Product Type: Blackberry Smartphone
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A phone is just a phone, but a Blackberry is a phone with a really cool name!
BlackBerry Curve 9320
Member Name: carl_lazarevic
BlackBerry Curve 9320
Date: 28/01/13, updated on 28/01/13 (97 review reads)
Advantages: Size, shape, screen resolution, features
Disadvantages: memory problems, difficult to access batteries, not all features are that great.
-The Basics -
As a basic handset this phone has a lot to love about it. At 60mm by 109mm the size of the handset was just right for me. It fit snugly in the palm of my hands without being overly small and flimsy. It also comes with a 2.44 inch screen displaying a 320X240 resolution. I was pleasantly surprised by this as I would have expected a much smaller screen given the size of the actual handset. The clarity of the screen is very sharp and as a result I was able to appreciate any photos I had taken without transferring them to my wife's Galaxy Ace. I would also like to add that the 3.2 Mega-pixel camera provides a higher quality of photo than I would usually expect from a mobile device. While I wouldn't recommend selling off your digital camera you will still be happy to keep any of those precious memories that you capture on the fly.
Beneath the screen you have a miniature keyboard that makes messaging so much easier. No longer do I have to suffer the bane of predictive messaging, as I can now type all messages as easily as I can with a full keyboard. This works for me personally, but others will feel differently. To accommodate every key the individual buttons have been made really small, so anyone with larger than average fingers will find them a nightmare. I did find that the keyboard makes entering numbers awkward though. You have to hit the 'alt' button every time you want to enter a number or symbol. This means that merely entering the days date requires you to push no less than 20 buttons.
One thing I did like about the keyboard was that the main button also works as a track-pad for navigating menus. It was a little confusing at first, but ended up being a lot more comfortable than a stick; or selection of buttons, while remaining less invasive than a touch screen.
As I have stated though, my main concern was how the Blackberry worked as a phone in itself. When I finally managed to make a call I found the sound to be nice and clear when there was enough signal, but have experienced interference a number of times. When this happens the interference is harsher than any other phone I have used. Nevertheless the phone works fine for the majority of calls, and at its best sounds as clear as my land-line. Extra credit should be given for the quality of the speaker-phone as it comes through loud and clear from the other side of the room.
Of course my other prime area of concern is with the phones ability to send texts. Actually this one really impressed me as it was the first phone to sort my texts by contact. This meant that I could instantly view a conversation tree with the person texting me without trudging through every text I had ever received. This feature came in very useful after a friend laughed at a joke I had sent them over a week prior. Although it is a bit of a pain that hitting enter automatically sends the text, as the small buttons forced me to occasionally send an incomplete message.
Personally I was also happy with the limited choice of ringtones available from the get go. Straight out of the box I could select a good old fashioned ring for my phone calls, and a discreet ping for any messages that I received. I believe I already mentioned that I am a simple fellow, and these choices fit my taste nicely.
-Extra Features -
Like I said previously the Curve has introduced me to a number of features that I would have never dreamed of using before. Some of the apps you can download for this phone are very useful for keeping records of important data. Finding them was easy, as the app browser had a very clear layout and a well defined search button. As a result I always have a backup of my important data on my phone, and can generally update the important data on the go as I always have my phone with me.
Browsing through the apps you will find a wealth of Instant Messengers available to you, including Blackberry Messenger and the world famous MSN. Personally I deleted both of those and downloaded one called Whatsap as this was the one my friends were using. Whichever one you personally select you will find these instant messengers extremely useful. It meant keeping in touch with friends without using up text messages, and also enabled me to send pictures without the usual charges associated with MMS. It also helped that the Blackberry was wi-fi enabled, so that I could piggyback most of these messages off my broadband connection rather than use up data.
Whenever I was away from home the internet remained accessible through the phones 3G connection. Being able to access useful sites on the go is always a useful feature, and depending on signal strength means getting a decent connection. Although I cannot deny that 3G is not as fast as some of the newer smart phones on the market it does the job for me.
One aspect of the online browser I particularly liked was being able to tie a number of email addresses into my Blackberry. I no longer miss important emails because I couldn't be bothered checking both accounts. Now all of my emails come straight to my phone along with every other message I receive. You can then choose whether to read these emails with your other messages, or to separate them into their separate pages. This gave me the best of both worlds. My emails were easily accessible, but it remained extremely easy to see which account they had come from.
Of course wherever the internet is brought up people are going to want to engage in this social networking nonsense. For people interested in this the Blackberry Curve comes with the standard Facebook access. I really wish I could comment on the standard of service, but you have probably noticed that I have not had any interest in social networks for a long time.
One thing to bare in mind is that the choice of games available is minimal. I really enjoy one named 'Wordmole' as it keeps my brain ticking over. However this, and a fairly tedious version of Breakout were all that was available out of the box. There is a selection of other games available for download, but the ones I have played have been fairly basic games like Solitaire. To be perfectly frank this is not a phone designed for playing games. Stick to an I-Phone if that's what you're after.
Some of the other applications on the phone can be very useful though. Obviously you have the expected favourites such as Notepad, Stopwatch, and Calculator. Yet there was a new app included that I had never seen before. Documents to Go is an app that keeps digital copies of any important notes or leaflets that I need to use on a regular basis. All I do is email myself a copy in an appropriate format, and download it from my phone.
Sadly I was very disappointed with one extremely important application. The calendar is surprisingly hard to use for a phone designed for business purposes. The calendar comes with the option of four different display types. Daily gives you a run down of the entire 24 hours for the day which causes a lot of scrolling to see what's happening later. Weekly is the same, but spread into seven columns making it even harder to read. Monthly was the best option for me, but came with the drawback of only telling you that something is planned, not what is planned. Finally Agenda lists everything in one column that you will ever have planned. The default setting is for it to tell you about all of your free time too, but if you adjust the settings it works as a nice way of keeping an eye on your schedule. Sadly you will always need to keep switching between options which wastes quite a bit of time when recording my work schedule.
- Problems -
As I said at the start the Blackberry Curve did give me certain problems that I never anticipated. Doing some research I have realised that it is not just my phone, but a problem with the model in general. Essentially the phone can experience memory problems at worrying intervals. Frequently I will find the phone slowing down while I am browsing something, and at times it will need to shut down an app before it has finished loading it. This is only a minor quibble as reopening the app will solve that problem straight away. Sadly every now and then the whole unit will freeze up. The trackpad will stop registering, and the buttons become unresponsive. When this happens you have to take the battery out and let the unit reset. This is a pain for two annoying reasons. The first is that the cover is insanely difficult to remove without breaking, and the second is that it takes an awful long time to load up once switched off.
There are certain other minor irritations such as the fact that it is difficult to clean between the small keys whenever they get something stuck on them. This can make them a little unresponsive, but isn't generally a problem if you keep it clean. I also hate how quiet the alarm seems to be, and have had to keep my older phone around as an alarm clock.
- Conclusion -
The Blackberry Curve 9320 is a nice phone, but is far from the best phone I have ever used. The overall design suits me perfectly, and some of the apps are extremely useful. It is not a phone for gamers, but anyone needing a business phone could do much worse. Just be prepared for some annoying glitches every now and then.
Summary: The Blackberry Curve 9320 is a nice phone, but is far from the best phone I have ever used.
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