BlackBerry Curve First Impressions

My gear lust finally drove me away from high-bandwidth happiness in a somewhat clunky 8703e with Sprint to a nice sleek BlackBerry Curve and AT&T service. The Curve is slightly thicker than the iPhone and a good bit shorter. It’s more narrow and thinner than the 8703e. The size difference to the 8703e is smaller than it feels – the rounded edges of the Curve make it feel even smaller than it is.

iPhone, BlackBerry Curve, BlackBerry 8703e

iPhone, BlackBerry Curve, BlackBerry 8703e

When I priced cell service a little while ago, I really couldn’t even consider AT&T/Cingular, but now that I have an EVDO card and I’m not trying to use the BlackBerry as a modem there are two big differences:

  1. I don’t need the $35-40/month option to use the phone as a modem (which doesn’t work right with a Mac anyway).
  2. I don’t need as fast data rates to the device.

So far, it’s been going pretty smoothly on the new device. Some thoughts I’ve collected over the last few days:

  • The EDGE data transmission making my speakers pop is really annoying.
  • It’s not that much smaller than the 8703e, but it feels that much smaller.
  • The trackball takes a little getting used to.
  • They keyboard isn’t quite as good as the 8703e – more reminiscent of my Treo.
  • The speaker (especially the ringer) is a lot louder.
  • You can now use alt+letter (then keep typing letters) to search your address book on the Phone screen – awesome!
  • AT&T’s coverage is better than I expected. They were so poor in the Bay Area, I’ve been pleasantly surprised here in Denver/Boulder.
  • Shoot, I forgot I’d be losing GPS in Beyond411 – the GPS maps never worked well for me on the 8703e, but the “search where I am” ability in Beyond411 was really useful.
  • This is the first phone I’ve had with voice dialing capabilities. That’s pretty darn handy.
  • The only time I really notice the EDGE data speed in Google Maps.
  • My GrandCentral number rings about 5-10 seconds faster on the AT&T phone than it does on the Sprint phone. Very nice.

I’m probably going to make the switch but I’m going to give it a full week with AT&T, just in case. The 8073e will likely end up on Craig’s list.