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RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review

Posted: , by Daniel P.

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Interface and Functionality:

RIM’s BlackBerry OS 7.0 is pretty intuitive to master, and doesn’t have a steep learning curve, not only if you come from the previous OS editions, but also if you come from Android or iOS. Not that you would if you are not specifically in need of the BlackBerry services, but we digress.

The RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 comes with BlackBerry OS 7.0 - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review
The RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 comes with BlackBerry OS 7.0 - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review

The RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 comes with BlackBerry OS 7.0


The dialer has nice huge buttons to key in those phone numbers, and the contacts list doesn’t seem changed in layout compared to the previous OS versions. It lists contacts alphabetically by a criteria of your choosing, and also has smart search, so finding who you want to call is pretty easy by just keying in the first few letters until they get filtered down. You'd better master the smart dialing, as the contact fields are fairly thick to make them more touch-friendly and only a few fit on one screen, and you'll be incessantly scrolling otherwise.

Dialer - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review
Contacts - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review

Dialer

Contacts


There are two notification and connectivity bars at the top of the homescreen. The one strictly for notifications has profiles and search buttons on its sides. You don’t pull the bars down, like with Android, iOS, Nokia Belle or bada OS, but just tap on the thicker bar instead, for example, and it falls down, revealing plethora of connectivity switches for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, mobile data and so on, even an NFC toggle.

Notification and connectivity bars - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review
Notification and connectivity bars - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review
Notification and connectivity bars - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review

Notification and connectivity bars


We liked this solution as you don’t have to hold your finger and drag a bar from the top to bottom, that’s how lazy we are. We also liked that there is a quick access to your alarm setup from the functions bar, as well as to the general settings menu. If you want the bars to roll back up, just tap them again.

The real kicker – these bars are only present on the home screen, and are not accessible from within apps, which kind of defeats the purpose. To reach the goodies inside them, you have to switch back to the home screen, but, hey, you find out there is multitasking in the process. We kid, it’s annoying.

You’ll be swiping in vain left or right to switch home screens if you come from all others but Windows Phone. BlackBerry OS features a pull-up drawer at the bottom instead, and then you can swipe left and right through grids of apps, categorized as All, Favorites, Downloads, Media and Frequent on different pages. If a rich category, like All, for example, has too much app icons to fit on one page, you can just scroll up and down the menu page itself, revealing the rest of the apps in the category. Very often, however, instead of scrolling we fired up an application as the touchscreen was too quick to register our finger as a single tap on an app icon.

The pull-up drawer - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review
The pull-up drawer - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review

The pull-up drawer


The iconography is quite stellar and done with attention to detail, the menu backgrounds are transparent, and about the only thing missing to complete the pretty interface is transitional animations. RIM might have decided to ditch those as the Curve sports just an 800MHz Qualcomm chipset and 512MB of RAM/ROM. This hardware, however, is enough to power BB OS 7.0, and we rarely experienced lag or hiccups, while working with the UI, plus the screen rotation felt almost instant as well. In fact, the interface is conceived with a full-fledged landscape mode, and turns immediately when you tilt the phone.

Still, a 3.2-incher is not the best way to go if you rely only on the display for typing, no matter how good the on-screen keyboard is. The one on the BlackBerry Curve 9380 is with well-spaced blueish buttons, a one-tap way to change the keyboard language, or access a numpad and symbols layout, but small is small. Moreover, the handset sometimes fails to catch up with the speed we are typing, which isn't fast by any means, showing the letters on the screen with delay.

On-screen keyboard - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review
On-screen keyboard - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review

On-screen keyboard


As far as RIM’s software services, you will find the industry stalwarts like BBM and the BlackBerry Email setup on the Curve 9380. Granted, there are similarly good messaging and email solutions for the top mobile operating systems now, but RIM is still up to snuff when it comes to enterprise security, so government workers and the corporate crowd who are on BlackBerry servers might dig the Curve 9380, despite that it seems meant mostly as a consumer device rather than a workhorse.

Messaging - RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review

Messaging


It offers some business perks like an office documents editor, but yet again we come to the smallish display as a big deterrent. Moreover, to take advantage of those renowned BlackBerry services you really need a BIS account for emailing the way RIM intended it. If you don’t have one, you are doomed to use the webmail versions, even with popular services like Gmail.

8 Comments
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posted on 01 Feb 2012, 07:36

1. ricking (Posts: 59; Member since: 10 Nov 2010)


I'VE always liked bb love the bbm, love touch screen would consider going back but not until HUGE IMPROVEMENTS!!!

posted on 02 Feb 2012, 05:39

2. Birds (Posts: 986; Member since: 21 Nov 2011)


I just hate when I scroll all the way down and spoil the review. lol

posted on 04 Feb 2012, 09:56

3. quique (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Feb 2012)


The reviewer missed a very important feature. Blackberry touchscreen phones offer physical hard buttons for phoning and hanging up a call. For people that use the phone primarily to place and receive calls and need GPS and only occasional browsing, (such as real estate agents and contractors), this is a huge benefit over Android and apple phones. When using an Android phone, during a call, the screen dims or turns black. In order to hang up on a call, you need to fire up the screen & find the dialer. In a Blackberry touch screen, you simply push the red button at the bottom right corner.

posted on 04 Feb 2012, 10:31

4. CivicSi89 (Posts: 348; Member since: 23 Jul 2011)


^ when you use an IOS or Android powered phone. Yes they dim the screen. But when you pull the phone from your face the screen brightens and turns back on. And all you have to do is hit the end button.

posted on 11 Feb 2012, 23:03

5. quique (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Feb 2012)


Agree, providing that another app does not hog the screen. I use both. There is no doubt that there are many benifits to using Androids and Iphones for browsing, multi media etc. Having said that, if your primary use is phone, being able to push a hard button to answer and hang up calls even when the screen is Black; or the phone on the car seat; without having to look it is a huge huge plus.

posted on 27 Feb 2012, 23:51

6. jaysvent26 (Posts: 2; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


Key buttons has poor components. I got a replacement thru waratty claim but in a few days the same problem i encountered. :(

posted on 03 Mar 2012, 10:04

7. quique (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Feb 2012)


This is sad and a poor reflection on Blackberry. It was renown for it's quality. I hope they continue to deliver robust units. The upgrade to O.S 7.1 is a step in the right direction. I have no doubt that we will see great units comming our way in the near future.

posted on 19 Sep 2012, 00:56

8. shivg55 (Posts: 1; Member since: 19 Sep 2012)


I have purchase BBCurve9380 3 months before but there is problem of heating i have already gave it to service center and got after 15 days but problem still running.. it's very worst cell.. i will never recommended....

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Display3.2 inches, 360 x 480 pixels (188 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 806 MHz
512 MB RAM
Size4.29 x 2.36 x 0.44 inches
(109 x 60 x 11.2 mm)
3.46 oz  (98 g)
Battery1230 mAh, 5.5 hours talk time

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