BlackBerry Curve 8520




  • Good price
  • Excellent QWERTY keyboard
  • Great email support


  • Lacks 3G
  • Light on features
  • Disappointing camera

Key Features

  • Review Price: £0.00
  • Quad Band
  • QWERTY keyboard

With the new 8520, BlackBerry is targeting mainstream users rather than those who would traditionally buy a smartphone. This is reflected in it’s price as the handset will be available for free on £25 a month contracts or alternatively pay as you go users will be able to get their hands on it for around £200, which is pretty cheap by smartphone standards.

The 8520 will look instantly familiar to anyone who’s used one of BlackBerry’s Curve handsets, except for one new addition. BlackBerry has chosen to introduce its new optical trackpad on this phone. This replaces the company’s iconic, mini trackball, or ‘pearl’ as RIM liked to call it.

RIM’s representatives have indicated to us that this new trackpad is likely to be used across all new Curve devices mainly because it has no moving parts and so is less prone to dust and dirt. This being so, it really needs to deliver the goods. We’ve been fairly unimpressed with optical touchpads on devices like the HP iPAQ Voice Messenger, but thankfully the one on the 8520 is in a totally different league. It’s a pleasure to use as it’s both accurate and responsive and really we didn’t miss the old style track ball at all. You can also adjust its horizontal and vertical sensitivity to customise the speed at which it zips around icons on the screen.

As the new trackpad doesn’t stick out from the case like the old trackball, RIM has now made the four main buttons under the display sit completely flush with the screen giving the handset a much sleeker look than previous Curve models. It has also changed around some of the other controls. For example, gone are the lock and mute buttons at the top of the screen to be replaced by a row of three rubberised media transport controls – two track skip keys and a play/pause button. The traditional side mounted buttons have also now been ‘weatherised’, so they’re not as exposed to the elements as they used to be.

RIM has also sensibly added a standard 3.5mm headphone/headset jack so if you don’t like the supplied headset you can swap it for your own cans, although you’ll lose the hands-free functionality. The addition of a standard headset jack is welcome, but RIM has annoyingly placed it on the left edge of the phone rather than at the top with the result that lead tends to snag when you’re taking the handset in and out of your pocket.

On the plus side the 35-key backlit QWERTY keyboard is excellent as ever. The keys may be small, but as they’re slightly raised they’re easy to hit with your fingers and thumbs so tapping out emails is not a problem. The transmissive screen is also nice and bright making videos and pictures look surprisingly vivid. However, at 2.46in it’s relatively small by today’s smartphone standards and only has a resolution 320 x 240 pixels so it feels a tad cramped when you’re using the web browser. The handset itself measures 109mm in height, 60mm in width and 13.9mm in depth, and weighs in at 106g.

More from TrustedReviews

LG Q8 finally brings the V20’s promise to Europe

Atari is now in the speaker business… and the hat business

Thinner Moto Z2 Force could come with a huge trade-off

HyperLoop One

Elon Musk’s Hyperloop gathering pace as NY-DC link gets ‘OK’


Is this proof an N64 Classic will follow the SNES?

Agents of Mayhem preview

cats 17

Why you’ll want to download this OnePlus 5 update today

Golf rory

British Open Golf Live Stream: How to watch online for free

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare for Xbox One down to under £9

Samsung Gear S3 finally gets Samsung Pay support in UK

Welcome to the all new Trusted Reviews

Netgear Arlo

Netgear Arlo Pro

Cat Amazon

Are you kitten me? Pet translation devices tipped for future smart homes

fire emblem warriors

Fire Emblem Warriors


Pokkén Tournament DX

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb 5

TP-Link Smart Wi-Fi LED Bulb

Samsung Pay

Samsung Pay now lets you use your PayPal funds at the checkout

assassins creed origins

Ubisoft teases new games for Nintendo Switch, coming ‘quite soon’

amazon echo

Ask Vodafone: Mobile network’s first Amazon Alexa voice skill is revealed

Google Feed

The Google app’s new personalised feed might just drag you off Facebook

z2play 9

Moto Z2 Play

Mira Prism

For just $99 you can bring AR to the iPhone 7

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S9 displays may be the same, save one major new feature

movie theatre

The Netflix Effect: ‘Binge-watching’ is coming to movie theatres

Porsche MIssion E

Porsche’s latest electric car chargers put Tesla to shame

EE logo

EE’s new 20GB SIM-free deal is the best value tariff you’ll see all summer


These are the first images from the ISS – as captured by a zero-gravity drone

iMac 21.5-inch 4K (2017)

LG V30 case

LG V30 design ‘confirmed’ ahead of IFA 2017 launch

iPhone 7 vs iPhone SE

Waiting for the iPhone SE 2? Sadly, it could be a one-and-done

Google Glass Enterprise

Google Glass 2 has arrived, sort of

Denon AH-C621R

Denon AH-C621R

BBC Proms

Get ready to listen to the BBC Proms like never before

Fender Newport Monterey Bluetooth speakers

Fender’s new Bluetooth speakers look just like tiny guitar amps

Garmin Vivosmart 3

Garmin Vivosmart 3


Is the laptop travel ban dead? Electronics restrictions lifted by TSA but UK fails to follow suit

KitSound Immerse

KitSound Immerse Wireless Headphones


It’s World Emoji Day and Apple is showing off all of its newcomers

Porn Block

Privacy fears as UK plans age verification for porn sites


New WhatsApp feature could give Apple’s iMessage a run for its money