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(Pocket-lint) - While there are many imitation's when it comes to getting your messages on the move there is a soft place in our heart for the BlackBerry. Easy to use and setup, it has revolutionised the way we can work.

But has the iconic emailer lost its way with the latest model - the BlackBerry 8300? We get messaging to find out.

Sitting snugly in-between the company's new business model - the 8800 and the company's consumer model - the 8100 Pearl, the 8300 (are you still with us) is a cross between the two.

Physical attributes are borrowed from both models. The 8300 sports a small QWERTY keyboard as found on the 8800 that surprisingly is still fairly easy to use and the pearl navigation button as originally found on the 8100 instead of the jog wheel.

A 2 megapixel camera on the back bettering the Pearl's 1.3MP offering.

The end result of this child is that its just slightly bigger than Sony Ericsson's W810i Walkman phone.

So what's it like to use? Well the BlackBerry 8300 or Curve as its being called is identical to any other BlackBerry you've used before. Setting up an email, whether it's via your company or a POP3 account is a synch and you'll have no excuse - like it or not - as to whether you are in touch with the office 24/7.

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More interesting however is a stronger focus on the multimedia elements within the phone. While the microSD card still isn't hot swappable, RIM has turned to Roxio to power their media browser element. From one simple interface you can view music, video, images and ringtones. It's a nice touch.


The Curve is more of the same from BlackBerry and while it doesn’t push any boundaries - there is still no 3G or Wi-Fi support here, the new form factor is great for those looking for a small package but not wanting to sacrifice that QWERTY keyboard.

The improvement of the camera over the Pearl will appeal to those who like to snap the odd picture when they are out, however the lack of 3G and or Wi-Fi will dissapoint those looking to get internet on the move.

Overall though - we like it, like it a lot.

Writing by Stuart Miles.