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BlackBerry Curve 9360 review

High-end specs in a budget BlackBerry shell

BlackBerry Curve 9360
Ultra-thin, flash, voice recognition, but it's not an iPhone

BlackBerry curve 9360

We have to say that we're really impressed with the BlackBerry Curve 9360. More so than the Bold 9900, in fact.

Here's why: for years, Curve users had to compromise on features.

The first Curve we owned, the 8310, had GPS but no Wi-Fi. There was a version that had Wi-Fi, but no GPS, and nothing in between. Annoying, much.

The Curve 8900 came along but, although it was sleeker than the Bold 9000 and had Wi-Fi, it didn't have 3G, which meant download speeds were really bad.

More recently the Curve 9300 was bestowed upon us, and had a camera but no flash. It's like RIM had deliberately chosen to leave one key feature off so that Bold users had something to boast about.

This is the first time we've really felt that a Curve device has been given all the bells and whistles of more premium handsets, and we think the Curve 9360 will be a best seller for RIM. If it is, it's well deserved.

We liked

The BlackBerry Curve 9360 is a great size and really feels like a complete package. The addition of 3G as well as a 5MP camera, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS and NFC makes you feel like you have it all in your pocket.

The screen is sharp and the media capabilities are spot on. Oh, and there's messaging, which is, of course, BlackBerry's forte.

We disliked

The browser could be quicker, but we guess that's down to the meagre 800MHz processor that powers this thing. The voice searching is a bit of a pointless addition, and while the camera will suffice for shooting drunk snaps of your buddies, it won't be replacing any other compact snappers any time soon.

We're also not overly impressed by the reduction in battery size.

Final verdict

We think it says it all that when writing the pros and cons, we were overloaded with pros and struggled to think of cons to list. Yes, the BlackBerry Curve 9360 is a budget device compared to the premium Bold 9900, but we can't help thinking that considering the cost of it (£230 on PAYG), it's actually a million times better value for money.

It's still not all there. RIM could have fitted it with a quicker processor and larger battery, but then that would take this into the premium league and would negate the whole point of having more expensive handsets - although other manufacturers seem to manage to do it.

Having said that, you'd be forgiven for thinking this is a premium handset, and we wholeheartedly recommend you consider this if you're looking for a half-decent messaging device.

The fact of the matter is that RIM really needs something to help it out right now following the debacle of the last few weeks. Something that will get it back up there as a credible name. And in our view, the BlackBerry Curve 9360 is most definitely going to help it along the way.