RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520 review

RIM looks to bring BlackBerry to the masses with this affordable handset, but the 8520 brings some innovations of its own to the party. Does it do enough to impress us?

On the right side of the device there are also two rubber covered volume buttons, as well as a quick access button for your camera and we were pleased to find that photos could be taken in a matter of seconds, with virtually no load time.

The camera and video recorder in themselves are of solid quality. Although only 2-megapixels the picture is clear enough for basic needs and the video isn't too jerky or grainy. Certainly this isn't a phone you would buy for the camera or music capabilities but these features do at least increase the appeal.

The full QWERTY keyboard is, as ever, a must for most corporate users. However, we did find the keys a little too small to type with ease, letting our fingers slip onto neighbouring keys at times. It may only let in the odd typo every few sentences but if this was your main phone for correspondence it would surely get frustrating.

The menu is clearly laid out with the option of six shortcuts available on the main screen. Although not the highest of resolutions the screen is a decent size, measuring 2.46in (50mm x 38mm) and web browsing or even media playback is decent, if not up to Blackberry Bold levels of excellence.

Blackberry has also gone up against the competition with its own app store, easily accessed by the 8520. A decent variety is on offer, from the more frivolous games and shopping apps to more handy travel and news information. The one flaw here is that you must have a PayPal account to purchase any. Although this does help you keep better track of what extras you are spending rather than putting it on your bill at the end of the month, it makes the process more drawn out, having to enter your details (every time) rather than just a quick click solution.

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