To be honest, these days it takes a new iPhone or maybe the latest Android-powered beast to get my smartphone pulse racing even if BlackBerry is the top of the smartphone pops in raw number terms. So news of a new BlackBerry, the Curve 8520 which was also know as Gemini during the many months of hyping that always arrives long before the actual product, was never going to get me all hot and bothered.

Indeed, for all intents and purposes the Curve 8250 is just another BlackBerry, albeit something of an entry-level model. I am told it will most likely be a free choice on most monthly network packages, which is just as well seeing as there's no 3G connectivity on offer. You do get WiFi, but that's not very clued up for something that purports to be a smartphone for the social networking crowd, now is it? Of course, the iPhone crowd in the UK recently had only WiFi access courtesy of the network provider failing to provide data for the best part of a day, but that's another story.

Sure, the QWERTY keyboard is a nice touch, although a full size touch screen keyboard such as found on the iPhone would be nicer. Sure, the Facebook and MySpace apps are cool if you use either of these services (what, no Twitter?) but no deal clincher I would have thought seeing as the BlackBerry App World dooberry allows you to add applications anyway, at a price.

The camera cannot beat the new and rather hot iPhone 3GS, it's a pretty weak 2 megapixel affair so although it can do video recording I'm not convinced you would want it to. Modest is probably the correct word to describe the Curve, the 2.64 inch LCD with its QVGA resolution, 256MB onboard memory (RIM say it will ship with a 2GB microSDHC card) but no GPS.

And no balls.

I don't just mean the underwhelming spec, but literally it has no balls. Instead of the usual trackball the Curve 8250 comes with an optical trackpad.


About the Author

A freelance technology journalist for 30 years, I have been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro (one of the best selling computer magazines in the UK) for most of them. As well as currently contributing to, The Times and Sunday Times via Raconteur Special Reports, SC Magazine UK, Digital Health, IT Pro and Infosecurity Magazine, I am also something of a prolific author. My last book, Being Virtual: Who You Really are Online, which was published in 2008 as part of the Science Museum TechKnow Series by John Wiley & Sons. I am also the only three times winner (2006, 2008, 2010) of the BT Information Security Journalist of the Year title, and was humbled to be presented with the ‘Enigma Award’ for a ‘lifetime contribution to information security journalism’ in 2011 despite my life being far from over...