If you're coming to a smartphone for the first time and are doing it because you want to use the internet heavily, we can't say we recommend the BlackBerry Curve 9320 as a major browsing device. Don't get us wrong - it's not bad for surfing. It's just very pedestrian.
Yes, it is a lot better when we compare it to the Curve range of BB4 and BB5, but that's not saying much, because they were truly awful. The experience you get on the BlackBerry Curve 9320 is what you would have expected on a top-end phone maybe four years ago.
Firstly, it's a little slow at loading pages. Not so much that you'll fall asleep, but maybe enough to encourage a little yawn. Remember, the BlackBerry Curve 9320 has a single-core 806MHz processor, and loading webpages is one of the most taxing things you can throw at it.
Many sites, including the ones we checked (Media Guardian, TechRadar and so on) load the mobile versions by default. But when you try to load the desktop versions, it starts to struggle. One page on the Guardian desktop site took 25 seconds to load over Wi-Fi. The text was ready after 15 seconds, but scrolling around made it lag because the browser was still loading up other processor-hogging elements on the pages.
As for 3G, add at least another 10 per cent onto those times. We did this not to be unfair on the BlackBerry Curve 9320 and show it up, but to demonstrate how poor it is at loading big web pages. It's important, since not every site has a mobile-friendly alternative.
The other issue is the resolution. We know it's a budget smartphone, but the BlackBerry Curve 9320's low pixel density just makes pages look a little cheap and nasty. In terms of browsing, it's exactly the same experience as the Curve 9360, except with an inferior screen, which means it is not as pleasurable to use.
RIM has updated how bookmarks work - so instead of getting them in a list format, you get little thumbnails of all of your sites. The same goes for your history.
But don't go looking for Flash. It's missing here. Not that that's a big deal these days, and it's actually just as well given how long the BlackBerry Curve 9320 takes to load non-flash pages. You'd be there all day.
Don't read too much into our criticisms, since this is clearly a phone aimed at those who are new to the smartphone arena or are just going to be doing a bit of light, occasional browsing. And for checking train times or browsing new mobile sites, you really won't have any problems.