I have had the Blackberry Curve 8310 via two-year contract with AT&T for two years now (contract expiring soon). I had it the entire two years so all these fancy touch-screen based phones have completely passed me by along with the much talking about "3G network" of which this phone is... More
I have had the Blackberry Curve 8310 via two-year contract with AT&T for two years now (contract expiring soon). I had it the entire two years so all these fancy touch-screen based phones have completely passed me by along with the much talking about "3G network" of which this phone is not apart. In other words I am not affected by the universally complained about AT&T 3G network nor do I know what I am missing, good or bad, with the touch screen phones.
So all I can go by is how much I enjoyed this phone myself. This was my first smart phone and it was generally a very positive experience. My favorite feature is setting up all my email accounts on it and having it notify me. I also really like the AT&T navigator feature that gives me turn-by-turn directions (though I fear I may have become dependent on it so I'll probably be lost without it, literally).
I should note I never signed up for an SMS plan as I only do that kind of thing very rarely. I also disabled the bluetooth feature to hopefully save some battery life. Which is the first positive I mention specifically: for me at least the thing lasts a really, really long time. I only have to recharge it once every two or three days so it's okay if I forget one night. In fact I'm still on the original battery that came with the phone (I'm impressed by this).
The camera produces rather poor quality images but is still better than nothing. RIM released an updated version of the OS so the camera can be used for video as well, albeit also in poor quality. Still, it's better than nothing when you really need a still or video camera.
The only apps I went out of my way to download were Opera Mini (because the default blackberry one is HORRIBLE) and some Google mobile apps. One thing I never did find, including in the new OS version, is any sort of feature to make the phone make an audible chime or sound at a specific time for an appointment or whatever. Seems like a really basic feature for a PDA-like device. Maybe I'm looking right at it and not seeing it (or maybe I should browse available apps) but this is a big over sight by my definition.
I tried using to play MP3s and videos once or twice but it seemed to drain the battery rather quickly and then it's more of paper weight than a phone, which it seems like should be the device's main function. So I played with that very little.
This phone was already capable of things like multi-tasking and copy/paste when I bought it two years ago, I never knew a phone without that feature. Though there's no equivalent of a task bar always showing so it is possible to having something running in the background for days on end without realizing it.
Before I upgraded to the newest blackberry OS the phone was acting like an old Windows installation: very slow, some times unresponsive and I think I was removing and replacing the battery almost every day. Then I upgraded using the back berry software and it has been running like new (much like a new Windows install, actually). One thing I will note: when you upgrade a full OS version with the blackberry software it won't warn you but it will in fact be wiping all your data and address book off the device. Would have been nice if it popped up a warning and insisted I do a sync to save my contacts at least but it didn't.
I think the roller ball, I suppose an antique idea by now, actually works pretty well. In fact I never had to have someone lubricate it in the whole two years I've had it (though after two years it obviously needs lubrication).
The physical keyboard is nice although with my big hands I'm a little slow on it. Still faster than a phone with just 1 - 9 would be for me.
I think I've decided I don't want to get another blackberry after all this. In fact I'm pretty sure I want to give the Android-based phones a chance (which means switching two another provider). I have a feeling no phone handles a stream of email quite the same way as a blackberry but that's just a sacrifice I'll have to make. I don't want to switch so much because I dislike the blackberry experience so much as I look at the up and comer Android with all the apps and coming soon innovations (like Google's free turn-by-burn directions) and it just makes Blackberry seem outdated some how.
I gave it four stars instead of five because of the degradation of the OS over a relatively short period with relatively light use: I wasn't constantly adding and removing applications or abusing it, I was using it basically ONLY for phone calls and occasionally for browsing with opera mini. That's it. That was my experience, perhaps that is fixed with the new OS version. Also, though I suppose I can't blame this "directly" on the phone itself but just the nature of smart phones, the 9O dollars a month I've been paying seems rather steep for how little I used it. Maybe it's worth that just to have email wherever I go and a google map wherever I am, and maybe it isn't.
Positives: physically tough (I dropped it a couple times, still works), long battery life/using same battery after two years, email handling is extremely good, at&t navigator is definitely "killer app".
Cons: Possible unreliability of OS, default browser quite horrible, no audible alarm that can be set to go off at a particular time (that I have found), and although I'm paying it the required monthly fee seems rather steep. Less