RIM's prospects at the high-end of the smartphone market may be balancing on a knife edge but when it comes to budget handsets it's still going strong, and its latest addition, the BlackBerry Curve 9320 is a good example of why.
The BlackBerry Curve 9320 is the company's cheapest ever handset, with it already available for under £150, and for free on £15pm contracts. However, it still packs in a number of useful upgrades over its predecessors the 9300 and 8520.
You wouldn't guess there was all that much new here judging by looks alone, though. It's every bit the classic BlackBerry in terms of styling - it's black with silver trim and the front is split between the screen and keyboard. Same old, same old.
Simple though it is, it's still a reasonably smart looking handset that feels well made too, particularly when it comes to the quality of the keyboard and other buttons. Yes it's all plastic and the glossy black back and screen in particular will scratch fairly easily but then that's somewhat par for the course on a budget handset, and a case will keep it protected. What's more with this being a non-touchscreen handset, the screen should take less punishment.
Looking a little closer, the key differences compared to previous handsets come to light. One of the most obvious is the headphone socket, which has been moved from the left side to the top, making the BlackBerry Curve 9320 much easier to put in your pocket with headphones attached. The left edge is also home to a dedicated BBM button, giving you instant access to your friends' chit chat. Another addition is that of an LED to accompany the camera.
These new features join an otherwise typical arrangement of physical features, with volume, play/pause and camera buttons on the right edge, microUSB on the left and the screen lock up top. Under the battery cover there's also a microSD slot for expanding the storage. There's no microHDMI, though, not that it'd be much use on a phone of this calibre.
As the BlackBerry Curve 9320 is a fairly modestly sized phone (dimensions of 109 x 60 x 12.7 mm) all these features are easy to reach, so one handed use is a cinch. At 103g, it's a couple of grams lighter than the 9300, and is about a millimetre thinner too, but otherwise they're identical, bulk wise. This does make it a fairly chunky phone by today's standards – compare it to the 11mm of the 9360 even – but it's still more than pocketable.