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BlackBerry Curve 8900: Better Than The Original

The BlackBerry Curve 8900 is already getting great reviews, despite not being available for another two weeks.

The Curve 8900 packs all the punch of most modern BlackBerries, though it lacks 3G connectivity. The Curve 8900 is billed as the lightest and thinnest BlackBerry to feature a full QWERTY keyboard, measuring in at just more than a half-inch thick. It also offers all of the features and functions BlackBerry users have grown accustomed to, including phone, e-mail, text messaging, browser, instant messaging, document viewing and editing, and organizer applications. It ties in a host of multimedia functions, such as a media player, as well. The Curve 8900 offers EDGE support with built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, a 512MHz next-generation processor, a 2.4-inch 480 x 360 high-resolution display, a 3.2-megapixel camera and BlackBerry OS version 4.6.

So far, early reviews, like one from gadget blog Gizmodo are praising the Curve 8900's keyboard and operating system and calling the screen and its resolution "delicious."

"Based on our time so far, if you have a BlackBerry Curve, the Curve 8900 is the same thing, but better in a lot of little ways that add up to a markedly better experience overall, thanks to a gorgeous display, slicker OS and well-designed hardware," Gizmodo wrote.

The biggest gripe thus far is the lack of 3G, high-speed data connectivity that smartphone users are starting to grow accustomed to. Some reviews also indicated that the smartphone's Wi-Fi connectivity is "persnickety" and connections are frequently dropped.

Still, a few minor drawbacks won't take away from the allure of the BlackBerry Curve 8900, on which BlackBerry maker Research In Motion is hanging its hat to kick off a successful 2009.

"The RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 is the easiest BlackBerry device to recommend, and it's perhaps one of the best smartphones on the market," said Norwegian device blog InfoSync World in its review of the 8900, which it rated as "very good" in several categories like scheduling and productivity, multimedia, messaging, calling and design. The smartphone received "good" ratings for its camera and Web browsing capabilities.

T-Mobile will be the first U.S. carrier to offer the Curve 8900. The Curve 8900 is expected to be available for AT&T soon, as well. According to T-Mobile representatives, the device will be available on Feb. 11 either online, by phone or in T-Mobile stores. The device starts at $499.99, but with discounts and upgrades will likely be cheaper for T-Mobile subscribers. For new subscribers who sign a two-year contract, the Curve 8900 is expected to be around $200.

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