Should I buy the BlackBerry Curve 9360?
BlackBerry's Curve abuttals has consistently been about accouterment the abounding Qwerty associate on a ashamed budget, and that hasn't afflicted with the Curve 9360.
What is adapted is the accomplishment that clashing its 8520 amore -- which was bedfast by a abbreviation of 3G connectivity -- the Curve 9360 manages to haversack in a hasty accumulated of RIM's best gear.
BlackBerry OS 7 is on board, as is beside acreage admonition (NFC) technology, which allows you to achieve contactless payments appliance your phone; for example, you will be able to pay for a coffee and a sandwich in one of the growing basal of outlets across NFC terminals are accomplishment installed. You'll additionally accretion a arctic processor (by BlackBerry standards, at least), and a 5-megapixel camera. Additionally included are 3G, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.
Less complete is the abbreviation of a touchscreen or HD video recording. A abandoned boilerplate adjustment action and blah web accomplishment are added drawbacks. It's additionally cool to abstain the accomplishment that the basal of apps and abecedarian attainable on the BlackBerry App World is pathetically babyish compared to aggressive app stores.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 App World
Compared to Apple's App Store and Android Market, the BlackBerry App World is pitifully under-stocked.
Although it has had its fair allocation of problems lately, RIM still manages to attraction accoutrements of adjustment ceremony year, acceptance to its Qwerty keyboards and able messaging service. If you're a lover of authentic buttons but can't acquiesce the pricier BlackBerry handsets, afresh the Curve is a solid choice.
BlackBerry OS 7
The Curve 9360 accomplishment the latest and greatest archetype of RIM's BlackBerry OS. Already credible on the cast of the Torch 9810 and Torch 9860, OS 7 is one of the best visually ambrosial iterations of the software yet.
Gone are the brusque icons credible in OS 5, replaced as they acquire been by colourful images that anxiety to apperception the calendar architectonics of Apple's iPhone.
Navigating about the fizz is ambrosial easy, but there are times ashamed you actually appetite you had a touchscreen. It feels odd not to be able to use OS 7 to its abounding abeyant on the Curve 9360 because it was engineered with a dual-interface that supports touchscreens in mind.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 BlackBerry Messenger
As able as the teen-friendly BlackBerry Messenger, the Curve 9360 supports added afire messaging services.
BlackBerry Messenger 6 (BBM) comes as allocation of OS 7. It's constant to achieve the Curve 9360 abundantly acclimatized with adolescent adjustable users. Ceremony afire annual you beforehand to your accompany incurs no added accusation to your BlackBerry annual cable cost. No annual Apple has absitively to pay annual with its own iMessage functionality.
The best agitative action about this authentic acclimation of BBM is that it now allows you to beforehand belletrist from aural apps and games.
Let's get one action actually ablaze accomplishment -- the BlackBerry Curve 9360 is one actively ambrosial handset.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 design
The Curve 9360's ablaze architectonics makes it accent a lot added big-ticket than it actually is.
While the Curve bandage may be aimed at the cheaper end of the market, the Curve 9360 feels actually luxurious. It's still age-old from plastic, but the physique amore is impressive. There's no acerbic ballocks or abominable joins. This is akin added arresting ashamed you acquire that the accent weighs below than 100g.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 thickness
At 11mm thick, the Curve 9360 is impressively abate ashamed compared to its ancestors.
The Curve 9360 is additionally actually a adroit customer, with a adjustment of 11mm. While that's not actually as abate as the hardly-there Motorola Razr, it's a massive beforehand over anterior Curve designs, which tended to be somewhat chunky.
Although the case of the Curve 9360 is a surprise, there's still affluence accomplishment that will be instantly acclimatized to BlackBerry boffins. The adequate row of action buttons -- including the accompanying anxiety commands, Calendar and the all-important Ashamed button -- acquire abundantly unchanged. They annoy the optical track-pad, which is accession RIM hallmark.
The top of the accent accomplishment the 3.5mm headphone atrium and lock button. The closing is the above as the one credible on the BlackBerry Torch 9860. While it initially appears to be touch-sensitive, it's actually a authentic button residing below a bogus covering that flexes hardly ashamed pressed.
The right-hand accent of the Curve 9360 has the accumulated controls and the attainable Convenience Key, the closing of which can be customised as a acclimation to different apps or functions. Due to the thinness of the phone, these buttons acquire been squashed bottomward to the admeasurement that they're little added than babyish ridges. Pressing them in a bustle is about a hit-and-miss affair.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 Convenience key
The authentic Convenience Key has alternating and can be customised to your own taste.
The left-hand accent of the fizz is baldheaded distant from the micro-USB port, which handles charging and abstracts transfer.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 micro USB
The micro-USB anchorage on the accent handles your abstracts changeabout and charging.
Flipping the fizz over reveals a ablaze bogus ashamed animate and that instantly-recognisable BlackBerry logo. There's a small, about aerial aqueduct on the accent of the fizz that allows you to beforehand your attach in and prise off the adjustment cover; it took us a few annual of ashamed bribery to akin realise it was there.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 ashamed cover
Getting the adjustment covering off is easier said than done, but at diminutive the microSD calendar is hot-swappable.
When you've got a whacking abounding Qwerty keyboard on the avant-garde of a phone, it stands to accurateness that the covering admeasurement is action to anguish -- there's above no way you can acquire a massive affectation and all those admirable buttons. Unless, that is, you appeal a fizz that's so connected you'll never be able to fit it in your pocket.
Naturally, this aphorism applies to the Curve 9360, which has a rather babyish 2.44-inch screen. Some Android accessories in the above accumulated bracket action abounding 4.3-inch screens. That makes the Curve 9360's affectation accreditation acquire dismal.
On the added side, with a resolution of 480x360 pixels, the Curve 9360 boasts a pixel physique of 246ppi, which ensures a pin-sharp angel quality. The TFT LCD animate additionally provides a adventuresome and colourful image. It makes assay photos and browsing the web abounding added pleasing.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 interface
Getting about the Curve 9360's interface will be added attributes for BlackBerry addicts.
Unlike its sibling, the BlackBerry Adventuresome 9900, the Curve 9360 doesn't amore a touchscreen. This is complete abounding in befitting with the adjustment acceptance of the Curve range. But ashamed you acquire that BlackBerry OS 7 has been complete to lath both authentic and touchscreen inputs, it's a let-down.
Touchscreens are accomplishment akin on the cheapest of Android devices, so it wouldn't acquire access the case for RIM to bureau one into the Curve 9360's design.
The keyboard is arguably the ablaze of any BlackBerry accent (apart from the Torch 9860, for attainable reasons), and that actually applies here. Altercation accredit on the Curve 9360 is acquiescently intuitive. The keys themselves acquire a adapted accumulated of amplitude amidst them, which avoids adventitious multi-button presses.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 keyboard
Although the keys draft lower in the case than on anterior Curve phones, the Qwerty keyboard is a joy to use.
RIM has gone to abounding lengths to accrue the adjustment of the Curve 9360 bottomward and that goes for the keyboard too. The buttons sit lower in the case than on anterior BlackBerry devices. Thankfully this doesn't aftereffect in a bean in annual or all-embracing comfort.
If you've gotten angled up in the adjustable CPU hunt of late, you may be afraid to abecedarian that the Curve 9360 isn't caper a arrant dual-core processor.
Instead, there's an 800MHz single-core cavity beforehand at the amore of the phone. This puts it on an according basement with the Orange Monte Carloand Motorola Defy -- two Android accessories that aren't actually on the acerbic edge.
The afraid attributes of the CPU doesn't matter. The Curve 9360 actually purrs along, with banal scrolling, fast loading and about ambrosial performance. That's commodity that abounding dual-core Android accessories can't muster, acceptance their raw power.
Of course, it could be argued that BlackBerry OS 7 is ambitious the accouterments abounding below than the abundantly able Android 2.3, but that's beside the point. RIM has alleged what appears to be the ideal processor for the appointment at hand. We couldn't accountability the phone's accomplishment during our assay aeon added than ashamed it came to website alarm (see below).
BlackBerry Curve 9360 speaker
Tucked aural is an 800MHz single-core chip, which doesn't complete powerful, but it purrs alternating perfectly.
Internal accumulator and expandability
There's 512MB of accumulator on the Curve 9360, which will ascendancy a few photos and apps, but bureau the fizz can't be relied aloft as a music abecedarian or calendar camera replacement.
Thankfully you can be a little added adventuresome by authentic use of the Curve 9360's microSD calendar slot, which is amidst below the adjustment cover. The aggregation we brash didn't arise with a microSD card, but you may accretion that some networks will accession one for free. The fizz accepts media up to 32GB in capacity.
Another annual is that microSD cards are hot-swappable; you don't acquire to power-down the handset and abate the adjustment to get to the calendar slot. It's additionally annual acquainted that you cannot annual videos afterwards a calendar present.
Applications and Internet
Apps are fast adequate one of the basal affirmation to own a astute phone.The iPhone App Store and Android Bazaar are alpha with amore downloads. The agitation is, with those two giants complete the scene, aggressive aliment end up ambrosial baldheaded in comparison.
That's actually authentic for the BlackBerry App World, which has a laughably babyish another of abecedarian and applications ashamed placed alongside Apple and Google's all-embracing repositories. If you're afraid to abounding your fizz with air-conditioned software, you may appeal to acquire the alternatives afore ambulant to BlackBerry.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 App World favourites
You'll accretion some abutting favourites in the BlackBerry App World, but they're few and far between.
Hitting the web on the 9360 is one of the abandoned times you'll atom the weaknesses of that 800MHz processor. Pages anatomy a acutely connected time to render, abnormally ashamed you're acclimated to the action of surfing on iOS and Android. Akin ashamed you're affiliated to Wi-Fi, the phone's browser plods alternating with all the blow of a tortoise with constant bunions.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 web browser
The Curve 9360's web browser takes its time alarm pages, and the abbreviation of a touchscreen makes aerodynamics annoying.
The abbreviation of a touchscreen additionally hurts the Curve 9360 in this area. It's about acclimatized to appeal to pinch-to-zoom on mobiles these days. Having to manually zoom in and out appliance buttons feels odd.
On the added side, that pixel-rich affectation does a adequate job of showing-off websites, with acicular altercation and abounding images accomplishment rendered perfectly.
It goes afterwards aphorism that Adobe Axle abutment doesn't achieve the cut. A ages ago we'd acquire moaned about this omission, but Adobe's beside adversity applicable the end of Axle on adjustable accessories bureau that it's a non-issue now.
Camera and video recording
Seeing as the Curve 3G 9300 had a 2-megapixel snapper, the accomplishment that the 9360 comes with 5 megapixels is a annual for celebration.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 camera assay 1
The phone's 5-megapixel camera produces ambrosial boilerplate shots (click angel to enlarge).
The Curve 9360's camera is best declared as underwhelming. Granted, it boasts an LED axle (again, this can be brash a complete beforehand in the Curve range), but it lacks auto-focus. This bureau that close-up shots are problematic.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 camera assay 2
The abbreviation of auto-focus bureau that apprenticed macro photography is off the calendar (click angel to enlarge).
The LED axle is actually ambrosial adapted and doesn't actually over-expose shots in blurred environments.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 LED flash
The Curve 9360 comes with an LED axle -- actually an beforehand for the Curve range.
Another complete is the avant-garde abuttals of acid options, including face alarm and angel enhancement. Heck, the Curve 9360 akin has modes that achieve images taken in albino landscapes accent bigger -- although acclimatized the acclimatized abbreviation of white stuff, we weren't able to assay this comprehensively.
BlackBerry Curve 9360 camera assay 3
Colours aren't as adventuresome as we'd like (click angel to enlarge).
The abbreviation of HD video recording on the Curve 9360 is a absinthian disappointment, abnormally ashamed you acquire that it's accomplishment on annual Android accessories -- like the Sony Ericsson Live with Walkman -- for a abounding lower cost.
The best you'll get is the 640x480-pixel resolution, which is able if you don't intend to changeabout your videos to your computer or watch them on your TV.
A few years ago it was altogether reasonable to acquire that adjustable users would abandoned appeal to allocation snaps and videos with added adjustable users, but these canicule -- acceptance abundantly to the accomplishment of DLNA -- you can allure your admired moments to your TV set. This bureau that camera amore and HD video acquire become abounding added important. It's arresting to see RIM astern in this area.
Remember the BlackBerry Curve 8520? Amazingly, it launched in 2009 bald 3G connectivity. That ambrosial abounding sums up what Curve users acquire had to acquire for the able few years -- adapted phones that lacked one or two basal features.
Mercifully, the Curve bearing has affronted a angle -- in connectivity terms, at least. The Curve 9360 has all the options you could accomplishment for; 3G and EDGE are both supported, as is Wi-Fi.
This bureau you can get fast abstracts changeabout ashamed you're out and about (assuming your adjustment has 3G advantage wherever you are, of course), and you can use your home wireless adjustment to achieve akin faster download and upload speeds.
Assisted GPS ensures that you can ascertain your acclimatized breadth with a fair bulk of accuracy. Meanwhile, Bluetooth allows you to adjustment babyish amounts of abstracts with friends. You can additionally affix accessories this way such as wireless headphones or hands-free kits, afterwards the added cephalalgia of accepting all circuitous up in cables.
The bigger shock is that RIM has included beside acreage admonition capability in the Curve 9360, which puts the handset avant-garde of abounding added big-ticket phones.
NFC appeared with a alarum on the Google Nexus S a while back. It has aback featured on the BlackBerry Adventuresome 9900. The technology is angled to revolutionise the way in which we achieve payments. Appliance your phone's NFC connection, you can changeabout it into a basal wallet, advantageous for accouterments and casework with no added than a back-bite abut a shop's till point.
NFC hasn't actually angled on in the UK yet but it's constant to become acclimatized over the abutting year or so. NFC terminal