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

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We can still remember our first BlackBerry Curve, the 8310. It was a lovely piece of kit for its day, but when it came to that web browser, we wanted to scratch our eyes out with a fork. Pages took a day and a half to load and then never looked anything like they were meant to.

The 8900 made some improvements, but it was only when OS 6 came along and the new WebKit-enabled browser took over that we could actually consider browsing properly for more than a couple of seconds. And now, on the BlackBerry Curve 9360 and OS 7, you really feel that the web browser has come of age.

BlackBerry curve 9360

Don't get us wrong, we're not saying it's brilliant or the match for Android or the iPhone, because it's not. But it's definitely usable. If you have time on your side, that is. Loading pages does take a little while, because that 800MHz processor still has to work like a Blackpool donkey to render even the simplest web site.

BlackBerry curve 9360

The TechRadar homepage took a staggering 27 seconds to load, and that was over Wi-Fi. We're talking from the second we pressed return on the address bar until the last vestige of that loading line had left our screen. We could actually start reading the page at about 13 seconds in, so all was not lost, but it's still ridiculously slow.

And over 3G, it was even longer - taking the best part of 46 seconds to fully load the same page.

BlackBerry curve 9360

Other pages took comparable times, and although we bemoan this, it wasn't so bad that we wanted to throw the BlackBerry Curve 9360 out of the window as we have with some other handsets in the past.

The likelihood is that if you're serious about web browsing, you'll probably go for the Bold 9900 and all its touchscreen wizardry (or alternative phone altogether), but for a bit of light surfing, the Curve 9360 will suffice.

BlackBerry curve 9360

And at least the resolution pulls a few points back onto the score too, because that screen does look fantastic with web pages loaded on it. The clarity is great and you can't easily spot pixels as you often can with some cheaper handsets.

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.

BlackBerry curve 9360

Predictably, there is no Flash capability. We moan about this every time, and gave the Bold 9900 hell for this omission. We didn't really expect RIM to have included it here on a junior handset, and even if it had, if the BlackBerry Curve 9360 struggles to get normal pages up in a decent time, we shudder to think how that processor would cope with Flash elements.

For the first time in our life, we'll probably say here that it is just as well that Flash has been left out.