"If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63."
Research In Motion Blackberry Curve 8300
- Style and design, trackball, multimedia features
- Lack of Wi-Fi and HSDPA/3G, productivity applications still thin
The BlackBerry Curve is a seductive alternative to other candy-bar phones with wide-aspect-ratio screens. If the provider's price is right, the Curve could well become the hot smart phone of the moment.
Price$ 739.00 (AUD)
The BlackBerry Curve 8300 is the latest chic smart phone to sashay down the standard mobile phone runway. Petite and gently rounded at the corners (as its name suggests), the Curve does for Research In Motion's line of QWERTY-keyboard-equipped handhelds what the Pearl did for RIM's standard keypad devices: add a badly needed dose of style.
A more consumer-oriented mobile phone/PDA hybrid than most of its siblings, the Curve packs such multimedia features as a 2-megapixel camera with built-in flash and 3x digital zoom, and new desktop media management software developed in cooperation with Roxio.
It's a world phone, with support for all four GSM frequencies (800/850/1800/1900 MHz). If only it supported broadband, too. But alas, the Curve's data transfer rates top out at 2.5G EDGE speeds; the lack of Wi-Fi or HSDPA support are among the device's few weaknesses.
We spent a few days with a production-level Curve equipped with late preproduction software and were generally impressed. The device certainly makes a terrific first impression. Small and lightweight, it resembles a Treo that someone has flattened and widened out by applying a rolling pin. It rests comfortably in your hand, and voice quality on calls is fine (though not as great as we hoped in view of RIM's touting of its noise-cancellation technology, intended to improve audio quality in noisy environments).
The Curve really shines as a mail and data device. Its 320x240-pixel screen is gorgeous - gone are the bad old days of muddy BlackBerry colour displays. We also liked the small, marble-like trackball; its fluid movement substantially improves on the jog-wheel approach of yore. The trackball is particularly useful for skimming through Web pages on the embedded browser, but sometimes its fluidity moved the cursor more quickly than we anticipated - so we did a lot of backtracking through data entry fields.
We couldn't test the Curve's e-mail capabilities with a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, but the BlackBerry Internet Service did a first-class job with a Gmail account - not surprisingly, given RIM's expertise with e-mail. Setup took only a few seconds, and thereafter new mail appeared quickly in a neatly organized inbox list.
Though RIM's multimedia credentials are less well established, the Curve is poised to remedy that with its improved media player, which is intuitive and easy to use, and the new BlackBerry Desktop Media Manager software, which facilitates transferring and organizing music, audio, and video files and which supports basic multimedia functions such as image editing and CD ripping. It's no substitute for dedicated music, video, and image-editing software, but for some users it will suffice.
The images we captured with the camera were adequate but (like most pictures taken with camera phones) a tad fuzzy. Our informal tests couldn't assess the impact of the flash on image quality.
Unfortunately, such over-the-air activities as media downloads are relatively sluggish. We wish that RIM had included true 3G or Wi-Fi support. In addition, we miss the GPS chips and navigation software that come with the BlackBerry 8800, a more utilitarian, business-focused device.
Out of the box, the BlackBerry offers a rather thin array of productivity features in comparison to those you get in Windows Mobile PDA/phone hybrids. For serious word processing or spreadsheet support, you must turn to the growing number of third-party apps.
Overall, we found the Curve a seductive alternative to other candy bar phones with wide-aspect-ratio screens, such as the Samsung BlackJack. If the price is right, the Curve could well become the hot smart phone of the moment.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Nokia 6 (2018) review: Simple. Solid. Supreme.
- 2 Samsung Q9F Series QLED: Peak performance from a home entertainment heavyweight
- 3 Hisense takes the fight to home entertainment heavyweights with flagship Series 8 and 9 ULED TVs
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Oppo debut flagship Find X smartphone with almost no-bezels
- Google bring SMS to PCs with Android Messages for Desktop
- Vivo debut first 'zero-bezel' smartphone
- ZTE has to pay up before supply ban is scrapped
- Blackberry reveal KEY2 at NY launch event
PCW Evaluation Team
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
- Computex 2018: Everything you missed at Asia's biggest tech tradeshow
- Computex 2018: Nvidia launches new AI-focused hardware and software platforms
- Huawei P20 Pro review: See it and believe the hype
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies