BlackBerry Curve 9320 review

Before starting this review a huge thanks goes to Vodafone for providing the BlackBerry Curve 9320 for review. 

The BlackBerry Curve 9320 is an entry-level smart phone with a 3 megapixel camera and a full qwerty keyboard. The fact it comes with a dedicated BBM button suggests that the phone is designed for messaging addicts. The Curve 9320 is a fairly low-end smartphone and is available from £130 on pay as you go and contracts start from £13 a month with Vodafone.

You can view the unboxing and also a tour of the Curve 9320 by my good friend Darren from YourGadgetGuide below.

 

Tech Specs:

  • 7.2 Mbps HSDPA and 5.76 Mbps HSUPA
  • 2.44″ 65K-color TFT landscape display of QVGA resolution (320×240)
  • Full QWERTY keyboard
  • Optical trackpad
  • 806MHz processor
  • 512MB RAM, 512MB ROM
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n connectivity
  • GPS with A-GPS connectivity
  • Bluetooth v2.1
  • 3 megapixel fixed focus, VGA video recording
  • BlackBerry OS 7.1
  • Hot-swappable microSD card slot (up to 32GB), 2GB card preinstalled
  • 1450 mAh battery
  • 3.5 mm audio jack

As you can probably tell the Curve 9320 doesn’t have the most beefed out spec compared to an iPhone or some Android phones however this is where the price comes into comparison. The BlackBerry is designed as an entry level smartphone and for around £130.

BlackBerry 7 Operating System

Far from perfect, the BlackBerry 7 OS is a huge improvement on some of the previous versions of the BlackBerry OS. It does look better on some BlackBerry devices rather than others just the same way Android does. The 320×240 resolution doesn’t do the best job either of showing off some of its beauties. Lacking any sort of touch screen means the user has to use the tacky track pad. Scrolling around the different menu bars and apps is very unintuitive. It’s also lacking any major updates and if you did buy the Curve 9320 you shall be stuck with the OS7 as the 9320 won’t be getting the upcoming BlackBerry OS10. Overall, the OS is very basic and unintuitive. Tech Savvy people may also find it fairly hard to get around the phone as the 5 different menu bars can be very confusing.

Screen & Keyboard

When it comes to mobile devices, the display is one of the most important factors of choosing which mobile to buy. It’s the thing you will be looking at most often. The Curve 9320 packs a 2.44″ 65K-color TFT landscape display of QVGA resolution (320×240) screen. Clearly it doesn’t live up to the standard of Retina Displays however neither is it as bad as the screen on some phones. The screen however is excruciatingly tiny though and therefore web browsing or any sort of social activity on it is difficult to say at least. The screen has no touch capability unlike the Bold 9790 which means no pinching to zoom or scrolling down on the webpage. This makes web browsing on the 9320 a chore and extremely frustrating to say the least. Even if you have perfect eye sight you will be squinting to see the tiny text and pixellated images. Your own photos will look shoddy and the text looks poor. Overall, the Pixel Per Inch (PPI) level is just very low.

The keyboard is no better either. The QWERTY keyboard has all the main keys that any other BlackBerry has but without the good build quality. On the 9320 the key board is made out of plastic. The key’s are also angled towards each other and the tiny gap between them makes it extremely hard to type fluently. Overall the keyboard and screen are two of the most negative points about the Curve 9320.

Performance

The 800MHz processor might not have the same amount of power as some of the latest quad-core processors popping up in some phones nowadays, it does a decent job of powering the OS and the apps running nicely. When web browsing, the processor does definitely show signs of slowing down and I must admit, web browsing is very slow on the phone. That is even when connected to Wi-Fi for some reason too. However when doing other tasks like watching YouTube videos and browsing through the App World it seems much more snappier. Not as snappy as the iPhone 5 A6 processor but definitely not as bad as some of the BlackBerry predecessors.  As I mentioned earlier in this review, web browsing on this phone is extremely uncomfortable and extremely unintuitive. The low resolution of the screen makes it extremely hard to read the text when zoomed out and the clunky navigation key makes it a pain to constantly zooming in.

Design & Build Quality

The design of the BlackBerry Curve 9320 is nothing revolutionary. It has a similar design to the other handsets that BlackBerry designs. The grey and silver back is nothing revolutionary and definitely not the best looking phone on the market. However for some reason, the design is very popular among teens nowadays. The curve 9320 does feel solid in most parts however the keyboard and screen feel very weak and some creaking did happen when slight pressure was applied to either the screen or the keyboard. The screen did also flex slightly inwards when more pressure applied however in normal use it shouldn’t be a major issue. One thing is though, that the back plate was extremely flimsy and not very stable. It was also prone to scratching and easily accumulated dust and finger prints which made it look very unattractive.

The 9320 does feel very comfortable in the hand to hold though. It feels just right, not too heavy or light unlike other phones nowadays. It also feels fairly sturdy and doesn’t move slide around too much when placed on a flat surface like a table or worktop. The BlackBerry is 12.7 mm thin. The BlackBerry will not be achieving any rewards for being incredibly light or thin any time soon. In fact, with the low specification of this device, I wonder what was the limiting factor in making it so bulky and not any more thinner. However, it is definitely thin enough to fit into your jeans or jacket pocket and suitable to easily carry around with you.

Camera and Video

Camera’s are getting really advanced in some of the newer phones such as the iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy s3. However, since the Curve 9320 the camera does not live up to the quality of some of the high-end phones either. Unfortunately, the pictures in low light conditions come out really blurry. However in standard shots, for example with decent lighting and once the camera finally focused they didn’t come out too bad. It’s obviously not going to make you leave your dedicated point and shoot or DSLR camera at home but should be decent enough to get the job done. The time between clicking the isn’t too long either unlike some other phones.

Below are some images that I took with the Curve 9320.

Flowers

No flash was used for this image. As you can tell, the quality is not very good and the camera didn’t do a good job in this particular low light condition.

Flowers Flash

This is the same image as above however with flash turned on auto this time. It did indeed use it. It is much better than the previous image where flash was not used however the flash did over expose the flowers.

Another photo with flash this time. As you can see the camera did a fairly good job of focusing on the text on the mug however the side and wall behind the cup are blurred again.

The video capture is not too impressive either. I did not get a chance to actually record a test video with the camera however did infact use it whilst testing the camera. The lack of HD video recording is no suprise either.

Photo Gallery

Below are some pictures of the BlackBerry Curve 9320.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Summary

Pros:

  • Great price, Very affordable
  • Dedicated BBM button to quickly get to the BlackBerry messaging app.
Cons:
  • The un-intuative BlackBerry OS lets the phone down.
  • The camera quality is poor when taking pictures
  • No HD video camera
  • Plasticky design

Conclusion

Overall, the BlackBerry Curve 9320 is a decent phone for anyone wanting a BlackBerry. It’s priced very competitively at £130 on Pay As You Go with Vodafone. It won’t be getting the BlackBrry OS10 which will be the latest version of the mobile operating system that BlackBerry makes so you will be stuck with the OS that’s pre-installed on the phone if you do decide to go ahead and buy it. Overall, from my through testing and use of this phone, I would rate it a 6/10. The software lets down the poorly designed hardware and the phone is just not very intuitive to use. I would like to say thanks once again to Vodafone for sending this phone out to review. Feel free to comment down below on what you think of this phone and whether you would consider buying one?  Also, feel free to share the article using the social media options on the left.

The following two tabs change content below.

Usman Hussain

19, Mac User, Photographer, Web Developer, Apple Enthusiast, CEO and Founder of @TeckComesFirst, Proud Geek.

Latest posts by Usman Hussain (see all)

468 ad
  • Ben

    Just amazing post man! Loved all the info!

  • Jack Harnett

    Great analysis of the phone Usman and you have made some fair and vaild arguments. As a former BlackBerry user myself, I found the qwerty keyboard easy to use and easy to type out long messages quickly.

  • Great Review Usman. Nicely done. The Curve 9320 looks good but not something that I would love to carry around everyday. I just love the retina display on my ipad and iPod touch. Overall great review mate:D

  • That’s a great review, very thorough and detailed. Things like where it squeaks exactly and how the screen behaves on pressure is something I don’t see in many reviews but is very important if I thought about buying a device.
    The device itself looks nice for that price point although I honestly don’t see it anywhere in the phone market nowadays except for young people as a first phone. That being said, there it would be great, it’s cheap and with a full keyboard for texting. Plus (which may be a little weird for a pro) the web performance isn’t that great which means teens won’t spend all the time on mobile data carelessly.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Phenomenal review, Usman! The detail at which you write is fantastic. The only thing I recommend you do is run a spell check and add some punctuation. After you have revised, the review will sound even more sophisticated! Also, congrats on getting this phone for review. TCF is lookin’ good!

  • Great Review Usman! I can see you spent a lot of time on it. I think this shows the phone is what your paying for, not a lot if I’m, honest, never been a blackberry fan if I’m also honest. Great review, Once again, Well Done! 😀

  • Orestes

    Great review Usman. Seems like a very cool phone for messaging, though the tech specifications based on today’s standarts are not promising a lot. I think Blackberry should work a lot more on every section, icncluding building quality, OS and hardware.
    -Orestes LinkedGeek.com

  • I think the other comments have covered most things pretty well.

    I will say though, it is basically a cheap Blackberry, and it shows!