RIM has recently released another device running BlackBerry OS 7.1 to hold us over until the launch of BlackBerry 10. That device is the BlackBerry Curve 9310, and it has just recently launched on the Boost Mobile network. The Curve 9310 is another solid device from Research in Motion. The software, OS 7.1, runs smoothly and efficiently. The hardware is superb, especially for a device that will run you less than $100. The 9310 has all the features you would expect from a BlackBerry; BBM, a solid QWERTY-keyboard, a vibrant screen, all packed into this little device. Follow me past the break for a closer look at the Curve 9310 and see why it’s one of the best BlackBerry devices available today.
Unboxing & Initial Impressions
We unboxed the Curve 9310 a few weeks back and were very impressed with the packaging and feel of the device right out of the box. If you haven’t seen it, or want a refresher on what the 9310 looks like on video, you can view the full video just above.
BlackBerry Curve 9310 Full Specs
|Size and Weight:||4.29 x 2.36 x 0.5 in @ 3.6 oz|
|Display:||2.44″ QVGA (320 x 240) display at 164 ppi|
|Data Input||QWERTY keyboard and Optical Trackpad|
|Connectivity||Dual-Band: 800/1900 MHz CDMA 2000 1x EVDO networks
WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n
|Memory||512 MB RAM, 512 MB eMMC internal memory
MicroSD support for up to a 32 GB carM
|Bluetooth||Bluetooth v2.1 with EDR support
Supports A2DP & other Bluetooth protocol
|Camera||3.2 MP camera
VGA video recording
|CPU||800 MHz Single-core|
|Sensors||Proximity Sensor, Ambient light sensor|
|Battery||1450 mAh removable, rechargeable battery|
|Operating System||BlackBerry OS 7.1|
Hardware & Build Quality
The BlackBerry Curve 9310 features the top-notch hardware and build quality that consumers have come to expect from BlackBerry devices. The 9310 sports a traditional BlackBerry color scheme. The device is a combination of black and grey plastic. The front and back feature a glossy, piano black finish and the rim of the device is a smoky grey color. The device feels light, but still very solid, in the hand during use. The 9310 is small enough for easy one-handed typing but feels great when gripped with two hands, as well.
The MicroSD slot easily accessible for quick changeover without a battery pull. Speaking of the battery, the one in the 9310 is phenomenal. It features a 1450 mAh battery with up to 8 hours of talk time or 18 days of standby. While I didn’t quite get 18 days of use off this device, it easily lasted 3-4 days of heavy use on a single charge. In comparison, my Bold 9900 has to be charged every 1-2 days.
Keyboard & Typing
The keyboard on the Curve 9310 is the Chicklet-style keypad that has become commonplace on Curve-series BlackBerry devices. The keys, raised menu buttons, and trackpad all have a great feel and are easy to press. Having used all the different keyboards on BlackBerry devices, I find the chicklet keys on the Curve 9310 some of the easiest and fastest to type on.
The Curve 9310 features a 3.2 Megapixel camera with built-in flash. Photos taken with the device certainly don’t rival those from device with 5 or 8 MP cameras, but they look great coming from a 3.2 MP shooter. The camera is quick and the LED flash is bright and useful. Video recording on the 9310 is enabled on the 9310, but it’s not HQ video. The 9310 films at 480p and the videos look great on the device’s screen or when shared to YouTube at 480p resolution.
The Curve 9310 is one of the first BlackBerry devices to feature a dedicated BBM Key. This key is located on the left side of the device and is in the perfect spot for easy pressing. Having BBM access with a dedicated key makes it even easier to get your BBM-fix and keep you in constant communication with your BlackBerry friends. All you BBM contacts are just a click away, just press the BBM key and you’re taken directly to the BBM home screen, regardless of what you’re doing on your device.
The Curve 9310 also includes an FM Radio Tuner that provides access to all the FM radio stations in your area. This feature, which is enabled on all BlackBerry devices with an embedded tuner, is great for radio junkies. The FM Tuner application offers an easy-to-use interface and allows you to store all your favorite stations for quick tuning. This app is great for people who like to exercise with their BlackBerry and want to keep up with the latest music trends or listen to their favorite talk shows.’
BlackBerry OS 7.1
The BlackBerry Curve 9310 comes preloaded with BlackBerry OS 7.1. This is the same OS that runs on all existing BlackBerry devices, from the Bold 9900 to the Torch 9860. The only comments that are really necessary about the OS at this point are that it runs smoothly and snappily on the 9310. We’ve reviewed BlackBerry 7 many times in the past in other device reviews and you can check out some of that commentary Here and Here.
The Boost Mobile Network
Boost Mobile is one of the more unique no-contract carriers in the United States. Boost Mobile utilizes Sprint’s nationwide 3G network to power their plans and devices, which means you’ll get great service almost anywhere in the US. The service quality in my area (North Alabama) was very good. I never lost service and voice quality was always great.
With Boost Mobile, you buy your device for a set price and then you can choose you plan and activate your phone. They offer automatic payments by credit card or bank account, or you can purchase pre-paid Re-Boost cards to add cash to your account. The monthly plans offered by Boost Mobile for BlackBerry devices include the following:
- BBM Unlimited – $45/mo for unlimited Talk, text, & BBM
- Monthly Unlimited – $50/mo for unlimited Talk, text, web, & email
- BlackBerry Monthly Unlimited – $60/mo for unlimited talk, text, web, BBM, & email
Boost Mobile also offers a daily plan for BlackBerry devices that runs $3 per day and gives you unlimited talk, text, web, and email. To see more about Boost Mobile’s BlackBerry plans and packages, Click Here.
The BlackBerry Curve 9310 is an amazing entry-level device. The hardware quality puts it above any entry-level Android device out there and the software makes it a great choice for easy communication. For those looking for a no-contract device or a first smartphone for a child, the BlackBerry Curve 9310 is clearly one of the best choices. You can pick yourself up a Curve 9310 from Boost Mobile for just $99.