Review: Blackberry Curve 9320

clip_image002With the seemingly rising share of Android, Windows handsets and the iPhone in India, it is not surprising to witness Blackberry’s falling market share. And to top up to its already failing fortunes, its new handsets do not bring unusually brilliant features, looks and design to take the pie away. Most of their handsets look the same…there is hardly any difference. Today’s youth likes features and enhancements but what they also crave for is a well designed phone. One is ready to shell of more pennies but it has to look and work awesome…like the Samsung Note or Galaxy SIII for that matter or the Nokia PureView. Though the company has worked hard and brought a few changes to its design most of its aesthetics remain the same. We were able to lay our hands on the Blackberry Curve 9320 3G smartphone and here is what we felt.

It looks the same…with a few add-ons

As mentioned earlier about design, there is hardly any difference in looks that the Blackberry Curve 9230 brings in from its predecessor 9220. It looks slim and curvy from the erstwhile Curve 8520 but that’s it. Rest is similar to the Curve 9220 with a few changes here in there. It’s plasticky, squat shaped and shiny curved. The point is if I am shelling a big amount (price of Blackberry Curve 9320 is ~Rs. 15,000/) for a handset it should look its worth. On the similar 35 key backlit QWERTY keypad are 5 keys on the top for easier navigation- Call receive, call end, trackpad, back button and a dedicated BBM button which is a boon for the BBM addicts. It definitely seems Blackberry avoided any experiments on this one, evidently to keep prices low.

Not exactly feature rich

The Curve 9320 carries forward most of the features of the Curve 8520 and the Curve 9220 but comes with Blackberry’s latest 7.1 OS that boasts of a Mobile Hotspot wherein users can create a Hotspot and share it by connecting up to five Wi-Fi devices at a time. WiFi calling is another feature that is supported by the new OS. clip_image004

The handset comes with an internal memory of 512 MB that can be expanded to 32GB with a MicroSD card. With a processor of 800MHz and 512MB RAM the Curve 9320 does fairly well in terms of speeds, app switching, call swapping etc.

The camera of the Blackberry Curve 9320 leaves one disappointed and asking for more. It features a 3.2 MP camera with LED flash, while other brands offer better camera and resolutions around the same price. Though the picture quality looks good on the device given the screen size, this when transferred to other devices does not exactly look great. A front VGA camera is provided for video calls over 3G or WiFi. Also, it has geo-tagging capabilities.

Other features of the handset are FM radio, voice and video recording, music playback, image stabilization etc. There is a dedicated podcasts app, as well as access to Amazon MP3.

Connectivity options include 3G, GPRS, EDGE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and microUSB 2.0.

Instantaneous capabilities

Blackberry phones thrive on its calling and messaging capabilities and the Curve 9320 is no exception. Syncing and loading contacts, mails and messages are smooth thanks to Blackberry Protect and Google Sync (pre-loaded on the device).

Calling is intuitive as all you need to do is to enter the number on the Home screen and it pops up the contact you are looking for. Infact it gives you everything that has that name…contact, email, message etc. Conference calling and call swap are pretty smooth and without any hiccups. Infact the in-built microphone provided by the phone is of a better quality and cuts background noise to a large extent.

Social networks and chats are painting the town red and Blackberry is not lacking that in anyway. The handset comes preloaded with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Windows Live messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Google Talk and in case you want other similar applications all you need to do is to connect to Blackberry App World and download usability and connectivity apps for yourself. The handset also provides for something called a ‘Social Feed’ where in you can see updates from all your connected social accounts at one place without have to scroll between applications separately.

clip_image006You can also decide how you want to view your Home screen. The Curve 9320 gives you an option to view all your apps at one place or choose between frequent apps, favourites, Downloads or Media only.

Battery – a boon

Unlike all smartphones that suffer due to lack of battery backup, this one outshines as a winner. Its 1450 mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery works twice the time an Android or Windows phone would. We charged it once and could use it for 1.5 days without the battery dying out, which is commendable.

Alternatives

The Blackberry Curve 9320 is tad a bit overpriced at Rs 15,000 given its features and functions. However, avid Blackberry users would definitely want to go in for this phone purely because of its battery life. But those looking to buy a phone purely based on features and hardware capabilities within the same budget would want to choose between Android and Windows options. Even for Blackberry users there is an alternative to pick the Blackberry Curve 9360 for Rs 17800 approx that boasts of a 5MP camera.

Verdict

  • Looks: 3/5
  • Features: 3/5
  • Ease of use: 3.5/5
  • Performance: 3.5/5
  • Value for Money: 3.5/5

Pros:

  • Good battery life
  • Wi-Fi Hotspot
  • Social Feeds

Cons:

  • Wrong pricing
  • Camera
  • Low resolution screen

Technical Specifications

  • Dimensions (H*W*D) in mm – 109*60*12.7
  • Display – qVGA 320×240 resolution/ Transmissive TFT LCD
  • Screen size –
  • Operating system – RIM OS 7
  • RAM – 512MB
  • Storage internal/external – 512MB/32GB
  • Camera Rear/Front– 3.2MP/VGA
  • Battery – 1450 mAh
  • Talktime/Standby: up to 7 hours/ up to 18 days
  • Audio playback – Yes, multi format audio player
  • Video playback/ Recording – Yes, multi format video player
  • Weight – 102gms