In a world filled with retina display smartphones, 7-inch tablets, and Wi-Fi hotspots the size of half a deck of cards, BlackBerry phones are still the workhorse, reliable phones that they first were when they were introduced. Chances are you've seen someone on a flight or in an office rocking two phones: one for personal use (usually an iPhone), and one for work (always a BlackBerry). That's because of the enterprise-class ability to have work email, calendars, and more supported by a company's IT department.
Finally, those same phones have started to get the same smartphone options that make people want to wield two devices in the first place. While it can't compete with the amount of offerings in the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store (formerly Android Marketplace), Research in Motion's BlackBerry Curve 9350 is a phone that has plenty of functions for workers on the go who need an extra kick in their pocket. Especially if they pick it up for free with a contract, avoiding the exorbitant $359.99 non-contract price.
The Curve line of phones were first introduced back in 2007, and the 9350 is one of the slimmest and sexiest phones in the bunch. It's at the bottom rung of the 9350/9360/9370 ladder, but that's because it's a CDMA-only phone. The 9360 uses GSM/HSPA+, and the 9370 is a CDMA/GSM world phone. But that shouldn't matter as long as you aren't jetting to Dubai every other weekend.
It definitely looks slimmer, but feels compact and sturdy in your hand. It's a plastic casing, but tight and without much flex. You can remove the back cover with a thumbnail, giving you access to the SIM card slot, a 1000 mAhr removable battery, and an SD card slot that can take cards up to 32 GB. There's a 5 MP camera above the back cover, along with an LED flash, and the right side contains four physical buttons: volume up, mute, volume down, and a convenience key that can be customized. By default it's set to take a photo.
The front of the phone contains the standard Curve line chiclet keyboard, an 2.5-inch 480x360 screen, a small speaker grill, an LED that can be configured to flash for different reasons, and six physical buttons: the send key, the menu button, the scrollable trackpad, the escape key, and the end/power key under the screen, and a lock/unlock keyboard button that also shuts off the screen on the very top of the device next to the 3.5 mm headset jack. The left side has a lone microUSB charging port, and bottom of the phone is feature-free except for the tiny microphone pinhole.