BlackBerry Curve 9320 Review
For those few remaining pockets of resistance to the block-touchscreen craze which has swept the globe, RIM has served up the budget-friendly 9320. Sticking to the BlackBerry tradition of tactile QWERTY keypads, this compact and sleek looking handset may not be ground-breaking in terms of the tech it’s carrying – 3MP camera, iffy selection of apps and no touch capabilities – but it is ideal for the entry level crowd who are perhaps willing to forgo all the bells and whistles in favour of a large dollop of functionality with a reasonable price tag attached.
BlackBerry has struggled in recent times; with Apple and Samsung gobbling up the market share by selling phones such as the iPhone and Galaxy S3, but they have still managed to squeeze out a few genuinely impressive handsets: Bold 9780 and Torch 9800 spring immediately to mind.
The 9320, however, will have to make do with a slot further down the pecking order in BlackBerry’s range. Not only does this modest handset forgo the current trend for breeze-block touchscreens, it also struggles to keep up with the power-houses at the top of the range as its performance is noticeably more sluggish than the majority of smartphones now doing the rounds. As previously mentioned there is a rather meagre 3 mega pixel camera with no HD video capabilities and the battery life is also a bit suspect. Oh, and there is no real point on dwelling on the browser performance.
If you’re still reading after that selection of moans then it’s probably safe to say that you’re either a BlackBerry fanatic or just simply in the market for cheap-as-chips device. This phone must have some redeeming features, I hear you cry. Well let’s have a closer look. Surely with a forensic examination of this 9320 we can maybe pull out some technological treats.
Well, for kick off BlackBerry 7.1 is a huge improvement on previous versions of the BlackBerry OS. It looks a whole lot on some BlackBerrys than others however, and because of the 9320's rather small, low-resolution 320x240-pixel screen does not show it in its best light, but the 9320 is what it is, so there is no point in bemoaning the lack of quality in the graphics.
There is also BlackBerry Messenger service included in this 9320 which, it could be strongly argued, is the best version of this hugely successful application RIM has ever concocted. RIM has built their entire BlackBerry brand on the popularity of the BBM system so it is a huge relief to see that even this low-grade handset has managed to bring together the best example of BlackBerry Messenger.
So there we are, in terms of positive aspects to this BlackBerry we’ve pretty much covered them. Affordable, a good version of BlackBerry Messenger and an above average OS. Adding anything else to this rather sparse list would be tricky even for the most ardent of BlackBerry fans. I suppose it could be subjectively argued that, for a budget phone, it’s better-looking than your average cheap and cheerful handset.
The BlackBerry 9320 is a little 800 mhz effort which on paper could be a good option for those who have zero interest in parading their phone amongst friends in a ‘look at me!’ kind of way which, admittedly, there is definitely a market for. RIM would be perhaps be better place to sell phones at the rate they would want if the marketplace didn’t already include the Samsung Y and Huawei Ascend G300, both of which are similarly priced and offer far more bang for your buck.
Full QWERTY Keyboard.
800 MHz processor.
The Curve 9320 is available on a monthly contract with prices starting from as little as £7 per month. Pay as you go deals start at £130.