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BlackBerry Curve 9360 – an Initial Thoughts review

One Mobile Ring has taken delivery of the upcoming BlackBerry Curve 9360, for an Initial Thoughts review of the yet-to-be released newest Curve mobile phone.

From the outset, the Blackberry Curve 9360 is a slim phone with a full Qwerty keypad, aimed directly at the younger market and we suspect with a reasonable price to match. The phone itself is thin, light and luxurious.

The weight is truly astonishing at just 99g, although it feels even lighter in the hand, with looks that are equally impressive. It is by far the most attractive BlackBerry Curve to date, and the build quality demands instant recognition.

As you would expect, there are lots of voluptuous curves to make up the final design, and the brushed ‘gun-metal’ edging finishes the look emphatically. It is a shame that the plastic back cover comes in a super high-gloss finish, as it tends to slip through your fingers and instantly shows evidence of fingerprints.

The Curve 9360 boasts the new BlackBerry 7 OS and support for NFC. The hope will be that younger users will use their handsets with interactive media, generating small pockets of income and encouraging the ever-growing acceptance of media sharing. The ‘Social Feeds’, in Twitter and Facebook apps have also been updated, to include the use of real time push notifications and better integration of Social Networking feeds.

There has already been a mixed reaction to the lack of a touch screen on this device, with many arguing that this is the way forward and it is 2011 after all. Be that as it may, there are many disadvantages to touch screen devices including the extra weight – which means that the ‘older’ technology definitely still has its advantages.

When you first use the optical trackpad, it clearly works well when navigating through menu items on the front screen. The trackpad is not so good, however, when employing even basic functions, such as scrolling in the browser. If you attempt something ludicrously ambitious with the trackpad, you are always going to be disappointed - where if you bear this all of this in mind, then you shouldn’t have many problems.

The Qwerty keypad is, needless to say, tiny, just as it has to be. One Mobile Ring wouldn’t consider itself full of prolific typists, but our attempts were surprisingly successful, but it is certainly better than it looks. Furthermore, the keys are well-spaced and slightly angled, making the keypad about as good as it could be for this size. We realise that not all of us have dainty little fingers and if they are more like sausages, then we are afraid this phone is probably not for you.

The headphone socket is now located on the top of the phone, which means it does sit more comfortably in your pocket with headphones attached. Although it has a slower 800MHZ processor, the phone still has WIFI, GPS and NFC so it seems that you don’t lose out too much on the tech front. Naturally, the Curve 9360 comes with the latest version of BlackBerry Messenger pre-installed, and promises better integration with social networks. This further demonstrates RIMs plan to appeal to a younger market.

The Curve 9360 is surely a mouth-watering prospect for those who are looking for a BlackBerry experience which would otherwise cost a fortune – for those that seek the top end models such as the 9900 Bold. There is even enough to tempt the current users into an upgrade, as the Curve looks fantastic and has those classic features that every BlackBerry boasts, hopefully at a fraction of the price.

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Rob has worked in the affiliate industry for many years with large publishers, and previously worked as a journalist on titles such as Wired, PC Magazine, ITProPortal, The Register, The Inquirer, Pocket-Lint, Mobile Industry Review, Know Your Mobile and The Gadget Show.