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BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 - Screen, User Interface and Performance

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis



Our Score:


User Score:

The screen is quite small by the standards of today’s smartphones, measuring a mere 2.4in across the diagonal. With a resolution of just 320 x 240 pixels it’s not all that sharp either. As a result, text looks a little less defined than we would have liked and pictures don’t have the same impact that they do on other similarly priced smartphones from most other manufacturers. The biggest issue, however, is the extent to which the screen compromises the web browsing experience. Compared to most Android handsets, for example, browsing the web on this one feels a bit like trying to paint your hallway through your letterbox.

Nevertheless, the traditional strength of BlackBerry messaging phones is still evident here as the keyboard is just as good as those found on the company’s more expensive models. The keys are quite small, but there is just the right amount of travel in them to make them feel very responsive under your fingers and thumbs. The layout is good too, which helps to make tapping out emails or text messages a speedy and pleasant experience.

Like all BlackBerrys, the main selling point of this phone is the push email service that makes sure you’re notified of new emails as soon as they hit the server. It’s an extremely reliable and hard to fault system. However, what’s not so hot is the overall BlackBerry user interface. It’s simply not as slickly presented or as intuitive to use as the likes of Android or iOS. For a first-time user, it takes a while to understand which icons represent which features in the main menu and there are still too many text-heavy dropdown lists found throughout the OS for our liking.

Nevertheless, the phone does come preloaded with a number of social networking apps covering the likes of Facebook and Twitter. The BlackBerry App World store has also come a long way since it first appeared in mid 2009, and now offers a broad range of applications, although it’s still a long way off the range of choice you get in the iPhone’s App Store.

As with pretty much all the other BlackBerry models we’ve had in for test, the Curve 3G scores highly when it comes to call quality. The earpiece is loud enough to be heard comfortably even if there’s a lot of noise in the room, and the mic delivers clean and distinct speech. Battery life was also good as we managed to get around three days out of it for medium to light usage before it needed to be recharged.

As well as the addition of support for 3G data speeds, the Curve 3G also has GPS onboard, which can be used with the BlackBerry Maps application to track your position and also for full navigation. However, the screen is a bit on the small side when you use the handset for navigation duties.


The BlackBerry Curve 3G doesn’t offer anything we haven’t seen before, but given that it’s an entry-level model this is perhaps to be expected. It’s certainly a great phone for emailing and text messaging and with GPS and 3G onboard it offers a decent feature set. However, it’s very awkward to use for web browsing and with Android touchscreen handsets now appearing on the market for around £100 on PAYG, we’re not quite sure there’s enough here to attract those new to the BlackBerry platform.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


January 12, 2011, 2:29 pm

>>we’re not quite sure there’s enough here to attract those new to the BlackBerry platform.

Its called Blackberry Messenger! :) At the secondary school where my year 11 daughter goes, I reckon almost 100% of her mates have Blackberries - many the 9300 that Santa bought! No charge for BM messages - its a no brainer! Before her O2 Blackberry, when she was on Virgin she was gobbling up 3000 text messages each and EVERY month & sometimes adding additional cost of £25! The 9300 is a god-send, and I'm sure many parents will feel the same!

Its a stonking phone - 10/10


January 13, 2011, 5:33 pm

@PaulW Or you can forgo the BB charges and buy WhatsApp for your Symbian, iPhone or Android. Does essentially the same thing as BBMessenger. Uses some data, but nothing too crazy.


January 14, 2011, 2:44 am

Midnight-Alchemist: The techy nerd in me agrees (that's most of me), but there is a catch. When you strike up a first conversation with a guy/girl (as applicable) in the pub, club etc, and it appears to be going well, "What's your BB pin" is a lot easier than going "Do you have WhatsApp? Well, WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging application available on Symbian, iPhone and Android. Well, those are other types of phone which aren't Blackberries"... etc etc... In other words, as PaulW notes, one major reason to get a Blackberry is that if you are in a certain age group you almost have to have one simply because everyone else does... Incidentally I do not have a Blackberry as sadly I am well past said age ;)


July 18, 2011, 1:32 pm

I got the blackberry curve 9300 a week ago and I have to say I was a bit nervous about getting it because I wasn't sure whether it would live up to it's expectations- but it did and I love it. When you first hold it the blackberry feels light but it feels as if one drop could damage the phone majorly but this problem can easily be resolved with the thousands if cases that are under £5! The phone is straightforward and was to se up but I must say that the battery life is awful as I need t charge it up everyday though I thin this is because I use BBM a lot. The bes part of the blackberry is the BBM especially as it is very easy to type with the qwerty keyboard. You can send messages to anyone around the world instantly and it says whether it's been delivered or received and you can even see when your friend is writing back to you! A major let down for me is the blackberry app world. Loads of people say that there aren't many apps but I disagree with this- the problem for me is that I can't connect to the app world on my blackberry and so. Can only purchase apps on my computer. Overall I would give the Blackberry 9.5/10 because the BBM really shines through for me but the battery and app world is a let down.


February 21, 2012, 1:31 am

The 4 previous comments seem accurate- low battery life if you "USE" it, great BBMessaging (Rim developed that 25 years ago!), however, NOTE, Apple is adding a BBM Server Clone to the entire world iPhone network, so this advantage will disappear. Since all the users are "LIGHT" users or just kids who want to TEXT, there is NO reviewer who actually fully explores the 9300... I am trying to get rid of 6 old wretched "PQRS7" button phones with various carriers, and have to report terrible battery life, and extremely difficult set-up and maintenance of the 9300- as an EXPERIENCED user, I would NOT Recommend the 9300 to SERIOUS users or experienced users. Under "Full" usage, it fails on just about every count. My full review is posted on my teeny web site, kidbots.com in a folder called kidbots.com/WEBADD/ where a list will show BLACKBERRY_9300_REVIEW, and clicking that will show a list with the actual html review, BB_9300_REVIEW.html (It is an apache linux server so that capital letters are important! ) Full link is kidbots.com/WEBADD/BLACKBERRY_..., but these "fill-in-the-blank" forms usually destroy the full links... Loading the Blackberry DESKTOP Manager, and FLashing the cell phone itself to get the new revisions of the Device Software, is confusing. Using "ALL" the features, including downloading VIDEOS, and Applications is almost impossible, since there is NOT enough RAM memory on the phone to support typical use - you can put in a massive 32 GIGABYTE SD RAM Card, but the Device Software, ignores it entirely, so that after a few Application downloads, you simply get ERRORS constantly. For simply using BBM texting, or to upgrade as a "first" full qwerty keyboard for a light, occasional user, this 9300 might work. If you actually want to USE all the features fully avoid the phone at all costs! On the kidbots.com/WEBADD list of the review under BLACKBERRY_9300_REVIEW there is also a PDF of my full review, with many photographs and details that no other review includes. I am in Canada with WIND Mobile carrier, so many comments are focused on local issues, but anywhere in the world may have carrier and Cell Tower similarities, so that if you are going to hand over a lot of cash, you would be advised to read all the reviews available FIRST! Good Luck.


June 10, 2012, 5:18 am

I have a Blackberry curve 9300 with Fido for almost a year now. found out its not a good business phone. maybe good for pay as you go...Low memory. Can't store emails for long... complained to Blackberry but useless... they want me to buy for service call, just to talk to technician so that my phone can be fixed. I find this service call ridiculous. Recently, I have to reset phone several times. it freezes for no reason. About 2 months ago, the battery start draining so fast even though my phone usage was only less than one hour.
I bought the phone at Future shop. Complained about battery issue and was replaced with new one. That was about a month ago and the battery still drained like crazy.... at least 10% every hour or less, Luckily i bought an insurance at $9.99 per month although I regret buying before. After convincing Future shop and several visits. Today I proved to them, The phone tech checked my phone inside out again...(software and hardware) and left the phone at the counter. after an hour, the battery drained from 20% to 10% without using it. They finally agree that their was a phone issue and will replace it tomorrow. hopefully my nightmare with 9300 curve Blackberry will be over soon...

vikas badoo

December 14, 2012, 5:50 am

Its a waste of money, problems are many like:
Touch-pad issues,No GPS map for India, Side buttons on mobile looses rubber padding after some time, Additional charges you have to pay to your provider to activate EDGE services, too costly to get it repaired and get accessories, not a phone of common and intelligent man.........I was able to use this phone just for 1.5 yrs and then have to move to some other brand...

Patrycja Juryk

March 5, 2013, 5:42 pm

This phone is the worst phone i've ever had! the Touch-pad does not work properly ! i laggs so much , the cost of repairing it is not worth this phone , it's better to buy a new phone . WASTE OF MY MONEY! i will never get a blackberry , ever . I've had this phone for only a year now and it was the biggest mistake i have made in my life . NEVER EVER AGAIN !

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