The Blackberry Curve 3G (9300) is the much-awaited upgrade of the BlackBerry Curve 8520 which sorely lacks 3G. It even has the same price point as that of the Curve 8520 when it first came out. Hopefully, this review will give you an idea if it’s worth upgrading your old Curve to the new one or for new BlackBerry users to get this instead of the cheaper yet older Curve.
At first glance, the Blackberry Curve 9300 (let’s call it Curve 3G in this review) looks exactly the same as the Curve 8520, but in a different casing. The Curve 3G has a Chrome-like finish for the face, as compared to the Curve 8520’s glossy finish.
The back panel has a rubber textured material which makes it scratchproof and gives you a better grip as compared to the 8520’s glossy back panel. It looks exactly the same as the 8520 but with little changes like these, the Curve 3G sure looks a lot more expensive.
The display is the same as the old Curve – a 2.4 inch TFT screen with a 320 x 240 pixel resolution and can display 65K colors.
I liked it that RIM removed that partition for the keys of the navigation buttons – it looks a lot cleaner and I wouldn’t have to worry about having the more-pressed-keys not leveled out with the key next to it. Speaking of “leveling out”, the Curve 3G’s optical track pad is raised higher which makes it protruding and very helpful in navigation.
Other than that, the keyboard, media, volume and function buttons are exactly in the same places.
The Curve 3g is slightly lighter weighing 104 grams, just a 2-gram difference with the Curve 8520’s 106 gram weight.
The Curve 3G has a 624Mhz processor, an improvement from the Curve 8520’s 512Mhz processor. I didn’t really notice the big distinction when it comes to navigating through both phones but surely there is a difference when you start packing in those applications.
In terms of surfing the web, both the Curve 9300 and Curve 8520 are Wi-Fi ready. However, the great distinction of the two is that the Curve 3G, well, runs on 3g! The Curve 8520 can only go as far as GPRS and EDGE network. It may be not that noticeable while surfing the web but when it comes to downloading bigger files such as apps, the Curve 3G is faster.
Aside from the 3G upgrade, the Curve 9300 can also be upgraded to BlackBerry OS 6 which the older Curve’s couldn’t support. It doesn’t come with OS 6 right out of the box so we couldn’t test its new features. The OS 6 for the Curve 3G will be available early 2011.
The Curve 3G also has a GPS feature while the Curve 8520 only uses triangulation – Foursquare never got so accurate!
As for media, the Curve 3G retained the music player that supports MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV audio format. The photo and video quality are still the same having a 2 megapixel camera. I’m rather disappointed that the upgrade didn’t include a built-in flash that could come in pretty useful for taking photos at low light. Files can be saved in the 256mb internal memory and has an expandable memory up to 32gb using a micro SD memory card.
The Curve 3G has the same Li-Ion 1150 mAh battery so battery life is basically the same (2 to 3 days on average) although using 3G will drain the battery a teeny bit faster. The Curve 3G standby time can be up to 456 hours (in 2G) to 348 hours (in 3G). Talk time is up to 4 ½ hours (in 2G) to 5 ½ hours (in 3G).
I think they made significant improvements from the Curve 8520 to the Curve 9300/Curve 3G. The look and feel is definitely better plus features such as 3G, having a GPS system and allowing it to be ready for OS 6 are what makes this BlackBerry even better. Of course, with great features comes the increase in price – the price of the Curve 9300 is only around Php2,000 more than the Curve 8520 which makes it a good buy for the added features that it brings.
The Blackberry Curve 9300 smartphone seems to have replaced the 8500 series having a better look and feel and packing in better features. We’re sure it will be the peg for the new entry-level Blackberry phone. Still, there should be a built-in camera flash here.
BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 Specifications:
- 2.4″ screen with 320×240 pixel color display
- Full QWERTY keyboard
- WiFi 802.11b/g/n
- 3.5mm stereo headset capable
- 2.0MP Camera
- 2GB microSD card included
- BlackBerry OS 5
- Li-Ion 1150 mAh