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BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 Review: In Depth

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The BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300, as its name suggests, is a 3G-enabled phone that’s an upgrade of the 3G-less Curve 8520 phone. We took it to town to test out its web-browsing capabilities and see what else it had to offer.


What we like

Though crammed into a tiny space, the Qwerty keypad of the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 is really easy to type on. The keys are raised up enough from the surface of the phone so that they’re not too flush and require quite a definite push – this helps to cut down on typos. It’s really easy to get to grips with and you’ll be confidently tapping out texts and emails in no time at all.

Sweeping through menus and webpages on the optical trackpad is similarly breezy. While we generally prefer phones with trackballs as opposed to trackpads we were at little apprehensive at first. But we’re happy to report that the optical trackpad on the Curve 3G 9300 works like a charm.

There’s something rather pleasant about moving the cursor on the web browser using the trackpad, which responds to the slightest of gestures. Selecting text on the browser for copy and pasting purposes is an elegant and effortless affair.

The web browser loads pages really quickly over 3G and Wi-Fi. Obviously it’s slower over EDGE and GPRS, but not so slow that it becomes a drag. Though the size of the Curve 3G 9300’s screen is smaller than most of today’s smartphones we didn’t find surfing the web to be a cramped experience.

You get access to the BlackBerry App World with the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300. While apps are generally more expensive compared to those from the iTunes App Store and Android Market there’s still a good selection of apps and games available.

Moving music onto the Curve 3G 9300 is a simple case of connecting the phone to your computer and transferring music manually. There’s a 3.5mm jack too, freeing you up to connect whatever headphones and speakers

What we don’t like

The BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 isn’t the nicest looking BlackBerry out there. It looks chunky and the rubberised coating of the media keys and volume controls isn’t particularly pleasant to the touch. This is at odds with the fluidity of the optical trackpad and how easily and quickly you can type on the Curve 3G 9300, which makes for an odd sensation.

While we found the browser to be generally ok, we found that a some of images on sites weren’t displaying – we got a lot of those all too familiar red x’s.

Disappointingly, we weren’t able to check out how the Facebook and Twitter apps fared on the Curve 3G 9300. When we tried loading both the apps we kept running into ‘data connection error’ notices, even though we were easily able to surf the web over 3G and Wi-Fi and access the BlackBerry App World. We’ve a feeling this is a problem with our review model.

Though the camera comes with some features (white balance options, black & white, sepia) its a bit lacklustre. There’s no flash and it takes a couple of seconds to process shots which just adds to the clunky feel. Pictures also don’t look that great on the Curve 3G 9300’s screen.


Conclusion

The BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 is an inexpensive but pretty average BlackBerry handset – it’s great for surfing the web and typing on but it feels a bit on the brickish side. The camera is very average and dated, so if this is an issue for you, we’d advise you to check out the BlackBerry Bold 9780 instead, which has a more powerful camera.

Specification

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