Why T-Mobile’s BlackBerry Curve 8900 is Worth Buying

65 thoughts on “Why T-Mobile’s BlackBerry Curve 8900 is Worth Buying”

  1. The biggest mistake apple made was making the iphone only available to certain networks. I’d wager a large chunk of change that they would of sold 3 or 4 times more if they were unlocked.

    I am viewing this on a g1 at the moment and its alright, my iphone is great but the lack of real
    Keyboard let’s it down

  2. I love the 8900; I can’t get enough of the screen quality.
    Two small criticism: I miss the pearl keyboard a bit; why did they change the shape of the power socket? Now I can’t use any of the many old power and usb cables I collected over the years…

    1. Yea but I think more and more things are switching towards the micro usb like the 8900. Also, I think there might be Miini USB to Micro USB attachments that you could use to make car chargers or spare chargers work, not positive just assuming.

      I do really like that they moved the charger slot to the opposite side of the phone, compared to the 8300, because I usually talk with the phone in my right hand and it kind of got annoying when talking and charging at the same time to have the cord going in front instead of the back. Tiny I know, but I do prefer it

      1. Although it is nice that the charging port is on the right, it really sucks when you try to put the phone in a cradle in the car and charge it at the same time. The power cord gets right in the way of the right side of the cradle.

  3. Compared to the Bold I find the screen and keyboard on the 8900 a bit tougher to use.

    The screen shows web pages in a smaller format than the Bold which I’ve found a LOT harder to read. The 8900’s keys are of the typical “pointy” Curve variety which for some reason tend to hurt my fingers after prolonged use. Laid out side by side – the Bold is what I reach for every time (I have both – and yes I realize the problems you had with AT&T prompting the switch to T-Mobile).

    A couple things worth emphasizing out on the 8900 :

    1. While T-Mobile doesn’t sell the devices as such, these Wi-Fi/UMA connected devices are great ways to use a phone overseas without incurring hefty data and voice charges. So long as you are using the UMA service – you are charged the same way as if you were in the states – no data or voice roaming.

    2. Battery life has been amazing – I went on a walk for about 1.5 hours listening to Slacker radio (streaming over EDGE – which was remarkably good) and my battery was showing the minimum charge – maybe one bar – yet it lasted the whole 1.5 hours streaming radio.

    3. T-Mobile service is YMMV (your mileage may vary) — I think it bears cautioning readers that coverage varies widely. You and I have distinctly opposite experiences with the same carriers. In my town AT&T is rock solid and I very few problems with 3G on my iPhone/Bold. Yet if I travel around town with my 8900 on T-Mobile I’m in and out of coverage with constant areas of dropped or missed calls.

    Wi-Fi/UMA only goes so far in compensating for a weak native carrier signal. While you’ll receive a great signal in your office or home – once you leave Wi-Fi you may find the drop off in coverage with T-Mobile to be concerning.

    Worth noting and stressing that carrier performance varies widely by geography. If you’re living in a strong T-Mobile coverage area (for example a tower nearby the places you frequent) – then you’ll think T-Mobile is the best thing ever. Same goes for AT&T.

  4. I’m curious why you didn’t get a Bold on AT&T. It does everything the new Curve does plus 3G (with a tethering option) and the Wi-Fi is 802.11abg. I get the same number of dropped calls on AT&T as I did on my previous Curve on T-Mobile, so the networks seem pretty much a wash. The only problems I’ve had with it were at eComm where some 300 iPhones were in the same room.

    The 8900 and 9000 are pretty similar, but I’d have to say the 9000 is better thanks to the 3G. It’s hard to beat T-Mobile’s customer service, however, so for some that would certainly give them the edge.

  5. You should read the user guide! The buttons for “Common Symbols” you seek do exist even though you can’t see them.

    For your example, the @ sign can be inserted by pressing space once in any emial feild and the subsequent dot can be insterted by pressing space a second time. Try it out. Compose a new email, type “namedomaincom” – you will get name@domain.com

    This is BlackBerry 101 – Basic BlackBerry shortcuts. There are hundreds of these both simple and complex to shorten your interactions.

  6. Om,

    The 8900 is going to be a super hit for sure.

    Its a great mix of design , connectivity .

    Sadly Javelin or 8900 is locked to Airtel in India.

    Its not yet available unlocked . Once its unlocked im getting one !

  7. Om, if I weren’t an 8900 user myself, I would have sworn that this was sponsored post. I agree with everything you wrote. Let me add a couple of points.

    Lack of 3G really annoyed me in concept, but considering that T-Mobile has not deployed 3G where I live and work (DC), I decided not to hold out for a 3G T-Mobile BlackBerry (T-Mobile is a requirement for me). And I don’t regret it because with WiFi as a supplement to EDGE, Internet speed is usually great.

    For the first few days I had the 8900, I was experiencing a glitch that required me to reboot the phone every day. Very annoying. However, it seems like it was a result of old data on my SIM card from my prior phone — I did a security wipe to clear EVERYTHING off and haven’t had any problems since.

  8. @AndreaF: I got bummed about them changing the charger to micro USB charger but it is not a deal breaker. It is still a standard based charger and more importantly you can buy a cable to charge it from your laptop when on the go.

    @Dan I am glad you and I see eye to eye. I would hate to be seen this as love letter. I signed up for this service and the device. If it was bad, I would just say it is bad.

    @bbuser…. wow that is a good tip. I think if you look at the G-1 post, you would understand what I mean by dedicated buttons.

  9. @Richard Bennett

    I did get one but it wasn’t something I could use on a daily basis. Many reasons:

    1. I have no faith in AT&T’s 3G network.
    2. it is too big and needs a headset for long conversations.
    3. I prefer the UMA abilities of the T-Mobile WiFi phones.

  10. I think of the BlackBerry as a text based device and the iPhone as a media device. The BB is very good and refined, but my quibbles would include the browser and media support. Sure it plays music, managing it is different. I wish that RIM had a decent developer program, and tools. W are developing for the iPhone, but would love to have the BB in the stable. Maybe they’ll get their act together before Android does.

  11. I was an 8800 user before I had an iPhone. After jailbreaking my iPhone it now doesn’t drive me crazy otherwise I was about to switch. My biggest gripe about the iPhone is there isn’t some sort of external notification that you missed a call or email. It would just sit there like a brick unless you decide to get your phone out of power save mode to check for messages. I miss my CrackBerry keyboard alot and I used to have the crappy model. I miss the ability to custom different tones for important emails like work and make quiet ones for personal. Truthfully if it wasn’t for the iPhone apps I would probably be carrying a blackberry and that my work only supports iPhone now.

  12. The one thing that I found myself missing on the 8900 was the iPhone’s visual voicemail. But if you download YouMail, you can have that for free too – though it seems to require having a text messaging plan to work right and I’m not sure why. The 8900 really does rock, and T-mobile saves a lot of money over AT&T.

      1. Thats too bad, I thought one of the benefits for the 8900 WI-FI was to try it in other countries especially India. I will be making a trip in a month and I intend to try it since thats the main reason I bought it so I could set up a home wifi in India and use my T-mobile phone number and get calls rather than paying the high international roaminc charges.

        I will post my findings when I am back.

  13. The E71-2 would be my suggestion. It has the same form factor as the 8900, but has 3G with AT&T. Nokia’s rf is much better than the iPhone’s. The new(ish) Nokia Email product is great for push email. Other options include Seven and ProfiMail.

  14. Nokia E71 is my phone of choice. It does it all as well. It also has the ability to load mobile unified communications apps that allow voice to roam seamlessy between WiFI and Cellular – with no user intervention. Uses IM instead of data plan consuming SMS. Offers visual voicemail. It is a great all in one device for business communications – so it is basically a blackberry on steroids

    1. I’m seriously looking at the E71. It’s available for about $450 where I live as an unlocked device. When and if BlackBerry Connect is finally released for the E71, then I’ll probably buy it and use T-Mobile; the only gripe being that it doesn’t support T-Mo’s 1700MHz 3G band.

      That said, I still desire North American cell vendors to design and manufacture phones with both CDMA and GSM capability, and not just CDMA-with-GSM-for-the-European-Marketplace–like the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition and similar phones.

      The E71 certainly looks like it’s a good phone, but for die-hard BlackBerry users, having BlackBerry Connect is practically a necessity.

    2. Nancy,
      I have an E71 on contract with 3 in the UK, and a blackberry for the US, and in my opinion the e71 is not even close to being in the same ballpark as the blackberry.
      It is like working with 5 year old technology. I hardly ever even pick it up…….which is unfortunate, because it is supposed to be the “top of the line.”
      Not even close.

      1. Well – I am using my Nokia for real-time business communications – not just a cellphone/email/calendar device and you cannot run full featured Mobile UC on a BlackBerry today (their OS does not support it). So for me the Nokia with Symbian is a superior product today. Regardless of the widgets on the phone, I want full Enterprise Social Networking combined with the ability to move my deskphone to my mobile device. This enables me to stay connected to others in the company in real-time via integrated Presence, Status, IM, which pretty much guarantees I reach an individual on the first try by using their desired mode (IM or Voice). I cannot do this with a BlackBerry. I also get personal cell/email/calendar with the Nokia — in addition to the Enterprise Social Networking and deskphone.

        So perhaps the difference in opinion is how we use our handset.

  15. Om,
    Why didn’t you just stick with the iPhone on Edge and only swith on 3g when you want to surf? That would keep your iPhone from dropping on 3g have you tried that?

  16. It seems like the real beef here are the networks that do not support these highly sophisticated phones. I don’t know what the situation is like in the USA but here in Canada, people are loving their 3G phones. Whether it be the Blackberrys, Nokias, or iPhones, I have not encountered any problems with accessing a 3G network through my phones. Even Edge is seamlessly downloading data at a relatively fast speed. I loved reading this review (I own both and iPhone and Blackberry 8900) and both phones have their pros and cons.

  17. Om,

    You mentioned using the PocketMac app to easily get to photos and music. What about the calendar. I used to have a blackberry for work and I loved that my calendar on my PC and Blackberry were always in sync. Since I have a Mac at home this is a concern. Does it connect just like a PC for all funtions?

    1. Sheila

      I am using the Google Sync calendar to get the Mac data on to the Blackberry. Google Sync for Mac syncs everything to the GMail and from there, a download of GSync for Blackberry does the trick. It is not MS Exchange. But it is free. 🙂

  18. I love this phone.
    The recent addition of the Blackberry app store

    Lack of 3G sucks. But the UMA more than makes up for it. I love how it automatically connects to saved wifi profiles (I regularly visit 5 wifi networks – brother’s house, parents, etc – and the Curve connects to them in under a minute of my arrival).

    The UMA is so cool. I pay T-mobile $10/mo and I get unlimited talk minutes through the wifi network. This is cool for three reasons:
    1) Sound quality is clearer than with the regular cell network
    2) If I BEGIN a call at home then drive away during conversation, the phone switches seamlessly to T-mobile’s network
    2) And even when it switches over, the entire call counts as UMA. So that conversation can last me 3 hours and not a single minute will count against me.

    Lol… no, this isn’t a sponsored post either. I just love this damn phone.
    I mean, I have some qualms. Like, moving the cursor with the trackball, through text I wrote… is difficult and frustrating. Also, the default browser is mediocre.

  19. Om, I am having trouble logging on with Google Sync. It simply hangs. I have a T-Mobile 8900 with 4.6.1.114 (Platform 4.2.0.76) Is it possible there are compatibility issues?

    1. SOLVED: if your BB hangs after installing Google Sync, pull your battery, wait 30 seconds, replace the battery and log on to Google Sync again. (Found on another discussion and worked for me.)

  20. I currently have a BB Curve 8320 (T-Mobile), and it’s time to upgrade. I love BB, and wouldn’t think of getting any other phone but I’m wondering if I should wait for the new phone(s) to roll out in the fall or get the 8900 now. Can anyone shed light on this oh-so tough decision?

    1. JB,

      If 3G is a total deal breaker, I’d say wait. About a week ago I read a blog by “TheBoyGenius” that was from May 10. Stating about some new blackberrys being launched to T-Mobile in Sept that will be toting 3G.

      Check it out for yourself:
      http://www.boygeniusreport.com/2009/05/10/blackberry-driftwoodonyx-hitting-t-mobile-usa-in-september/

      They have seemed to be relatively reliable with a majority of their posts. They appear to have a very anonymous, yet very reputable source on their hands.

  21. I’m new to blackberry land (came from a Treo 680) and I/we had concerns about whether or not I’d like the device. But, after much reading (reviews, reviews, reviews), I opted for the 8900 on T-Mobile (although I wouldn’t mind an iPhone) … I was already a T-mobile customer, wi-fi (UMA) was a must, and after reading enough tech data, determined it syncs nicely with Macs. However, Macs need to be OS 10.5 or higher for music, video, etc., functionality. Alright so it doesn’t do 3G, I can cope.

  22. Hello, has anyone here switched from a dash to the 8900? My Dash was a great phone and after two years died on me. I ordered the 8900 and waiting for it come come in the mail.
    I hope this 8900 will provide me with all the features, ease of use, etc that the dash game me.

  23. I just got the 8900 2 days ago and am really enjoying it. My biggest problem is i cant work out how to get onto the next line when im emailing. In other words my emails dont have paragraphs or anything its all just on one line any help would be greatly appreciated. Using the enter key doesnt work or the roller ball pleas someone help me

  24. I just ordered one today to replace my Dash. Dash has been OK, but I have burned through 3 of them. Volume bar fell off and looks like crap, so it’s time for a new one. Curious ot try it.

    Is the GPS enabled in the phone? Or does T-Mobile not support it? Curious to try it with the Google Maps download application. Cheers! -mJ

  25. I’m thinking of buying a 8900 used cause i can’t afford a new one– i’m locked into an ATT plan– if I buy a used Tmobile 8900 how easy is it to unlock to use on ATT network?

  26. “Of course, like all non-iPhone devices, searching for music files and photos and using them on the Curve is about as smooth as clipping your fingernails with a knife.”

    Wow, because it is so hard to copy and paste a song from your pc to the phone using the cord they gave you? Your an idiot… If anything ipods/iphones are harder to get music for because they only support itunes. The 8900 supports pretty much any file types.

  27. I brought a brand new Blackberry Curve 8900 yesterday from Orange, everything else works fine but I can’t connect my Blackberry to my computer, when I connect my phone to the computer via USB my BB starts charging but when I go to the desktop manager it says theres no device connected.

    1. Have you installed the appropriate drivers on your computer? Your computer can run a search for available driver software to download from the internet via control panel. Alternatively you can install Blackberry Desktop Software using the ‘Blackberry User Tools’ CD that came free with the phone.

      1. Oh yes and one last thing. When the phone is connected you may notice a clock appear on your Blackberry screen, press the ‘back’ key located to the right of the track pad ball. Unlock the phone’s home screen if necessary. A message will appear asking if you wish to turn on mass storage mode, select ‘yes’.

  28. The Bold 9700 from T-Mobile ships with OS 5.0.0.330, which is a welcomed update to the device. What is less positive about the launch is that the device doesn’t ship with the latest version of BlackBerry Messenger. The T-Mobile Bold 9700 ships with BlackBerry Messenger version 4.7.0 rather than 5.0 (this is based on the device I’m holding in my hand). Ideally, T-Mobile and RIM would have at least had a warning message of some sort that tells users where they can get the latest version of BBM.

    http://www.mixsl.com/2010/12/t-mobile-blackberry-bold-9700.html

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