The awaited BlackBerry Curve 8900 - formerly known as Javelin - has seen its official UK launch.

RIM boasts that the new handset is the thinnest BlackBerry smartphone to date and went to lengths to emphasise just how comfortable it is in the hand.

In terms of design it looks very much like the last version of the Curve, but with sleeker lines, giving it a more consumer friendly look and picking up design cues from the Bold and Storm handsets.

The Curve 8900 lacks the 3G connections found in those sibling devices however, with RIM saying they were confident in the existing quad-band GPRS/EDGE technology to deliver that BlackBerry experience. To back-up the data offering, it will also feature built-in Wi-Fi, so you can get faster data speeds when in a hotspot.

Sitting on a 512MHz processor, the Curve 8900 sees an upgrade to version 4.6 of the OS, so gets the new interface also found on the Bold and the Storm. It has an internal memory expansion to 256MB, whilst an expansion slot allows microSD cards up to 16GB for all your music, video or photos.

You also get a 3.2-megapixel camera and a GPS to round out the package.

The new BlackBerry Curve 8900 will be available from Carphone Warehouse from 20 December, but no definite word on pricing yet.

T-Mobile has confirmed to Pocket-lint that they will be offering stock of the new phone this week and Vodafone has told us they should be getting the device in time for Christmas.

Separately, O2 has announced that the 8900 will be available for pre-registration in the UK from 10 December and pre-order from 22 December from the O2 website: The BlackBerry Curve 8900 will be available to customers from 5 January 2009 from free up to £234 depending on tariffs.