RIM have officially announced the BlackBerry Curve 8520, the handset formerly known as the BlackBerry Gemini. Set to land on both T-Mobile USA and Vodafone UK next month, the Curve 8520 is the company's latest non-3G smartphone, complete with a full hardware QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad for navigation and a 2-megapixel camera.
There's also a 320 x 240 display, Bluetooth and WiFi. A microSD card slot and 3.5mm headphone jack round out the specifications, while the battery is good for 4.5hrs of talktime or 17 days of standby. While many may scoff at the absence of high-speed cellular connectivity, the success of other 2.5G BlackBerry handsets such as the Curve 8900 shows there's still a demand for straightforward, solid messaging-centric smartphones.
The BlackBerry Curve 8520 is expected to be available free in the UK, assuming you sign a new contract priced at £25 ($41) per month or more with Vodafone UK. Meanwhile pre-pay customers will be able to buy the handset for around £150 ($247). No word on US pricing or availability as yet.
T-Mobile USA and RIM Introduce the New BlackBerry Curve 8520
Approachable New Smartphone Offers Email, Messaging, Social Networking, Music and Entertainment for People on the Go
Bellevue, Wash., and Waterloo, Ontario –T-Mobile USA, Inc., and Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today announced the new BlackBerry® Curve™ 8520 smartphone, a new addition to the BlackBerry Curve series of smartphones, with availability expected on August 5.
The slim new BlackBerry Curve 8520 is an incredibly approachable smartphone that comes in two attractive colors from T-Mobile – black and frost. For people who like to be connected, it provides easy mobile access to email, messaging (IM, SMS, MMS) and popular social networking sites (including Facebook® and MySpace) and features a highly tactile full-QWERTY keyboard for comfortable, accurate typing. It also features rich multimedia capabilities and access to music, games and other mobile apps for entertainment on the go.
The BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone is a world phone, and is also Wi-Fi®-enabled to arm customers with fast Web browsing and Wi-Fi calling. T-Mobile customers can continue to get great mobile coverage and unlimited nationwide Wi-Fi calling with T-Mobile’s Unlimited HotSpot Calling service as well as unlimited nationwide calling to five people with T-Mobile myFaves® service.*
In addition to providing the industry’s leading mobile email and messaging solution, the BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone is designed to be efficient and convenient. It introduces an innovative touch-sensitive optical trackpad, which makes scrolling and selection smooth and easy for a great navigation experience. It is also the first BlackBerry smartphone to feature dedicated media keys, smoothly integrated along the top of the handset, giving customers an easy, convenient way to control their music and videos.
“People increasingly expect a rich, diverse experience with their phones because they’re using them in new and different ways,” said Travis Warren, director of product marketing, T-Mobile USA. “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.”
“More and more cell phone users are choosing to upgrade to a smartphone and the new BlackBerry Curve 8520 will undoubtedly convince many more people to make the switch. It delivers all the great messaging, social networking and multimedia features that have made BlackBerry the top-selling smartphone brand in the United States,” said Carlo Chiarello, vice president, product management, Research In Motion. “T-Mobile customers are going to love how easy it is to keep in touch on Facebook and MySpace and the full-QWERTY keyboard is amazingly fast and comfortable for typing on the go.”
Key features of the BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone include:
· Full-QWERTY keyboard and touch-sensitive optical trackpad for reliable, responsive typing and navigation
· 256MB Flash memory and a 512Mhz next generation processor for enhanced performance
· Premium phone features including voice activated dialing, and Bluetooth (2.0) support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits, stereo headsets and other Bluetooth peripherals
· 2 MP digital camera with zoom and video recording
· Advanced media player for music, pictures and videos, with dedicated media keys and a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack, plus BlackBerry® Media Sync, which makes it easy to quickly sync music from iTunes® or Windows Media® Player with the smartphone**
· Access to BlackBerry App World™, featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones. Categories include games, entertainment, social networking and sharing, news and weather, productivity and much more
· BlackBerry® Internet Service support for access to up to 10 supported email accounts, including most popular ISP email accounts such as Yahoo!®, Windows Live™ Hotmail®, AOL® and Gmail™; and BlackBerry® Enterprise Server support, which provides advanced security and IT administration features for corporate deployments
· Expandable memory via hot swappable microSD/SDHC memory card slot, supporting cards of up to 16 GB today and expected to support next generation 32GB cards when available; a 1GB card is included
· Built-in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) with support for T-Mobile Unlimited Hotspot Calling service
· Quad-band world phone: EGDE/GPRS/GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
The new BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone from T-Mobile will be available on August 5 at T-Mobile retail stores, Wal-Mart Stores, select authorized dealers, and online at http://www.T-Mobile.com.
*Unlimited nationwide Wi-Fi calling requires Unlimited HotSpot Calling mobile plan, qualifying rate plan, broadband Internet connection and wireless router. Regular plan minutes are used when call does not originate on Wi-Fi network. For more information about Unlimited HotSpot Calling, visit http://www.T-MobileAtHome.com. myFaves only applies to calls directly between two people and allows unlimited nationwide calling to five U.S. numbers. Use of some device features may require a specific plan and incur separate, additional charges. See T-Mobile.com for rate plan information, charges for features and services, and other details.
** Certain music files may not be supported, including files that contain digital rights management technologies.