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BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 Review

I’ve been using smartphones for more than half a decade now having tried almost all types of smartphones except for one, the BlackBerry. Five years ago, BlackBerry would be synonymous to enterprise phones. An ordinary consumer wouldn’t even dare to get one. But now, it’s totally different. You’d see normal people carrying a BlackBerry even if they don’t have an Outlook email. “CrackBerries” are so addicted with their phones. Check out our full review of the BlackBerry Curve 3G after the jump, my first for a BlackBerry smartphone.

BB 9300 Curve 3G is equipped with BlackBerry OS 5. It’s not the newest OS from the Canadian company but is very capable, stylish and very clean. The OS is as snappy as my iPhone. Swiping on the optical trackpad is a smooth as butter.

Display is at 320×240 pixels — not the clearest screen around but it’s more than decent. The Curve 3G is just an upgraded version of the BB 8520. The main difference is, you guessed it right, its 3G-capable.

They’re like twin brothers; they look, feel, and weigh exactly the same. One is more of a runner with its 3G speed. The build is on the “plasticky” side though. You’d feel it is an entry level smartphone, which it actually is. It’s so light you wouldn’t feel it inside your pocket which I really liked.

Curve 9300 and Bold 9700

Just like the Curve 8520, Curve 3G has the multimedia buttons at the top, to pause, forward, back and play music. The phone can play a slew of audio and video codecs. I was amazed that the phone can even play .avi files. The speaker is really loud. I was able to play an entire episode of Glee inside the car using it’s built in speaker. It has a 3.5mm headphone jack and the sound quality is above average. The phone could easily replace your regular mp3 player.

BlackBerry did not upgrade the camera of the phone. It is still using the same 2MP camera found in the 8520. The camera is decent but not something you’d be printing off of. It’s not awful but definitely not great. There’s no Flash by the way but you can record videos.

One thing I like about the BlackBerry line is the consistency with its qwerty keyboards. I heard a lot of good things with it. I’m happy to admit that everything they say about the keyboard is true. You’ll get a good feedback whenever you type something. It’s a bit on the harder side of “clicking” compared to the Nokia C3 and the higher end modes like Bold 9700. What I love about the BlackBerry keyboards are the shortcuts you can do with it and some customizations. This is what I missed the most from using touchscreen phones. You will still get the 4 standard buttons like the call, end, back and BB menu buttons plus the optical trackpad that also acts as an Enter button too.

The unit I got didn’t come with the “App World” app so I had to download first to get some apps on the phone. The phone came with BBM, several IM clients like YM, GTalk and Windows Live messenger, Twitter app and Facebook. You can set up your personal email with just a few clicks. One unique feature of BlackBerry OS is the unified inbox which I totally love. The few apps they have is so integrated with the system like the Facebook and Twitter app. Everything is connected to the unified inbox so you would be reading all your messages from Twitter, email and Facebook in one inbox.

WiFi is not so straightforward when setting up. I had several problems connecting to my home network. Bluetooth connection was simple. Connecting it to the computer via the USB port would give you access to its folders. You can easily drag and drop multimedia files on it.

Bold 9700, Curve 9300 and Curve 8520

Personally, the 3G speed is not maximized on this phone. The reason for this is the browser. The browser is still a bit clunky especially when compared to iPhones and Androids. It’s like you’re still using a browser from a Windows Mobile in 2006. I don’t need 3G speed to send IM messages nor BBM messages. I don’t need it for tweeting as well. It’s probably more useful when browsing Facebook.

I never had an issue making calls. No signal attenuation issues here. The line was clear on both ends. The battery is not so great when 3G is activated. With heavy use of YM and BBM, this phone could only last you under 12 hours. This is mainly caused by the 3G. This is at par with any smartphones these days. It’s not really the phone’s nor its battery size’s fault but rather how you use 3G in a day.

Curve 9300 on top and Curve 8520 at the bottom

By far, this is one of the best messaging phone available. That is if you’re only sending text messages, BBM-ing, tweeting, posting Facebook entries and sending a thousand emails everyday.

If you’re lifestyle is limited to those tasks, then I suggest you join the bandwagon. If you have more than 5 close friends using BBM, I suggest you get this phone. BBM-ing is really addicting, it’s like you have your own chatroom with friends. You can broadcast a post, upload picture to everyone and send files. This is the one aspect of the BlackBerry that I never got to know until now. After 2 weeks of using it and around 10 friends on BBM, I easily got hooked with it. You could also say this is a good social network phone.

The unit is estimated to sell for Php15k to Php18k depending on where you buy it. Expect telcos to offer postpaid plans for this. You also need to shell out about Php1,500 a month to get unlimited BIS (internet and BBM services) on this device.

Is this phone for me? I’d say no. I could easily get a Nokia C3 phone with almost the same features except for the BBM for half the price. If your friends are using BBM already and you’re thinking of jumping to the smartphone ship, this is one of the best phones you can get. If you’re a BB 8520 user, I could not recommend getting this phone. You’re better off getting a Bold 9700 if you really want an upgrade. You won’t need the 3G most of the time anyways. But if you’re thinking of joining the BlackBerry cult, this is a solid entry level BlackBerry phone.

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

BlackBerry OS 6 is set to be finalized and released in the first quarter of next year. The Curve 3G will be able to upgrade to BB OS 6 while the Curve 8520 is stuck with OS 5 so that’s something to consider.

Editor’s Note: Dale is a reviews & special assignments contributor for YugaTech. This review had some minor revisions from me. You can follow him on Twitter @dalekins. – Yuga

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42 Responses

  1. al says:

    try a blackberry running os 6, its silky smooth and r 3g connection will be optimized with the browser, rss feed is very useful and thats wher i get feeds for this site. This phone never failed to deliver what it promised,. right now bb wont fit a regular philipino user, it wont work without a dataplan and its not as flashy as those thouch screen phones…

    this isnt intended for multimedia,not for games nor apps..

    its for connectivity, hardcore messaging, email system is incomparable, it never fails, battery life is a winner, app world is plain business..

  2. al says:

    i forgot to mention taht once u have an unlimited bis, its unlimited tetherng…ill give up my other two phones for a blackberry

  3. jc says:

    probably i will buy this!:)

  4. Harley says:

    still waiting for the torch for an upgrade…nice review!



  5. Jhay says:

    It’s either this one or the LG Optimus One for me. :)

  6. nexusboy says:

    something unusual sa photo quality, mukha kasing China phone.

  7. Malcoxx says:

    I agree with Dale, if you are not into heavy surfing and prefer to use this device as a good email / im and social networking, then stick with 8520 Gemini. Not much of a difference.

    The price of a Gemini at a local online seller is barely 11k, I am sure if you are a cash buyer, you can get this at a much lower price, if you have the gift of haggling.

    Now if you are serious in immersing yourself with the BB experience my vote is still the 9700/Bold or if you can’t get enough of the touch screen experience then you are in luck, the Torch should fill that gap.

    If I were not hellbent in getting the Galaxy Tab, I would have gotten a Torch.

  8. al says:

    all the phones her are running os5, which looks boring and out dated.. .get the new ones

  9. al says:

    there is already a leak for 0s 6 for 9300 and base on on user feedback its torchy like performance…trust me a switch from os 5 to 6 s huge improvement..faster boot up and the browser

  10. i like the look and features of Blackberry curve 3g 9300. Though i’m not that obsessed in collecting mobile devices, but i’m actually planning to buy one in the future.

  11. Wakocoke says:

    im considering a BB back then (upgrading my E63 lol) pero knowing its OS, i doubt ill buy this :(

    waiting for motorola droid pro to be released here in the philippines

    long live the QWERTY phones!

  12. arlie says:

    sir yuga, is there a flagship store of bb here in the PH? where can i buy bb 9300? many thanks.

  13. arlie says:

    sir yuga, is there a flagship store of bb here in Manila? where can i buy bb 9300? many thanks.

  14. yuga says:

    @arlie – nope, wala pa. You get it thru telcos.

  15. Adi says:

    I got Blackberry Pearl 3G (9105).. i dunno if how much is it in the Philippines.. any idea? .. RIM just broke the QWERTY trade mark, since BB Pearl 3G 9105 is having a T9 keypad… Actually it is a smaller version of BB Bold 9700, specification wise.

    I love this phone, so handy and friendly.

    BB pin: 232FAE48

  16. pagiisipanko says:

    tanong lang po.i bought this phone here in saudi arabia and im using smart roaming sim card.how can i use PIN messaging?i tried once but it fails.
    also i noticed that sometimes it very late (4-5hrs late) to received text message from phil.
    thanks in advance

  17. bbb says:

    @pagiisipanko- how much mo nbili jn sa saudi? ty

  18. Fren says:

    Hi, I compared the 9300 to 9700 on the official blackberry website. It said that this one has no flash and does not come with a memory card. How come in some reviews, it has a flash and with memory card? Which is the better phone to buy now? :) Thank you! Will be getting a BB next week and I’m still can’t decide between the two. :)

  19. pagiisipanko says:

    SR 1,149..in peso @12peso rate mga P13,788 po.

  20. Key says:

    Hi! I would like to ask kung anong mas maganda: HTC Wildfire or this Blackberry? I am not really a heavy texter and I enjoy apps and other multimedia services. Ang only requirement ko lang is Wi-Fi :) I had many choices in the past and it all comes down to LG Optimus, HTC Wildfire and this Blackberry. Would buy a phone as a gift for myself. :)

  21. bravodrew says:

    hi. just wanna ask how am I gonna use its 3g function. parang wala kasing option na videocall and walang front camera. pls help me nmn. thanks. :)

  22. mikkou0410 says:

    i got this last month and ever since then, every day has been a berry happy day. i love this phone; my best buy ever–zero regrets.

    i opted to get the nokia e5 at first considering it’s got a lot of features, but eventually ended up with Berry (the name i gave my 9300 lol) after thorough thinking due to the following:

    1. sure the e5’s got good features; its camera (with LED flash at that) is way better than the 9300’s, but it looks like i’d be bored with it sooner than if i’d be getting a BlackBerry.
    2. Nokia equals fast value depreciation. BlackBerry equals “sosyal”.
    3. the e5 is affordable, 9300 quite isn’t. but hey, it’s a BlackBerry after all, and when you have a BlackBerry, you have the world. :D

    BlackBerry na!

  23. I recommended this Berry to a friend, who was looking for a cheap and good phone, as long as it’s a Blackberry. Well, with 3G capabilities and other stuff, I chose this over the 8520 Curve because of its added features.

    I love my Blackberry, being a Bold 9700 owner myself, which is running OS6 at the moment. The Curve 3G will be upgradeable to OS6 and that’s a nice thing, with the 8520 being stucked at OS5.

    I never regretted buying a Blackberry, and I really do love my phone.

    Blackberry PIN: 21F44F2F

  24. BuddyBoy says:

    got one mine a few days back and have been enjoying it alot! it has no flash, but hey who cares right? BB ‘s important feature is the email and constant communication between you and the world and am sure working people here knows what i mean… ^_^

  25. denden says:

    hey sir, just wanna get your opinion. I’mon a dilemma between This Blackberry Curve and HTC Wildfire. I’m actually into taking pictures so I guess Wildfire has an edge since it has flash. But I also wanna try a “decent” entry level smartphone which would probably be a good experience if I buy BB Curve. I don’t know what I will prioritize more. This BB looks great but the only thing that makes me think twice is the camera.

  26. denden says:

    hey sir, just wanna get your opinion. I’m on a dilemma between this Blackberry Curve and HTC Wildfire. I’m actually into taking pictures so I guess Wildfire has an edge since it has flash. But I also wanna try a “decent” entry level smartphone which would probably be a good experience if I buy BB Curve. I don’t know what I will prioritize more. This BB looks great but the only thing that makes me think twice is the camera. HTC though is an Android and Curve is on BB (which I heard can be upgraded to BB OS6). Which is the better smartphone??

  27. i like the look and features of Blackberry curve 3g 9300. Though i’m not that obsessed in collecting mobile devices, but i’m actually planning to buy one in the future.

  28. leemar says:

    ang pangit yan bb na yan! ang cheap ng dating!

  29. harris says:

    ganda talaga ng blackberry grabe.. ganda din ng ipad, may nakita pala akong dapat naten pagkaabalahan pagdating sa ipad and blackberry peepz… before po maubusan ng oras.. Get ipad and blackberry for free.. =))


  30. Melvin says:

    Guys! ask ko lang po kung magkano ung BB Curge 3g 9300 ngaun? thanks! :)

  31. Vlad says:

    When u say unlimited internet = tethering, does that mean the curve 9300 can act as a modem/wifi hotspot for my wifi only ipad?

  32. Kaloy says:

    loving my HTC Desire, but I also wanna get hand of this BB smartphone. wait pa ng konti.. hehe..

  33. Kaloy says:

    I want to know if this phone can open, edit or create a new MS Office files. since am always on the go, I download lots of emails (mostly MS excel), i want to open and edit them right away. is this possible?

  34. princess bautista says:

    hi! help me nmn po decide… anu po ba mas maganda blackberry curve or htc wildfire??? thankz!

  35. cookiemo0kie says:

    BB SOCIAL!! haha. im using 3G Curve na Ruby Red ung latest. :D

  36. ginober says:

    May I ask if anyone encountered a problem on the trackpad of 9300..I’m having some problem with it because the cursor moves by itself

  37. yuga says:

    11K cash, 14k card 12 months @ 0%

  38. Dianne says:

    Which is better BB 8900 or BB 9300??? Need your opinion. ASAP

  39. Budoy says:

    dunno if its just me. I’ve had 3 blackberry models and all have encountered problems like trackball not working keys not functioning etc. Maybe BB just cant take the punishment i do with my Nokias from way way back many of which are still working well .

    news is RIM may close shop soon. Bulokberry na nga yan

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