Average review score based on 8,205 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
Although this latest device doesn't feature a touchscreen, there is a newly designed touch sensitive navigation button, situated in the centre below the screen. This takes the place of the Pearl, one aspect of the BlackBerry we've become accustomed to.
This optical trackpad is successful at re-inventing a way to navigate around the BlackBerry - allowing you to scroll smoothly through menus. Like the Pearl, you can press down on the trackpad to select an item. For those people who have been using a BlackBerry with a Pearl, it may take a little time to get used to the experience, but soon you'll find it's more responsive.
On either side of this navigation feature, there's the usual BlackBerry key that pulls up a content-specific menu, depending on which app you're using, and a back key on the right hand side. On the outer edges, you'll find call answer and end buttons. All four of these keys are recessed, giving the Curve 8520 a super-sleek finish.
However, this sleek, shiny finish does come with a foible. The outer casing attracts more fingerprints than any other BlackBerry, so you'll be wiping away smudges from dawn until dusk.
The keyboard is a joy to use. The keys may be small, but they're also slightly tilted, and raised, so your fingers can find them without much issue.
One thing that will really strike you about the BlackBerry Curve 8520 is the feather-weight load when it's in your hand or pocket. At just 106g, it's the lightest BlackBerry yet. It's also slim and perfectly formed, ensuring your pockets won't be bulging.
Inside the BlackBerry, there's nothing missing to cause concern. Even Wi-Fi is onboard, although you may miss the 3G capabilities when away from a hotspot. EDGE does make an appearance, although that's not much faster than GPRS.
Multimedia is this device's main game. The camera is only 2-megapixels without a flash or autofocus, but dedicated music keys along the top allow you to access tunes in a jiffy.
A whole IM folder allows you to chat to your friends or colleagues using BlackBerry Messenger, AIM, Google Talk, ICQ, Yahoo Messenger or Windows Live Messenger with the apps already on the handset. It's a shame there's not just one app that can sign you in to all of these at the same time preinstalled, but downloading BlackBerry App World will eliminate this issue, with a whole variety of apps at your fingertips.
The 2.6-inch screen is just as large as on the higher-end devices such as the Bold, and even with its lower-resolution screen (320 x 240 pixels compared to 480 x 320 pixels), it's equally as crisp, vibrant and clear.
The interface isn't anything new, sticking to the simple icon-based BlackBerry look, with customisable shortcuts at the bottom of the screen and large, clear icons in the main menu.
The Documents to Go suite of apps is preinstalled, allowing you to view Word, Excel, PDF and image files on the move. You won't be able to create documents though - this is a feature reserved for the premium version of the application.
What is stunning on the BlackBerry 8520 is the battery life. Unlike any other BlackBerry we've tested, the handset only needed charging once every three days. Although this isn't surprising with the lack of 3G and GPS, it is surprising coming from a BlackBerry, renowned for their abysmal battery life.
the Phone is a must buy and is extermely easy to use definately recommended
A smartphone which provides good connectivity for business users with the ability to download full email attachments on a compact device. Users won't have a problem when it comes to email, wifi etc but on the multimedia side, it suffers due to the lack of a flash and only a 2mp camera. The keyboard can be a little tacky to some for those with chubby fingers, it would be best to look elsewhere. Screen quality is excellent and sound quality especially when played through the top centre speaker.
The audio keys on the top are handy when playing multimedia and the trackpad is efficient with the option of setting the scroll speed. Build quality isn't as good as the bold series but then for half the price, you cannot expect everything.
For those who like to snap photos and quick videos on the move, the camera does suffer due to no flash and shutter speed is slow which causes blurring.
The OS software is stable and power on time is the fastest I have ever seen. It is a smartphone with powerful features but the camera does let it down.
I bought this phone for my 16 year old daughter and she is delighted with it. The phone certainly looks good. It is well designed, light and feels good in your hand. The qwerty keypad is easy to use and makes texting so much easier. I can see why other manufacturers are adding them on their latest models.
Although the 8520 is one of the cheaper Blackberry models it comes with a wealth of features which are more than enough for most users. This phone comes with a trackpad instead of a trackball which makes scrolling around the screen and Apps very easy. There is one touch access to the internet, facebook, twitter as well as email. I liked the ease of setup. There are comprehensive menus for everything. As someone who pays the bills I also liked the option to set my local wi-fi as preference. This means the phone accesses my local wireless router for data transfer, facebook etc, whenever my daughter is in the house and O2's mobile internet when she is out and about. It does this automatically saving on her data allowance. My local wi-fi is also a lot faster than mobile as the 8520 can utilise wirelss g speeds.
I have been able to compare this phone to a touchscreen smartphone as my son recently bought an LG Optimus GT540. This is an Android phone which can do all the things I have mentioned about the Blackberry 8520 including the wi-fi. The LG can also be flipped on its side to create a touchscreen qwerty keypad. My son prefers his LG because he likes the larger touchscreen. My daughter prefers the Blackberry because she likes the real keys and the way it handles.
Apps for the Blackberry are accessible through Blackberry Apps world. Android phones use Google Apps. Both have both free and paid Apps.
I wouldn't like to say which is best as it comes down to personal preference. I I like the larger screen of the LG but the Blackberry is easier to use and feels better in your hand.
I had not really considered a Blackberry for myself before but having seen and used my daughters 8520 I have become a convert. I really like this phone.
The only slight drawback is the 2mp camera. This is fine for uploading to facebook etc, which you can do directly from the phone but it is not ideal if you want a decent photograph. Having said that if you want a decent photo you should really use a decent camera but then again you usually have your phone with you and not the camera. This particular 8520 was bought as a replacement for a Sony Ericsson K800i which has a great built in 3.2 mp camera for a mobile phone.
I'd definitely give the 8520 the thumbs up. It's a lovely phone and its features are very accessible and easy to use.