The 8520 is great when it comes to connectivity sans 3G which is the only chink in its armor so to speak. Aside from support for Enterprise, which is what it’s designed for via a sync with a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) you’ll have to get your BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) activated. Downloading your office emails won’t be a problem. There’s also support for regular IMAP or POP3 accounts as well. The lack of Flash support in the browser is still an issue, at least with me, but the overall experience is still great especially with the new optical track-pad again.
Other connectivity options include EDGE/GPRS support as well as Wi-Fi for the internet. Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP for stereo Bluetooth connectivity is very handy for much better audio experience for both calls and music.
BlackBerry has also included a Facebook application for those who love their social networking as well as chat applications like GTalk, Yahoo! and BlackBerry's own messenger. It lacks GPS yet it comes with a BlackBerry Maps application. Honestly I didn’t miss it and didn’t expect it so no big deal.
There are plenty of regular features present for all standard purposes like a Scheduler in the calendar, an Alarm Clock, Calculator, Task List, Memo Pad, Password Keeper, Encryption services, Zip services and even a stand alone Voice Recorder. The DataViz's Documents to Go feature is also available but it’s only sorted for reading and editing existing Word, Excel, PPT files but not creating new documents. A PDF reader is still not part of the deal though you can still view these files via the browser as an attachment. There are quite a few games included with the 8520 as well.
The 8520 is equipped with a 2 megapixel camera that shoots video as well. The features are quite standard and that’s not a bad thing. Those features include just White Balance and a few color effects.
Images look quite good on the whole. Even indoor shots are not bad.
One of the 8520’s better features is its battery life. It can dish out a very comfortable 4 hours of talk time (average). With a single charge you’ll have no issues using the handset to its fullest capabilities for at least a day and a half and more before the battery cries out in anguish and dies on you.
The Bottom Line
With a price tag of Rs. 15,990 (MRP all India) and Rs. 16,990 (MRP Maharashtra) through Airtel, the Curve 8520 is stirring things up in the mid range business mobile segment. It offers quite a lot for the price and manages to deliver quite well on the same. Of course there are other options but this is one of the top on the list. But do remember it’s a BlackBerry and does cater to a bit of niche segment, then again with this pricing, it seems like RIM has just turned things around.