A few months ago Bee and I were sent a couple of the new BlackBerry Curve 9320s to test out. We’re both already BlackBerry users, but this is the new ‘affordable’ BlackBerry, designed particularly with the teen market in mind, with fast and handy social media apps pre-loaded.
I have to confess that I’m a bit of an old person when it comes to gadgets. I do love BlackBerry, but mainly because I’m too stupid to work touchscreen phones properly, and with my current torch I’m forever accidentally putting people on hold or mute with my cheek as I talk to them.
I’ve never really used BBM either, so when Bee first added me, and sent a message, it took me about half a day to work out that the new little symbol on my screen actually meant that I had a message.
Given then that I’m not entirely sure of the difference between 3G and WiFi, I’m going to hand over to my glamorous assistant Bee to give you the lowdown. I think you’ll agree that she’s written a pretty comprehensive review. Perhaps I should get her in more often…
I already had a really ancient 8520 that was basically falling apart, so I was interested to see how this new flashy one would be better. This isn’t the most luxurious Curve you can get but even though I didn’t pay for it I think I would have, because it seems good value for money.
I think its great for teenagers because it isn’t too expensive, (£129.95 on the BlackBerry website – uk.blackberry.com), and it’s definitely a good phone for social networking. It comes with Facebook and Twitter already downloaded on it so I could log in and start using them straight away. It’s less business orientated than most BlackBerrys are, so more appropriate for teenagers.
I’m pretty clumsy and have broken a fair few phones in my time, but I’ve dropped this on the pavement a few times and it’s got a bit damp but it’s survived well and it has barely scratched or dented in the couple of months I’ve had it. The good thing about this phone is that it has a sturdy screen as opposed to touch screen phones where the screen seems to smash on impact with most hard surfaces.
The buttons are bigger than on the 8520 so it’s easy to use even for people who aren’t used to the BlackBerry keypad. The phone is lightweight and thinner than the 8520 which I personally prefer.
The screen on the 9320 is clearer than older models and the camera is remarkably better than on other Curves, but is still not as high quality as the camera on the latest Torch.
What I particularly like about this phone is that the internet is super speedy, whether its connected to 3G or WiFi. The phone has a YouTube app which you couldn’t get on my 8520, and this plays video instantly even when out and about, with barely any buffering. Even when you are out of 3G range the internet is still pretty fast in comparison to any other phone I’ve had.
The phone generally is pretty fast, especially when posting things to Twitter, Facebook or the Tumblr App. However I’ve found that if you switch between applications quickly this can slow the phone down and sometimes freeze it. This usually sets off the dreaded little black clock, which BlackBerry users will know happens when the phone is trying to keep up with itself. This can sometimes end up happening every time you press a button, and means having to restart the phone to get it to do anything.
The sound quality on this phone is really good, it goes up to a high volume and isn’t as tinny as expected. However when listening with earphones the sound quality isn’t as good as an iPod/iPhone.
The battery life on this phone can be a bit temperamental, sometimes it lasts well, up to 2 days, but sometimes it lasts barely half a day. The battery level can drop at an alarming rate unexpectedly, so it’s always best to have a charger with you if you’re going somewhere so you don’t get caught out. However the battery life doesn’t seem to be affected by how much you use it as much as with other phones, for example you could play an hour of video on it or just leave it on the table and it would still drain the battery about as quickly.
Sometimes it takes a couple of tries for the phone to unlock, as it did my old BlackBerry. BlackBerrys generally don’t seem to last very well over time, for example my old one had the front casing coming off, some of the letter buttons not working, and would have to be coaxed into locking and unlocking a lot of the time. I wouldn’t recommend getting the Curve 9320 if you value durability over being technologically up to date.
Overall this phone is great as far as Curves go, and is definitely good value for money. I would recommend this as the BlackBerry to get for teenagers or people less interested in using it for work. The BlackBerry Curve 9320 is a nice compromise for people who want a good quality Smartphone on a budget.