All morning we’ve heard nothing but muffled growling from two fresh boxes that just landed in our office. The new BlackBerry 8330 Curves from Sprint ($179 with two-year contract and rebates) and Verizon Wireless ($169 with two-year contract and rebates) are finally here and they are eager to do battle.
Design/Interface VZW 8330: The interface of the liquid-silver Curve 8330 is admittedly cleaner. Icons are large and sit atop a fresh white background. The handset also spares you the preinstalled applications, so the desktop is less cluttered. Aside from the basics available on most BlackBerrys, you’ll see VZ Navigator as the only additional icon. If the Verizon version’s theme doesnt’t suit you, there is always the option to switch out to preloaded RIM themes.
Sprint 8330: Sprint’s titanium-gray Curve has a desktop that looks cluttered at first, but that’s only because it’s chock-full with a host of useful folders to application installation shortcuts that most users will be pleased to see at boot-up. Sprint created folders for each set of apps, including: Entertainment, Instant Messaging, and Communities (more on what’s inside each folder below in the Multimedia shoot-out category). Each icon sits atop Sprint’s sun logo splattered on a black background. If you prefer an old-school RIM theme like BB Dimension Zen, you can switch to it by visiting the Options menu.
EV-DO Data VZW 8330: Verizon’s Curve doesn’t come with V CASTr’s video or music, but it does support YouTube streaming from m.youtube.com. Our video started after 23 seconds—13 seconds behind Sprint’s Curve, which had a 1xEV-DO connection in our office. We also loaded some popular Web site home pages: Update: With a 1xEV DO connection on our replacement unit, we loaded the same streaming m.youtube.com video in 5 seconds, three seconds faster than the Sprint Curve.