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How to Tell if New BlackBerry Curve's Right for You

By Al Sacco
August 5, 2009 01:44 PM ET

CIO - Today, Research In Motion's (RIM) brand new BlackBerry Curve 8520 goes on sale in the United States, through T-Mobile. The Curve 8520, RIM's third iteration of the Curve, falls directly in the middle of both RIM and T-Mobile's Curve product lines.

After T-Mobile initially released the Curve 8320 in September, 2007, it quickly became one of the carrier's best selling smartphones. More than a year later, T-Mobile was the first U.S. carrier to release RIM's second-generation Curve, the BlackBerry 8900. And today, the carrier is first to offer the next Curve, the BlackBerry 8520.

Yesterday, I attended RIM's Curve 8520 launch event in New York City, where the company showed off all kinds of up-and-coming wares along with the new device. I spent quite a bit of time with the new Curve and was able to mostly size it up.

Now, on to the Curve 8520 features and technical specifications, as well as my breakdown of why the new Curve could be a perfect fit for you--or not.

And if you're interested in additional BlackBerry devices, check out my takes on the BlackBerry Curve 8900 or Tour 9630.

How to Tell if the BlackBerry Curve 8520 is for You

First and foremost, are you a T-Mobile customer or are you considering switching to T-Mobile? If not, you'll want to pass on the new Curve 8520, since it's currently a T-Mobile exclusive. (Additional carriers, including Verizon Wireless, are expected to release the Curve 8530, dubbed "BlackBerry Aries," in the future, and AT&T will likely get its own 8520 variant.)

If switching your carrier to T-Mobile is a possibility, you'll want to make sure that T-Mobile provides adequate service in the areas where you live, work or spend most of your time.

The best way to determine if you reside or work in an area with strong T-Mobile coverage is to speak with a friend, colleague, neighbor, etc., who uses the carrier on a daily basis. Get general impressions of each carrier's coverage in your areas. Then check out the appropriate online coverage maps. And visit a T-Mobile retail location to speak with company representatives. In other words, do a bit of research.

If you find that T-Mobile coverage isn't up to snuff where you roam most often, you'll probably want to avoid the BlackBerry Curve 8520--at least for now.

Next up, some quick technical specifications from RIM:

* Quad-band GSM/EDGE/GPRS (850/900/1800/1900MHz)

* Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)

* UMA support; T-Mobile HotSpot @Home Wi-Fi calling

* 2.0 MP camera with 5X digital zoom and video recording (No flash)

* 256MB Flash Memory

* High-resolution 320 X 240 pixel screen

* 1150 mAHr removable/rechargeable cryptographic Lithium cell battery (same as Curve 83xx family)

This story is reprinted from, an online resource for information executives. Story Copyright CXO Media Inc., 2012. All rights reserved.
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