Blackberry Curve 9220 is yet another mid range mobile phone model released in India recently. The phone is launched with higher variant of similar series Blackberry Curve 9320. Both phones are equipped with all features and support that you need for multimedia, business, social networking and day to day use. ‘Blackberry’ phones are unique, and have rich features. The Curve 9220 lies perfectly between multimedia and professional feature. But there are some features that 9220 lacks compared to BB 9320. The conclusion and small pros/cons list will give you a clear highlight on the same at the end of this review. Let’s begin with the detailed information on the BB 9220 features and its looks.
From design point of view the BB 9220 is a small mobile phone and also quiet handy. It is not worth to compare the phone with any older model, as there is a big difference. Blackberry Curve 9320 and 9220 phones have similar kind of looks. But there are difference among its features and prices. The Review on Blackberry Curve 9320 can help you to understand the difference. But as for a small glimpse I can provide you three features that Curve 9220 lacks when compared to 9320. They are WiFi hotspot support, Media Server service and Camera flash. Blackberry Curve 9220 might be low on features, but to some extent the phone is very much useful and will be an amazing choice for its fan. It is available for Rs. 11,000/- approximately. RIM has given a valid choice for those who need cheaper ‘Blackberry’ phone models based on different features. Blackberry Curve 9220 offers you 2.44TFT vibrant screen with maximum 320×240 xVGA resolution. With 5x digital zoom you can capture good quality picture on default 2.0 mega pixel camera. There is a single camera on the backside. Even with low resolution the camera is capable of giving you a clear picture via 5x zoom. The maximum memory supported is 32GB, which is common for both models. Other than this it offers you more features like, dedicated BBM Key, FM Radio, easy platform to sync your Social Networking feeds, ‘Blackberry’ app world, simple audio/video player with multiple formats supported, 18 days battery standby time, etc.
Blackberry Curve 9220 appears to be a perfect phone under low budget. With ‘Blackberry’ OS 7.1 the interface looks cleaner. Home screen gives you simple three column interface. There is no multiple desktop making the phone UI cumbersome. Let’s have a detailed look on every features of Blackberry Curve 9220.
Un-boxing and Product Characteristics:
1. Body and Looks: Simple but yet stylish. QWERTY keypad (35-key) with 4 dedicated menu buttons and a Touch-sensitive optical TrackPad on Front which is also a push button. Along with this there are 4 dedicated keys located (1 to the left and 3 towards right) on both sides of the phone.
- Front Side view: 2.44 TFT xVga Screen, 5 menu buttons including (Call/Send key, Menu/option Key, Touch-sensitive optical TrackPad, Back key and End key). The QWERTY keypad is placed just below in curve shape to blend with design. Full backlit keys controlled by light sensor make it easier to operate the phone in the dark.
- Left Side view: A charging/USB Port and a dedicated BBM (Blackberry Messenger) key. You can modify the BBM key settings from Options > Device > Convenience Keys > Left side Convenience key. There are no custom options; you can assign application through preconfigured drop down menu.
- Right Side view: Volume Up, Volume Down, Play/pause button and a dedicated Camera key. The Camera key is placed near the keypad, which is a bit difficult to access. The keys can be customized as per your needs. The Camera Key settings can be only changed from Options > Device > Convenience Keys > Right side Convenience key. There are no custom options; you can assign application through preconfigured drop down menu.
- Back Side view: 2.0 Megapixel Camera and ‘Blackberry’ logo.
- Bottom view: Mic and Speaker.
- Top view: Keypad Lock/unlock button and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
2. Body packing material: Impressive surface quality with mixture of plastic and rubber.
3. Weight and dimensions: Weighing just 103 grams with 109x 60 x 12.7mm dimensions, the device is very comfortable to carry anywhere.
4. Screen display and resolution: Vibrant screen and clear output through 320×240 pixels resolution. Nice color output and clean interface. Quiet small for video streaming and Internet surfing.
5. Battery cover: The battery compartment cover is made up of plastic with a ‘Blackberry’ logo, giving it a rich look. Slide down with a little pressure to open it quickly.
6. Accessories: Blackberry Curve 9220 comes along with USB cable, user manual, headset, charger, battery.
Over all, the Blackberry Curve 9220 looks a good budget phone with nice display and features. Sleek QWERTY keypad and compact body makes the handling and operation comfortable under any environment. Because of light weight and small dimension the phone will not weigh up much in your pocket.
The Home Screen is divided into 3 different types of panels or blocks. They are:
a. Date & Time: Lists – Day, Date, Time, Service Provider and Network Strength.
b. Change Phone Profile (Merged with Notification Bar): Small Volume icon to customize your phone profile.
c. Notification Bar: Real-time feed from social networking and messaging app.
d. Search Icon (Merged with Notification Bar): Find easily any app in your phone
e. Shortcuts icons bar: Application menu divided into All, Favorite, Media, Download and Frequent column. Easy side scrolling can be performed.
Each of them is clickable and opens different options. Detailed information on each and every feature is listed below:
1. Date/time: This is the first panel listed at the top side of the screen. Use the Touch Sensitive Optical Trackpad to navigate on this panel and press it to open up more options. In here, you can easily modify and manage Connection (network, Wifi, Bluetooth), set alarm, check status of network, wifi & services (phone number, status, connection, ‘blackberry’ internet services, ‘blackberry’ enterprise server, mobile network coverage, ssid and Bluetooth). Along-with, you can access Options tab (scroll down at the bottom) to change phone Alerts, display, accessibility, security, etc.
2. Notification Bar: It is divided into three parts. The volume icons to modify your phone profiles, central bar to capture real time feeds and lastly you will find the search button. The bar gives you details on missed calls, SMS, BBM, Facebook & twitter notifications. Search icon helps you to locate the apps just by typing some keywords.
3. Shortcut Bar or Application Menu: The last panel, in the end listed, shows you all the applications installed in the device. Using the optical trackpad press it and you can see detailed menu as shown in the image below. You can use the TrackPad to navigate all the sections here. It is well sorted in different columns to manage easy accessibility. Not so complicated with clean look makes it easier to operate.
Business Point of View:
‘Blackberry’ Smartphone’s are best known for business features. Let’s take a closer look on the effective features made for business and professional purpose only.
1. Contacts Storage and features: Blackberry Curve 9220 does have storage limits for the number of contacts you have. There is no exact limitation. The contact page offers you detailed field to add maximum information. You can add the following details for any 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 needed. Other than this, you can assign your favorite tone to specific contacts. At call you can simply use Add Participant button to add more members to the active call. Simple interface for audio conference.
2. Data transfer: Bluetooth, WiFi, and USB to transfer data with aspect ratio.
3. Reception and voice quality: Appropriate audio reception quality among all network service providers and acceptable voice quality on received calls. However, the quality can be affected with poor network coverage.
4. Speaker Voice quality: Voice on phone speaker is pretty better than the normal. You can hear everything clearly even on medium volume.
5. Battery life: BB 9220 has pretty good battery life of 7hr. That is not recommended as best but can be acceptable. The device provides the same battery life even when you are using Internet or on 3G/2G/WiFi. On standby, it provides battery life upto 432 hours.
6. Phone Profile: Phone Profile can be customized through Sounds and Ringtones menu from Options. It also offers you many ways to customize the phone alert settings. You can set ringtones for Phone calls, Email, test messages, BBM alert, BBM Group alert, BBM new message, and calendar. You can also assign sounds for web browsing, facebook, and Social feeds separately. Other customization features – setting the ringtone play time, vibration mode, led response with ringtone, holster settings, etc.
7. Calendar: Calendar is a must needed tool for every professional user. Unlike other phones, the Curve 9220 has a detailed calendar option with customization possibility. You can simply create a schedule, set appointment, tasks, agenda, etc. With options like Subject, location, start date/time, End date/time, Duration, Time Zone, for your status and notes you can keep a track on the ongoing events. Past time is automatically disabled. You can set the subject, location, Time settings, etc for new schedule. You can set up a Conference Call in any task. The conference call section asks you to add the phone number of the moderator or participant. The notifications are listed on your screen regarding any events you had scheduled.
8. Voice Notes Recorder: This device has a voice notes recorder. The same can be shared with anyone via email, Bluetooth, etc.
9. E-mail: 2 steps are required to setup or configure your email account in Blackberry Curve 9220 phone. The process is – go to Setup > Email Setup > Enter your Email and Password and then click on Activation.
10. Internet: The phone comes with inbuilt web browser but if you want then you can even get opera browser from ‘Blackberry’ App world. The inbuilt browser has nice and clean interface with address bar, bookmarks and tab button. Menu keys offer you more 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. You can directly add a web page to the phone’s Home screen. 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 for easy access.
11. PC synchronization: Plug and Play connectivity offer you to quickly transfer files from phone to pc. Sync is quiet easy. In order to work with advanced options you will have to install Blackberry Desktop Manager. The options that you can configure through Blackberry Desktop Manager are:
• Applications – It allows you to import app from your phone. You can use this as a backup process.
• Organizer – It can be used to sync your Contact, Calendar, Task and Memo with PC.
• Files – Easy Drag and Drop window to copy paste files from phone to pc and vice versa.
• Media Sync – You can use Media Sync to sync your media content.
Multimedia Point of View:
1. Photo: 2 MP Camera with good clarity and resolution of 2048 x 1536. Pictures can be shared directly via Email, MMS, Bluetooth or Social Network. You also get feature of “Media Server” where you can setup your gallery on “File Sharing” over WiFi. You can switch to video recording mode from ‘Blackberry’ Menu. Supported Image formats – .bmg, .jpg, .gif, .png, .tif, and .wbmp.
2. Video: You can record a standard video of maximum 640×480 resolutions. The Media section of Home Screen offers you a dedicated recording icon for video recording or you can simply switch through menu key as well. Video recording supports up to 5x zoom-in with acceptable quality. You can shoot video with two resolutions, first at 640×480 and second at MMS mode with 176×144 for quick sharing. The video captured under MMS mode can be shared quickly through Bluetooth or via simply uploading it on YouTube from quick menu.
3. Music Player: Simple music player with following audio formats support – .mp4, .m4a, .3pg, .3gp2, .m4v, .avi, .asf, .mp3, .wmv, .wma, .flac, .ogg, .aac, .amr, .wav, .mid.
4. Video Player: The video player is simple to use with following Video Format supported — mp4, .m4a, .3gp, .3gp2, .m4v, .avi, .asf, .wmv, .wma.
5. Gaming: The BB 9220 comes with only two inbuilt games which are Brickbreaker and Word mole. However, you can get more games from Blackberry App World. On a side-note, ‘Blackberry’ phones are not really meant for gaming.
6. Radio: You can listen to your favorite radio station. You can add ample of on-air radio stations on it. There is a simple Radio Player available. Use Optical Trackpad to navigate different channels.
7. Online Streaming: Pre-installed YouTube application to stream online videos through internet.
8. Storage Capacity: Internal phone memory is 32MB and can be expanded up to 32GB using an external Micro SD Card.
Blackberry Messenger: Quickly launch Blackberry Messenger via the dedicated key provided on the left side. The configurations are easy and if you do not have any account you can instantly create a new one directly from Setup in Application menu. Invite people via username, email address or by directly scanning the contact barcode with the option “Scan a Pin Barcode” available under “Invite BBM Contact”. Same stands for Group invitation as well.
Clock: The clock on Home Screen remains the same. But you can do some changes to your alarm. You can modify the look by choosing from Analog, Digital, Flip Clock or LCD Digital. Other than this there are some more options to enter Bedside Mode, Stopwatch, Timer, alarm, etc. Bedside Mode is where you can disable LED and Radio with dim screen.
Blackberry App World: It allows you to download unlimited games and applications on your mobile phone. You can share your favorite comments through social networking apps and collect various other tools. The App world is divided into different categories for easily finding the app that you are looking for.
Social feed: Social Feed is an all-in-one instant messenger for your favorite social networking website. You can configure your Facebook, Twitter, Gtalk, Windows Live ID, BBM and Yahoo, etc under this option and chat with everyone under one roof. You can also get updates from subscribed RSS feeds. Go to RSS section and click on Add Feeds.
Office and Security Apps: Under this category there are plenty of rich apps for Office and Security purpose. Productivity apps like Memo pad, task pad, calc, File Manager, Documents to go to access excel/word files; etc comes integrated while you can find more on app world. Voice Recognition feature offers Voice Dialing, which quickly dials a number from the contact list. Say the name, and the app will dial the number. Audio note helps you to quickly record important info without missing anything. Same can be shared with others for quick reference. Talking about the Security applications you can use Password Keeper to safeguard all your important login information. It is a secured and trusted app. The application encrypts your data so no one can access the same. Blackberry Protect helps you to locate your stolen phone. More like a tracking app, this application helps you to locate the phone if you lose it.
Settings and Security Options:
Sounds and Ringtones: This section helps you to manage your sound related settings. You can set your own ringtone, change your message tone, modify the audio of notifications, etc. You can also modify your profile and make necessary changes. Before applying any settings you can simply use the Try it button to check whether it is proper or not.
Network and Connections:
• The section allows you to modify the connection of WiFi and Bluetooth.
• Mobile Network, in the same way, helps you to choose the network related settings. The following option lets you to configure the settings based on the network you are using.
Display settings help you to manage options related to Home Screen customization. Check the below list for detailed settings:
• Date & Time helps you to control and manage time zone, time format and time update.
• Home Screen Preferences provides various customization options for wallpapers, Icons in row, location of download folder and add/remove home screen panels.
• Screen Display provides you option to modify the font family, font size, font style, font smoothing with brightness and themes.
• Message Categorization in the menu provides you option to manage the colors of your sms or emails as per group.
• Message Lock Screen offers you to add your name displayed on the screen when the phone screen is locked.
Typing & Language:
Under Typing & Language you can modify the phone language and keyboard options. Following are the details:
• Language – Modify phone language, input language and Global name display.
• Typing – Modify typing language and change keyboard style.
• Keyboard – Modify key sound tone, key response rate and currency.
• Word Substitution – Add words based on SmartCase alphabets.
• Spell Check – Modify settings related to Spelling check features while writing text.
• Custom Word – Add your own custom dictionary.
• Trackpad Sensitivity – Adjust Trackpad sensitivity for better usage.
This is one of the most important settings. It contains important information which can be used by the phone on various aspects. Have a look on the features below:
• Auto ON/Off – Set automatic power on/off by scheduling time.
• Device & Status Information – In this you can find the phone IMEI No, Pin no, wlan mac id, ip address and free memory.
• Battery Saving Mode – You can manage battery power saving mode here.
• Convenience Key – Make changes to convenience key located on the sides of the phone.
• Blackberry ID – Make changes to Blackberry ID.
• Payment and Billing – Add or manage your phone payment options.
• Search – Manage Search options used in the phone. You can also wipe your search history from this option.
• Location Settings – Add your GPS data source to track your phone and find your location details.
• Maps – Make changes to phone maps accessibility features.
• Smart Accessories – Includes changes to hook the phone usb docks.
• Storage – Modify settings related to storage space in your phone.
• Application Management – This option helps you to find information related to app installed in your system. You can delete any app from here and check its version, storage location and modules used by it.
• About Device Version – Get your complete phone info here. Model number, the OS and other important information is very well listed.
• Advance System Settings – The following option provides you to add Enterprise Activation, Service Book, Sim Card, Browser Push, Cell Broadcasting, host routing table, tcp ip, legal documentation, device analyzer, etc.
Settings under this helps you to modify settings related to phone calls such as Call Blocking, Call waiting, Call Forwarding, Call dialing, Speed dials, etc.
Security settings are important aspect of ‘Blackberry’ phones. It is important that you must go through this menu and read everything you find. The device offers you plenty of options to protect your data.
• Password – Assign a phone password so that no one can access any information easily.
• Encrypt – Set strong encryption to block access or for the loss of confidential information. Possible to encrypt microsd card also.
• Smart Card – Setup smart card to import certificates and reader.
• Firewall — Protect your phone from unwanted connections.
• Security Wipe – Clean everything from your phone.
• Security Status Information – View your security IT policy under this.
• Advance Security – Manage certificate servers, certificates, software tokens, key stores, memory cleaning, vpn and tls.
The option helps you to manage and control simple accessibility options. You can control the phone contrast, manage events sound settings and modify home screen layout in columnar forms.
Third Party Applications:
Manage your third party app to control un-trusted applications.
Blackberry Curve 9220 is a standard budget phone that fulfills the needs of multimedia and professional requirement. However, the phone lacks wifi hotspot, flash and media server support. The camera quality is standard. Curve 9220 is equipped with nice keypad, compact design and simple interface. BB 9220 can be a good companion for your email and productivity purpose. With clean interface, and ample of customization option it is also very comfortable to carry in any pocket and sits well in hands. There is a little area where the phone needs improvement. Like the number pad is merged with keypad and shifted on the left side of the device, which makes it a bit complicated to type or dial a number. Apart from that, it has nice social sharing applications that can help you to stay updated every time. 2.44” TFT screen is good enough to view your messaging and texting. BB 9220 is a budget phone that helps you to perform all basic operation like chatting, mailing, phone calls, etc.
- Good battery life.
- Quick Social Network sharing
- Compact Design.
- Budget phone
- Low Camera quality
- Small Screen
- No Wifi Hotspot and No Flash