The Blackberry Curve 9360 is one of those handsets that nobody made much of a fuss of when it first appeared, but which has been quietly bubbling away, gaining popularity due to aggressive price cutting, so we thought we'd take a look at it to see how it squares up against newer rivals. Currently you can get it for free on a modest £13.50 a month contract from Carphone Warehouse or for £190 on Pay As You Go.
For a budget mobile, the Blackberry Curve 9360 is certainly not a bad looking device. As with most of Rim's phones it feel very well built and sturdy when you hold it. It’s more petite size – it stands just 109mm tall – also means it slips easily into a pocket or bag, and at just 11mm thick it's one of the slimmest handsets Rim has ever produced. You can pick up the phone in either black or white variations. We had the white one in for review and it looks quite striking thanks to the contrast between the white facia used on the front and the black and grey bars running down the sides.
The overall layout of the Blackberry Curve 9360 follows the traditional Blackberry design template quite closely. The front is spilt fairly evenly between the landscape colour screen at the top and the full Qwerty keyboard at the bottom. In between these there's an optical joystick for moving around the menus as well as call controls keys, a back button and the menu button.
At the top of the phone you'll find a standard 3.5mm headphone jack, next to a lock button, which looks like a touch button, but which is actually a physical button that's just hidden under the plastic cover. On the left hand side there's a microUSB port for charging and syncing the phone, while on the right hand side there are rubberised buttons for the volume controls, with the multifunction key nestled in-between which can be mapped to launch specific apps or functions.
If you remove the plastic cover on the rear you can get at both the microSD card and the full sized SIM card slot. The latter is filled with the 1GB card that the phone comes with to boost the 512MB of internal storage.
Unlike some of the other Curve models, the 9360 doesn't have a touchscreen display, so you have to navigate all of its menus using either the optical joystick or keyboard shortcuts. If you've been using a touchscreen phone of late you won't want to return to this type of system as it feel quite alien to use now. However, if you're moving from an older style traditional mobile with push button keys, then you'll probably find the optical joystick pretty nippy to use.