MetroPCS Blackberry Curve 8630: The lowest monthly service charges you can find
This Blackberry Curve looks like most other Blackberry Curves. It also works pretty much like all other Blackberry Curves. But this particular Curve comes with one very special feature – the lowest monthly service charges you can find.
This Blackberry Curve 8630 comes from MetroPCS – and that means it costs a grand total of 60-bucks a month to use it.
Not $61. Or $65. Or 70, $80, $90 or more. As with all MetroPCS devices that means it costs you only 60-bucks each month including all taxes and fees. That $60 includes unlimited US voice calls – plus unlimited messaging – plus unlimited Web browsing.
Want to pay more? MetroPCS also offers unlimited International long-distance for an extra $10 per month. I’m not kidding! Unlimited International calls. If you need access to corporate e-mail MetroPCS will charge you an extra $5 each month.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet MetroPCS is cheaper than any other carrier. They want your business. And guess what: It’s no wonder that MetroPCS stores are popping-up and doing huge numbers all over town.
Let’s get to the handset. Metro’s Curve smartphone is pretty much like all the other Curves out there except it runs on Metro’s burgeoning 2G network. More about that in a minute. The handset itself is small and lightweight (4.6 by 2.4 by 0.6 inches, 3.7 ounces) and easy to master. The screen is small and non-touchscreen but Research in Motion figured out how to get the most out of this design eons ago so getting used-to and mastering the art of Curve communications takes only a short while.
Luckily, this handset has Blackberry’s mini-track pad instead of the problematic roller ball of past models. In other words, except for some low-grade plastic in places (like the battery compartment cover, this Chinese-made phone is easy to use and should hold-up well in constant duty. On the other hand, if they didn’t use so much plastic this phone would weigh a lot more than 3.7 ounces!
The phone also comes comes packed with some great features like Wi-fi (802.11b/g), Bluetooth (2.1), the Loopt GPS service, Blackberry Maps, a 2 MP camera, music player (and storage) expandable memory, a mobile office suite, The Blackberry App Store (and a store from from MetroPCS) and lots, lots more. Overall, there’s enough on this Curve to keep you occupied.
RIM says you can get 4.5 hours of talk time and as much as 10.5 days from the battery. Please note that’s 10.5 DAYS. In my real-life tests, I was able to get nearly 3-days of usage out of the 1150 mAh battery pack life per charge. Once again, that’s days not hours.
Metro’s data services are still 2G (1X with EV-DO, to be exact) but fear not. RIM has always prided themselves in the fact that Blackberries are the best at getting decent speeds out of “older networks”. That because RIM handles the data flow and compresses everything for speed and accuracy. All the end-user needs to know about the process is that using a Blackberry seems speedier than you might imagine. And, if that explanation doesn’t satisfy you, this Curve 8530 also has Wi-fi connectivity inside. Knock yourselves out.
So? Is there a real downside? MetroPCS is still building-out their network in the Greater NYC Metropolitan area but in my tests their service is nearly everywhere I’ve tried (including New Jersey, far-Eastern Long Island, Westchester/Putnam/Rockland). I’ve been lucky – I’ve never been out of range or dropped a voice call.
You also need to know that MetroPCS does business a little differently than other U.S. carriers. Since MetroPCS doesn’t make you sign a contract you pay more for the phone upfront. That’s why their monthly service fees are more reasonable than the others – they’re not charging you a built-in monthly fee for your expensive cellular handset. You really didn’t think that iPhones, Androids and even other Blackberries cost only $2000, did you? Think of that $200 as your down payment to other carriers. After two years you’re still paying off a phone that has already been paid-off!
So, MetroPCS’s Curve 8530 is currently selling for $229 – after a $50 mail-in rebate. And there’s no contract to have to worry about. Add it all up. $229 plus the $60 per month for 24 months. And what is the overall cost for your smartphone?
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