REVIEW: Blackberry Curve 9320 is BB Bold 9900 Minus…


The entry-level Blackberry Curve 9320 is a Bold 9900 minus the perks of a high-end smartphone: touchscreen, big screen, and faster CPU.

But i’m telling you it is still faster and as impressive as the high-end Blackberry Bold 9900 minus the convenience of having a touchscreen and faster CPU. It’s not a quad-core nor a dual-core but a single-headed machine with 806Mhz speed. However, it performs well except for some unexpected lag while browsing.

I’m using the specs from the gsmarena.com as my reference in reviewing the Curve 9320 and make some comparison with the Bold 9900 that i had reviewed earlier in this blog.

Specs: Courtesy of http://www.gsmarena.com

GENERAL 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA
Announced 2012, May
Status Available. Released 2012, May

I tried using it the whole day with Sun network but the connection was very slow. I only got EDGE signal most of the time wherever i went: Mandaluyong, Makati, and Pasay (including SM Mall of Asia). So, i decided to replace it with a Globe SIM and got most of the time a 3G signal which has been relatively fast. By the way, i am subscribed to the prepaid Supersurf for Blackberry BBMAX599 (P599 for 30 days) complete with the Blackberry services and internet sites.

One thing i did is to set the data connection to 3G only so that it will stick to the 3G signal for faster internet connection. Otherwise, it will automatically change to 2G signal which is more readily available anywhere and stronger than 3G in several areas.

BODY Dimensions 109 x 60 x 12.7 mm
Weight 103 g
Keyboard QWERTY

I find the QWERTY keyboard easy to type as we are used to type in regular keyboards of our computers. But in the case of the Curve 9320, the keys are a little bit smaller than the Bold 9900 which is easier to type than the former. I’ve got mistypes on several letters especially the U & I keys. Also, it’s very hard to have a better hold of the phone while texting in bed because of the smaller size of the phone.

DISPLAY Type TFT, 65K colors
Size 320 x 240 pixels, 2.44 inches (~164 ppi pixel density)
– Touch-sensitive optical trackpad

The Touch-sensitve optical trackpad is awesome which let me hover the cursor easily anywhere in the screen especially if i want to go back to a word for correction. I’m not expecting the screen to be excellent  hence the pixel density is only about half of those smart phones like the iPhone and Galaxy S III.

SOUND Alert types Vibration; Polyphonic(64), MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes

The loudspeaker speaks louder than any other phones i have tried. You’ll get an audible decent sound when listening via the speaker.

MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB
Internal 512 MB ROM, 512 MB RAM

I do have lag experiences with the Curve 9320 especially when i used the camera. But i attribute it to the lack of additional space. The review unit that i have has no microSD card in it. So, it’s about the small 512MB space that is built-in to the unit.

DATA GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0

I have no problem connecting the phone to 3G as the switch is within reach for few presses of the button. If you save power and data charges, disconnecting is likewise easy. The Curve 9320 supports Mobile Hotspot. Thus, your 3G connection can also be shared up to 5 Wi-fi devices.

CAMERA Primary 3.15 MP, 2048×1536 pixels, LED flash, check quality
Features Geo-tagging, image stabilization
Video Yes
Secondary No

There is no auto-focus in Curve 9320, a feature that is missing in this Blackberry device. You’ll have a hard time setting a clear image especially when you’re taking closer angles. Below are images taken outdoor and indoor with different lighting conditions. Don’t expect more for a 3.2MP camera which is now below par the standard camera phone of several smartphones. I didn’t also bother to try the video cam as my review unit didn’t have the required media card. Also, i’m not expecting much from a 3.2MP camera to shoot a better video than the smartphones.

FEATURES OS BlackBerry OS 7.1
Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Browser HTML
Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Java No
Colors Black
– BBM key
– MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/Flac player
– MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
– Organizer
– Document viewer
– Voice memo/dial
– Predictive text input

Messaging is one area that the Blackberry excels especially the push-messaging which is very convenient for users to retrieve their messages. The predictive text input is working but sometimes annoying for us Filipinos who writes in Cebuano and in Tagalog. I usually got a predictive text “month” when i typed “mo” and ended up messy in my messages. I resolved it by deleting the predictive text input “month” for “mo”.

I’ve been looking at the AppWorld for map applications but i could not get some free downloads. I also noticed that there’s no app for YahooMail which i used to download in Sony Mobile Xperia phones. I ended up reading my yahoo mails on the browser which is a little bit lousy.

The updated Facebook app combined with the BB Calendar App has made easy for us to use the birthday greeting feature.

The sound from the speaker, when playing the FM radio, is loud and clear but with less bass. By the way, this is the first Blackberry unit that has a FM radio tuner.

BATTERY Standard battery, Li-Ion 1450 mAh
Stand-by Up to 432 h
Talk time Up to 7 h
Music play Up to 30 h

The Curve 9320’s powerful 1450mAh battery back pack is said to last longer than Blackberry’s flagship phone, the Bold 9900 and even more than an iPhone. However, my experience is different since my web experience would only last few hours while the data on 3G connection is on. It won’t last a day! It’s only up to 3 hours on 3G continuous connection. Maybe, it can be attributed to the usage of the phone since the review unit i have is not new or it’s not just out-out-of-the-box.

MISC SAR US 1.56 W/kg (head)     0.75 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 1.24 W/kg (head)     0.72 W/kg (body)
Price group

The Specific Absorption Rate of this phone which would translate how much radio frequency electromagnetic field our body can absorb is below half of the tolerable limits for both the U.S. and European standards.

TESTS Camera Photo

The Curve 9320, together with the Curve 9220, has a white variant aside from the usual Black and Teal Blue colors. This brings additional choices of colors for the Blackberry fan.

Blackberry Curve 9320 Best Deals

The Curve 9320 is priced at P13k plus in retail stores. Post-paid bundled plans are also available in all networks.

@ Sun Cellular : P4,500 cash out/BB Social Plan 600 & BB Data Plan 600; Free/BB Plan 999

@ Smart : (data not available)

@ Globe : Free/BB Unli Surf 999

FINAL WORD

The Blackberry Curve 9320 is as good as an entry-level BB phone. I am considering buying a Blackberry for messaging purposes. Messaging is fast in this phone but I am not comfortable using a Blackberry in surfing other sites due to its limited screen. The browser is also slow while opening an attachment in your email requires several steps before you could read an attached word document. Nevertheless, this is good as an entry-level Blackberry.

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