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We got our BlackBerry Curve 8520 and it is time to unpack it: In the box, you will find the usual things: phone+SIM+battery+charger+earplugs+USB cable+manual and CD. Upon picking up the BlackBerry 8520, we immediately noticed how light it is (106g or 3.74oz). My BB 8900 weighs 111g, The MyTouch 3G weighs 117g and the iPhone 3GS weighs 135g (all with battery).

Upon booting, you will find the newer user interface introduced with the BlackBerry bold, although running at a lower resolution (320×240). The user interface is OK, but reading text or webpages is definitely not as nice when compared to a Bold, 8900 or more recent BlackBerry phones.

The trackball present in the 8320 has been replaced with a trackpad. I guess that it is more durable and possible less expensive to integrate. I thought that it was ok, although I still prefer the trackball to navigate the icons but I bet that scrolling a page in the web browser is better with the trackpad. It might just be because I got used to it.

The buttons are located in the same places than on the Blackberry Curve 8320, so the handling will feel exactly the same. On the Curve 8520, all the size buttons are covered by a rubbery material that would make me believe that it is more dust/splash resistant, but again, I think that this comes to durability and possibly cost. I like this.

One of the novelties is the media buttons at the top (play/pause/mute + forward + reverse).They might come in handy if you are running and want to control the music playback without taking the phone out of its holster.

On the surface, this seems like an interesting low-cost addition to the BlackBerry family. And by low cost, we mean that you can practically get it for free on Amazon with a new contract. That said, you can also get the Blackberry Curve 8900 for free on Amazon… and the Curve 8900 is much better.

I’ll have to get back to you on the “out of the box” Mac compatibility… I usually sync everything over the air. Is that something that you guys care about?

Filed in Cellphones >Featured >Top Stories . Tags: BlackBerry, Hands-On, smartphones and unboxing.
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