Research in Motion is known for professional, classy phones used in businesses around the world, better known as the Blackberry. This time, however, RIM has released a new phone that focuses on media and personal use rather than the classic formula of web surfing, document reading greatness we’re all accustomed to.
The Curve is a good idea, and functions well most of the time, but I can’t get over the cheap feeling of the thing. It’s awkward trying to surf the web on the Curve for any extended period of time, typing isn’t the breeze it usually is, and I feel like if I drop it a couple of inches it’s going to break.
If it Looks Like a Blackberry: The Curve 9300
You don’t have to see the logo to instantly recognize the Curve as a member of the acclaimed Blackberry family of phones. A full QWERTY keyboard sets just below the fairly bright 320×240 display, along with a few dedicated media buttons to help showcase the Curve’s abilities.
The keyboard has a sleek look as always but doesn’t feel as seamless as Blackberry owners are used to. Typing more than the average text message is a chore and there are several reports of the keyboard shorting out after only a few weeks of use.
Like many Blackberries released around the same time as this one, the Curve 9300 sports back, forward, and play/pause buttons for music on top of the keyboard to allow easier use of media apps. This feature works well, but like the rest of the phone it feels cheaply and quickly made.
The phone’s housing is black with a few chrome features around the screen and keyboard, making for a nice look. There is also a rubbery battery cover on the back to help you grip the phone (a feature that comes in handy for phones of this small, fit easily in your hand size). Featured on the side are both a micro USB port and a 3.5 mm headphone jack. So, the phone has the look, but as soon as you pick it up you realize that this one just looks like a Blackberry, but feels more like a Chinese rip-off.
The Blackberry Curve 9300 tried its best to get a nice interface its small screen, but it looks like it gave up after the home screen. On the home screen, you can add you’re most used apps as buttons, and overall the screen looks nice well made. However, it all falls apart from there.
Perhaps just looking like a Blackberry was the idea? It seems as though RIM wanted people to look important by giving them a Blackberry phone for a much cheaper price. Or perhaps they just wanted to trick customers in to thinking they could have a full featured Blackberry for less money, but hopefully the latter is just my speculation.
While navigating the clunky, hideous menus of the Curve’s OS, you’ll usually encounter more text than a game of Zork. This makes even the simplest of tasks, from sending a text to checking your email, quite a hassle.
Many phones make up for this problem by at least making sure that their interfaces always look shiny and colorful, almost like a group meeting that RIM forgot to attend. Most of the time spent using the Curve 9300 consists of staring at dark, bland menus and small, ugly icons used to represent the various apps and features.
The BlackBerry Curve 9300: Features?
This section will be fairly short, as is the list of available features on the Curve 9300. RIM has never been big on adding all kinds of unnecessary features to their phones, but this is just pitiful. The Curve is an almost acceptable phone, but don’t plan on having something to do on it when you’re bored.
One of the features that work fairly well on the Curve is the Blackberry App Store. There are a few quality apps in there that are well worth downloading. Unfortunately, the Blackberry App Store is one of the most lacking collections of useful and entertaining apps out there.
The Blackberry Curve 9300’s camera isn’t anything to write home about. With a resolution of 2.0 megapixels, you’re not going to want to capture any priceless moments with this one. Other than the low resolution, the camera also lacks flash (a common feature for a Blackberry phone), and video looks like it was filmed with a piece of Styrofoam.
The camera does have a zoom feature, but on a camera with a resolution of only 2MP digital zoom is a pretty useless feature.
The camera does surprisingly excel in one area; color. Most pictures taken with the 9300 have true to life colors in the end result, and keep them surprisingly well as zoom is used. So when you hang your pixelated, dull photograph on your wall, at least you can take pride in how well the colors turned out
Being a smaller, cheaper Blackberry than most others, it’s no surprise that The Blackberry Curve 9300’s battery life is average at best. The phone will only take four and a half hours of talk time before making you say an unexpected goodbye. Since the phone is designed to be media heavy, you can at least listen to music for up to 15 hours, a surprisingly above average length for the little phone.
BlackBerry Curve 9300: The Specs
|Dimensions:||109 x 60 x 13.9 mm|
|Display:||TFT, 65K colors|
|Size:||320 x 240 pixels, 2.46 inches (~163 ppi pixel density)|
|Card slot:||microSD, up to 32GB|
|Memory:||256 MB RAM, 256 MB ROM|
|WLAN:||Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n, UMA (carrier dependent)|
|Bluetooth:||Yes, v2.1 with A2DP|
|USB:||Yes, microUSB v2.0|
|Camera:||Primary 2 MP, 1600×1200 pixels|
|OS:||BlackBerry OS v5.0, upgradable to v6.0|
|Messaging:||SMS, MMS, Email, Push Email, IM|
|GPS:||Yes, with A-GPS support; BlackBerry Maps|
|Standard:||Battery, Li-Ion 1150 mAh|
|Stand-by:||Up to 456 h (2G) / Up to 348 h (3G)|
|Talk time:||Up to 4 h 30 min (2G) / Up to 5 h 30 min (3G)|
|Music play:||Up to 29 h|
The BlackBerry Curve 9300 in a Few Words
The BlackBerry Curve 9300 is made to be a simple, user friendly media phone, but fails in most cases. The “easy-to-use” operating system is about as easy as sticking a fridge magnet to a river, making even simple tasks a complicated affair.
This phone was made with one purpose in mind, and that purpose it did in fact accomplish very well. It looks like a Blackberry, and it’s cheap. If that’s good enough for you, then I say go for it. The problems plaguing the Curve are generally small, and the phone is in no way bad, it just isn’t necessarily any good.
Where Can You Buy The Blackberry Torch 9800?
The cheapest place we found for an unlocked, international version of the Blackberry Curve 9300 is Amazon.
Click here to order one now at 55% OFF (international version). Alternatively you may get one from your phone carrier.