By Liane Cassavoy Tech Advisor | on May 10, 2009
Price When Reviewed: 305
A voice-over-Wi-Fi feature makes the already excellent BlackBerry Curve even better.
First came the trim, consumer-friendly BlackBerry Curve 8300. Then came the Wi-Fi-enabled BlackBerry 8820. Now there's the BlackBerry Curve 8320, an impressive PDA phone that combines the best of the previous two models and has an added bonus: While the 8820 supports Wi-Fi for data only, the 8320 lets you make voice calls over wireless 802.11b/g networks too.
Physically, the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8320 is the same as the original BlackBerry Curve, though it comes in two different colours, titanium gray or gold. It features the same thin and light design, a small but very usable qwerty keyboard, a 2Mp camera, and a gorgeous 320-by-240 display.
The biggest news is under the hood. In addition to support for GSM voice and EDGE data networks, the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8320 adds Wi-Fi with UMA - a technology that allows you to make voice calls over Wi-Fi.
We tested the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8320 in the US using one of T-Mobile's [email protected] wireless routers, manufactured by Linksys. Using the BlackBerry Curve 8320's on-screen wizard to connect to a wireless network is a breeze; within just a few minutes, we were surfing the web and downloading files with ease. The 8320 will connect to any 802.11b/g wireless network, so you can use your existing router - or even a public hotspot - to make calls and surf the web.
T-Mobile says its router is designed to conserve your phone's battery life and to prioritise voice traffic, which should - in theory - result in better call quality. However, we noticed no significant improvement when using the T-Mobile router instead of our own Linksys wireless router.