Using a BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 is like "visiting an old friend," InfoSyncWorld.com's Mike Perlman says. Other experts agree, noting that it's almost identical to its predecessor, the Curve 8530, save for some feature upgrades. Critics also agree that it's a good choice for those looking to buy a BlackBerry, especially with its very low price point. Compared to its predecessor, the Curve 3G has a faster 624 MHz processor, and experts commend it for making the phone's performance snappy and lag-free. The BlackBerry Curve 3G is available on AT&T ($0.01 with contract), Sprint (*Est. $50 with contract) and on Verizon Wireless, where it's known as the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 (*Est. $50 with contract).
Like the 8530, the Curve 3G is compact and lightweight at 3.7 ounces. PhoneScoop.com's Eric Zeman finds the phone's 2.4-inch, 240-by-320-pixel display too small and with lousy quality. Fonts "are a little fuzzy," PCMag.com's Jamie Lendino says. Zeman is also disappointed with the keyboard, which he says is inferior to some more expensive BlackBerry models. When it comes to the trackpad, CNET's Nicole Lee finds it responsive, while Perlman says it doesn't work half the time.
One of the most criticized aspects of the phone is that it ships with BlackBerry's old OS 5, but it is upgradable to RIM's newest platform, the BlackBerry OS 7. The phone only has 120 MB of free user memory, but its microSD card slot allows you to expand storage up to 16 GB. In his tests, thought, Lendino discovers that it doesn't recognize his 16 GB SanDisk memory card. Lee finds music playback "surprisingly impressive," and reviewers praise the phone's standard 3.5 mm jack. The phone's image quality taken by its 2-megapixel camera, on the other hand, is generally criticized.
The quality of the phone's 3G data connection depends on the carrier. When Lee tests a (now discontinued) unit from T-Mobile, she gets a speedy connection, though in her review of the AT&T version she says 3G coverage is "spotty." Laptop Magazine's Sean Ludwig, who tests a Verizon unit, complains of slow 3G internet. Experts agree, however, that the phone's browser itself is slow, and is better replaced with third-party options. Perlman says the Wi-Fi connection is difficult to set up, but once it's done, users will have access to Wi-Fi calling -- a feature Lendino says is undersold. He finds call quality over Wi-Fi "clear and crisp all around." Call quality over the cell network gets mixed reviews, depending on the phone's carrier. Battery life is impressive, experts say, lasting 12 hours and 43 minutes of continuous talk time in PCMag's benchmark tests, nearly three times as long as the phone's rated talk time.
CNET's, PCMag.com's, and IntoMobile.com's reviews of the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 cover most of the device's important features, with PCMag.com comparing it with numerous other alternatives. CNET reviews models from four carriers, while PCMag and IntoMobile look at the now defunct T-Mobile version. (These reviews are still relevant because the hardware is essentially the same.) PhoneScoop.com, InfoSyncWorld.com, and Laptop Magazine all review Verizon Wireless units, with the first two rich in pictures and videos for a more visual feel.
Nicole Lee says that while the Curve 3G is almost identical to its predecessor, it offers some new features like 3G, WiFi, and GPS among others. She gripes about its initial high price, which has since been lowered to one cent.
Review: BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 (AT&T), Nicole Lee, Jan. 14, 2011
While Jamie Lendino finds the T-Mobile versions of Curve phones better than most, he says his favorite is still the BlackBerry Curve 8530 on MetroPCS. On T-Mobile, he recommends the BlackBerry Bold 9700 instead.
Review: BlackBerry Curve 3G (T-Mobile), Jamie Lendino, Sept. 21, 2010
The Curve 3G 9300 is "like an old mule that still kicks when you attempt to ride it," Mike Perlman says, and it should please BlackBerry fans looking for a budget device.
Review: BlackBerry Curve 3G Review, Mike Perlman, Sept. 23, 2010
The Curve 3G 9300 lives up to the "Curve line's good name," Eric Zeman says. While he finds some of the features satisfactory, he thinks RIM's small screens are "becoming tiresome." He also says the display's resolution is lousy.
Review: Review: BlackBerry 9330 Curve 3G, Eric M. Zeman, Sept. 20, 2010
The Curve 3G 9300 is a bit of a letdown for Simon Sage, as it looks just like its predecessor. Nevertheless, he finds it advantageous for people who want a low-end smartphone that it is upgradable to the latest OS. He says that you should make your buying decision based on your carrier instead of the device itself.
Review: Review: BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300, Simon Sage, Sept. 8, 2010
6. Laptop Magazine
Sean Ludwig says that none of the phone's features are exciting, but for the price, the Curve 3G is a "pretty good value." The phone isn't innovative or the next best thing in the industry, but it can get the job done when it comes to messaging and emailing.
Review: BlackBerry Curve 3G Review, Sean Ludwig, Sept. 28, 2010