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BlackBerry Curve 9360 review

High-end specs in a budget BlackBerry shell

Our Verdict

You'd be forgiven for thinking this is a premium handset, and we wholeheartedly recommend you consider the Curve 9360.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 512 MB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 5 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 360

View full specification

For

  • Slim and good-looking
  • Camera with flash
  • Screen great for price
  • Browser displays websites well
  • Nice to see OS 7 on a cheaper smartphone

Against

  • Photos aren't brilliant
  • Battery paltry
  • We'd kill for some updated games
  • Phone book could do with a lick of paint
  • Web pages take ages to load

With users rushing to denounce BlackBerry and announce they'll leave the platform, RIM really needs to pull a belter out of the bag to put the horrors of 2011 behind it.

Which is where the BlackBerry Curve 9360 comes in. The range has long been one of BlackBerry's most popular - affordable, but not cheap; sleek, but not too flash. And the bestselling Curve 9300 has now been updated to give even more bang for the buck. 3G, GPS, NFC, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and, of course, BBM are all here and accounted for.

BlackBerry curve 9360 review

The first thing you notice is just how thin this smartphone is. The Curve 9360 feels almost like it's not completely finished, as though you're holding a dummy unit in a shop. It's only 11mm thick, and light as a feather at 99g. It also has precise edges - not enough to cut you, but it certainly gives that impression.

Made of a combination of brushed metal and black plastic, this is one good-looking handset, and measuring just 109 x 60mm, it's a great size.

BlackBerry curve 9360

Up top you have the standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a lock button that's not touch sensitive, although we did wonder about this, since you don't actually press it in far enough to be noticeable to lock and unlock the screen.

BlackBerry curve 9360 review

The left-hand side has the micro USB charging/syncing port, while the right has both a volume rocker (with middle shortcut button) and convenience key. It's typical BlackBerry fare.

BlackBerry curve 9360

The back houses the 5MP camera lens on one side, while the LED light for taking snaps is at the other end. We missed having a flash on the Curve 9300, so it's really good to see it back here.

BlackBerry curve 9360 review

The battery door is made of a high gloss plastic that looks like it'll scratch to high heaven given half a chance, and rests just above the speaker.

BlackBerry curve 9360 review

This battery cover's not easy to get off - and that's being kind. In the absence of an instruction manual with our review unit, we sat there patiently trying to get it off for what felt like an eternity, and could find no obvious way to do it. We eventually had to force it open and closed just to get a SIM and MicroSD card inside.

BlackBerry curve 9360 review

Around the front, you'll find the compact QWERTY keyboard, optical track pad and four BlackBerry shortcut keys. They appear to be fused to the bottom of the screen but they're not touch-sensitive and give a nice, satisfying click as you push them in.

The 2.44-inch screen itself has a 480 x 360 resolution and really looks like a quality display. RIM hasn't cut corners here.

BlackBerry curve 9360

Within the BlackBerry range, the Curve 9360 will be mainly competing against its predecessor, the 9300 3G. And the Curve 9360 is also due to be released in white on the Orange network soon, so prepare for a little sibling rivalry there too.

Looking further afield, we'd pit it against the Samsung Galaxy S rather than the Galaxy S2, or against the Apple iPhone 3GS rather than the iPhone 4S in terms of what you're getting for your money. But it's an uneasy comparison, because both the Samsung Galaxy S and iPhone 3GS have touch screens, whereas the BlackBerry 9360 does not.

BlackBerry curve 9360 review

It's aimed squarely at those who are either on a budget and want a BlackBerry but without the size/price tag of the excellent Bold 9900, or those who are slightly younger. This is a model we can see in the clutches of many a teenager over the next few months, and with its reasonable price tag - £280 SIM-free or free on a £25 per month contract - it's likely to fit that mould perfectly.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodAZERTY
TouchscreenNo
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory512 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value1.47 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyCurve
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time5 Hour
Product Model9360
Screen Size6.1 cm (2.4")
Screen Resolution480 x 360
Weight (Approximate)99 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 7.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Instant Messaging, Email
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log, Call Forwarding, Call Waiting, Call Barring, Caller ID, Conference Call, Fixed Dialing, Smart Dialing
Height109 mm
Width60 mm
Depth11 mm
Radio TunerNo
ManufacturerBlackBerry
Product NameCurve 9360 Smartphone
Processor Speed800 MHz
Product LineCurve
Screen TypeLCD
Manufacturer Part NumberPRD-30380-030
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.uk.blackberry.com
Marketing Information

Social minded

The new BBM

Make sure your BBM friends never miss out on the fun. With BBM-connected apps, you can invite them to download that app you just can't get enough of or start chatting without leaving the app.

Social apps

Get social from the get-go with BlackBerry Curve 9350/9360/9370 smartphones. Facebook, Twitter and social feeds are all included so you can easily connect with your social networks right out of the box.

Email and IM

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