BlackBerry Curve 8350i hands on impressions

77 Comments

BlackBerry Curve 8350i

Considering how much iDEN BlackBerry subscribers have been frothing at the mouth over news of the just-launched BlackBerry Curve 8350i, I would assume most of you bought the device without waiting for a hands on impression post. However, there are probably just as many of you that have been burned by Sprint in the past and are wondering if the Curve is a worthy iDEN successor. Heck, I just had to explain to a BlackBerry Cool reader what Nextel is, so I’m not taking anything for granted.

After hooking up the ‘Cool with some unboxing shots, we tasked our main man Mike with playing with all the Curves shown above for some worthwhile impressions. He’s going to keep giving updates, so make sure to post any questions you want to have answered. You can find everything after the jump.

Mike’s BlackBerry Curve 8350i hands on impressions

Build: while the 8350i looks and feels good in your hand, there’s something weird about it. It doesn’t feel as solid as the 8330. Almost feels lighter than it looks.

OS: 4.6 is some jumps in the right direction. Web browser is an improvement over 4.5. The theme (icons) takes some getting us too. Speed and stability are both very good. Wi-Fi is also a nice addition vs. iDEN browsing speed.

Overall: A well overdue BlackBerry for Nextel subscribers and a must for any 7520 or 7100i user.

Other Notes: Battery life has been great. And loving the fact that there’s an official RIM mad belt clip included (just don’t like aftermarket clips). I noticed there’s a bug report on the menu. Upon further searching I discovered there’s an option to turn on bug reports under the options menu (bug report email sent to beta@rim.com) looks like someone didn’t uncheck the option in the final OS. Going to check if Bold themes will work on 8350i.

  • wendy

    karen – link it up to your computer and download the update which will help you get texts when they come in. aim is under the folder downloads. check out set up to sign up your email and follow the instructions.

  • wendy

    karen – link it up to your computer and download the update which will help you get texts when they come in. aim is under the folder downloads. check out set up to sign up your email and follow the instructions.

  • wendy

    karen – link it up to your computer and download the update which will help you get texts when they come in. aim is under the folder downloads. check out set up to sign up your email and follow the instructions.

  • Mike Ronson

    I just got through trying to configure an 8350 and it was a real pain. Not even Blackberry support could help me. Blackberry doesn’t understand or care that they need to have things readily available, readily apparent, and right up front. I was trying to get it so that my Direct Connect calls would come in automatically with the speaker on. The manual’s diagram said I needed to press the $ sign. It didn’t work. That button was for doing rate exchanges on currency as to be expected. I called tec support and they said I needed to update the software. That took 25 min. and did nothing. Finally, I called tec support again and they said to press the trackwheel while on a DC call. That’s highly inconvenient to be in the middle of a Direct Connect call and have to mess with the menu in the middle of the call. And if it stays on speaker phone, that may be inconvenient on a later call when you might prefer more privacy. I called again and they said there was no switch or immediate way to turn the speaker off and on as needed as with a Motorola phone. As for the software update, it said to go to “options and about” to get the version I needed, but it didn’t say options where. I wasn’t sure if it was a link on that software, it wasn’t. I thought they meant Blackberry Desktop, no, they meant the options (previously known as settings) on the device itself. When I syncronized, or tried to, it said syncronization wasn’t configured and to go to the synchronization screen, but didn’t tell you where. A first time user wouldn’t know. It’s just too convoluted and Blackberry refuses to mend its ways.

  • Mike Ronson

    I just got through trying to configure an 8350 and it was a real pain. Not even Blackberry support could help me. Blackberry doesn’t understand or care that they need to have things readily available, readily apparent, and right up front. I was trying to get it so that my Direct Connect calls would come in automatically with the speaker on. The manual’s diagram said I needed to press the $ sign. It didn’t work. That button was for doing rate exchanges on currency as to be expected. I called tec support and they said I needed to update the software. That took 25 min. and did nothing. Finally, I called tec support again and they said to press the trackwheel while on a DC call. That’s highly inconvenient to be in the middle of a Direct Connect call and have to mess with the menu in the middle of the call. And if it stays on speaker phone, that may be inconvenient on a later call when you might prefer more privacy. I called again and they said there was no switch or immediate way to turn the speaker off and on as needed as with a Motorola phone. As for the software update, it said to go to “options and about” to get the version I needed, but it didn’t say options where. I wasn’t sure if it was a link on that software, it wasn’t. I thought they meant Blackberry Desktop, no, they meant the options (previously known as settings) on the device itself. When I syncronized, or tried to, it said syncronization wasn’t configured and to go to the synchronization screen, but didn’t tell you where. A first time user wouldn’t know. It’s just too convoluted and Blackberry refuses to mend its ways.

  • chuck

    Echoing issues on all 8350i’s in my fleet were/are caused by otterbox and protective rubber covers. If you have echo issues hang up your phone take whatever cover off you are using and call the person back. That will end echo issues.

  • chuck

    Echoing issues on all 8350i’s in my fleet were/are caused by otterbox and protective rubber covers. If you have echo issues hang up your phone take whatever cover off you are using and call the person back. That will end echo issues.

  • Mason Stretsky

    Yeah Chuck, I agree…it’s not just the Otter box, it’s the phone with any case on it. I have tried skins and cases from about 3 different companies, including Blackberry and they all echo. I think it is the phone with any case on it.

  • Mason Stretsky

    Yeah Chuck, I agree…it’s not just the Otter box, it’s the phone with any case on it. I have tried skins and cases from about 3 different companies, including Blackberry and they all echo. I think it is the phone with any case on it.

  • Eve

    Hey Guys,
    Need help fast! I am a Tmobile user (for only 5 more mos. Switching to AT&T after that) and my husband has a BB Curve8350i smartphone that they got recently thru Nextel. I put my sim card into the phone, but can’t get it to activate or the radio to turn on so i can make and receive calls. Does this mean i need to unlock it and if so, how do i do this? I am sure this is pretty remedial stuff, but I need help so I can decide if I just give this back and buy another thru tmobile or if i can even use this one. thanks so much!

  • Eve

    Hey Guys,
    Need help fast! I am a Tmobile user (for only 5 more mos. Switching to AT&T after that) and my husband has a BB Curve8350i smartphone that they got recently thru Nextel. I put my sim card into the phone, but can’t get it to activate or the radio to turn on so i can make and receive calls. Does this mean i need to unlock it and if so, how do i do this? I am sure this is pretty remedial stuff, but I need help so I can decide if I just give this back and buy another thru tmobile or if i can even use this one. thanks so much!

  • Jim

    Fix for the echo problem with OtterBox.

    As per Sprint, to fix the echo problem while using the OtterBox, from the home screen, press “TALK” (the phone key), then the BlackBerry key, then scroll down to “OPTIONS”. From the options screen, select “GENERAL OPTIONS”, scroll to “DEFAULT CALL VOLUME”, then select “50%”. Tried the fix, it works flawlessly, with the OtterBox, or any other case. Contrary to some other posters, there is nothing wrong with the OtterBox or any other case. For all of you (like me) in the construction industry or any other career where NEXTEL’s rugged qualities are needed, I strongly recommend the OtterBox.

  • Jim

    Fix for the echo problem with OtterBox.

    As per Sprint, to fix the echo problem while using the OtterBox, from the home screen, press “TALK” (the phone key), then the BlackBerry key, then scroll down to “OPTIONS”. From the options screen, select “GENERAL OPTIONS”, scroll to “DEFAULT CALL VOLUME”, then select “50%”. Tried the fix, it works flawlessly, with the OtterBox, or any other case. Contrary to some other posters, there is nothing wrong with the OtterBox or any other case. For all of you (like me) in the construction industry or any other career where NEXTEL’s rugged qualities are needed, I strongly recommend the OtterBox.

  • George

    I think the FEMA guy should invest in an English lesson, or 10.

  • George

    I think the FEMA guy should invest in an English lesson, or 10.

  • alberto

    my windows mobile messenger isnt working good.can some body help me it says conection error and then says that the i have to adjust the time….

    help!

  • alberto

    my windows mobile messenger isnt working good.can some body help me it says conection error and then says that the i have to adjust the time….

    help!

  • amber

    hey i am having a huge issue with my blackberry 8350i… it will not connect to the radio… my connection is always “off” and i can’t get it to connect. i can’t make calls or anything. the phone is useless. how do i fix this? has anyone else had this issue? what should i do? PLEASE HELP ME!

  • amber

    hey i am having a huge issue with my blackberry 8350i… it will not connect to the radio… my connection is always “off” and i can’t get it to connect. i can’t make calls or anything. the phone is useless. how do i fix this? has anyone else had this issue? what should i do? PLEASE HELP ME!

  • Kerry

    Wondering if anyone has a problem with the mike blackberry not ringing when you call someone. When I make a call I can’t hear it ring but someone answers. There is a little picture of a phone with radio waves comeing out of it and a line through it. Think it has something to do with that but can’t figure out how to fix it. Any ideas?

  • Kerry

    Wondering if anyone has a problem with the mike blackberry not ringing when you call someone. When I make a call I can’t hear it ring but someone answers. There is a little picture of a phone with radio waves comeing out of it and a line through it. Think it has something to do with that but can’t figure out how to fix it. Any ideas?

  • Kerry

    sorry wrong email address. In case it didn’t post. I’m looking for help with an issue with the mike blackberry. When i make a call it doesn’t ring in my ear but then someone answers the call so it is working. Any idea how to fix this?

  • Kerry

    sorry wrong email address. In case it didn’t post. I’m looking for help with an issue with the mike blackberry. When i make a call it doesn’t ring in my ear but then someone answers the call so it is working. Any idea how to fix this?

  • christinb82

    I have a question if someone could be so nice as to help me. All of a sudden when I try to zoom in before taking a picture it will not zoom. What is going on????

  • christinb82

    I have a question if someone could be so nice as to help me. All of a sudden when I try to zoom in before taking a picture it will not zoom. What is going on????

  • Jstine

    Hit green button, Hit dots button(menu), Options, Call Logging, Set it to None.

  • Chris

    I Have A BB Curve 8350i smartphone that I got recently thru Nextel. I put my sim card into the phone, but can’t get it to activate or the radio to turn on so i can make and receive calls. Does this mean i need to unlock it and if so, how do i do this? I am sure this is pretty remedial stuff, but I need help so I can decide if I just give this back and buy another one or if i can even use this one.