- Updated styling
- Battery life outperforms other BlackBerrys
- Just average call quality
- Small LED indicator
- Low-resolution camera
On balance, however, unless you're a world-traveling power user, the Curve is a much better deal than any other BlackBerry for Sprint right now.
The BlackBerry Curve 8530 generally fits into the BlackBerry line up as a refresher to the now ubiquitous Curve 83xx, and is meant to sit between entry-level models like the Pearl and Pearl Flip, and higher end models like the world-dominating Tour and Bold.
For just $50 from Sprint, users get an innovative trackpad, Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi, 3G coverage, and a surprisingly impressive 2 megapixel camera — all rolled into a nicely sized form factor.
The Curve 8530 compares will the Tour 9630 — both models are available from Sprint, but the Curve is more affordable.
BUILD & DESIGN
Overall the Curve 8530 has a fashion-forward design aimed at a younger consumer audience. Instead of a chrome bezel and pronounced convenience keys that you find on the Tour, you’ll find a rubber strip around the side with convenience keys that seem to bulge out of its sides. On the top of the device you find a set of media-control keys.
The front of the phone shows off what is perhaps its best feature — the trackpad in place of the traditional trackball. Whether you’re a seasoned BB veteran or a newcomer, you’ll appreciate the intuitive, easy to use reliable performance of the trackpad. This one feature alone might be enough to knock the Tour out of contention.
The keys on the keyboard are a “chicklet” holdover from the previous generation.
The Talk, End, Return and Menu keys are redesigned as if they are part of the screen — not a design choice I’m particularly fond of.
The screen itself pales in comparison to the beautiful display on the Tour, but there is nothing outright wrong with it. There’s nothing to complain about, but if you were to hold your Curve up to a Tour, you’d notice the difference.
The biggest annoyance, design-wise, is the LED indicator light. On a regular BlackBerry there’s no way you’re going to miss a message. You will not be distracted by the LED light on the Curve 8530, the indicator which is just a touch bigger than the tip of a ballpoint pen, and its light is… understated, to put it kindly.
Size and Weight
The Curve 8530 overall is smaller than the Tour, and feels lighter, though it still has a very sold and composed feeling to it. You won’t hate yourself for dropping this phone — it feels like it can take a beating which is refreshing compared to some of today’s delicate phones.