Waiting for the BlackBerry 6 operating system
Reviewers say devoted BlackBerry owners will be pleased with the BlackBerry Curve 9330 -- a trusty update to a timeless classic. Though similar to its predecessors, the newest Curve boasts one key feature past models lack. It will eventually receive an update to the new BlackBerry 6 operating system -- once Verizon OKs it -- which promises easier access to messaging features, a new home screen and an improved web browser. Despite the impending upgrade, most reviewers aren't overly excited about the Curve. As Shaun Mahal of BrightHand.com notes, it's the "smartphone equivalent of the Toyota Camry -- reliable, durable, cheap, but decidedly boring." The Curve 9330 is also available for Sprint; our review of Sprint's BlackBerry Curve 9330 (*Est. $80 with new contract) outlines the differences between the two smartphones.
While it may not have all the bells and whistles of phones like the BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Free with new contract), the Curve 9330 is still a "decent smartphone for the price" says Nicole Lee of CNET. Its "slim profile" and "responsive optical touch pad" make it an excellent choice for the corporate user on the go. Reviewers say it also carries on the BlackBerry tradition of being a top messaging phone. The Curve 9330 supports consumer and enterprise messaging and comes with a plethora of features, such as GoogleTalk, Yahoo Messenger and AIM. Users can take advantage of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections along with 3G browsing speeds. For those who need less messaging and more talk time, Mahal says the Curve "excels in call quality," and Lee describes it as "very good on the whole."
Curve is fine for work, not so great for play
Although the Curve 9330 excels at the basics, it offers little else. Its 2-megapixel camera is "mediocre" according to Lee, and Mahal finds it "underwhelms in every way." Another strike against the Curve is the app selection, which is "still behind the competition" according to Sascha Segan of PCMag.com. The Curve 9330 features both "useful" Verizon applications and "bloatware," Mahal says. He notes the only "worthwhile apps" available are Visual Voicemail -- for a fee -- and Bing Mobile. The Curve also features V Cast Music with Rhapsody, V Cast Video and the VZW Tones ringtone store.
Although the phone offers entry-level users a reliable product at a low price, reviewers say, power users will be happier with higher-end BlackBerry models. Those who do feel the Curve 9330 fits their needs, however, won't get left behind as BlackBerry phones move to the new OS 6.
The Curve 3G 9330 ranks highly among our sources as an entry-level smart phone but falls short in other areas, such as features. CNET tests battery life, call quality, and responsiveness and gives the phone good reviews on most features except the 2-megapixel camera. PCMag.com's Segan says the BlackBerry line is "still behind the competition" in terms of app selection but does hope the new operating system brings better performance. BrightHand.com also gives a thorough review of the Curve 3G, covering both the Verizon and Sprint models.
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Calling the Curve 3G 9330 an "affordable" entry-level smart phone, Nicole Lee of CNET reviews its features and what the upcoming new BlackBerry operating system will mean for the Curve. She conducts battery life and call quality tests and checks out the many multimedia features on the phone.
Review: RIM Blackberry Curve 3G 9330 – Charcoal Gray (Verizon Wireless), Nicole Lee, Sept. 21, 2010
Shaun Mahal calls the BlackBerry Curve the "quintessential BlackBerry," and takes a close look at the updates to the Curve 9330. He approves of the addition of Wi-Fi, but says the phone is "sluggish at times" and "makes little use of 3G capabilities."
Review: BlackBerry Curve 3G Review, Shaun Mahal, Sept. 29, 2010
Sascha Segan says the Curve 9330 is nearly identical to the 8530 model, except for upcoming addition of the BlackBerry operating system 6. Since it carries the potential for better features, BlackBerry customers should opt for the new model to prepare for future upgrades.
Review: BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 (Verizon Wireless), Sascha Segan, Nov. 2, 2010