The BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 is an upgrade to the popular BlackBerry Curve 8520. What’s new are a few minor aesthetic touches, a faster processor, double the RAM making the device OS 6 capable, support for Wi-Fi 802.11n and, of course, the big extras – GPS and 3G.
This BlackBerry flaunts a chrome finish, making it look far better than the staid 8520. Another welcome change is the ribbed back that ensures better grip on the phone. The sad part is that the resolution specs are the same as on the 8520 — 320x240 pixels.
Sadly, although Research In Motion (RIM) has said the 9300 will feature the much talked about OS 6, the unit we received came with the older BB OS 5. In fact, the first official version of OS 6 was available all the way back in December 2010. It’s surprising that over four months later, the parent company RIM India still doesn’t ship the 9300 with OS 6.
In a nutshell, you’ll be stuck for a while with a lousy browser on OS 5, a creaky interface, and you’ll be missing cool features like Universal Search and a superior multimedia experience.
The heart of the 9300 is a processor running at 624 MHz, up from the 512 MHz one powering the 8520. There’s really nothing to write home about in the media department. As with the 8520, audio quality is good and in true BlackBerry fashion, the 9300 also supports most standard video formats. So you can watch videos without going through the bother of conversion. There’s still no FM radio either.
With 3G and built-in GPS, the 9300 is far ahead of the 8520 in this department. But a word on 3G: it’s not exactly cheap in India, thanks to the humungous sums of money the operators have shelled out for a licence. Secondly, if you’re on a cheaper BlackBerry plan that offers just email and BlackBerry Messenger functionality, 3G won’t make too much of a difference to you.
The 9300 features the same 2 megapixel camera used in the 8520. Its features are nothing to boast of. Image quality is decent, as on the 8520. The battery is identical to the one on the 8520, which won’t last a whole day for a road warrior on BlackBerry Enterprise with a lot of phone calls. That said, despite a faster processor, this unit met our expectations with approximately a full day of use. But we suggest you also invest in a car charger.