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November 25, 2011

BlackBerry Curve 9360 Review

The BlackBerry Curve is back and is now slimmer and sexier — the thinnest Curve there is. I’ve been using the Curve 9360 for a couple of week now since we went to Jakarta for the BlackBerry launch event last week. Check out our full review of the BlackBerry Curve 9360 after the jump.

The Curve 9360 looks pretty much similar to its predecessor although RIM has generously shaved off a lot of fat, making the device thin. The body is shaped with a lot of sharp curves and tapers toward the sides giving you the impression that it is really thin and light (which actually works).

The micro-USB port is at the left side of the handset while the 3.5mm audio port is at the top and aside from the lock button beside it, there’s not much else ports or buttons on the device. The volume controls on the right are masked by rubber pads so you don’t notice them right away.

The back panel is curved and has a piano-black finish with the BlackBerry logo etched at the top middle. There, you’ll find the 5MP camera flushed to the left side and the LED flash on the opposite side (gives it a symmetrical robotic eye look).

The one other button that is actually somewhat hidden is the Lock screen button at the top corner (like the forehead of the handset) which is indicated by a padlock sign.

The menu controls of the Curve 9360 remained practically the same from the previous models. It’s not a touch panel but a physically large button that you have to press down hard (and more often than not, using your fingernails instead of your fingers). Pretty awkward if your have big fingers but if this is how the Curve was built for so many years, I guess familiarity trumps everything else (I asked several old-time Curve users and this is something they actually complain about).

The Curve 9360 is among the first BlackBerry handsets to run BB OS 7 out of the box and despite the seemingly average specs of the Curve, the OS works flawlessly. It’s fast, fluid and very responsive. BB OS 7 is definitely very light and optimized (which is a wonder why they could not upgrade the older Curves into OS7).

As for apps, there’s access to the BlackBerry App World which offers plenty of downloads both paid and free. It’s great that the most popular ones like Facebook and Twitter are readily available, plus many more. Access to the Music Store is provided by Amazon MP3.

The Social Feeds aggregates messages from BBM, Twitter, Facebook, Google Talk, Windows Live and Yahoo! Messenger so that covers practically 99% of your online messaging needs.

The screen is small, measuring 2.44″ across but the display is actually really good at 246 ppi. It’s clean and crisp, relatively bright and has good contrast that’s still usable in the outdoors despite the glare. Video playback is smooth and rich in colors but I don’t think anyone would enjoy watching a full-length movie on this really small screen.

The audio on the Curve 9360 is surprisingly good. The default alert tones for calls and SMS seemed weak but when I played some music and videos, the speakers at the back panel were relatively powerful with good volume range and nice, crisp sound that’s not tinny at all.

The 5-megapixel camera takes decent pictures; a little grainy but way better than the previous Curves we’re tried. It’s not as good as the one on the Bold 9900 but it’s usable. The video capture isn’t as good either and there’s no HD quality video capture. The only useful features on the camera are the generous number of scene modes which includes Text Mode for taking pictures of documents. And no, there’s no secondary, front-facing camera here.

The full-qwerty keyboard is nice and easy to use — that is, if you have small fingers. They’re a bit cramped for my taste though.

The most notable addition to the Curve 9360 is the inclusion of Near-Field Communication (NFC) but there’s not much practical use for that now here in the Philippines.

The complete hardware configuration of the Curve 9360 is as follows (note that the internal storage is just 521MB so you’ll definitely need an extra microSD card if you want to takes photos or capture videos).

BlackBerry Curve 9360 specs:
2.44″ display @ 480×360 pixel
800MHz processor
512MB of RAM
512MB internal storage
up to 32GB microSD
HSDPA 7.2Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g
5MP camera with LED flash
VGA video recording
NFC support
Bluetooth 2.1 w/ A2DP
GPS w/ aGPS support
BlackBerry OS 7.0
Li-Ion 1,000mAh battery

The battery capacity of the Curve 9360 is only 1,000mAh. That’s okay if you’re just into SMS or calls for the most part of the day but when you have BBM on and the Social Feeds running, your normal 2 to 2.5 days will easily drop down to just under a day (so don’t forget to bring along a portable battery pack).

The Curve 9360 is definitely the best-looking BlackBerry that RIM has ever made. No doubt about that. It’s slim, sexy and has all the curves at the right places. It’s so light and pocketable that you can place it in your breast pocket and easily forget about it.

If you’re after the basic BlackBerry services like BBM and the Social Feeds, the Curve 9360 fits the bill. Its got its own share of shortcomings (namely the battery, camera and the tiny keyboard) but certainly makes up for it in the looks and form factor. I’m actually thinking of it as a candidate for the best secondary phone.

The suggested retail price of Php16,990 is a bit on the steep side though considering the older and popular Curve 8250 is already in the sub-Php10k range.

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44 Responses to “BlackBerry Curve 9360 Review”

  1. erwinagustin says:

    I had this phone for a week as an upgrade from the curve 9300. I need the extra ooomph in processing as i have a deluge of emails everyday. Its really a smartphone made for business and social. I guess we never get tired of the Filipino mindset of getting the new ones but in reality, do we really need or utilize all the apps in your P36000 smartphone that gets obsolete in 6 months? its such a waste. Id rather go with a reasonable price tag that gets the job done, and sleek design as well, great tool for business and social. It should’nt be a contest who gets the latest stuff. The bottomline, do really need those extra stuff everyday? Love this curve.

  2. ojmit says:

    Does the battery really suck? And is there no way to fix or change it?

  3. Alexander Castillo
    Twitter: ALEXccastillo
    says:

    i wanna ask kung may malaking effect ba sa battery yung output na toh (bb 9360 charger) 5v = 750mA vs (usb charger) 5v = 1000mA

  4. rafael
    Twitter: AnjoRafael
    says:

    I saw one in Globe and actually tried the keyboard.. it’s good even though i have big hands.. :) priced P13,600 at widget city… i really am getting this one… :)

  5. blue_son says:

    Got the white one. I already have htc phone… so got myself a qwerty bb and my first was the 9300… for a change lang gusto ko ng qwerty kc nga may touchscreen phone naman na ako… was rooting to get the 9790 kaso sabi ko the 9360 will do since bbchat at fb and twitter and mail checking (work) lang naman ang after ko sa bb… ive been loving bb and getting the white one ALWAYS scream out compliments from people around me… love the design… and yeah battery life really is short but that depends on how you use the phone… lahat naman ng smart phones e lageng battery life ang nagiging bukambibig na issue – mapa android or iphone or bb … duh you can never compare smartphones dahil nasa pag gamit mo nga yan eh… eh kung may isang brand ba ng smartphone na makapagrerelease ng 3-4 days na battery life inclusive of all the things that u do with the darn phone eh di malamang lahat tayo may pareparehong phone na… o basta kanya kanya yan.. walang basagan ng trip… kung ayaw nyo ng BB eh di mag not-so smart phone kayo… for sure 2-3 days ang battery life… nyahahaha… LUV BB SO MUCH + my ANDROID TOO! Ciao

  6. Marc says:

    Physically it is good looking, but its battery really sucks. It won’t even last a day. I have mine BB9360 and using FB and Twitter, power last less than a day. Saka mabilis uminit back cover, to the point na kelangan ko i-turned off just to cool it. Masyado tlaga maiinit, and you feel it after just 15 to 30 mins of use. Normal lng ba yon? anybody who experience same problem?

  7. sol says:

    hi, i have tried using facebook in my b 9360 I noticed that the logo for bb does not appear on my wall, maybe the question is bullshit or something but i really want to know why? I hope you could help me. Thanks!

  8. rafael
    Twitter: AnjoRafael
    says:

    does anyone know bakit mura yung mga phones and gadgets sa online shops? thanks.. :)

    • sidnister says:

      Prices of phones online are cheaper because they only offer service warranties (unless otherwise specified). This means that should you have problems with your phone the services rendered for it will be free BUT should there be parts that need to be replaced, they’ll charge you. Most online shops are reasonable enough to specify this in their websites.

  9. rapido
    Twitter: rapido316
    says:

    Battery life sucks! and heats up! is there no other way to correct or update of firmware?

  10. FanBoi94 says:

    Lol i dont think the Blackberry Dev alpha will be successful… http://youtu.be/_9p3u0z5zz8

  11. leeearl16
    Twitter: EARLLEE_morning
    says:

    I’ve been rocking Curves ever since the 8900 Curve. (The one with the trackball.) I didn’t like the 8520 when it got released so I stuck with the 8900. When the Curve 9300 was released I got it but was hesitant because I didn’t like the feeling of cheapness that the 8520 put on its table, I mean I really didn’t like the plastic. I fell in love with the 8900 because it was sleek and well built, and didn’t give a feeling of how cheap it was. A feeling which was ever-so present in the 8520s and the 9300s because of their similar styling and construction. I love this new BlackBerry simply because it’s another 8900. Well built, great screen and sleek design. It’s a return to what RIM did best and I’m digging how sleek it looks. I’m torn between this and a Galaxy Ace, but man is this phone sexy. Curves are a great value for money, and I love RIM for their impeccable taste. Good job RIM you’ll get my money.

  12. pırlanta says:

    Hi! Someone in my Myspace group shared this site with us so I came to take a
    look. I’m definitely enjoying the information. I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Superb blog and great style and design.

  13. chima says:

    please how can i get get dis CURVE 9630 and how much do you use for delivery because i don’t know anywhere here in philippines because am new to the town and i stay at ALICIA TOWERS RESIDENCE,BANILAD,CEBU CITY’. hopping to hear from you please

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