgrade for sure - RIM still suffers from build issues in the Curve model line. The battery door on mine (and I've read elsewhere that others have this too) is loose and has "give" to it when I type (yes, you can solve this by sticking a business card between the battery and door).

    I've been using the 8900 for a couple weeks now. I also have a BlackBerry Bold (which I prefer for the larger screen and different keypad which I find easier to use).

    If you have small hands - the 8900 is a nice phone. It's size will fit in your palm just right and not be difficult to hold.

    In practice I find the control keys (send, end, escape, menu) that are between the screen and the keyboard are difficult (perhaps uncomfortable is a better word) to press. If you don't press in the right spot - there's very little give and after a while continued use hurts your finger.

    The smaller keyboard on the 8900 is less comfortable for me. I'm using a BlackBerry Bold whose keyboard I prefer because the keys are less pointed on the Bold. This will be a matter of preference - so you should try the 8900 keyboard yourself prior to making a final decision.

    In testing the OS on the 8900 is fairly stable. I've owned T-Mobile UMA equipped BlackBerry's before and they all seem to have some tendency to sporadically lock up on incoming calls when on UMA (which is voice and data sent over Wi-Fi). The lock ups don't happen frequently (maybe once a week at most) - but they're annoying.

    RIM's latest OS (4.6) has a major lag time when re-booting. I haven't run a stopwatch against my devices but both the Bold and the 8900 easily run 5 minutes to reboot. Hopefully enough people will complain and RIM will fix this. Earlier models of the BlackBerry had this same reboot lag but I do not remember it being this lengthy.

    Overall here's my BlackBerry 8900 PRO / CON list:

    PROS:

    - Uses a much improved BlackBerry OS 4.6.x
    - Vastly improved camera of 3.2 mp
    - T-Mobile UMA allows calls via Wi-Fi when out of native T-Mobile coverage
    - T-Mobile UMA allows data, sms, mms via Wi-Fi
    - Re-designed form factor for those needing a smaller phone

    CONS:

    - Battery cover has give when pressed during normal use
    - Lacks 3G capabilities
    - T-Mobile cellular coverage in Northeast (and I believe elsewhere) is the worst of all carriers
    - Sporadic lock ups while on UMA
    - Smaller screen and keyboard may be too small for some (especially screen)
    - Inserting micro-SD card requires removing battery cover (though not battery)

    Is this a good phone to buy?

    In a word - Yes. I think for the price Amazon offers it (after rebate) you have a hard time finding a better bargain. Given all the pros and cons I think you should zero in on the T-Mobile coverage first and be sure that you'll be adequately covered in your home usage area.

    Also, first time BlackBerry buyers should be aware that there's a mandatory BlackBerry data plan required to use this phone. I've read lots (LOTS) of messages on discussion boards about people trying to get around this and while it seems that some do skirt the data requirement (and be aware that if you buy through Amazon you are required to keep data on your line for a period of time or you can be assessed a penalty) - most find that there's no good way around a BB plan. ...more info
  • Killer!
    The killer app for the Blackberry is, and has been the OS. It is the most stable, reliable, and advanced operating system of an smartphone around. I've used the G1, Treo's, Sidekicks, Windows devices and others, this trumps them all.

    The 8900 is not my first BlackBerry. It will not be my last either since I'm sure they will have something new and lovely I want in a year or two, for now though I'm more than satisfied.

    Things I Rave about:
    1) Memory! I have 12 third party applcations installed and still have more memory free than the older Blackberry's come with.
    2) Audio Video. The screen and speaker are better than any other mobile device around.
    3) Emaill. It's a BlackBerry, it doing this right all the time is a no brainer.

    Things I merely love.
    1) The browser. While it is improved over older devices, it is not quite on par with the G1.
    2) Camera. It has a great lens, great software to process the pic and is sharp and adjustable. Sadly when trying to zoom in and out the movement is slower than scrolling in other applications.


    The one thing I dislike is the switch from the mini-usb to the micro-usb. And for that this review is really only a 4.85

    ...more info
  • The best blackberry so far
    I just bought this phone from Amazon. A great deal which is cheaper than buying from the T-Mobile site.

    The best features of this phone are :

    1) Making phone calls over WIFI for free once you add the $9.99 unlimited hot spot calling to your plan.

    2) Very slim and sleek compared to previous Blackberry phones

    3) Gorgeous display screen

    4) You can even switch off the wireless portion and use it strictly on Wifi for voice calls and Internet/Email access (however bear in mind if you are on WIFI only and you are using an Internet application like Flycast any voice call will end up going to voice mail.

    5) I have not used previous Blackberry's for listening to Music but with this one the sound is great and you can download some great applications for Blackberry like Flycast and Slacker Mobile to listen to Music. I hooked it up to my Ipod docking station and it sounds great.

    6) Battery life is good as with prior Blackberries. It lasts three days if I don't play any music and use it strictly for voice and email.

    7) The keyboard is easy to type on and feels solid.
    ...more info
  • Good Buy
    I recently purchased this phone about three weeks ago.
    So far I'm highly impressed with most of its features.
    I completely agree with all the good things said about this phone and a few of the cons-- although the one thing that seems to worry me about this phone, hence the 4 star rating, is the keyboard.
    Its slightly difficult to type with--but I suppose that simply requires some getting used to; but I find the real problem is that the keys all have some wiggle room. They seem to be all attached and have slight up and down wiggle movement when you push one up.
    I'm not sure if all phones by BlackBerry are built this way or not.

    In either case, I highly recommend this model. ...more info
  • Great features, stable performance, one serious flaw
    Overall it is a great "Smartphone" and the best I've used thus far when it comes to stable, usable performance. I have, however, found it to have one serious flaw - there is something wrong with the ear speaker. In-call volume is so low as to render the phone fairly unusable except in very quiet environments. It is not an OS/Software issue (at least not after having tried 2 OS updates with no fix), but appears to be a physical problem related to the speaker (and I'm not the only one to have noticed this issue with the 8900). My only solution has been to use the speakerphone at full volume on all calls.....this works because the sound is projected both front and back of the unit when you use the speakerphone....more info
  • First impression 4 stars . . . after a few weeks the trackball has become an issue
    My first review for this phone was 4 stars. After using it for a few weeks now I feel I have to reevaluate and drop a star after encountering a growing problem with the trackball.

    I used the 8700g Blackberry for several years. It was probably the last BB model that came with a trackwheel on the side instead of the trackball on the front. Over the years the wheel never malfunctioned. It was rock solid. Of course, it was also very ineffective at moving around the screen. RIM obviously had to come up with a better way.

    Like all mechanical mouses, the BB trackball will get dirt and dust underneath on the mechanical parts which causes problems with moving the cursor. My google search indicated that this problem has popped up on probably every single BB made.

    After using the phone for a few weeks I have noticed that the downward motion is now much slower. Left, right and up are OK for now, but those are also directions I use the least. The downward motion is what a user would use to scroll quickly through an email or read a web site. At this rate I'm going to assume that within 90 days I'm probably going to have to have the phone fixed or find out how to remove the outer casing to clean the trackball myself. There are online instructions for other BB models, but I've yet to find anything about the 8900. I'm going to be really annoyed if it's not possible on the user side to fix this problem.

    Now, on to the other pros and cons . . .

    Pros
    New OS/interface is more stable and offers more features
    Phone is probably the smallest BB with a full keyboard. A welcome change after using the 8700g, a model about twice the size in total volume
    Camera has been upped to 3.2mp and comes with a flash. Also has a video function, although I haven't tested that yet.
    Accepts Micro SD cards allowing you to have a full fledged MP3 player. I put a class six 8gb card in mine for about $30

    Cons
    As stated, the trackball!
    Back cover is a bit flimsy
    RIM doesn't provide enough themes with the OS and finding others (the much needed "Today" theme for example) is far more difficult than in the past. You can get extra themes, but currently (as of early 2009), you will have to look hard for them as RIM isn't currently listing them on their online source page.
    Phone is actually slower at loading at some web sites than the 8700g on some networks. The phone has a 2x faster processor. T-Mobile needs to start thinking about moving on to 3G soon.
    RIM changed the power cord to micro USB. The size difference is tiny, but it now forces users to buy new accessories (e.g. car chargers). No excuse for this.

    The 8900 is a great phone to use. It's an improvement over the earlier Curve and it's a few light years ahead of the old 8700g. But the possible deal breaker for me is that trackball. That the problem popped up so quickly and is such a common problem along the entire BB product line angers me more. RIM should have come up with a solution for this by now....more info
  • Of the 43 phones I've burned through in 3 years:
    Hey all, I want to make a few things clear before I get too deep into my review. There's been a lot of myths about BlackBerry that quite simply aren't true. First and foremost, this phone is NOT just a business phone, it can be optimized and customized to whatever you'd like. As of the past 3 days, I haven't needed to use my computer for anything except writing this review. Like I said in the title, I've been through 43 different phones on 4 different networks in 3 years. I've seen everything from the BB Pearl to the iPhone to the Samsung Instinct. As someone that has had a lot of different phones, both low end and high end, I feel like I've seen quite a bit of good things and bad things on all phones. My review is unbiased, as all reviews should be.


    The Pros:
    -WiFi and WiFi calling is simply awesome. This is a must because I don't get any cell phone reception at my house. I had a G1 and although it had WiFi, it would not connect to my router and it didn't feature WiFi calling.

    -Screen is beautiful. Don't let the size fool you, it IS smaller than an iPhone screen, but the fact is this screen is the closest you will find to true HD on a cell phone. Although HD currently doesn't exist on cell phones in the US, this phone has a very clear screen that just glows.

    -Camera is AMAZING. For a cell phone camera, this thing blows my mind, it takes better pictures than my old digital camera of the same resolution. It's a 3.2 Megapixel, but I swear it's much MUCH better than that. I took a picture of a pair of shoes, and I could see the grains in the leather, I could see the finest details. Best camera I've EVER seen on a phone.

    -Call quality is superb. With T Mobiles service, the reception area isn't as broad as I'd like, but even with the spotty areas of service, I haven't dropped a call yet. Great job with the quality, and shouldn't this be the most important detail of all?

    -Applications: No, it doesn't have an app store nearly as immense as the iPhone, but rest assured, the BlackBerry faithful have found ways to make apps for all your favorite stuff. The phone ships with a complete mobile office suite. It comes with a word processor, spreadsheet reader, and all the other goods that you would want with a business phone. It's nice having that XLS reader/editor, because I can easily track and update the rosters on all my favorite teams from anywhere.

    -Battery Life: WOW! That's all I can say, from the get go, you're going to notice the battery is quite a big larger than other cell phone batteries. Like most people know, when you're in the atmosphere of smartphones, a bigger battery almost instantly means better battery life, and this phone is no different. Thanks to the updated processor (which is incredible), the phone optimizes the phones different processes to make the battery life better. On the information above, it tells you that you can get 5.5 hours talk time, I got 7 hours of talk time on one battery charge. Most normal cell phones don't even get that.


    One other thing a lot people are asking about is tethering, and while T Mobile doesn't technically offer it, there is an application called TetherBerry that will let you use the BlackBerry for tethering.




    Overall: I know I've said a million different things up there, but the bottom line is this:

    This phone can be anything you want it to be, whether it's a social networking tool, or a business tool. This phone does anything you want it to. It's the whole package, and I think I'm done seeing other phones, I'm ready to settle down with this one....more info