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printed September 1, 2014
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BlackBerry Curve 8530

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Verizon Wireless is bringing the BlackBerry 8520 to market as the 8530 variant. This low-end BlackBerry was actually the first to ship with the optical mousepad, though T-Mobile got the GSM version first.

The changes being offered by the Verizon version obviously include Verizon's 3G network. It also packs Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth. It is very small and compact, but it definitely feels like a step down when compared to RIM's Tour and Bold devices.

The keyboard is probably the smallest full QWERTY on a BlackBerry, and for my large hands I found it a bit cramped. Those with smaller hands will probably have no problems with it. Travel and feedback of the keys was solid.

The optical trackpad is very responsive and I found that it works very well. It might take most users a little while to adjust to it and find the sensitivity settings that are right for them, but it shouldn't be a problem to get used to.

The send/end, BlackBerry and back keys flank the trackpad and all have the perfect amount of travel and feedback.

The buttons on the side of the device are covered in a rubber coating and protrude just a teeny bit from the surface. They are easy to find, and have good travel and feedback.

The hardware is all good.

On the software side of things, it is running the latest OS from RIM and doesn't differ all that much from the current crop of BlackBerries.

If you're looking for a lower cost handset that has most of the features found on the Tour, this is the BlackBerry for you.

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