The left-hand side of the Curve contains a standard-size 3. On the right-hand side you'll find hardware volume controls and a camera button. The star of the front panel is the beautiful bypixel, 2. The Curve measures 4. That's still an impressive feat for a phone with such an excellent keyboard. By comparison, the diminutive Palm Centro weighs about the same at 4. The Curve features the usual RIM lineup of hardware specs: BlackBerry OS is just as good as always: It responds quickly to commands and makes getting around the very easy.
If you want a real bump in performance, you'll have to wait for the BlackBerry Bold , but that model will be available on Verizon. Sounding virtually identical to the Verizon model, this Curve exhibited clear, punchy voice quality.
If anything, the Sprint version had a slight amount of choppiness, but I'll chalk that up to the remote area of Massachusetts in which I tested the two phones.
Also, the speakerphone was loud and clear enough for outdoor use. You can also run Java applications such as Gmail for Mobile, and you can check messages using the full Web browser. That's okay, though, because Sprint really loads up this Curve with applications. Messenger in addition to BlackBerry Messenger. You also get Handmark Pocket Express, an all-in-one information aggregator for news, sports, stock prices, , travel information, weather, and more.
The only downside is that the Curve still can't edit Microsoft Office documents. A 2-megapixel camera features autofocus and an enhanced LED flash but no optical zoom. Still, it takes nicely detailed pictures, but they have a slight orange tinge.
It also captures decent-looking by videos at 14 frames per second. The displayed my Kanye West album art automatically.
The included Roxio Media Manager desktop software makes transcoding video a snap. The Curve can also be used as a tethered modem for your laptop, though it will reach only EV-DO Rev 0 speeds, not the faster Rev A speeds that Sprint's dedicated laptop modems can hit. Like all Windows Mobile devices, it connects seamlessly to Microsoft Exchange servers, lets you synchronize your contacts and calendar, and offers robust Microsoft Word and Excel document editing along with PowerPoint viewing.
But its extended-life battery adds bulk, and Windows Mobile handsets have convoluted interfaces that require too many button presses for common tasks. And among BlackBerry models, the BlackBerry is still an excellent option for world travelers, particularly since unlike the comparable Verizon version its GSM slot is unlocked, meaning that you have plenty of carrier options when traveling overseas.
But it's the BlackBerry Curve that sets the new standard, earning our Editors' Choice award for Sprint smartphones.