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First Impressions: Blackberry 8330 CDMA

Device: Blackberry 8330 “Curve”
Previous Device: Blackberry 8703
Provider: Bell
Base Price: $549.00

I’ve had this smart phone now for a day and so far I’m pleased with the new features and annoyed with some others.

Welcome to this new device are features like a camera, a gps device and the inclusion of media players as well as memory expandability. Some features not so welcome are the new keyboard layout, removal of the spinning wheel and addition of the track ball. Along the way, some unexpected surprises.

First off with the good. One of the first things I made use of when getting the phone, was the camera. It was easy to use and the ability to add pictures to my address book entries is definitely welcome. The gps was also a great addition, using it was quite simple and the gps had no trouble tracking down my location and finding it on the map. I have not used the navigation feature yet. The screen also seems clearer and brighter, a very welcome change indeed.

One change I was not looking forward to was the removal of the wheel on the right side of the phone in favor of the track ball. Like the inclusion of the green and red phone buttons in blackberries before this – this change has caused me “hand confusion”. I got to reach for the wheel, have to abort that process and head back for the center ball. Once using it, the ball seems to work well enough. It like the rest of this smart phone, though, seems more flimsy in construction. The keys are smaller and seem to move differently. The back of the case caves when I occasionally squeeze while supporting my thumbs.. The center ball also seems a bit flimsy. The arrangement of the alt and caps keys also seems different, causing all sorts of mistakes on my part.

There have been some interesting surprises too. This smartphone comes with a built-in spell check. That was a huge addition. This phone also includes the ability to save pictures from inside the web browser. Even an itouch/iphone can’t do that. I was also a little perplexed by the inclusion of a mouse cursor on the web browser – I’m not sure if that makes sense? Including pictures in address entries and subsequently caller ids was also a cool feature. I have not tried voice dialing yet. One huge disappointment, however, was the lack of an included belt clip. What was included was this thoroughly useless pocket holster (that presses buttons by accident when you put the phone in). The pocket pouch seems like a ploy to force customers to buy overpriced ($39.99 at the time of writing) belt clips.

The data migration and activation was smooth however. No real issues there. I continue to work on getting used to this new keyboard!!