In just a few days the G2 Touch, the second Google Android powered handset in the United States, is set to arrive for T-Mobile. But that’s not the only mobile phone that might turn heads from the carrier. The latest BlackBerry smartphone is just around the curve and will be released next week. Research in Motion (RIM) and T-Mobile USA announced that the BlackBerry Curve 8520 will be available on August 5. The handset will be available for $129.99 with a two-year contract and qualifying data plan, and will be available at T-Mobile stores and online.
This handset is notable that it continues the trend away from smartphones that have a button down, business-only appearance. The Curve will be available in basic black as, well as frost for those looking for a bit more style. The device, which is a world phone (Quad-band world phone: EGDE/GPRS/GSM), is also an all-around communication device, offering easy mobile access to e-mail; messaging including IM, SMS, MMS; as well as quick connectivity to social networking sites such as MySpace and Facebook. Lastly, the Curve offers Wi-Fi for Web browsing and Wi-Fi calling from T-Mobile’s Unlimited HotSpot Calling service.
Other key features of the Curve 8520:
- Full-QWERTY keyboard and touch-sensitive optical trackpad
- 256MB Flash memory and a 512Mhz next generation processor
- Voice-activated dialing, and Bluetooth (2.0) support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits, stereo headsets and other Bluetooth peripherals
- 2-megapixel digital camera with zoom and video recording
- Access to BlackBerry App World
- BlackBerry Internet Service support for access to up to 10 supported e-mail accounts
- Expandable memory via hot swappable microSD/SDHC memory card slot, supporting cards of up to 16GB today and expected to support next generation 32GB cards when available; a 1GB card is included
- Built-in Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g) with support for T-Mobile Unlimited Hotspot Calling service
- Quad-band world phone: EGDE/GPRS/GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
The Curve 8520 could also be the phone that gives the iPhone a bit of competition, simply because RIM is finally offering fully-fledged Mac compatibility with the BlackBerry. In September, RIM will officially release the long-awaited BlackBerry for Mac desktop software, which will do all the things that PC users have been able to do since the beginning of time (or at least the 1990s). Currently, BlackBerry users with Macs have had to rely on third-party software to sync the devices together, but now RIM is finally making the connections a bit easier. There is one small catch, which is of course upsetting some Mac users, and that is that BlackBerry for Mac will support Mac OS X version 10.5.5 or higher, so some users may need to upgrade to use this suite. But it isn’t as if PC owners haven’t felt that pain for years.
Ericsson Sticking with Sony
This weekend, Ericsson’s CFO told a German newspaper that the company would absolutely stick with Japan’s Sony. This came as the Swedish mobile phone developer closed a dead last Friday to acquire the wireless assets of Nortel Networks.
This isn’t the first sign of cracks in the relationship either, and recently Ericsson had announced that it was developing a mobile storefront turnkey solution that it would offer to mobile carriers. However, via a pre-release of an interview, Hans Vestberg of Ericsson confirmed that the partnership would continue.