The BlackBerry Curve 8520, that was launched last year for T-Mobile lacked 3G and GPS which was disappointing. RIM has rectified the problem and now the Curve 9300 has access to T-Mobile’s 3G network and also for GPS. There are also some other improvements like inclusion of 256 MB RAM, 624 MHz processor etc. Except for this the hard ware components remains the same. We have no problem in accepting the Curve 3G 9300 priced at $79.99 as an entry level smartphone. The Curve 9300 comes with a two year agreement with T-Mobile. If you like to take an overall view about the smartphone, check out the preview.
The Curve 9500’s design is very much similar to its predecessor measuring 4.3 inches in length, wide by 2.4 inches and is 0.6 inch thick. It weighs 3.6 ounces which is usual for a smartphone. It has the same 2.4 inch display and QWERTY keyboard. One difference we could find from its predecessor is the position of the optical track pad which is now a bit raised and is now also round in shape. We have to admit that we liked it. The Curve 8520 had some barriers separating the navigation keys but there is nothing like that in the 9300. The navigation array is almost flat which makes difficult when using them just by feel. The rubberized surface at the back offers enough grip when held.
Out of the box you get a USB cable, wired stereo headset, AC adapter and some reference material.
The Curve 3G is loaded with BlackBerry 0.5 OS but RIM promises that it can be upgraded to OS 6 once it is released. Once it is upgraded, you will get easy access to web browser, messaging and much more. The phone includes all the basic features like voice dialing, speakerphone, conference calling etc. Instant messaging options are plenty in the phone including Windows Live, Yahoo, AIM, BlackBerry Messenger etc.
Phone book is limited to the SIM memory i.e. 250 contacts. In each contact, you can save several numbers and other details regarding the contact like street address, email address etc.
As said above, the phone has access to Wi-Fi, GPS and 3G and so it is called as the Curve 3G. The phone now includes document viewer and hence you can now open and edit PDF and Microsoft office documents. Internal memory available is just 256 MB RAM but external memory can be expanded up to 16GB. The smartphone comes with some multimedia options like music player, 2MP camera etc. The music player supports file formats like AAC, WMA, MP3, MIDI, WMV, MPEG4 etc. The 2MP camera supports video recording.
The BlackBerry Curve 3G is a quad band phone and it impresses with the call quality. Voices are crystal clear with enough volume and you will hardly hear any static. Surprisingly, the calls over the speakerphone are good. 3G coverage is reliable from T-Mobile. Web pages load in less than a minute. 624 MHz might not be too much but it surprised with its snappy performance. Applications take less than a second for launching. We usually don’t recommend listening to music using the speakerphone but we like to make an exception here. There is enough volume and less distortion at maximum volume. However if you wish to have accurate details, you have no other choice than using a stereo headset.
The Curve 3G has a battery life of 4.5 hours talk time and standby time of 19 days.