Product Type: Blackberry Smartphone
Newest Review: ... The internet has tabs, which vastly improves browsing experience, and the Blackberry Messenger app is obviously what makes the phone ... more
Dialling Wand Not Included
Blackberry Curve 9300
Member Name: Puggers
Blackberry Curve 9300
Advantages: Looks great, some nice features, well-integrated social media.
Disadvantages: Fiddly keypad and touchpad, no touch-screen.
There are plenty of pluses to the Blackberry Curve, but for the fatter-fingered amongst us, it can be a bit of an ordeal trying to find them. As clever and handy as it probably is having a whole keyboard tucked in beneath the screen, composing a message or e-mail tends to be a chore. My thumb covers half the keys, and mashing out a sentence takes a while. In the absence of a dialling wand, filing your nails into pin-sharp points also does the job.
The tracker-pad's equally frustrating. Less than a centimetre square, it torments you with silent glee. You know the icon you want; you can see the icon you want; you can skim over the icon you want twelve times in succession, but the world's most sensitive piece of technology will be damned if it'll let you ever select the damn thing. Actually, there's an option to give the tracker-pad a sedative, and dosed-up with digital valium, it's a lot easier to control.
Once I got my head around the need for freakishly-small digits, I discovered there was a lot to like about the Curve. It's pretty, it's well-designed, well-equipped and finished to a high standard. Although it's missing a touch-screen, the display is bright, clear and large enough to accomodate its multiple, versatile functions; the phone is pre-loaded with the best-known social media - Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and MySpace are all here, all looking nice and functioning well (although, this being my work phone, I can't give too comprehensive a recommendation of these). The 5MP camera is impressive, and looks great on the 3x2 inch screen - the picture is sharp and crisp, and the colours are pretty true-to-life. It's not an especially advanced tool - it struggles to capture moving objects and is so-so in low light - but it's great for everyday snaps, has a nice intuitive zoom tool and - perhaps best of all - it's extremely easy to share photos.
As a phone largely used for work purposes, I've got little experience of the wealth of apps available - it seems easy enough to download them, though, and the interface is as well-designed as every other aspect of the Curve. Most of my use of the phone involves text messaging, picking up and replying to e-mails and roaming usage - basic functions, but all made easy once you've trained your digits out of their mashing tendencies.
Visually, the phone manages to fit its wealth of features into a sleek, clean exterior that's unfussy and professional-looking. The Curve fits happily in the palm, easy to grip with a textured rubber backing, and all of the keys and audio controls within grasp.
This is certainly an impressive piece of technology, but I say that from the perspective of someone who's paying nothing for it. Would I pay the substantial cost of the phone (£160 for the handset/£30-60 with various tariffs) otherwise? Probably not - but personally, I'm not sure I'd splash out on any of the smartphones for the prices involved. All in all, the Curve does everything I could want from it - if you're going to get full use of its many features, this might be worth the outlay. For me, I'm unconvinced - but I'll enjoy the phone while it's free.
Summary: Nice if it's free ...