Verizon Wireless To Unveil BlackBerry Curve In May


The Curve, Waterloo, Ontario-based Research In Motion's (RIM) smallest and lightest full-QWERTY smartphone, is targeted at the coveted pro-sumer market, the device user who seeks a stylish device for personal use, but a functional handset for professional use. While the Curve is already available from other carriers, such as T-Mobile, May will mark the first time it is offered to Verizon Wireless customers.

The Curve will be available in a "liquid silver-colored finish with chrome highlights, smooth edges and soft curves," Verizon said, and it will operate on Verizon's high-speed EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) network.

According to Verizon, the Curve measures 4.2 inches by 2.4 inches by 0.6 inches and weighs a mere 4 ounces. The screen is 320 by 240 with light-sensing technology that adjust brightness for viewing in indoor, outdoor and dark environments. Similar to the smaller-model BlackBerry Pearl, the Curve uses a trackball navigation system; however, the Curve offers a full QWERTY keyboard, where the Pearl offers SureType technology.

Other key features include noise cancellation, Speaker Independent Voice Recognition for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD), dedicated send, end and mute keys, speakerphone and Bluetooth hands-free support.

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For multimedia, the Curve features a 2.0 megapixel camera with support for video recording, self-portrait mirror, enhanced flash and five-time zooming. An advanced media player and desktop media manager software makes it easy to move files between a PC and BlackBerry Curve using an included USB data cable. A MicroSD/SDHC memory card slot enables up to 8 GB of additional storage and the removable and rechargeable battery has been rated for up to 260 minutes of talk time and 11 days of standby time. It also offers access to Facebook for BlackBerry applications and an HTML Web browser that supports streaming video over EV-DO.

The Curve comes with a stereo headset, travel charger and tote sleeve, Verizon said.

According to Verizon, the BlackBerry Curve 8330 smartphone is supported by BlackBerry Internet Service that offers access to up to 10 supported POP3 or IMAP personal or professional email accounts, including most ISP email accounts. IT is also supported by BlackBerry Professional Software for small business and BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) for enterprise deployments, enabling IT administration within IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange and Novell GroupWise environments.

Verizon said the curve will be available via the Verizon Wireless Web site and Verizon retailers, including Circuit City, for $269 .99 after a $50 mail-in rebate with a new two-year contract. An additional $100 credit will be offered toward the purchase of the handset for customers who sign up for a qualifying voice and data plan at the time of purchase. For an additional $29.99 per month, users who buy a voice plan can also subscribe to the email and Web for BlackBerry plan, while a data-only plan can be added for $24.99 per month for unlimited email and Web access.