The BlackBerry Curve 9320 is the new baby of the BB Curve family, effectively replacing the popular 9300, or BlackBerry Curve 3G as it was otherwise known.

The new model is designed to appeal to those looking to make their first foray into the world of smartphones, pitched as an ideal set-up handset for those 30 per cent of users still rocking a feature phone.

The design sticks to BlackBerry's tried and tested approach and, from the outside, you might not notice that this is a new model, fusing the style of the 9300 and the 8520.

There is, however, a new additional hot key on the left-hand side of the Curve 9320, labelled BBM and the headphone jack is now on the top, much more conveniently placed than the pocket-unfriendly side connection of older devices.

The buttons have changed across the waistband, so rather than the flat finish, the Curve 9320 has more pronounced keys, which we think are better for fast thumb navigation, accessing menus, copy and pasting and so on.

You'll be using these keys more than BB handsets higher-up the range too, because this model doesn't feature a touchscreen.

Running BB OS 7.1, the phone now features a mobile hotspot, so you'll be able to connect up to five devices to share your mobile connection, ideal for those wanting to work or play on the move.

In the hand, the BlackBerry Curve 9320 doesn't make a huge departure from previous devices at the entry point. The glossy plastic back cover quickly becomes smeared with fingerprints and the keyboard surround also gets a little greasy, as evidenced in our hands-on photos.

However, with the Qwerty keyboard sticking to BlackBerry's tried and tested formula, you can't go far wrong. Sure, we prefer the larger Bold keyboard, but if you've ever used a BlackBerry Curve in the past, you'll be bashing out messages with wanton abandon in no time at all.

The handset itself measures 109 x 60 x 12.7mm and weighs 103g, so it is nice and compact. Slip off the back cover and you'll find a huge battery, promising 30 hours of music playback or 18 days of GSM standby. This isn't uncommon for a BB, a definite strength over large touchscreen superphones of the Apple or Android variety.

The display resolution is pretty low at 320 x 240 and that's reflected in the quality of the displayed information, but it's nice and colourful. It measures 2.44-inches on the diagonal. Around the back you'll find a 3.2-megapixel camera with flash.

There is only 512MB of internal memory, so you'll want to take advantage of the microSD card slot, also hidden under the back cover and accepting cards up to 32GB.

You also get Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS and an FM radio, the only real notable exception is NFC, which appears on higher-spec models.

Stay tuned for our BlackBerry Curve 9320 review which will be along shortly. In the meantime, why not check out the network price plans that have been announced, so you can see just how affordable this BlackBerry is going to be.