The BlackBerry Curve 9360 has rather slipped under the radar, as maker Research In Motion (RIM) has been busy launching a number of high-profile smartphones sporting touchscreens and a revamped operating system. But does it take the popular Curve line to new heights?
Lost its touch?
While a touchscreen is a key feature of recent BlackBerry launches, it has been given a miss in the BlackBerry Curve 9360 – a fact that might irritate some Curve fans. While the latest BlackBerry OS 7 is here, the lack of touch means Curve fans will miss out on some of its ease-of-use facilities.
Still, that’s not necessarily the be-all and end-all. The optical trackpad that sits beneath the screen is great for getting about within the OS, and the very familiar BlackBerry Menu key is also present alongside a back button and ‘Call’ and ‘End’ keys. There’s really quite enough to get you round the OS here without the ability to prod at the screen.
Moreover, the BlackBerry Curve 9360 is a very pocket-friendly size at just 109x60mm – and it’s incredibly thin, at just 11mm. This does, however, mean both screen and keyboard are squeezed, with the former measuring just 2.44in. Its 480×360-pixel resolution is somewhat behind the cutting edge, but it’s readable, bright and sharp. Just don’t expect to do a lot of detailed web browsing unless you’re prepared to zoom a lot – and maybe squint a bit too.
The keyboard is relatively small, and we found we needed to type with fingertips. If you’ve large hands you may find it awkward, but the keys themselves are responsive enough.
Around the edges is the standard array of BlackBerry buttons and connectors. The handset’s micro-USB port is on the left edge, headphones connector on the top alongside a small keypad lock button. On the right there’s a very tiny volume rocker and a small ‘convenience key’ that you can assign to any app you like. By default, it launches the built-in camera.
In everyday use the BlackBerry Curve 9360 nipped along very nicely, its 800MHz processor doing a sterling job. There is a 5-megapixel camera on the back with a small LED flash. The microSD card slot is under the backplate, which is a little tricky to remove. There’s a small notch on the left edge that needs to be flipped up with a fingernail.
There are some nice features of the new BlackBerry OS 7 that stand out. The ability to universally search just by starting to type is the key one. Just begin typing, and apps, people and more are searched – it’s then easy to go online to use Google, YouTube, Facebook and plenty more. This facility is open to developers so they can add their own apps in, and it is something that makes the BlackBerry Curve 9360 a joy to use.
- Good (if small) keyboard; great universal search feature; pocket-friendly size.
- Lacks a touchscreen.
The BlackBerry Curve 9360 might not be the flagship device in the latest RIM BlackBerry launches, but it is a solid handset that adds the capabilities of OS 7 to the tried and tested BlackBerry formula.