After releasing several touchscreen models over the past year Blackberry have returned to their famous Qwerty design with the new Curve 9360. This stylish design is aimed at the cheaper end of the market and is likely to appeal to a younger audience than previous Curve handsets thanks to its attractive price and the hugely popular BBM instant messaging system that it incorporates. We take a detailed look at the design of this excellent new model.
The Blackberry Curve 9360 is instantly recognisable as an RIM design thanks to the Qwerty keypad together with the attractive curved edges that have made the Curve range famous over the years. Despite its traditional appearance however the design of this model looks far from dated. Blackberry have worked hard to make this handset the slimmest they have ever produced at just 11mm in depth. In an effort to keep the cost of this phone to a minimum the chassis of the phone is constructed entirely from plastic rather than incorporating metallic elements that push the cost up. This plastic is finished in a glossy black colour rather similar to the Samsung Galaxy S2. An advantage to the plastic body is that the weight of the model can be kept to a rather impressive 99 grammes which is considerably lighter than many modern smartphones.
When you take a look around this model you will notice that the front is split equally between a 2.46 display and the full keypad that occupies the bottom half of the fascia. The buttons on the keypad are surprisingly well spaced out for such a compact model and this is because RIM have opted to use a design that utilises four rows of keys rather than five. This does mean that numbers share a key with a letter on the top row but this does not pose a problem in terms of operation. A number of the buttons on the phone are also assigned as a shortcut to another area of the phone. An example of this is the hash key which acts as a toggle for the phones silent mode and the star key which locks the keypad. As the Blackberry Curve 9360does not feature a touchscreen all navigation is performed via an optical trackpad. This is designed to be used with either your thumb or your finger and is located between the screen and the keypad. Above the phones display you will find the earpiece and an LED indicator that helps alerts you to incoming calls and messages.
The Blackberry Curve 9360 scores highly for its styling and manages to look like a much more premium device than it actually is. The well designed Qwerty keypad is easy to use and the optical trackpad offers a level of precision that is sometimes lacking in many touchscreen models.
The Blackberry Curve 9360 and the Samsung Galaxy S2 are available now.