BlackBerry Curve 9300 Nearly Identical to 8520

Apparently, the BlackBerry Curve 9300 “Kepler” is even more similar to the Curve 8520 than anyone thought that it would be. BoyGeniusReports has gotten its hands on the T-Mobile version of the soon to be launched smartphone from Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) and apart from the inclusion of a UMTS radio for T-Mobile’s 3G network and a shiny metallic finish, the device is practically identical to the Curve 8520. It also does not appear to be running BlackBerry OS 6 either, but support for an upgrade to the upcoming OS might still be hiding in the smartphone’s ROM. Or at least we can wish until more information comes out.

With the standard connectivity options (3G, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth), the phone makes for a nice entry-level smartphone capable of most of what its pricier big BlackBerry siblings can. It is reportedly running a 624MHz Marvell PXA930 processor with 256MB of RAM. The usual microSD expansion slot is present, as is a flash-less 3.1 megapixel camera. Despite the fact that users who prefer more expensive devices with HD video shooting capability, processor speeds measured in GHz, and RAM in the 512GB range will be passing this phone up for other models, the inclusion of UMTS might signal that BlackBerry wants to start getting more of its phones into the prepay market since regional carriers like Cricket Wireless use this 3G technology like T-Mobile does.

The verdict so far? If you are on T-Mobile or have an older device that you want to upgrade from, then the Curve 9300 Kepler is definitely a phone to keep in mind. However, if you want a phone guaranteed compatible with Blackberry OS 6, you will have to wait until RIM announces whether or not the 9300 will be getting it. The new social networking feed system that RIM is developing would certainly be nice, as would the much improved and Webkit based browser that OS 6 promises. If RIM really wants to push the Kepler into regional markets and prepay customers, then these two features are something that it has to support.

Interested in the Curve 9330? Not interested until BlackBerry OS 6 support is confirmed? Let me know what you think, and if the phone is the right move by RIM.

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