Apr 24, 2012

The Blackberry Curve 8520 Pep Talk: Hardware Walkthrough, Messaging and Exclusive Apps

Discussion on the Blackberry Curve 8520 continues, this time around, I’ll walk through the hardware, Messaging, Mail, Application Store and Some Exclusive Services. If you miss my First Impression of the phone, CLICK HERE.

For starters, lets begin with the Hardware. On top of the phone is the music controls, utterly unique and mispalced, in fact, its the first time that I have encounter such on a phone. Its not the best place to find the music control but I gave RIM a tap on the shoulder for trying to be different than the rest.

The bottom is pretty clear with only the microphone hole on it.

Left side of the phone are the protruding volume rocker and camera button covered with a rubber mate. As I mentioned on my first impression article, I applaud this design being softer to press.

On the right side are the 3.5mm audio jack, micro USB port and the voice command button. I find the audio jack misfitted here because it would be burdensome for users specially if they put it in there side pockets.

If there’s one thing that the Research in Motion had mastered, it would be its Messaging and Mail services. Most of Blackberry user I know likes the phone because they can enjoy BBM for Free, or they can access email on the go or Socialized anytime on Twitter and Facebook via a systematize connectivity option, true, but it ends there, I never heard of anybody saying that it has an impressive User Interface or they can do this than the other, etc., it’s purely a bland edge at the bottom being boring and obscure. Yes its helpful one way or another especially if you’re using these services often but does other competing system also have these services offered at the same price? With the situation, a Blackberry user runs out of bragging rights and I feel sorry for them.

The exclusive connectivity offers of Blackberry makes everything distant for its users, for instance, if you are subscribe to a Blackberry service of 100MB, you can only use this on Blackberry devices and nowhere else unlike the non-seclusive usability a similar non-Blackberry package with the same price.

Blackberry Messaging (BBM), a very good service but nonetheless, again, secluded. With the outburst of social network nowadays with limitless reached, the service becomes a misnomer. Perhaps a Blackberry user would reason out that it’s a budget saver, true, but with the unlimited text offer from telecom companies nowadays, it cannot suffice the argument. With this current text offers, you can SMS or MMS far more people, Blackberry user or not.

Safer email service or the phone where you can receive emails on the go, catchy phrase a decade ago but not today, other competing companies have already offered the same, even better in some instance.

Apps world, an important category to consider in a fierce mobilephone environment and the Blackberry App World lags a miles behind from competitors from the number of application available for download, localization of apps and easy payment scheme. As I’ve checked, for the Blackberry Curve 8520’s app page, it only showed a dozen for the theme and 10 or more in most categories, nowhere close to what I’ve used to. For localization, I have to made mention about making the prices of these apps being sold localized, that it needs to be fitted to the local economic capacity of the country. Imagine a theme that cost $3, that’s more than PhP150 locally based on the current exchange rate. Regarding payment schemes, the company needs to find ways to make the payment system more accessible to users like tapping local telecom operators or so. On the brighter side, I like the app stores interface ; I find it more interactive and informatively categorized.

General Settings. Like I’ve mentioned on my First Impression article, I have a huge problem with the phone’s confusing and arduous set-up, like if there were things that you wanted to do, it needs to undergo several steps before achieving such. For instance, the use of WIFI in browsing, first you need to turn the WIFI on, then turn the Mobile Data off, set the web browser to Hotspot , then finally turn the mobilephone network off and you have to find all these in different folders and subfolders. If you’re wondering why this was the set-up, like the need to turn the telecom network connection off before you WIFI can be use, that’s because the phone won’t connect to WIFI without you subscribing to any Blackberry service.

So that will be all for now, Pep Talk, the last episode will be posted the next day, featuring Games, Entertainment features and my final thoughts, stay tuned!


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