Blackberry has recently launched two new smartphones in India including Blackberry 9320 and 9220. Here we are going to review BB 9320 model. Running on latest BB OS 7.1, 9320 smartphone is the fastest 3G blackberry device made ever. It is also the first blackberry device compatible with WiFi Hotspot allowing you to serve internet upto 5 devices simultaneously. Available at a price of 14,900/- INR ($270), the device has 2.44inch TFT Display offering 320×240 pixel resolution. You also get 3.0 megapixel rear camera with 4x zooming and also get a 2GB MicroSD card along with the box package, that can be expanded upto 32GB storage.. Other than this it features FM Radio, BBM with dedicated key, Social Networking Apps and much more. Let’s find out all these in details.
Un-boxing and Product Characteristics:
1. Body and Looks: Simple but yet Stylish. Nice QWERTY keypad (35-key) with 4 dedicated menu buttons and a trackpad on Front and 4 dedicated keys on sides.
- Front Side: A normal Screen, 5 menu buttons including (Call/Send key, Menu/option Key, Trackpad Key, Back key and End key) and QWERTY keypad.
- Left Side: A USB/Charging Port and a BBM (Blackberry Messenger) dedicated key.
- Right Side: Volume Up, Volume Down, Pay/pause button and a dedicated Camera key. These dedicated keys, of Camera and BBM, can be changed for some another apps by going to Settings > Device > Convenience Keys.
- Back Side: Camera, Flash and Blackberry logo.
- Down Side: A Mic and a Speaker.
- Up Side: Keypad Lock/unlock key and a 3.5mm jack.
2. Body packing material: Impressive surface quality with mixture of plastic and metal.
3. Weight and dimensions: Weighing just 103 grams with 109x 60 x 12.7mm dimensions, device is very comfortable to carry and fits well in hands.
4. Display sharpness and resolution: With 2.44 inch TFT qVGA display it offers a resolution of 240×400 pixels. Excellent in colors and sharp display.
5. Battery cover quality: Made up with plastic the battery cover has a Blackberry log and is very easy to open. You just need to slide it down.
6. Accessories: Along with Blackberry 9320 handset, in the box package you get a USB data cable, User Manual, Headset, Charger/AC adapter, Battery, 2GB MicroSD card.
Over all, the Blackberry 9320 seems good with its colorful display, sleek QWERTY keypad and compact body made with mixture of plastic and metal. Also its low weight and metal grip, makes it comfortable to handle.
Check out our video review on Curve 9320 keypad and body packages:
Basically the Home Screen is divided into 3 panels. All these panels are clickable, and its features are as follows:
1. Date/time: This is the topmost part of your homescreen. When you click on this part, you get customization options like network settings, change date, time, Bluetooth, wifi, network, alarm and general options. You can use this shortcut to manage your connectivity options. You can Turn Off/ON WiFi, Bluetooth, Mobile hotspot and even your network. When you scroll down, you also get option to set alarm.
2. Notification Bar: This is the second panel of your homescreen that is actually the Notification bar. This shows your missed calls, SMS, BBM, Facebook, twitter notifications. You can also see a search button on right side of the bar. Using this you can search for any application by just typing the name or keyword. There is also a Profile notification on the left side that shows you whether the mobile is on Silent mode or Ringing mode. You can access your profile by just clicking on this profile (speaker) icon.
3. Shortcut Icons Bar: This is the third panel of your screen that can also be called shortcuts for your icons. This is actually your application menu, where all your installed apps and games are listed. You need to slide trackpad down to see all apps. This is optional, as we can remove this icon bar from settings menu OR we can make it default to show 1 row or 2 rows. By sliding this bar left to right, you also get other options like favorites, media files, download, and frequently used apps.
Business Point of View:
We all know Blackberry Smartphone’s are well known for business use. Let’s take a closure look on how effective Blackberry 9320 is in terms of business point of view.
1. Contacts Storage and features: Basically there is no limitation on number of contacts to save. You can save as many as you can. And as per the features, you can add the following details for any particular contact – Contact Image, Title, First name, last name, Nick Name, company details, Job title, multiple email addresses, work phone, home phone, mobile number, BBM Pin, Address, Birthday, Anniversary, assign to business or personal contact, website and notes. You can also add custom fields if required. There is also an option to set or assign Ringtone or Message tone for any particular contact.
2. Data transfer: There is Bluetooth, WiFi, Media Server, and USB to transfer data at faster speed.
3. Reception and voice quality: Reception is good with any network service provider, even in a poor network coverage area. But, voice quality was not so impressive while doing a conversation on a received call.
4. Speaker Voice quality: Voices on speaker is pretty better than the normal. You can hear everything clearly even on medium volume level.
5. Battery life: BB 9320 has a good battery life. As the device remains connected on Internet with 3G/2G/WiFi for your BBM, facebook, twitter, etc, still it can provide upto 7 hours of usage time. On standby, it provides battery life upto 432 hours.
6. Profile: There are many options available to customize profiles according to our needs. We get the following options – You can set ringtones for Phone, Email, test messages, BBM alert, BBM Group alert, BBM new message, and calendar. You can also assign sounds for Browser, facebook, and Social feeds. The device allows more customization, such as how long the ringtone should sound, how long it should vibrate, LED On/Off and more.
7. Calendar settings: Like all other Blackberry Smartphone’s, 9320 also allows you to create schedules, Appointment, tasks, Agenda, etc. with options such as Subject, location, start date/time, End date/time, Duration, Time Zone, your status and notes.
8. Voice Notes Recorder: This device allows you to make notes in text as well as in your own voice. You can record Voice Note by just speaking over the phone. You can also share the created note with anyone via email, Bluetooth or Media Server.
9. E-mail functionality: 2 steps to setup an email account. Setup app > Email Setup > Enter your Email and Password click on Activation.
10. Internet functionality: Nice and clean interface with address bar bookmarks and tab button. By pressing the Menu key you get many options like zoom, stop, refresh, GoTo, Add to Bookmarks, Send Page Address (via email, message, pin, social network or BBM), copy, paste, search, add bookmark, and page properties. The best feature is you can add your favorite web page directly on home screen (like Facebook). There is a small menu which helps you to save the same page in different location like – Home, Media, Instant Messaging, Applications and Games. Or else simply mark the page as Favorite which can be accessed by one click.
11. PC synchronization – Device supports plug and play usb storage to transfer files from software. In order to work with advance option you will have to install Blackberry Desktop Manager Software on your pc. Options available in the software are: Applications – To import phone applications. Organizer – Sync options for Contact, Calendar, Task and Memo. Files – Easy Drag and Drop window to copy paste files. There is a dedicated option for Media Sync. It offers three different options which are Music, Pictures and Videos, mostly to sync your media files between phone and pc.
Multimedia Point of View:
1. Photo: 3.2 MP Camera with good clarity and resolution of 2048 x 1536. There are many options like Flash light, Image Location, Geotagging, Face Detection. On the main camera screen you get option to enable/disable ‘Current Location’, change the Flash Settings, and ‘SCENE MODES’ such as Face Detection, Portrait, landscape, Night mode, close up, and many more. Pictures can be shared directly via Email, MMS, Bluetooth or Social Network. You also get feature of “Media Server” where you can set your gallery on “File Sharing” over WiFi. Supported Image formats- .bmg, .jpg, .gif, .png, .tif, and .wbmp.
2. Video: Dedicated icon for Video Recording inside ‘Shortcut Icons Bar’ under Media option. Video recording supports upto 4x zoom-in with maximum 640 x 480 pixels. Video options provide additional features such as Video Light adjustment, Image stabilization, Scene Mod (Portrait, Landscape, Closeup and Beach) and option to change storage folder and set Convenience/dedicated key. Under Resolution you can shoot video with two resolutions, first at 640×480 and second at MMS mode with 176×144 for quick sharing.
3. Music Player – Supported audio formats- .mp4, .m4a, .3pg, .3gp2, .m4v, .avi, .asf, .mp3, .wmv, .wma, .flac, .ogg, .aac, .amr, .wav, .mid.
4. Video Player – Supported Video Format – mp4, .m4a, .3gp, .3gp2, .m4v, .avi, .asf, .wmv, .wma.
5. Gaming – By Default you get TWO built-in games with your Blackberry 9320 smartphone, those are Brickbreaker and Word mole. You can also download many more games from the Blackberry App World.
6. Radio – Listen to your favorite radio station. The phone supports ample of on-air radio stations with good audio quality. The Radio Player is simple to use with Play/Pause button, favorite and speaker/headset mode. Trackpad can be used to change and navigate channels.
7. Online Streaming – Pre-installed YouTube application to stream online videos through internet.
8. Media Server – This option helps you to instantly share your phone media content online, easily. ‘File Sharing’ provides you to share Music, Pictures, Podcast, Videos and Voice Notes. Access control helps you to setup the way other’s can access your files. Via Blackberry Desktop Software, you can manually configure the Media Server. You can also modify Music Source (Ex. Windows Media Player), Picture Folder (My Picture by Default), Video Folder (My Pictures by Default), Media Location (Phone Memory Card) and Importing Media options.
9. Storage Capacity: BB 9320 comes with built-in 32MB memory storage space whereas you can expand it up to additional 32GB using external Micro SD Card.
Blackberry Messenger: Blackberry 9320 is BBM ready smartphone that can be accessed right from the dedicated key provided on the left side of the phone. Invite people via username, email address or by directly scanning the contact barcode. You will get the option “Scan a Pin Barcode” under “Invite BBM Contact”. Same stands for Group invitation as well.
Clock: You get a stylish default Analog clock. This clock can be customized in Analog, Digital, Flip Clock or LCD Digital. There are many options such as Bedside Mode, Stopwatch, Timer, alarm, etc. Bedside Mode is where you can disable LED and Radio with dim screen.
Blackberry App World: Blackberry App World allows you to download unlimited games and applications on your mobile phone easily, social networking and various tools including customization apps; it is divided into number of categories and can be filtered like Top Free, Top Paid, New Arrivals and Top Rated.
Social feed: This is an all-in-one instant messenger application where you can have access to your social accounts including Facebook, twitter, Gtalk, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo messenger, and Blackberry’s own BBM. You can also get updates of your subscribed RSS feeds for any Blog or Website at the same place.
Separate individual social Applications: Apart from the built-in Social Feed application you also get separate applications for your social networks and Instant Messenger including Facebook, twitter, Windows Live, Yahoo and Gtalk.
Office and Security Apps: Here you will get many important and security applications provided by blackberry. Memopad, taskpad, calc, File Manager, Documents To Go to access excel/word files, etc. There are some Voice recognition apps such as “Voice Dialing” that can dial any phone number or your contacts by just telling the name or number. Other than this there is “Voice Notes”. This is an audio note that you can record and save or share to anyone else. As per the security apps, you get a Password manager called “Password keeper”. You can save all your passwords safe in this encrypted application. There is also an application named “Blackberry Protect”. It is very helpful in case of stolen or lost phone. It also helps you in other task such as transferring or switching your data to any other smartphone.
Settings and Security Options:
Sounds and Ringtones: Here you can manage everything related to your device’s sounds. You can assign tones for your contacts, you can change your phone ringtone notifications, and can also manage your profiles.
Network and Connections:
• This menu is for managing your connections including WiFi, Bluetooth and Media Server.
• Another option you get here is “Mobile Hotspot”. Using this you can make your mobile phone a Wi-Fi Hotspot from which other wifi-enabled devices can connect to the internet.
• One more option left in this menu is the “Mobile Networks”. Here you can manage all settings related to your network provider such as 2G, 3G, Roaming, etc.
In this category, all about your Display or Home Screen settings are featured.
• First you get is ‘Date and Time’ where you can change/set “time and date” manually or according to the network. You can change time zones as well.
• Then you get to ‘Home Screen preference’. Here you can manage your homescreen Panels, themes, Icon bar (How many icon rows you want to display on homescreen), you can change default download folder and obviously you can change your wallpapers from this place.
• Third option is ‘Screen Display’ where you can select the preferred Fonts, change Font size, Font style and smoothing. You can also manage the brightness and backlight time from this menu.
• Another option you get here is ‘Message Categorization’. This is a pretty interesting menu where you can manage colors for your messages/emails according to the group.
Keyboard and Languages:
• Fourth Options is about ‘Keyboard and Languages’ to manage/change your input and display language.
Now you get to a very important option called ‘Device’. This is where you can do many changes to your smartphone.
• You can change or assign new keys to the dedicated keys provided on your Smartphone’s body.
• You can assign timer to Turn OFF/On your device automatically.
• You can manage login/logout on your Blackberry IDs.
• You can set/manage your PayPal Account, Credit Card Transactions, etc.
• You can manage GPS settings and Maps.
• You can manage your Storage devices.
• You can manage, uninstall and assign permissions for your applications.
• As its name suggests, this is the place where you can modify/change all settings related to phone calls such as Call Blocking, Call waiting, Call Forwarding, Call dialing, Speed dials, etc.
This is very important menu because it secures your smartphone and Data.
• Here you can assign password lock for your device.
• You can encrypt your files and folders, set Parental Controls, setup Firewall, and many more things including certificates and VPN.
Third Party Applications:
• This is the last setting where you can grant access to install third party applications and their certificates that you have downloaded apart from Blackberry App World.
Blackberry Curve 9320 offers complete pack of professional and entertainment tools. Full QWERTY keypad with 2.44″ TFT screen is good enough to view text messages, mails and videos. Even one can say that its keypad is the best improvement done by blackberry. If compared with other BB smartphones, 9320 keypad is a bit longer and much comfortable. Stylish looks make the phone more comfortable and accessible. Dedicated keys for social sharing, BBM applications, makes it more functional. The enhanced feature of latest Blackberry OS helps you to perform many tasks quickly and effectively. The new OS has better menu to control and manage your work application. Dedicated BBM key keeps you online forever on your favorite social networking platform. Faster internet access due to 3G support offers easy connectivity with superb internet surfing speed. As an additional benefit, it offers you a wifi hotspot where you can share your internet with other BB phones. Blackberry is a brand for Professionals. Urge of multimedia is also taken into fare consideration along with your internet requirements. This time the phone features better support for social sharing apps so that you can never miss any new updates. Easy navigation keys over keyboard makes your job easier and faster. The trackpad is also quiet responsive. Blackberry Curve 9320 comes with pre-installed Social Feed 2.0 application. These preloaded applications will help you to stay connected with many social networks. To capture recent news and update you can simply configure RSS of your favorite site and stay updated. Messaging on the other hand gives you a more compact view to chat with others. The Blackberry Curve 9320 phone comes under a mid range criteria of Rs. 14,900/-, where you receive ample of features and email support.
In negative points I would like to mention that the screen size is quiet small to some extent, if you are going to spend much time for browsing or anything else on internet. Other than this what I did not like in BB 9320 is its quiet low screen resolution that makes the phone a bit weaker from multimedia point of view. HD videos don’t put a great effect on 2.44 inch screen. No equalizer support to enhance your current music. Even the speaker doesn’t provide expected sound and the headphone that came in the box package is of low range as well, mostly recommended for minimal usage.
Overall, Blackberry 9320 is a budget smartphone, good for basic day to day usage, for example, chatting, emailing, phone calls, etc. Though it has excellent keyboards, new features such as Wifi Hotspot support, and pretty good battery life, Blackberry 9320 seems to me a bit overpriced.
Good battery life.
Camera not impressive.