RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 Announced by T-Mobile Germany; Reviews Abound
By Al Sacco
Managing Editor, CIO
Research In Motion (RIM) and T-Mobile Germany on Wednesday quietly announced the newest BlackBerry smartphone, the Curve 8900—formerly codenamed the “Javelin”. Though still unavailable—and unannounced—in the United States, the German release of the new Curve suggests Americans will be able to get their thumbs on the device sooner rather than later—especially since the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has already given the device its blessing.
The new BlackBerry Curve offers a variety of functionality not found within its early Curve-siblings, including both Wi-Fi and GPS, a 3.2 megapixel camera and a higher resolution display. However, the new device also lacks one key ingredient: 3G; the new Curve runs on the same 2.5G GSM/EDGE data networks as the 83xx series.
Early reviewsof the BlackBerry Curve 8900 first surfaced on the Web more than a week ago, most of which were overwhelmingly positive. Overall, initial reviewers praised the Curve 8900 for its full feature set and flashy design. But with the official T-Mobile Germany announcement, a variety of new reviews hit the Web, some more critical than others. Notably, some concerns over the device’s durability were expressed.
T-Mobile Germany’s Curve 8900 news was largely overshadowed in America by the recently released Bold and upcoming touch screen Storm, which will hit the United States on November 21. Both the BlackBerry Bold 9000 and Storm 95xx sit slightly higher in RIM’s product hierarchy than the Curve, and as such, U.S. customers can expect to pay a bit less for the Curve 8900 than the $250 Verizon will charge for the Storm. (AT&T is currently selling the Bold for $399 with a two-year contract and before a $100 rebate.)
Some blogs are now reporting that the Curve 8320, one of the most popular versions of the early Curve, is now selling for as little as $50 with a new wireless contract. My guess is that AT&T will begin selling the Curve 8900 in early 2009 for around $200 with a new two-year contract.
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Al Sacco was a journalist, blogger and editor who covers the fast-paced mobile beat for CIO.com and IDG Enterprise, with a focus on wearable tech, smartphones and tablet PCs. Al managed CIO.com writers and contributors, covered news, and shared insightful expert analysis of key industry happenings. He also wrote a wide variety of tutorials and how-tos to help readers get the most out of their gadgets, and regularly offered up recommendations on software for a number of mobile platforms. Al resides in Boston and is a passionate reader, traveler, beer lover, film buff and Red Sox fan.