RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review

The BlackBerry Curve 9380 marks somewhat of a milestone for RIM, as it is the company’s first device of the supposedly affordable Curve series that comes in a touchscreen-only form. It disposes of the legendary physical keyboard, as found on its 9370 cousin, replacing it with a fairly tiny 3.2” display. In comparison, the BlackBerry Torch 9860 is touchscreen-only as well, but has a more generous 3.7-incher with better resolution.

The rest of the specs on the Curve 9380, like the 800MHz processor, 512MB of RAM and 5MP fixed-focus camera with LED flash are nothing to get too excited over, but with RIM it’s supposedly the software that counts. So did the Canadians manage to usher the entry level Curve series in the touchscreen era, while at the same time preserving the BlackBerry spirit with the Curve 9380? Read on to find out…

In the box:

  • Wall charger
  • In-ear headphones
  • 2GB microSD card
  • MicroUSB cable
  • Warranty and information leaflets


Thanks to the modest 3.2” display the BlackBerry Curve 9380 is a very compact and lightweight device that cups well in the palm, while the tapered back and rounded sides add to the comfortable feeling in the hand. Your thumb reaches everywhere on the display, making one-handed operation a piece of cake.

You can compare the RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The Curve 9830 is all-plastic, but the choice of materials and the build quality are pretty good. We liked the way that the three-toned back blends things in, like on the 9370 or the 9860. We go from a large piano black glossy plastic for the battery cover to matte plastic on the rim where the 5MP camera with LED flash and the speaker grill are, to the faux-metal rim surrounding the sides.

What we didn’t like, though, are the side keys, copied directly from the Torch 9860. The five physical keys below the display are well-lit in white, and pretty tactile, but for the volume and camera buttons on the right the designers decided not to interrupt the matte plastic rim that runs along. Instead, they just bumped it in the areas where the contacts for the volume buttons, and the camera key are. Those “bumps” are not protruding enough to be easily found and pushed, plus you have to apply a very significant pressure for the contacts to register anything, especially on the volume keys and the tiny mute button between them, which are incredibly stiff and edgy to boot.

As if to soothe your pains here, RIM has added its cool padlock sign at the top of the phone, indicating where you have to touch to unlock the screen – pretty neat idea that differs from the pack. Don’t get us wrong – it’s not a capacitive key, you still have to gently push down until the contacts meet, but it is flush with the top surface, and only indicated by a little padlock sign. Joy.

The only thing on the left is the microUSB port for charging and syncing, and the only other opening around the phone is the standard audio jack up top.


The LCD screen is very bright, which helps a lot when viewing outdoors, and its colors look vivid. The viewing angles could be better, brightness and color deterioration start to show up after the 45 degree mark, which is typical for this type of LCD technology. A 360x480 pixels resolution makes for 188ppi pixel density, which is bearable.

RIM BlackBerry Curve 9380 360-degrees View:



1. ricking

Posts: 59; Member since: Nov 10, 2010

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

2. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

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

3. quique

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 04, 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.

4. CivicSi89

Posts: 349; Member since: Jul 23, 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.

5. quique

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 04, 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.

6. jaysvent26

Posts: 2; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

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

7. quique

Posts: 3; Member since: Feb 04, 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.

8. shivg55

Posts: 1; Member since: Sep 19, 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....
Curve 9380
  • Display 3.2" 360 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Storage 0.512 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1230 mAh(5.80h 3G talk time)

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