T-Mobile BlackBerry Gemini 8520 review, pics and comparisons

92 Comments

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The T-Mobile BlackBerry Gemini 8520 is slated as a low-end BlackBerry Curve, and it will definitely suit the intended market. While Power Users are going to yawn, early Pearl owners are going to want to upgrade to this device, especially because we’ve heard it’s going to come in some beautiful colors.

Before reading this review, as usual it’s not a commercially available device and therefore may not be the device you pick up from T-Mobile.

The 85xx Series Devices

The BlackBerry 8520 is a new-generation Curve and while the xx20 is the only device in the series so far, it surely won’t be the last. In the coming months (year), we can expect a rollout similar to that of other BlackBerry devices. The BlackBerry 8510 will have GPS and the 8530 will be CDMA.

About the OS

The 8520 that I’m using is running OS 4.6.1.227, which seems to be the consensus around other sites who have got their hands on the device. While OS 4.6.1 is decent, it isn’t the OS 5 that we’ve all been waiting to use. Because this is a pre-release device, it could possibly ship with OS 5, which would be a dream come true.

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The Trackpad

The first thing that hits you about this device is obviously the trackpad. The shift to a trackpad is likely in response to the number of complaints from BlackBerry users about having to replacing the trackball because it got sand or dust in it. The trackpad seems impervious to this sort of damage and is sure to make your device last longer. At first, you may find the trackpad doesn’t respond exactly how you remember the trackball responding. Make sure to go into your settings, in the same place where you change your trackball sensitivity, and crank it up for a smoother trackpad experience.

While I like the new trackpad strategy, there is a learning Curve (pun intended). While navigating menus and browsing the internet, I found I was missing the mark a lot. This is because the trackpad requires a slightly different approach which I can only explain as “swiping” versus “rolling.” With a trackball, you can almost feel the cursor movement but with the trackpad, I felt I had to swipe my finger across the pad, and adjust. If this doesn’t make sense, all I can tell you is that it feels weird at first but you get used to it quickly. I didn’t test the trackpad in varying lighting conditions but I’ve heard this may have an impact on the responsiveness.

3G versus EDGE

Not having 3G doesn’t really have anything to do with RIM, and this is a decision that is made at the carrier relation level. It’s the same deal with WiFi, where I wish every BlackBerry came with WiFi but it’s clearly the carriers who put the kibosh on it. Since WiFi saves on data, carriers don’t want it on their consumer devices because they want their customers eating up large amounts of costly data. While it would be great to have 3G on all BlackBerry devices, EDGE is still a large market that needs servicing.

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BlackBerry 8520 specs

For a consumer device, the 8520 has an average screen size and resolution at 320 x 240 pixels and 65,536 colors in TFT. For a device that is rumored to be a consumer phone, I’m a little surprised at the lack of consumer features. For example, the camera megapixels have been downgraded from the average 3.2 that comes with devices today, to only 2 megapixels with no flash. Picture and video are therefore going to be less than attractive for this device.

The battery has 1150 mAh (Milliamp Hours), which means it won’t be able to store as much charge as previous Curve devices. Perhaps this is where no flash will actually help in that there is less charge but less to use up the charge.

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Form Factor

The first thing you notice about the form factor is the rubber bezel. The bezel gives it an Otterbox feel that makes you think you could drop it and never worry about scratches. Looking at my 8300 devices, the sides and corners are scratched up which would be almost totally eliminated with this device. The side keys are rubberized too, which will mean sand and dust won’t be able to get into the crevices and lock up your convenience keys. Overall, when you pick up this device, you immediately get the sense that it’s a sturdy device that will last a long time.

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Although the form factor does make for longevity, there are some downsides to this new form factor. The fact that the case is completely rubberized, means it’s missing the charging contacts. This means there are a ton of accessories that won’t be compatible with the device. I don’t see how charging docks will work with the device. Also, signal boosting accessories will have a difficult time as many of them require access to the contacts to boost the signal. It’s not only the lack of contacts which conflict with accessories out there, it’s also the case market. I can’t see anyone being able to buy a new case for this device, as it already has one. Perhaps this is part of what seems to be the 8520′s strategy of being indestructible. RIM has seen the money in the case market, and decided to cut the middle man out.

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Another big improvement on the 8520 are the media keys at the top of the device. These media keys are a great addition for the consumer who likes to listen to music on their device. I personally use my device as my main music player, and while the keys don’t really help the browsing experience, they’re great if you have a playlist going.

As I’ve already mentioned, the battery cover on the 8520 gave me a big headache. For some reason, I simply can’t get the thing open without using some aid such as a key. Bla1ze from CB pointed out that the 8520 he’s been using has the complete opposite characteristics and it’s really easy to open. At this point, it’s clear that we’re all just reviewing pre-release devices and we can’t be certain of the experience.

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Keyboard

The keyboard on the 8520 is like the Curve 8900 in the way the keys are positioned, but the keys themselves feel like the 8300. While the keys on the 8900 were lower, the 8520 feel raised, and will surely remind you of typing on your 8330.

Overall, this device is going to be a hit with the Curve market, and I’m interested to see where and what carriers pick up the device. This 8520 is branded T-Mobile, so we’re sure to see it with them, but other EDGE supporting carriers will surely pick it up as well.

As this is just one man’s opinion, I’ve sent the device over to Nan Palmero whose going to give it a whirl. He’ll have much more insight than myself. I can’t even work a battery cover.

More beautiful pictures of the BlackBerry Gemini 8520


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Picture comparison of the BlackBerry Gemini 8520 with the BlackBerry Curve series

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  • esoteric

    it’s just perfect, morely, this complete spec device come with low prices, so i can buy it.
    one thing bothering me is just it don’t come with 3g, thats all.
    maybe we can hope that blackberry will make the same cheap devices with 3g planted, that would be awesome.

  • esoteric

    it’s just perfect, morely, this complete spec device come with low prices, so i can buy it.
    one thing bothering me is just it don’t come with 3g, thats all.
    maybe we can hope that blackberry will make the same cheap devices with 3g planted, that would be awesome.

  • http://www.facebook.com/ariefbudiman.uie asep gurah

    Its amazing….I like it…I’m waiting goes in indonesia….

  • http://www.facebook.com/ariefbudiman.uie asep gurah

    Its amazing….I like it…I’m waiting goes in indonesia….

  • http://www.facebook.com/ariefbudiman.uie asep gurah

    Its amazing….I like it…I’m waiting goes in indonesia….

  • blackberry obsessed

    how much is this device?

  • blackberry obsessed

    how much is this device?

  • hotmiu

    Wow…I like the pink colour on BB symbol
    Its cool!!!
    When come to indonesia

  • hotmiu

    Wow…I like the pink colour on BB symbol
    Its cool!!!
    When come to indonesia

  • hotmiu

    Wow…I like the pink colour on BB symbol
    Its cool!!!
    When come to indonesia

  • myname

    this is my first blackberry and so far i am loving it! i do wish it had more apps like the iphone does i have the itouch so its ok but i love my bb

  • myname

    this is my first blackberry and so far i am loving it! i do wish it had more apps like the iphone does i have the itouch so its ok but i love my bb

  • ariez

    wait selling in the indonesian market

  • ariez

    wait selling in the indonesian market

  • http://www.eurotidalwave.com/ Martin Webb

    Will the address book within the 8520 Curve synchronise with the Contacts Folder from Microsoft Outlook?

  • http://www.eurotidalwave.com Martin Webb

    Will the address book within the 8520 Curve synchronise with the Contacts Folder from Microsoft Outlook?

  • stormie user

    dear hotmiu..the BB symbol will still be chrome, not pink, its just a reflection of human skin so it looks like pink.

  • stormie user

    dear hotmiu..the BB symbol will still be chrome, not pink, its just a reflection of human skin so it looks like pink.

  • petricia

    I’m using bb gemini now..its amazing cos I don’t have to worry to change my track ball again..cos my last bb already cost me 5 time track ball changing…so I hope it las longer..and the most important is its so effort able…who need the expensive one if we can have the cheapest with same quality…

  • petricia

    I’m using bb gemini now..its amazing cos I don’t have to worry to change my track ball again..cos my last bb already cost me 5 time track ball changing…so I hope it las longer..and the most important is its so effort able…who need the expensive one if we can have the cheapest with same quality…

  • Dave Andrews

    i got one and im in Indonesia, its a very good device, dont care who says what!

  • Dave Andrews

    i got one and im in Indonesia, its a very good device, dont care who says what!

  • BlackBerry

    New BlackBerry Gemini @ SR 1299

  • BlackBerry

    New BlackBerry Gemini @ SR 1299

  • BlackBerry

    New BlackBerry Gemini @ SR 1299

  • BlackBerry

    New BlackBerry Gemini @ SR 1299

  • BlackBerry

    New BlackBerry Gemini @ SR 1299

  • http://warungponsel.blogspot.com/2009/10/blackberry-curve-8520-blackberry-gemini.html Blackberry gemini

    I like this phone..

  • http://warungponsel.blogspot.com/2009/10/blackberry-curve-8520-blackberry-gemini.html Blackberry gemini

    I like this phone..

  • abdulrahman qatar

    i have one

  • abdulrahman qatar

    i have one

  • abdulrahman qatar

    i have one

  • abdulrahman qatar

    i have one

  • Alex

    The carriers are certainly not the ones that decide whether a device is 2G or 3G….this device is targeted by RIM as a low end device….2G chipsets are a third of the price of a HSPA one..

  • Alex

    The carriers are certainly not the ones that decide whether a device is 2G or 3G….this device is targeted by RIM as a low end device….2G chipsets are a third of the price of a HSPA one..

  • http://upethebassist.blogspot.com/ Peter James

    Do we able to make an internet call by this device? Let say, YM! voice, MSN Voice, or Skype?

  • http://upethebassist.blogspot.com/ Peter James

    Do we able to make an internet call by this device? Let say, YM! voice, MSN Voice, or Skype?

  • http://upethebassist.blogspot.com Peter James

    Do we able to make an internet call by this device? Let say, YM! voice, MSN Voice, or Skype?

  • Tiva

    Is there any other color than black ??

  • Tiva

    Is there any other color than black ??

  • Tiva

    Is there any other color than black ??

  • Tiva

    Is there any other color than black ??

  • Matt

    It come in Black, White, Violet, and Frost Blue in the UK
    T-Mobile carries the Frost Blue one in the states.
    And Cincinnati Bell carries the Black, and it’s free with a two year agreement.

  • Matt

    It come in Black, White, Violet, and Frost Blue in the UK
    T-Mobile carries the Frost Blue one in the states.
    And Cincinnati Bell carries the Black, and it’s free with a two year agreement.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/2009/07/13/t-mobile-blackberry-gemini-8520-review-pics-and-comparisons/ Rod

    I bought two BB Curve 8520 Gemini for me and for my Wife. My Wife is loving it so much. And I am loving it as well. I love the features & the apps which are imperative for my work. It is so handy and user friendly. It’s like having my laptop in my pocket. The resolution of the images is magnificent. The speakers are very clear. and I love the rubberized sides of the phone. Somehow it makes me feel that even if I’d dropped it accidentally, it wouldn’t break. So I don’t have to worry about my being clumsy. BB phones are soon to invade our households.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/2009/07/13/t-mobile-blackberry-gemini-8520-review-pics-and-comparisons/ Rod

    I bought two BB Curve 8520 Gemini for me and for my Wife. My Wife is loving it so much. And I am loving it as well. I love the features & the apps which are imperative for my work. It is so handy and user friendly. It’s like having my laptop in my pocket. The resolution of the images is magnificent. The speakers are very clear. and I love the rubberized sides of the phone. Somehow it makes me feel that even if I’d dropped it accidentally, it wouldn’t break. So I don’t have to worry about my being clumsy. BB phones are soon to invade our households.

  • amy matos diaz

    yo quiero uno lo amo pèro mi padres no asi que tendre que esperar ser adulta

  • amy matos diaz

    yo quiero uno lo amo pèro mi padres no asi que tendre que esperar ser adulta

  • amy matos diaz

    yo quiero uno lo amo pèro mi padres no asi que tendre que esperar ser adulta

  • amy matos diaz

    por favor … graias