BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 review: BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330

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The Good The RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 has a responsive optical touch pad, a slim profile, external media keys, Wi-Fi, stereo Bluetooth, GPS, EV-DO, and a 2-megapixel camera. It is very affordable.

The Bad The BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 is not too different from the Curve 8530 aside from a few cosmetic changes. Photo quality is poor.

The Bottom Line Despite its entry-level status, the RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 is a decent smartphone for the price.

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7.7 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 8
  • Performance 8

The RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 for Verizon Wireless isn't very different at all from its predecessor, the Curve 8530. Indeed, the only changes seem to be cosmetic, and even then the changes are slight. You still have the media keys on the top, the familiar QWERTY keyboard, and the optical touchpad, with only a minor shift in details. The Curve 3G 9330 is identical to its GSM cousin, the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 for T-Mobile, so we'll point you to that review for the full design lowdown.

Because it doesn't have a whole lot of new features, the Curve 3G 9330 is billed as an entry-level smartphone. And luckily for us, it has a price to match. The Verizon version of the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 is available for only $29.99 with a new two-year service agreement.

The RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 comes with BlackBerry OS 5 but RIM and Verizon have promised that it will be upgradable to BlackBerry OS 6. The new OS promises quite a number of improvements like a revamped home screen, universal search, easier access to messaging, a new Webkit browser, and more.

The Curve 3G 9330 has the usual phone features like voice dialing, conference calling, speed dialing, a speakerphone, vibrate mode, and of course text and multimedia messaging. Instant-messaging options include BlackBerry Messenger, AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, and Windows Live. Continuing the RIM legacy of strong e-mail features, the Curve 3G 9330 can sync with your company's BlackBerry Enterprise server in addition to other e-mail systems like Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino, and your own POP3 or IMAP accounts.

Other features include GPS/A-GPS with VZ Navigator support, EV-DO Rev., Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), and stereo Bluetooth. You can use the GPS with other location-based apps and for geotagging photos. Mobile professionals will appreciate the calendar, a memo pad, document viewers for Microsoft Office, Corel WordPerfect, PDF documents, and more. The phone has 512MB of flash memory, and there's also a MicroSD card slot that can accept up to 16GB cards.

The Verizon version of the phone comes with a few Verizon-specific apps. They include V Cast Music with Rhapsody, Verizon's music store, and V Cast Video, Verizon's video streaming service. You also get visual voice mail, but you do have to pay a $4.99 monthly fee for it. Other apps included with the phone are VZW Tones, Verizon's ringtone store, and Bing. There are also a few games like BrickBreaker, Texas Hold Em, Word Mole, Sudoku, and Klondike. If you want more apps, you can get them from the BlackBerry App World.

As for multimedia, the Curve 3G 9330 has a music player with support for MP3, WMA, AAC, and MIDI file formats, plus there's a video player with MPEG4, WMV, H.263 and H.264 support. The 2-megapixel camera is similar to the one on the Curve 3G 9300, and the photo quality is just as mediocre.

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