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Review : BlackBerry Curve 9380

RIM recently launched a new  device named Blackberry Curve 9380. RIM as of lately is trying to break away from the image of a staid, business phone and this device is being marketed as the first consumer oriented , mass market full touch Blackberry device.  The 9380 looks almost identical to the 9350 from the back with only difference being the placement of USB port. 

The front of the Curve 9380 is dominated by a 3.2 inches (~188 ppi) TFT capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 360x480. The touchscreen is generally bright and responsive. The bottom of the device has four backlit buttons separated by an optical trackpad in the middle. Smooth fingerprint-prone plastic is flanked by high quality matte black plastics on both sides. The camera remains a 5MP unit with LED flash capable of 2592х1944 pixels still resolution and VGA recording. The video quality disappointed us but it might be a limitation with 800Mhz single core processor inside. The left side has a micro USB port and nothing else. Rather stiff camera and volume keys are located on the right side of the device. The top has a 3.5mm jack and screen lock button. It features usual like microSD support upto 32GB, WiFi b/g/n, HSDPA, HSUPA, A-GPS with NFC etc.

On the software side it features updated Blackberry 7 OS which is fully touch optimized. Hardcore QWERTY fan will be disappointed as there is no physical keyboard. The new OS comes with pre-installed social networking apps including Facebook, Twitter and Social Feeds apps. The graphics are now hardware accelerated which Blackberry calls Liquid Graphics, the result is very smooth and fluid animations comparable to iOS and WP7. The 1230mAh (JM-1) can last a day and half on full charge. But some high WiFi, Video, couple of 3G calls will ensure that battery lasts only a single day.
The virtual keyboard is not very accurate like iOS or Android and is error prone. The 5MP camera can take decent shots but the images get blurred on slight movement of hands. We were unable to test the performance of NFC unit of the device.

Final Take

The Curve 9380 almost looks like the smaller sibling of the Torch 9860. While it feels a bit weird to use a Blackberry without a trademark QWERTY keypad, this one does quite well on the touchscreen front. Where it does face a stumbling block is that the OS 7 isn't really optimized for the touchscreen, and the go-between attempt to work well with a QWERTY as well means the UI experience isn't as slick as it could have been. Nevertheless, this is The touchscreen only Blackberry to buy, even more so because it isn't very expensive.
If you aren't a sucker for the BBM service, your options in the market are aplenty both in this price range and lesser. And BlackBerry boys could easily go for this if they do not want to spend the extra bucks on the Torch 9860.
Price:- About $329 (Rs. 20,990 in India)


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