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Blackberry Curve 3G

RIM BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

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Review RIM has been busy refreshing its range of smartphones lately. The BlackBerry Pearl received a 3G update and new keyboard and the series, Curve has had a makeover too. The Curve 3G 9300 offers HSDPA 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS, a 2Mp camera, a Qwerty keyboard and all RIM’s messaging know-how, at a budget price.

Blackberry Curve 3G

Keyboard skills: RIM's BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300

The Curve 3G styling fits in with other recent BlackBerry reboots, with that rubberised plastic casing and chrome-look trim, albeit in a fairly chunky 109 x 60 x 14mm and 104g package. The 2.4in screen sits above the, now-essential, optical trackpad surrounded by a touch-sensitive strip of call start and stop buttons, plus back and menu.

Below this array is the solidly constructed Qwerty keyboard with 35 keys. The keys are well spaced but small, and while it has the unique BlackBerry angling system, which raises the keys at one end makes each key feel distinctive, you'll still probably find yourself pressing them with the tip of your thumb rather than the fleshy part, which is fine for one-handed use, but can be a pain when you're trying to use two thumbs.

The TFT screen isn't up there with the higher end BlackBerry models, offering a relatively low resolution of 320 x 240 pixels. It's not as sharp as some others in the RIM’s cannon and the colours aren't quite as vibrant, but for a screen this size it's more than adequate.

Around the sides are the customisable voice dialling button, volume buttons, camera shutter, micro USB power/sync slot and 3.5mm headphone jack. On top there are media player controls – not touch-sensitive ones like the higher-end Pearl 3G though – these are less sexy, but equally effective hard buttons.

Blackberry Curve 3G

Trackball out, trackpad in

The optical trackpad has been slightly raised and you can click it to activate whatever function it alights on. Like the trackpad, on other BlackBerrys you can also adjust the sensitivity to suit your preferred thumb pressure.

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