Yet more phones emerging from the BlackBerry camp, in what appears to be a veritable river of BlackBerry 7 packing handsets flooding our phone shops. Next up is the Curve 9380, the QWERTY free 'All Touch' version of the 9360.
Sizing in at 109 x 60 x 11.2mm, it is a rather dinky handset. Thankfully however that 3.2-inch HVGA+ touch screen provides plenty of breathing room in terms of browsing and general phone action. It also looks damn good, is nice and bright with saturated colours and very impressive viewing angles. We have to say in fact that this recent set of BlackBerry 7 phones have all featured screens that RIM should be proud of. The company has most definitely got its display tech down. The 480 x 360 ppi res display on the 9380 suffers slightly up close in terms of jagged edges, but not by much.
On the front of the handset, sat below the screen, is the usual set of four backlit BlackBerry keys. They are, unlike the phone's screen, not touch sensitive and require a click. This may just be us, but we repeatedly found ourselves tapping them and not pressing them like buttons. No doubt however anyone using this phone for more than an hour or so would grow out of that behaviour.
The phone itself is powered by a 800MHz processor, with 512MB of RAM to keep things ticking over nicely. Apps opened swiftly and web browsing was fast enough, although we can't help but think this web action is partly helped by the code improvements BlackBerry 7 brought.
Storage-wise the phone is a little skimpy, with just 512MB included. This is expandable up to 32GB with a microSD card however. On the back is a 5-megapixel camera which performed almost identically to the 9790. GPS comes integrated as does an accelerometer and magnetometer, both doing their bit when we tried a bit of app based gaming.
The same convenience key and volume up key issue which plagues other BlackBerrys is there. That of both sitting on the same side of the device. Although to be honest it is a minor niggle and one that we are sure most people will get used to very quickly.
Having no QWERTY initially feels quite odd on a BlackBerry. But this entry level Curve is helped massively by the rethinks and improvements with BB7. It feels like an affordable touch screen handset, BlackBerry or not and this is most definitely a good thing. We look forward to having a bit more time to play with this one.
What do you reckon to the 9380? Let us know in the comments below ...