Our picks for ... world phones

Cell-phone carriers have finally heard us: We want to take our phones with us, no matter where in the world we're headed.

RIM BlackBerry 8830
4 stars

4.6 oz.

$200 (with two-year contract/rebate)


PROS Quite simply, it's a speed demon. On a recent trip to Mexico City, the new 8830, supported by Verizon's 3G technology, had notably quicker Web access and downloads than the competition. Switch on the BlackBerry's Bluetooth, and the phone performs admirably as a wireless modem for your laptop. Having trouble inserting that MicroSD card? Call Verizon's global help line, open 24/7.

CONS Ergonomically, the 8830 falls short of its new sibling the Curve: The "qwerty" keyboard is too compressed for error-free typing, and the phone's bricklike shape makes long conversations uncomfortable. Opening the battery cover practically requires a Ph.D.

BUY THIS ONE IF ... You need your data, and you need it fast.

LG CU500v

RIM BlackBerry 8830

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