RIM proudly boasts that the BlackBerry Curve 9320 has the "longest lasting battery yet in a 3G Curve model." That's a pretty bold claim to make, but we think there is a valid point here.
It's almost as though it read our BlackBerry Curve 9360 review, where we expressed utter disbelief at the 1000mAh capacity.
Here, RIM has fitted the BlackBerry Curve 9320 with a stonking 1450mAh power pack. That's even 220mAh bigger than the company's flagship device, the BlackBerry Bold 9900. And more than an iPhone. Wow.
We have to take our hat off to the Canadians here. This is one of the best batteries we have ever used on a smartphone. Nothing will come close to the monochrome BlackBerry phones of old that lasted a week per charge with medium use, but this is the nearest you'll get with a 3G device.
We took our BlackBerry Curve 9320 off charge on Friday evening at 6pm. We left Bluetooth on, used email a fair bit, did a bit of internet browsing (20 mins max), took a few photos and made a couple of calls. We also browsed Facebook and Twitter using the dedicated apps.
We weren't consciously trying to save the battery, and we didn't need to. The BlackBerry Curve 9320 kept on going until Sunday evening before we got the low battery warning. With very heavy use, you'll still get a full day, which is pretty good going.
Connectivity-wise, GPS, Bluetooth (with A2DP), HSDPA/HSUPA and Wi-Fi (up to 'n') are all there.
One omission we are surprised about is NFC. BlackBerry seems to have bought into Near Field Communications more than any other manufacturer. Although this is a cheaper handset, NFC was included on the Curve 9360, leading us to believe RIM is aggressively pushing the technology. Seems a bit strange, but since NFC hasn't really taken off yet, we're not too disheartened.
As previously mentioned, media can be transferred between the phone and your PC or Mac via some excellent sync software.
Other inclusions are BlackBerry Media Server, which is RIM's DLNA solution. For the uninitiated, it means you can basically stream media from your phone to a compatible TV or machine. For example, we played our music stored on the BlackBerry Curve 9320 to our PS3, which then pumped it out via the TV speakers. It was really easy to set it up, and if you have Wi-Fi you should have no problems at all.
Speaking of Wi-Fi, the BlackBerry Curve 9320 also comes with the wireless hotspot option included. It means that as well as receiving a Wi-Fi signal, the BlackBerry Curve 9320 can also transmit one, using your 3G connection to turn your phone into a hotspot.
The upside is that you can share your connection with one or more machines when you're out and about. The downside is that your network may see dollar signs when you do so, so be cautious.