Last October I was due for an upgrade on my mobile, so off i trudged in the cold to the closest O2 shop in the area. I had been hearing a lot of talk about Blackberrys and decided to upgrade and see what the fuss was about. My contract used to be £20 a month which included free unlimited texts and 600 minutes, I was told my new Blackberry Curve 8520 would cost me £25 a month; including free unlimited texts, 600 minutes and access to the internet. I was pleased to see the store had a range of colours available and chose a pretty deep purple colour.
The phone itself to look at is very pleasing, the screen is large and clear, the buttons are laid out like a keyboard and this gives a professional look the flat scroller and other buttons along the top are smooth and easy to use. The Blackberry logo and O2 logo are clearly visible on the front of the phone in silver writing, which compliments the purple lovely. The sides and some of the back on the phone are black rubber which makes for an easier grip, the matching removable back also bares the Blackberry logo in Silver, I was not offered any case with my new phone as my local store didn't have any in. The display on the screen is very good, the time and date are clearly visible along with signal strength, network and battery life, the icons along the bottom of the screen can be changed around to allow quick access to whichever folder you want, this is brilliant as your one click away from all the important things. The phone was light weight and at first seemed kind of chunky, however now I have got used to it this isn't a problem; it fits perfectly into my purse if need be.
When I got the blackberry home, I charged the battery and couldn't wait to start working it out. Admittedly this took me by surprise, normally I am good with technology however I could not for the life of me set up my emails or Blackberry messenger, so I got my friend (who also has a Blackberry) to do this for me and i quickly learnt from there onwards.
My first problem with the phone was the stickers that made up the Blackberry logo on the back of the phone; all 7 of these came off pretty quickly and although I have asked around about replacing them, I see it as too fiddly and purely cosmetic so I havn't bothered so far. The camera on the phone is adequate, it is not quite as good as some of the other Blackberrys and it does not have a flash setting which is a pain at night time. It does have a video camera and the sound quality is okay, the ability to send pictures via Blackberry messenger, MMS or to Facebook or via email is very easy and I find this very useful.
Blackberry messenger - this is the main plus point of having a Blackberry; by adding other Blackberry users 'PIN' you can send instant messages, pictures, videos and voice notes, this is a free service and uses the data services of the phone. I found that having my email directly linked to my phone is brilliant, it means if I go away and am unable to get to a computer I can always check my mail. The key pad is excellent it makes typing a lot faster and I would never want to go back to a phone without this feature.
I have recently started having a few problems with my phone, the scroller button tends to freeze all the time making it very difficult to use the phone. I have figured out a few shortcuts for when this happens but it is very irritating having to navigate around the phone using buttons. At first I found I could cure my frozen scroller by locking the phone and unlocking it a few times, more recently I have been having to take the battery out the back and restart the whole thing! (Very annoying if you're in the middle of a conversation). I have also noticed that sometimes when I type the phones changes the letters (as if shift was being held) and so my message comes up with strange characters, capitals and other jumbled up signs, this is very annoying and happens for about 5 minutes then solves itself. Other than these complications I have had no other trouble with my Blackberry, however I do know people who have had problems with speakers and had to send their phones off for repair.
Overall my Blackberry Curve 8520 is a good phone but it has its downsides; half of the time i love it and the other half I want to throw it out of a window. Another terrible feature of all Blackberrys is the battery life! Never in my life have I had to charge a phone at least twice a day, although when the battery dies the phone remains on for a while, this can be handy if you need to write down a number, although frustrating as you can not make a call from your own phone.
As a warning to people thinking of getting a Blackberry Curve 8520 make sure you are patient and do not get frustrated easily and be ready to do a lot of turning off and on. When Blackberrys work they are without doubt a brilliant stylish phone, but when they throw a paddy, you might as well have a brick for a mobile.