In our final feature on now updated phones that could potentially still have much to offer, we go even further back into the Blackberry catalogue to the Curve 8900. Its price is dramatically cheaper compared to other smartphones, but is going back to a Blackberry pre trackpad and 3G going too far?
The Blackberry Curve 8900 was released in February 2009, and was originally expected to be released as a part of the 9xxx series that featured 3G. However, it was not and so attempted to make headway in the Blackberry mission to push the smartphone markets through hardware features that were cutting edge for the time.
Perhaps the most significant hardware update that the Blackberry 8900 held was its Wi-Fi, which had not been seen on previous Blackberry models. Whilst the lack of 3G is disappointing, this makes up for it to some extent in offering good quality internet browsing, despite needing a router signal. Other features that stand out include a 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, which is higher quality than that which is featured on future Blackberry phones, such as the 9300, and subsequently will provide good quality photo snaps that were better than other phones at the time or since, such as the higher praised iPhone 3GS with 3.0 megapixels. What detracts from the 8900 is the trackball navigation tool, which looks and feels far more dated than the trackpad which is now the norm and in many ways the recognisable feature of a Blackberry phone. Whilst it was praised at its release for a stylish design, in retrospect it has not aged well and does not now look the part.
The phone runs the Blackberry 5 operating system, which despite offering positive features such as a better map application and a thread-like chat SMS style, is not available to upgrade to any higher operating systems such as Blackberry 6. As such, the phone misses out on many features that have come to be part and parcel of the Blackberry experience, such as web browsing and automatic social network feed updates.
This phone would suit a user who requires a cheap phone with a QWERTY keypad but does not necessarily need to use mobile internet on the move. Its Wi-Fi feature is a significant component in this phones spec, due to the disappointing hardware that it offers in other areas. In the three years since the phones release, it has not aged well, with the advances that Research In Motion have made with Blackberry mobile phones leaving this design in its wake. The phone is however still available, and can still be a useful phone to own, if you do not have your sights set on the latest cutting edge technology.