O2 gets the BlackBerry Curve 8900

BlackBerry Curve 8900 (BlackBerry Javelin) alongside a BlackBerry Bold

The BlackBerry Curve 8900, previously known as the Javelin, will hit UK shops in January after O2 announced it will be the first network to carry the phone.

The Curve 8900 is the replacement for the 8300 series Curve handsets, and borrows a number of design features, as well as the software, from the high-end O2 BlackBerry Bold.

As well as push email, a personal organiser, web browser and multimedia applications, it features built-in Wi-Fi, GPS and a 2.4-inch, HGVA+, 480x360-pixel display an improvement over the previous Curve. However, it has not followed the Bold by moving to 3G, remaining as a GPRS/EDGE device.

Consumer features include a 3.2 megapixel camera, auto focus, digital zoom and flash.

"The BlackBerry Curve 8310 was one of our fastest selling handsets and we are pleased to offer our customers yet another fantastic smartphone from RIM, the BlackBerry Curve 8900. It is ideal for both business customers and consumers who want the functionality of a smartphone in a sleek, slim form," said Steve Alder, general manager for UK devices for O2.

The BlackBerry Curve 8900 will go on sale from 5 January, with pre-orders accepted from 22 December. Prices range from free to 234, depending on price plan or upgrade eligibility. SIM-Free units will be available from Carphone Warehouse from 20 December.