RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 (Verizon Wireless) – Entry level smartphone





For:

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 has A-GPS, 3G support and Wi-Fi, which were not present in the Curve 8520 (T-Mobile). The compact smartphone has better messaging facilities and 2-megapixels camera.

Against:

The smartphone gives a cheap feel in the hand. It has a low-resolution screen. You can save the applications only to internal memory.

The Whiz Kid Speaks:
RIM blackberry curve 8530 review

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 is based on CDMA2000 1X technology and supports dual-band of CDMA2000 1X 1900/800. The operating system is BlackBerry OS 5.0. It has 256MB RAM and 256MB user-accessible Flash memory. A microSD card slot is located behind the battery door and accepts up to 16GB cards.

2.5-inch TFT based LCD display has 320×240 pixels resolution and 16-bit colors. There is a 2-megapixels camera with 5x digital zoom. The video recorder resolution options are QVGA 320×240 and 176×144. The navigation button is trackball. RIM BlackBerry Curve has inbuilt 32 polyphonic ring-tones. Its supported ring-tone formats are MP3 and MIDI.

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 is capable of conference calling and it is also a Hearing Aid Compatible device. The supported wireless interfaces are Bluetooth 2.1EDR and IEEE 802.11 b/g. The inbuilt messengers are BlackBerry Messenger, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger and Yahoo Messenger.

The supported audio formats are eAAC+, AAC+, WMA, MP3, AMR and AAC. In addition, the supported video formats include MPEG4, H.263 video and AMR audio, and H.264.

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 has 1150mAH lithium ion battery that has a life of 270 minutes talk time and 252 hours of idle standby time. The accessories supplied inside the package are user manual, software CD, headset, USB cable and AC adapter.

Razzle Dazzle:

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 has the design quite similar to the Curve 8520 (T-Mobile). It continues to have traditional candy-bar design. The Curve 8530 comes in black and smoky violet colors. It is 4.29 inches tall, 2.36 inches wide and 0.55 inch deep, and weighs around 3.7 ounces. Our test model had black color.

Inside Dope:

RIM BlackBerry is one of the most famous manufacturers in the smartphones business. Now, the company has released RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 for Verizon Wireless. It does not have some high-end features of BlackBerry Tour 9630 like high-resolution display and world roaming. The design and basic features of the Curve 8530 are similar to RIM BlackBerry Curve 8520 from T-Mobile. However, the Curve 8530 also offers some more features. The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 has various upgrades over its predecessor BlackBerry Curve 8330, like dedicated media controls, optical track-pad and latest processor. In addition, the Curve 8530 has Wi-Fi that was not present in the Tour 9630. RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 costs $99.99 with a two-year contract from Verizon Wireless, which is $30 less as compared to price of the Curve 8520 for T-Mobile. The phone feels a bit cheap in the hand due to the plastic exteriors. We also didn’t like the fact that you cannot save applications to the phone’s internal memory.

Display

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 has 2.5-inch TFT based LCD display that has 320×240 pixels resolution and 16-bit colors.

Phonebook and PIM features

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 can store contacts in phonebook as per the available memory. Each contact entry can store multiple phone numbers, work address, home address, email address, and more. You can divide the contacts into group and pair them with a photo for Caller ID and one custom ring-tone.

The basic feature set of RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 includes speed dial, conference calling, smart dialing, calendar, calculator, voice recorder, memo pad, task list, multimedia and text messaging, threaded chat view, speakerphone and voice-activated dialing.

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 is Bluetooth-friendly and has support for stereo and mono Bluetooth headsets, dial-up networking, serial port, audio/video remote and hands-free kit. The advanced features of the Curve 8530 are Wi-Fi, 3G support and A-GPS/GPS, which are not available in the Curve 8520 (T-Mobile).  We are happy to see more Wi-Fi devices by Verizon Wireless.

Applications

There is an inbuilt attachment viewer to open the files having different formats such as GIF, JPEG, PDF, Corel WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The Curve 8530 also has DataViz Document Go Suite Standard Edition to open, view and edit Microsoft Word/Excel/PowerPoint documents. However, you have to purchase Premium Edition to create new documents.

Verizon Wireless has also included its services to the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 such as VZ Navigator (for GPS), V Cast Music, MyVerizon (to provide information about Verizon account) and Visual Voice Mail (for $2.99 per month).

We tested the performance of RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530. It performed all the tasks with little delay. After ending a call, the screen froze when we tried to go back to Home screen. The Curve 8530 took one minute to restore it. We again tried the same step after ending some calls, but did not get this incident again. We also did not experience any crashes.

Messaging

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 has better messaging features than all BlackBerry devices, which is a plus point. The Curve 8530 can sync with company’s BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES). It also has support for Novell GroupWise, IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange, POP3, IMAP4 and SMTP. You can access up to 10 business/personal e-mail accounts.

Personalization

There is inbuilt Verizon’s VzwTones to download ring-tones. You can also download travel aids, games, productivity tools and more from BlackBerry App World. It is worth mentioning here that you can download and store applications to 256MB internal flash memory only, whereas, music and video files are stored on SD Card.

Media Player

The inbuilt media player of RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 supports the audio formats including MIDI, AMR-NB, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC-LC, WMA10, WMA9 Pro, WMA9 and MP3. The supported video playback formats are H.264, H.263, WMV2 and MPEG4. RIM BlackBerry is supplying one headphone inside the accessories. You can also plug any other ear-buds or headphones in this 3.5mm socket. The Curve 8530 has dedicated external media controls on the top to access the media player directly.

We played some songs on RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 for testing the music quality. The music playback was good and impressive on both inbuilt speakers and the included headphone.

Camera

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 has 2-megapixels camera that has video recording capability and 5x digital zoom. It also has a photo-viewer that supports WBMP, TIFF, PNG, JPEG and BMP. The focus adjustment of the camera is focus-free. The video recorder resolutions are QVGA 320×240 and QCIF 176×144.

We captured some still images through camera for testing. The picture quality was poor. The indoor shoots had pinkish hue, they looked dark and dull.

Browser

The BlackBerry OS has better improvements in the BlackBerry browser like speed improvements and faster page-rendering due to quick CSS and JavaScript processing.

We opened some Websites in BlackBerry Browser for testing and got that Verizon’s swift 3G speeds were helping to provide better browsing experience. The complete Microsoft website loaded in 30 seconds, whereas a Google search loaded in 10 seconds. The Facebook.com worked fine also.

Call Quality

For testing, we made some calls using dual-band based RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 via Verizon Wireless service. We received loud and clear sound at our end with some voice distortion and background noise. We did not get any dropped calls while testing. The callers received muffled at their end and they asked us to repeat various times during conversation. The overall call quality was average.

The speakerphone quality was not good. We could hear the callers clearly at our end even in noisy environment, but the callers received garbled sound at their end. We have any problems pairing the Curve 8530 with Bluetooth headphones from Motorola S9 and Logitech Mobile Traveller.

Battery Life

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 has 1150mAH lithium ion battery that has a life of 4.5 hours of talk time and 10.5 days of idle standby time. Tested battery life was 5.5 hours. The digital SAR rating of the Curve 8530 is 1.31 watts per kg as per FCC radiation tests. In addition, it has M4/T4 Hearing Aid Compatibility rating.

Verdict:

RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 is a basic smartphone. If you haven’t used a smartphone before then this would be a good buy.

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