RIM Blackberry Curve 8310 Smart Phone with GPS: Product Review
The original Blackberry Curve released in early 2007, and it was a largely successful smart phone. So, the recent introduction of the RIM Blackberry Curve 8310 has gotten people excited about this updated version of the original Curve. The 8310 offers many of the same features of the original Curve but also adds GPS capabilities.
Design of the Blackberry Curve 8310
The Curve 8310 is a very attractive smart phone that comes in either red or titanium. The phone is relatively small at 4.2 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches, and it weighs only 3.9 ounces. The display features 320 x 240 pixel resolution, and a light-sensor which automatically adjusts the brightness levels according to the lighting conditions. The keyboard is setup very well and makes the Curve 8310 an ideal phone for messaging.
Internet with the Blackberry Curve 8310
This Blackberry is capable of email, Internet, messaging, and (obviously) calls. This phone does not have integrated Wi-Fi, which is a bit of a downfall, but the 8310 does support AT&T's EDGE wireless Internet network. The downfall of the EDGE network is that it's not quite as fast as Wi-Fi, but it is still sufficient for most applications. The Curve 8310 can be used as a wireless modem to connect to the Internet through your laptop, which can be a very useful feature when on the road.
Some Features in the Blackberry Curve 8310
The Rim Blackberry Curve 8310 has many other features as well. Some of these features include:
- Bluetooth- for hands-free calling with a Bluetooth-enabled headset
- Camera- 2 megapixel digital camera with 5x zoom
- Media Player- The 8310 supports a variety of music formats including MP3, AAC, and MIDI. This device also supports various video formats for watching video clips.
- Lots of call features- speakerphone, voice-activated dialing, smart dialing, conference calls, etc.
GPS with the Blackberry Curve 8310
The most notable new feature in the 8310 is the addition of GPS capabilities. This Blackberry features built-in TeleNav maps that are full-color maps with text and voice-guided directions. AT&T will charge $9.99 per month for this add-on service, but for those people who don't currently have a GPS device it may be well worth the money.
Performance of the GPS feature seems to work very well for a device who's main function is not GPS navigation. In recent tests, Cnet found the GPS feature surprisingly good in the 8310, saying "... the Curve did a good job of tracking our location and providing us with directions."
I did come across one minor flaw of the GPS feature in the Curve 8310. PCMag was slightly annoyed by the GPS traffic warnings in their field tests of the 8310, saying " Five separate times, the system told me to exit a highway due to congestion on Staten Island, on the Garden State Parkway, and on the expressway back in New York. The device was wrong in every instance-each time, I took a risk and kept going, only to find no traffic jam ahead." Aside from that minor gripe, they liked the performance of the GPS feature in the 8310.
Overall Ratings for the Blackberry Curve 8310
Overall, the RIM Blackberry Curve 8310 should be a hit for AT&T. PCMag gave the 8310 a 4 out of 5. Cnet gave the Blackberry 8310 an 8.3 out of 10, which is very good. Sounds like a great gift for the holidays!
The RIM Blackberry Curve 8310 is available exclusively through AT&T for $199 with a 2 year service agreement or $99 on Amazon .
Sources: PCMag and Cnet Reviews
Joe Eitel's Gadget Blog