With the BlackBerry Curve 9360, BlackBerry returns to its roots with a QWERTY keypad. The device sports the new BlackBerry OS 7, a pixel-packed screen, and a relatively faster CPU than its predecessors. The phone seems like a good upgrade for existing BB users, but let’s find out how it fares against the competition.
The box contains:
- RIM BlackBerry Curve 9360
- Stereo headphones
- microUSB cable
- Wall Charger
- Quick Start Guide
- Safety and Product Information
BlackBerry phones these days look a lot better than they used to. Gone are the boxy designs of the past. The Curve 9360, true to its name has curved edges that taper towards the top and bottom on the front and on the left and right side at the back. The curves on the back make the phone fit perfectly in your hand and also make it feel a lot thinner than it actually is. And it’s already pretty thin!
The Curve 9360 uses a full-plastic body, with materials such as glass and metal left to more expensive phones such as the Bold 9900. And while this does make the phone incredibly light, it also gives it a slightly cheap, toy-like feel. The glossiness of the plastic also makes it look a bit cheap. To make things worse, the build quality is also not particularly great. All of this does detract from the overall quality of the device and makes it feel cheaper than what it actually costs.
The Curve 9360 has a 2.44-inch, 480 x 360 resolution display. The display quality is good, with vibrant colors, good contrast and sharp text. The sunlight visibility is acceptable but under very bright light it can be hard to see. The plastic covering the display is not scratch-resistant,
The Curve 9360 has a typical Curve style keyboard, where, unlike on the Bold series, the individual keys have gap between them, which makes them slightly smaller. This results in a keypad that is not as comfortable as what you may find on the Bold series of smartphones but if you’re coming from a previous Curve device then you’ll be right at home.
Another nice feature addition courtesy of BlackBerry 7 OS is that NFC (near-field communication) is now supported on the Curve. Theoretically, NFC allows you to purchase goods or services by swiping your phone over a compatible payment system, or to transfer files by touching phones thanks to apps like BlackBerry Tag.
The BlackBerry Curve 9360 has an immediate advantage over its predecessor in that it runs BlackBerry OS 7 – as do all of the RIM crops that have just been released from harvest.
The icons on OS 7 are all very much individual. In fact, it looks like a little bit of a mishmash. There’s no kind of uniformity here and, while we’re big fans of the clarity of icons, we have to admit that we think this is where it all looks a bit cheap.
OS 7 was promised as a faster operating system. And to be fair to RIM, it has delivered on this. That’s because this baby whizzes along, leading you to believe that there’s more in there than just an 800MHz processor.
Contacts are listed with thumbnails. If you have a photo of the person, it looks great. If, like us, some have pictures and some don’t, then you’ll just have what looks like an untidy phonebook with lots of missing images in your list.
Typing on the BlackBerry Curve 9360 is an easy enough affair. The physical keyboard lacks the size of the Bold 9900 and is of the typical Curve variety, which is more spaced out and clicks a lot more.
The onboard 5 MP fixed-focus camera is accompanied by a single LED flash. While outdoors, it reproduces good colours, but
jagged edges and excessive noise play spoilsport. What’s more, the camera cannot handle close-ups or low-light shots properly. The device is also capable of 480p video recording, but the results aren’t pleasant. Clips are saved in the 3GP format, which again is a downer due to its lack of quality.
The audio/video performance on the Curve 9360 is much better in comparison. First of all, the loudspeaker is really loud, with nice bass, despite there being just one of them. The audio quality through the earphones is also pretty good.
The 1000 mAh battery’s performance is good; expect it to last an entire day under normal use. Heavy use will keep it powered on for at least 8 hours.
The BlackBerry services are a major part of the BlackBerry user experience. The BlackBerry Messenger allows BlackBerry users to send each other messages over the Internet and the BlackBerry Internet Service is what allows BlackBerry devices to connect to the Internet. Without the latter, the former is useless. In fact, without BIS, the entire device gets reduced to a basic phone with multimedia ability.
The BlackBerry Curve 9360 Specification
|GENERAL||2G Network||GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900|
|3G Network||HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100|
|HSDPA 900 / 1700 / 2100|
|Status||Available. Released 2011, August|
|SIZE||Dimensions||109 x 60 x 11 mm|
|Size||480 x 360 pixels, 2.44 inches (~246 ppi pixel density)|
|- QWERTY keyboard
- Touch-sensitive optical trackpad
|SOUND||Alert types||Vibration; Polyphonic(64), MP3 ringtones|
|MEMORY||Card slot||microSD, up to 32GB|
|Internal||512 MB storage, 512 MB RAM|
|3G||HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA|
|WLAN||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, UMA (carrier-dependent)|
|Bluetooth||Yes, v2.1 with A2DP|
|USB||Yes, microUSB v2.0|
|CAMERA||Primary||5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, LED flash|
|Features||Geo-tagging, face detection, image stabilization|
|FEATURES||OS||BlackBerry OS 7.0|
|Messaging||SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM|
|GPS||Yes, with A-GPS support|
|- MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/FLAC player
- MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
- Document viewer
- Voice memo/dial
- Predictive text input
|BATTERY||Standard battery, Li-Ion 1000 mAh|
|Stand-by||Up to 336 h (2G) / Up to 288 h (3G)|
|Talk time||Up to 5 h (2G) / Up to 5 h (3G)|
|Music play||Up to 25 h|
On their end, callers too reported loud and clear call quality. However, they did say our voice sounded a little lower than usual. Still, there wasn’t a lot of crackling or static, so that was a minor nitpick. Speakerphone calls sounded great too.
Bottom line, the BlackBerry Curve 9360 meant to be a higher specced device then previous Curve generations wrapped into a sleek and ultimately cost-effective form factor and it does that superbly. It’s nice, it feels like a device that will last you a while and get the job done and make you look good while doing it.
- Slimmer design
- Responsive platform performance
- Long lasting battery life
- Stiff feeling keyboard
- Outdated platform experience
- No auto-focus camera
- Poor calling quality