Just Got My Rogers Wireless RIMM BlackBerry Curve 8310 With GPS Feature From My Company

Just like any other mobile tech worker out there, my company needs me to be accessable at all times. So several days ago, my BlackBerry Curve 8310 finally arrived. What is great about the BlackBerry 8310 Curve is that it is the smallest BlackBerry of the bunch that offers a QWERTY keyboard, so it fits nicely in my pocket or feel less bulky on my belt. Also when I talk with it, it doesn’t look like I am talking into a brick like the BlackBerry Pearl which is bigger.

The Quadband worldwide phone feature of the Blackberry Curve 8310 is great, because I do travel all over the world for work. Nowadways I usually would not consider buying a non-Quad band phone. The BlackBerry Curve 8310 does the following cell phone network frequencies – GSM/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 MHz which covers pretty much most of the world….however not sure about Japan, I think they are CDMA / 3G network.

Blackberry curve 8310 with GPS reviewThe enterprise e-mail and calendar feature I like as well but only for work and during work hours though. My companies IT department has configured my BlackBerry 8310 Curve device to sync up with my company’s Microsoft Exchange server, so I can send / receive e-mails for work, and set up appointments in my Outlook Calendar. Only problem is when I add a personal number, such as some family members it shows up in my Outlook (MS Exchange) contact list at work. I really don’t want these contacts to be on my company’s e-mail server but unfortunately, that is how the IT guys have set it up. After work hours though, I don’t really care to look at enterprise e-mails on my BlackBerry Curve, unless I really really have to. For personal e-mailing, I just use the BlackBerry’s web browser to go to Hotmail, Yahoo or Google webmail to read and write e-mails.

BlackBerry Messenger is pre-installed as well. I can use this to have text message conversations with my co-workers, and I only use it for communications with co-workers on work related issues, because after all this goes through our company’s network and of course is monitored and tracked….so no privacy. There is the option to install Yahoo Messenger or Google Talk. This way I can converse by text with my friends and family through one of those text message platforms for personal text messaging, this is great because it doesn’t pass through my company’s network. It just goes through the internet like any other messenger program on the web.

Let me just say thank goodness for the QWERTY keyboard and tiny trackball cause it makes text messaging and navigation a hell of lot easier than a regular cell phone keypad. One of the things I hated about regular cell phone keypads was trying to type text messages with them. Now with the BlackBerry 8310 Curve QWERTY keyboard typing is so much easier and quicker. I think my next cell phone (for personal use not work) will definitely have to have a QWERTY keyboard.

Surfing the internet is not too bad with the Rogers Wirless BlackBerry 8310 Curve. Internet surfing is done using the EDGE protocol and it is fairly quick as far as surfing on a cell phone goes. Pretty quick depending on the network speed you get in whatever area you are at. I’ve had slower experiences on other cell phones using GPRS protocol. The 240 x 320 pixels resolution screen is nice, pictures and icons show up quite clear and it is good for internet surfing, however my only complaint about the screen and surfing the internet with the BlackBerry 8310 Curve is that the web pages are reformatted by the BlackBerry browser, and do not look like how they usually look from let’s say a full fledge web browser like Internet Explorer or FireFox. I guess this is because of the web browser application from BlackBerry, that tries to squeeze everything on that 240 X 320 pixel screen.

Blackberry curve 8310 GPS screenMy favourite feature on the BlackBerry 8310 Curve is the GPS feature, and this GPS feature has already proven its usefullness. My wife and I were at my wife’s aunts house and we were going to take my wife’s niece to an Earth Day tree planting event. We left the house, and was in the car and realized that we did not have the directions to the tree planting event. I then realized that I had the GPS map feature on my BlackBerry 8310 Curve, so I took it out of the holster and used the Find Location feature to give me a map of where I am and the surrounding area. The map showed up, and I scrolled around until I found the intersection where the Earth Day Tree Planting event was being held. The GPS feature of the BlackBerry Curve 8310 saved me a lot of time driving around looking for the location. It also came in handy again, on a
recent business trip to Houston, Texas to attend a tradeshow.

Multi-Media on the BlackBerry is good, but not great. The internal memory is small and only allow you to store 15 pictures at 2.0 mega-pixels. The picture quality is quite decent though. The internal memory is so small, you probably cannot fit much mp3 files in there either, you would still need to buy a micro-SD card to put into the BlackBerry 8310 Curve. Getting the micro-SD in, is another story. You actually have to take off the back panel and then take out the battery, before you can put in the micro-SD chip. What a pain in the butt.

My company has its outside sales staff on this Rogers Wireless BlackBerry plan:
25 MB* (available for either BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) or BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS))
350 Weekday Minutes of talk time (anytime)
Unlimited Evenings & Weekends (9PM-7AM)
20¢/minute if you go over.
$7/MB with Overage Protection
800+ e-mails per day

With the above Rogers Wireless BlackBerry plan, it gives me plenty of minutes to talk and surf the internet from my BlackBerry Curve. All in all, this is very useful smartphone, and I would recommend for business users as it helps keeps you organized and in touch with your co-workers. However, my only beef, is that the BlackBerry Operating System is not as robust, as Windows Mobile which allows you to view so many other types of documents and offer a better browser. For business use, the Blackberry 8310 Curve will do, but for personal use where I want to do so much more, I would probably go for a HTC smartphone with QWERTY keyboard and Windows Mobile 6 Operating System.

Below are some details of this BlackBerry 8310 Curve smartphone.

Display: High resolution backlit TFT LCD colour screen supporting over 65,000 colours.
Resolution: 240 x 320 pixels
Features: Quadband world phone:You can travel the world with the same handset. GSM/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
BlackBerry e-mail: send and receive e-mail / view attachments / integrate existing e-mail accounts with BlackBerry Internet Service or BlackBerry Enterprise Server
QWERTY keyboard: combines a phone keypad with a QWERTY keyboard for easy letter and number entry
GPS: Built-in Global Positioning System (GPS)
Text, multimedia and instant messaging:
# BlackBerry Messenger: chat with other BlackBerry® wireless device users in real-time
# Yahoo! Messenger : chat with others through the Yahoo! Messenger instant messaging network

Internet: EDGE enabled for high speed downloading of e-mail, attachments, content and surfing the Internet. Access to both HTML and WAP sites with full viewing and bookmarking.
Convenience key: one-button direct access to the Camera and Voice Dialling
Trackball: navigation and escape button
Bluetooth-enabled: wirelessly connects to a Bluetooth headset and other Bluetooth devices
Polyphonic ring tunes: built-in ring tunes
Security: password protection and keyboard lock
Compatibility: compatible with ACT!, ASCII, Lotus Notes, Lotus Organizer, MS Outlook & Express, MS Schedule and Netscape
Address book, calendar, memo pad, task list: integrated feature for calling and e-mailing from one centralized location
Desktop Synchronization: synchronizes e-mail and calendar info between BlackBerry and desktop/laptop
Camera: 2.0 Megapixels camera with digital zoom
Built-in flash
Expandable Memory: Increase your memory by adding a Micro SD memory card
MP3 Player: Play your MP3/AAC songs with a memory card via the sideloading external memory slot
Included Accessories: Battery
Travel Charger
SIM card
Stereo headset
1 USB Cable
Leather pocket