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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