It seems like there’s no stopping RIM from launching new devices. The latest to make it out from the Canadian firm is the 9380. Following in the footsteps of the Torch 9860, the Curve 9380 is designed to try and offer as much with lower specs and naturally, at a lower price. Here’s what we thought.
It’s designed to look just like its bigger brother from the Torch family with a few alterations here and there. To start off with, it has smaller display – 3.2-inches (capacitive) with a lower resolution of 360 x 480 pixels. That’s not an issue at all, since viewing angles in all lighting conditions are quite good. The raised buttons from the 9860 have been replaced with flat surface keys and can be just a little tricky to press, since there’s no real bifurcation of the buttons. The large Screen lock on the top curved surface coupled with the overall “stretched-over-the-edge” look of the handset makes it slightly difficult to tap when required. RIM’s TrackPad technology is still top notch.
Much lighter than big brother
One issue did persist, though and that’s the ‘scratch-magnet’ display. We had the same issue with the 9860. Within just a week or so of usage, simply placing it or removing it from your pocket is enough to create a rather unsightly surface on the display, which gives the 9380 a rather “used” look. With the screen on, though, you’ll hardly notice the marks as the vibrant colors manages to conceal the faults, quite well.
Looks sharp even from the rear
Just like the Curve 9360, the 9380 also features a rear panel than can easily be popped out using the protruding (rubberized) volume keys on the side. A hot swap memory card slot is also available under the cover. Internal memory has also been reduced to 512 MB, but the 9380 still retains a 5MP camera (only it’s fixed focus this time) with an LED flash. MicroUSB charging/PC interfacing is also available and BlackBerry’s convenience key is placed just below the volume/media buttons. A 3.5mm handsfree is placed at the top. At just 98g, the 9380 is very lightweight and easy to manage and all in all, it’s quite a neat looking product.
Features and Performance
The Curve 9380 runs BlackBerry OS 7 on an 806MHz processor and does it quite well. There’s no noticeable lag in UI functioning and usability. One glitch that didn’t seem to go away was the handset hanging, or rather, screen's freezing when we tried downloading apps via the AppWorld application. This persisted even after we reset the device. One could attribute this to it being a bug in the test piece and we can only hope so. The on-screen QWERTY keypad seemed to be much more responsive for typing as compared to its higher-end companion. Response time overall was quick and without hassle from activating apps to playing games and multi-tasking.
A toned-down version of the Torch 9860