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Old 12-08-2008, 08:24 AM   #8 (permalink)
santo
Thumbs Must Hurt
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Model: 9800
OS: 6.0.0.246
Carrier: Rogers
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dolo View Post
All,

Please post all reviews/thoughts/impressions here. Law started up a nice thread on his.

Some thoughts for those that are without the device:
- how does it compare to (bold users) and (iPhone users)
- lag? how is the OS?
- quality of product vs. others?
- EDGE compresssion - noticeably slower than 3G?
- BOLD users - now that you have the 8900 - which is preferred?

Welcoming other thoughts as well.

Regards,
dolo
Well, I had a good weekend with it so it's time to do a review. First off, a point of clarification. "Javelin" is not a term used anywhere is the packaging. For all intents and purposes this is an upgraded Curve model 8900 and seems like a direct replacement for the 8320. Here on out, I will call it the Curve.

While I am a current Bold user, I'm finding it difficult to find points against the Curve but we'll talk about that later. If you have a Curve and would like Wi-fi, a GPS, UMA support (if your carrier does it) and an overall multimedia rich 2G (Edge in this model) phone in a tiny package, this phone is for you. If I only had a previous Curve, I would upgrade in a heart beat.

I don't have the 8320 in front of me so I can't compare size but it's definitely smaller than the Bold in width, height and thickness. I currently hold my Curve in the Bold holder (I hate the pouch that the Curve comes with) and it flops around in there. Unfortunately, there were absolutely no available accessories in the store I bought it at or I would have purchased a belt clip holder and a charging pod immediately.

Build quality is quite good. It's kinda hard to pull the SIM card out and the microSD card fits in really easily (it's the 8GB one from my Bold) but it did take me a second or two to figure out how to remove the backing. It wedges into the top of the phone and closes with a clasp on the bottom which makes this really solid. I've dropped my Bold a couple of times and I have had the back fly off. I'm not about to drop this purposely but I think it will stay on quite nicely. The Curve has a slightly rough back cover with vertical lines that protrude ever so slightly (if you rub your finger nail along the back, you can fell them). It does, however, show finger prints but not as easily as a smooth back cover. I do like the fake leather backing on the Bold because it doesn't show finger prints at all.

The new Curve comes with a micro USB connection for charging and syncing so your old accessories won't work. Luckily, it's not a proprietary connector so I imagine that this will be used from now on in newer devices. The keyboard is much improved over the 8320 in my opinion. I tended to use my finger nails on the old Curve. With the new Curve, I use my finger tips and I am pretty quick already. It is an excellent keyboard and is probably a little more defined than the Bold because there are hard sides that the key depresses into. The Bold keyboard is a little flatter and it seems just slightly easier to hit the wrong key. However, the Bold keys are bigger (because of it's form factor) so I am quicker on the Bold.
For those familiar with the Bold keyboard and button layout, it's very similar except for one thing that had me stumped. I locked my phone and could not find the lock button. I expected a hard, well-defined button on the top of the unit but didn't see one. After fumbling around with enough keys on the phone, I finally unlocked it but I had to check the owners manual on where the mute key was. Oddly enough, it pointed to the top of the phone but there were no visible buttons there. On closer inspection, the top of the phones bezel can be depressed on either side so that the left side is the lock button and the right side is the mute button. Since the top of the phone slants from back to front, this is actually quite cool. I used to have the use my finger nails to depress the mute button before but now it's a very easy press on either side of the top of the phone.

Two other things to note. For one, the scroll ball does not light up on this model. Rather than have the ball light up (which does tent to get dirty over time and looks darker and darker) the Curve has a ring around the ball that lights up. Not sure if I like that yet but I'm sure I'll get used to it. The other thing is that I find it really difficult to read the red numbers on the keypad in darker lighting conditions. I don't remember having trouble with this on the Bold but I did notice it on the Curve.

The OS is almost identical to the Bold. The same Precision Zen theme is on the Curve and I have already set up my applications in the same order as the Bold. All of the applications I have work the same on both devices except I get more screen real-estate on the Curve. Yes, the Curve has better resolution than the Bold. I think the difference is 480x360 vs 480x320 on the Bold. The Curve comes with a John Mayer video sample which looked pretty dark and not exactly flattering. I copied the Bold's Speed Racer video sample over using Bluetooth between the two phones and, let me say, Both screens look very much the same to me except the Curve had black bars on the top and bottom (due to the increased resolution). Oddly enough, there was a studder or two on both phones during video playback but the Curve was smoother. This is a little surprising since the Bold has a 624Mhz processor and the Curve has a 512Mhz processor. While I did have some initial slowness when I first unboxed the Curve, this quickly disappeared after the first few hours of usage. I sort of expect this on a Java phone as those module you use load and become cached for usage.

Since we are comparing numbers, free memory on the Curve is amazing compared to the Bold. I develop Java applications and know what garbage collection is and how to stream-line it on large servers. Unfortunately, end users can't do so on a device like this (nor would you want to) so I don't subscribe to the "there's a memory leak" "issues" that are reported. Memory fluctuates and that's a fact of life on these devices. Pulling out the battery will clean it up but it will make your phone slower because you just cleaned out the objects in memory and it has now has to reload them as you use them initially. Anyway, on the Bold OS version I'm on, I get approximately 44MB of free memory. On this Curve, I have 118Mb. Yes, I didn't hit the "1" too many times by accident. According to Phoneegg.com the Curve has 256MB of internal memory vs the Bold's 128MB. I think that with the numbers I'm seeing, this is indeed the case.

I haven't tried the 3.2 mega pixel camera yet or really gone too deep into the operating system application and settings but I did spend some time getting my network router set up for UMA. This is the reason I bought the phone. At work, I don't have cell network coverage but I do have wi-fi because we are in a basement. Sadly, my 8320 was not available in Canada at the time of my purchase and an unlocked version from a different carrier did not work. Just moments ago, I finally placed my first phone call through UMA and I am now reachable at my desk.

Curve 8900 vs Bold? The Curve does not to 3G and is only an Edge device. If you have to have 3G, this phone can't deliver. Edge phone calls are not as clear as 3G. You can't get email and talk on the phone at the same time, as the Bold can and the Bold is slightly faster because I can flip through multiple applications with ease and no hesitation. The Bold is truly a business device and cameras and resolution are not really that important. Over 3G, web browsing is probably faster and smoother. I didn't test this as I generally browse over wi-fi but this only seems logical.

If 3G is not essential or you are not in a 3G coverage zone, there is absolutely no reason why the Curve is not for you. You won't wonder what a Bold is like because the OSes are almost identical. I would imagine that the two phone would leap-frog in versions so it's not a factor. For me, the Bold doesn't do UMA or I would be all over the Bold and the Curve would not be a contender. Reason being, size is not that "big" of an issue to me. The smaller the device, the smaller the keyboard and screen is. There is a delicate balance there.

Now that I've used the new Curve, I need to figure out which one will be my phone. I guess I need to figure out how important UMA is to me. If I can't live without it, I may stick with the Curve. If there is any doubt that I maybe don't really need it, I'd go with the Bold.

Sorry, I won't compare the iPhone. I have one and it makes a great expensive iPod. I need a keyboard and I found that out quickly after I got my first gen iPhone.

So, 3g? Bold. UMA? Curve. Anything else? Personal preference.

Hope this helps,
Santo

Last edited by santo : 12-08-2008 at 08:25 AM.
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