Testers in UK have been impressed by the latest Blackberry smartphone - the Curve 8520 - that just came out of RIM's manufacturing lines.
The keyboard-equipped device was unveiled late in July and lacks the pearl trackball that is the trademark of traditional RIM smartphones. Instead, there's a trackpad.
It might lack the 3G connectivity and come with a 2-megapixel digital camera, it still managed to get the Telegraph's reviewer to say that it was "compelling" and that the newly-introduced trackpad is "impressively nimble, accurate and enjoyable to use".
The rest of the specification though is surprisingly good; it has a 512MHz processor - same as its big brother, the Curve 8900, a slightly bigger screen (2.5-inch vs 2.4-inch) with a smaller resolution (320x240 vs 480x360), a lesser battery life, a worse camera, no GPS, a thicker profile.
Recombu's review concludes by saying that the music offering was impressive and that it's a great thing that this Blackberry is not as expensive as the other ones. Still the lack of 3G was a turn off although this is compensated by the WiFi.
We managed to get the phone for as little as £16.67 per month on an O2 contract through Dialaphone via a special tariff called "O2 Bonus".
One has to wonder whether choosing the 8520 over the 8900 makes economic sense. Orange offers the Curve 8900, an arguably better smartphone, for the same price as the 8520 (£19.57 per month over 24 months) and it comes with the trademark trackball.