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For more personal use, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 also offers direct access to the onboard 3.2Mp camera via a hardware button halfway down the righthand side - autofocus, zoom, flash and the ability to rename or file or instantly send photos to contacts make this a notable addition.

The BlackBerry Curve 8900 takes crisp, clear shots with plenty of detail - a huge contrast to identical ones we took on the Apple iPhone, for example.

The BlackBerry Curve 8900's video recorder is launched with a press of the BlackBerry button and, while the VGA quality is nothing to write home about, it's another feature that helps distinguish this model of Curve from other smartphones. Again, you can choose a file name to save it under.

, however, is definitely a worthwhile feature. A BlackBerry media manager with built-in search means finding what you want is very fast and, as long as the original footage is properly encoded, plays smoothly even when the action is fast and the levels of detail high. A standard headphone jack can be used and the audio quality is impressive.

Perhaps more importantly, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 makes the grade as a phone. The distinctive broad speaker above the BlackBerry logo on the front Curve's front ensures volume isn't an issue. When you press the green dial button, your own number is shown at the top - invaluable if you need to give it out to someone - while assigned speed dial numbers as well as the usual alphanumeric contact list mean you quickly find the details you need.

Finally, the BlackBerry Curve 8900 won't embarrass you by being short of juice when you most need it. Its standby time of half a month is legendary and it has an impressive talktime of around six hours.

What you don’t get on the BlackBerry Curve 8900 are 3G connectivity or a screenful of apps that you don’t really need – any extras you decide you need will soon be available from the Storefront. The result is a solid, smart but unflashy smartphone that offers all the business connectivity you need and keeps the multimedia features a click away rather than having them constantly on show.