BlackBerry Curve 9380 Touch

BlackBerry Curve 9380 Touch Review

I so much like this phone because of it’s concept just Like the Bold, the Curve will come pre-installed with BlackBerry Protect and BlackBerry Balance, which are designed to keep work and personal data separate and secure. No release date or pricing was disclosed.

Perhaps sensing that it’s on the verge of losing the smartphone battle, BlackBerry manufacturer RIM has all but swamped the market recently with a rash of handsets, each offering something a little bit different. The Curve 9380 is the midrange full-screen model, smaller and cheaper than the Torch 9860, and with no hard Qwerty keyboard.

It’s very compact and sleek, its aluminium and glossy black plastic casing measuring 11mm deep with gently curving sides and weighing just 98g. The 3.2in touch screen is big enough to view movies on, just about, but it’s let down by its unexceptional resolution of 480 x 360 pixels. By contrast, the 9860’s 3.7in screen is a good deal sharper, packing in 800 x 480 of the little devils.

Comparing touch to button controls can feel a bit odd

The keys are small and difficult to distinguish beneath the thumbs, and when holding the phone in portrait mode, it presents the numbers in numeric keypad format – handy if you’re trying to dial a number with one hand, but a bit confusing otherwise. And it retains this layout in the landscape version, which you’d expect to use with two thumbs anyway, in which case a line of numbers across the keyboard works better.

Be there when it happens

Keep in touch with what everyone’s up to – in real time. Facebook and Twitter are preinstalled – and all your social feeds like emails, blogs and social notifications are updated automatically and delivered to one place on your smartphone – so you’re always in the know.

Connect and share like never before with BlackBerry® Messenger. Organise get-togethers with BBM groups, or update your status and swap stories with your friends – as they’re happening. You never have to miss a moment of what’s going on.

Sound ideas

It’s running a decidedly so-so 806MHz processor backed by 512MB of RAM and is noticeably slower than its larger cousin – not disastrously slow, but speed bunnies may find themselves getting a bit frustrated by the extra second or so it takes to open an app. RIM has now put a song in the heart of its popular BlackBerry Messenger Service with BBM Music, a free app which allows you to create and share playlists with your mates, Spotify-style.

There are limits though. From the millions of tunes available, you get to choose just 50 tracks of your own to carry around on your phone, but you can then add 50 more from each of your friends to build up a sizeable library. The more friends you have, the more tunes you can carry, and you can swap 25 tracks from your own playlist each month.

                   

 

After a 60-day free trial it costs £4.99 a month but while it’s an interesting idea to boost usage, it’s frustrating in practise, simply because you can’t choose exactly which tunes you want.

The browser performance is acceptable, if a little slower than you’ll find on more expensive handsets, and the screen’s pinch-to-zoom was generally smooth. Text flows well on most pages but there’s no support for Flash video.

BlackBerry Curve 9380 Touch Specification

Conclusion

The BlackBerry Curve 9380 betrays its lower end leanings with a fairly low resolution screen and underpowered processor, but it’s got a decent camera and messaging capabilities. The lack of content on BlackBerry App World will be a frustration for some however. While it will make a welcome upgrade for existing BB fans, the Curve 9380 hasn’t really enough on offer to distinguish it from similarly priced Androids

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