The BlackBerry Curve 9360 is the sequel to the Curve 3G 9300, but even more. One of the first surprises of the 9360 is how

BlackBerry 9360 Curve Review

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The BlackBerry Curve 9360 is the sequel to the Curve 3G 9300, but even more.

One of the first surprises of the 9360 is how slim and sleek it is in comparison to its older siblings. The 9360 is only 11 mm thick, as aginst the 9300’s 13.9 mm. Beyond the slim lines, it is the first Curve to deliver that premium quality feel. It almost looks and feels like a Bold.

9300-9360-slimlines
Top: 9300. Bottom: 9360. Note how slim the 9360 is.

But then a Bold it is not. You can tell immediately from the keyboard that this is no Bold. The keys are distinctively all Curve.

Quick Specifications

  • 2.44-inch, 480 x 360 pixels non-touchscreen display
  • 512 MB RAM
  • 800MHz processor
  • 512 MB internal memory + microSD slot
  • BlackBerry OS 7.0
  • 1000 mAh battery
  • 5 Megapixel camera with LED flash
  • GPRS/EDGE/UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA
  • Wi-Fi
  • A-GPS and NFC

OS7

The 9360 runs OS7. Honestly, minus a few visual touches to AppWorld, BBM, Facebook and Twitter, I can’t tell much what has changed visually or in terms of performance. In general, Blackberry OS7 looks and feels just like OS6. Perhaps much of the tweaks to the OS are under the hood.

Note though that some 3rd party apps which ran on OS6 are not yet available for OS7 and I had to do without those while I had the mobile with me.

Display & Keyboard

The 9360 does not have a touchscreen display, which is not a problem. BlackBerry OS works just fine on it. It is a good display, though not spectacular.

I found the keyboard very good again, and had no issues with typing on it with my big fingers. The individual keys are small, but well shaped and spaced such that typing is easy.

NFC

There is NFC on board the 9360, but I had nothing to try it out with. If you do need that feature, this mid-tier offering has you covered.

Camera

The 5 megapixel camera on the 9360 is fixed focus and nothing much to write about. It doesn’t sit among the best 5 megapixel cameras on the market. However, it is usable for your casual shots and videos. Just don’t expect anything spectacular.

Of course, BlackBerries have never been spectacular in the camera department. This is no exception.

General

The 9360 does what other BlackBerries do – email, web browsing, SMS, BB Messenger, etc.

There’s a music player, as well as a video player, and they work fine. The speakers are quite good in terms of audio quality and volume. I was impressed on that point.

Battery Life

Battery performance of the 9360 was a mixed bag. With only a 1,000 mAh fitted in to accommodate the slimmer profile, I was expecting battery life to be very poor.

Well, it didn’t turn out exactly poor. I found myself needing to charge the device before the end of the working day. If you are an addicted BBM user, for example, keep your charger nearby always.

Of course, if the 9360 had been fitted with a touchscreen, it is likely that battery life would be much poorer. Thankfully, RIM didn’t.

Performance

For the most part, the 800MHz processor delivered smooth performance with OS7 on this model. However, there were times when I felt some sluggishness in responses. I have had a brief hands-on with the 9810 (also running OS7) but with a 1.2GHz processor and didn’t notice such on that device.

Again, the 9360 is mid-tier and the 800Mhz CPU is part of the compromise for the lower cost. The occasional slowdowns weren’t enough to make me want to tear my hair out though, so I won’t call it a deal breaker.

Conclusions

I honestly find doing Blackberry reviews difficult, because there is little differentiation across models: minus the Storm and Torch series, they are the same form factor. They mostly have similar features in terms of hardware and software.

The 9360 does everything you’d expect it to do. However, it wasn’t designed to be outstanding at any of them. Most mid-tier devices are not either, so that’s not a bad thing.

If you want a Blackberry device running the latest OS and do not intend to cough out a fortune, the 9360 comes highly recommended.

5 comments

  1. Best Blackberry for the money you pay.

    Plus it gets FM with BBOS7.1 update.

    Aside the Bold9900 i love this berry.

  2. Aside from the fact that the greater value of BB devices lies in the BB services than the device itself, I think this device is very expensive given the hardware specifications. That’s the benefit of being unique in design and using a unique operating system.

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