The RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 from Sprint is identical to the one from Verizon Wireless. Hardware specifications are the same--it has that same Curve form factor, the optical trackpad, the flat navigation array, and the external media player keys on the top. It's also very similar in design to the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 for T-Mobile, so we'll point you to that review for design details. The BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 for Sprint is available for $49.99 with a two-year service agreement.
As with the other Curve 3G handsets, the BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 for Sprint ships with BlackBerry OS 5. However, it is upgradable to BlackBerry OS 6, which promises a number of improvements. These include a revamped home screen, universal search, easier access to messaging, and a new WebKit browser. For more information on OS 6, check out our review of the BlackBerry Torch.
The Curve 3G 9330 has all the usual BlackBerry features like strong e-mail support. It can sync with your company's BlackBerry Enterprise server as well as other corporate e-mail systems like Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino, or your own POP3 and IMAP accounts. Other features include voice dialing, conference calling, speed dialing, a speakerphone, a vibrate mode, and text and multimedia messaging. Instant messaging is a big feature, with BlackBerry Messenger taking center stage. The phone also supports AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, and Windows Live Messenger.
As the name implies, the Curve 3G has 3G support in the form of EV-DO Rev. 0. Other features include visual voice mail, GPS with Sprint Navigation support, Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), and stereo Bluetooth. BlackBerry will make business professionals happy with PIM apps like the calendar, a memo pad, and DataViz's Documents To Go. The phone has 512MB of flash memory, and a microSD card slot is hidden behind the battery cover if you want some extra storage--it takes cards of up to 16GB.
The Sprint version of the phone has Sprint-specific apps that include access to the Sprint Music Store, Sprint TV, Nascar Sprint Cup Mobile, and Sprint Football Live. There's also Sprint Zone, a hub for news and user tips. A few more apps that come with the phone are Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Flickr, and Pandora. The Curve 3G 9330 comes with five games: BrickBreaker, Word Mole, Texas Hold'em King 2, Sudoku, and Klondike. You can get more games and apps from BlackBerry App World.
The Curve 3G 9330 isn't all work and no play. It also has a music player with support for MP3, WMA, AAC, and MIDI file formats, a video player with MPEG4, WMV, H.263, and H.264 codecs, and a 2-megapixel camera. For more on that, again, check out our review of the Curve 3G 9300.
We tested the RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 in San Francisco using Sprint service. Call quality was pretty good, on the whole. We heard our callers loud and clear with little to no distortion in voice quality. On their end, callers said the same thing, reporting very little background noise. They said our voice quality did seem a bit tinny, but only a little.
We enjoyed good EV-DO coverage with Sprint. We managed to load the CNET mobile page in just 9 seconds. We also downloaded a 1.2MB app in just 25 seconds. Navigating the phone was speedy, and we enjoyed using the optical trackpad. Launching apps felt instantaneous, and transitions between screens felt smooth.
The RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 has a 1,150 mAH lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 4.5 hours and up to 19 days' standby time. It has a tested talk time of 4 hours and 42 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Curve 3G 9330 has a digital SAR of 1.28 watts per kilogram and has an M4/T4 hearing-aid compatibility rating.