Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good for first smart phone, 10 April 2012
This review is from: BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300 Sim Free Smartphone (Wireless Phone Accessory)
I had been debating getting a Blackberry after I was beginning to get bored of my well-served 3 year old Samsung Genio. I'm not a huge fan of the touchscreen keyboards like that of the iphone, and still wanted the qwerty keyboard my Samsung had. Going from a phone like that with a very bad web layout and no cool apps to download and personalise my phone with, you can see why a Blackberry became a very attractive option. Plus there was a lot of hype at the time surrounding Blackberry with it's various apps and the well-known and popular BBM.

After much consideration I went with this one on an 24 month contract from O2. I must say I was very pleased with it and fell in love with it instantly. Connecting to the internet is simple and I've almost always had 3G available with a full bar signal making searching the internet and loading of web pages sufficiently quick. However for most pages you do have to press the trackpad to zoom in to be able to read text clearly. The same trackpad is also used for scrolling on the page and in the home screen for getting to the folder you want to open. Although this is also very easy to use, as is the qwerty keyboard that after a few days of getting used to the layout and small buttons will soon have you rapidly typing like a pro. I like the design of the keyboard in that the buttons aren't squashed together that make typos more likely. However the raised buttons do have a loud clicking sound that may be irritable to others when you're quickly typing away on a long text. On the plus side, you can opt to have the keyboard light up which can prove to be very helpful in the dark!

Downloading the apps you want from the App World is also fairly easy and apps usually only take a few minutes to download. You can also customize the homepage by moving apps and folders around to where you want them, or deleting downloads you no longer want by simply pressing the menu button and scrolling down to 'delete'. Yes some of the apps available are pretty cool however an annoying flaw I've come to realise over the past few months is that because a lot of people I know now have iphones, everytime I hear or see of an app or game I really want, I search in the App World to then be disappointed that Blackberry just doesn't have as many apps as iphones and androids do. On the plus side the phone does automatically receive notifications of any upgrades that are available for any apps you already have.

One feature I do really like about Blackberry phones is that the LED indicator flashes whenever you receive a text, email phone call or notification (e.g facebook). The colour that flashes can also be customised by downloading the app for it so you can set a specific colour to certain people, and know instantly who is calling/text you just from the colour of the flash.

Also for those who like to be in the know with any facebook messages, status comments etc. you can change the notification settings to send such alerts to your phone as soon as you get them. However this can prove to be slightly annoying when it comes to group messages you can't delete yourself from or comments on events etc.

The audio quality for phone calls is good with the option of increasing or decreasing the volume using the volume buttons located on the side of the phone. The use of the speakerphone is also rather sufficient for times when you're too busy to talk with the phone against your ear.

One major let-down that a lot of people have stated is how lacking in quality the camera is. At just 2 mp even taking a photo indoors and in natural daylight can produce very noisy pictures. Also forget about attempting to take one at night, the lack of a flash was quite a downside for me personally as at night is when I do seem to take the most pictures, if I do take any. However sending photos you have taken is very easy to do whether it's in MMS form, uploading to Facebook, or sending to a contact on BBM.

Another feature I like that you can probably do with most Blackberry phones is you can set each of the sound profiles (e.g. loud, normal, silent) to how you want it and using the ringtone you assign to it. Although when in situations where you may prefer to have your phone switched off, this isn't really possible as pressing the 'off' button just puts the phone to sleep for a while and pressing any key will 'wake' it up again. The only real way of switching it off completely is to take the battery out. This of course could prove to be quite an inconvenience.

Overall, although on one side I could argue that the 9300 is the best phone I've ever had, at the same time it is also the worst. Like with every phone I've had in the past I have dropped it too many times to count and it has survived each fall rather well without inducing any scratches or cracks to the screen. However unlike past phones which I've had for at least a couple of years before they began to shows signs of becoming old, this one I've had for less than a year and already it's having problems. My biggest problem being that one of the letters on my keyboard no longer works as it should. It either misses the letter out completely or types 3 at once. Also the other week it often froze even when performing simple tasks, then only got worse as the day went on eventually only allowing about 5 seconds in between freezing and unfreezing to let me do anything. In the end I resulted in taking out the battery to restart it. Not sure if it'll even last for the year I have left on my contract...

Anyway, as an nice and easy introduction to the world of smart phones, the Blackberry 9300 is certainly a good option. However comparing my current phone to the durability of previously owned phones, and to the rivalry of the growing number of android phones, which appear to offer much better functionality, I don't think I'll be sticking with Blackberry.
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