T-Mobile To Offer BlackBerry Curve 8520

RIM's consumer-friendly smartphone has strong social networking features, out-of-the box Mac compatibility, and an optical navigation pad instead of a trackball.

Marin Perez, Contributor

July 27, 2009

2 Min Read

T-Mobile's BlackBerry Curve 8520
(click image for larger view)
T-Mobile's BlackBerry Curve 8520

T-Mobile will soon launch a BlackBerry that is aimed at casual users who want to use their phone as a media player, as well as stay connected to social networks on the go.

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 looks like many other BlackBerry smartphones at first glance, but design changes make it more efficient to use. The new handset ditches the trackball found in other RIM devices such as the Bold and the Tourfor an optical trackpad. Additionally, this is the first BlackBerry to have dedicated media controls on top of the handset for quick access to music and videos.

Users will be able to gain quick access to sites such as Facebook and MySpace through apps, and new clients for others social networks can be downloaded from BlackBerry App World. The smartphone is still a BlackBerry, which means it will be compatible with corporate e-mails and calendars. The Curve 8520 will also be able to push e-mails wirelessly from Web-based providers such as Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and others.

To stay connected, customers may use T-Mobile's EDGE network or the integrated Wi-Fi, but the smartphone does not have 3G connectivity. The handset also has a GPS chipset for navigation and location-based searches, and it can be used with T-Mobile's HotSpot@Home calling service.

Research In Motion also said the handset will be the first BlackBerry to work with Macintosh computers out of the box. Previously, Mac users would be able to sync their devices using software like PocketMac for BlackBerry, but RIM has promised an official version of its desktop manager soon.

"People increasingly expect a rich, diverse experience with their phones because they're using them in new and different ways," said Travis Warren, T-Mobile's director of product marketing, in a statement. "Adding the BlackBerry Curve 8520 to the T-Mobile line-up gives our customers a phone capable of helping bring balance to the chaotic demands of a busy professional and personal life."

The Curve 8520 will be available August 5 for $129.99 with a new two-year contact with a data plan.

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