BlackBerry Curve 9360 review: Up and about
BlackBerry OS 7 relies on the trackpad
Number 7 is the last upgrade of the OS before the switch to BBX. The OS 7 brings very few new features (NFC is well worth a mention though) and focus should be on the user experience instead.
The new platform is based on a better processor and more potent graphics hardware, and it’s exactly the higher system requirements that won’t allow older BlackBerry phones to run the new OS 7. The Curve 9360 runs on a less-capable 800MHz processor than the new Bold 9900 and the Torch 9860, but it is enough to handle the newest OS glitch-free.
Here goes our traditional video demo to warm you up.
Unlike the other OS 7-based BlackBerries, the Curve 9360 doesn’t have a touchscreen and relies on the traditional trackpad navigation.
BlackBerry OS 7 is trying to look like the QNX-based Tablet OS. The UI icons have been updated to mimic the PlayBook, but the rest is pretty much the same - changes to the functionality are kept to a minimum.
The status area of the homescreen has quick toggles for the cellular, Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth radios. It gives you quick access too to the alarm clock and settings menu.
Clicking on the loudspeaker icon underneath lets you change the currently active profile, while the magnifying glass on the other side of the homescreen lets you start a search. BlackBerry OS 7 is voice search enabled, too. Clicking on a small mic icon next to the Search bar will activate it. By the way, on the homescreen you can initiate a search by just typing something on the keyboard.
Missed events - SMS, email or missed calls - can be quickly accessed by pressing the bar between the search and profile icons on the default screen.
Below that is the app tray, which consists of several tabs. The first one holds all icons. For convenience, you can sort some of your apps to the Favorite tab. The most frequently used apps are auto generated in yet another tab.
There are also Media and Download (for the apps you have downloaded yourself) sections for even more ways of sorting your apps.
The other thing to note is that, unlike the flat iOS layout, the Curve 9360 has a menu button, so usually there are options that are not visible on the screen.
Despite the less-powerful processor, the OS 7 ticking inside the Curve 9360 is fast and responsive. We experienced no lags and freezes.
The usual phonebook
The BlackBerry Curve 9360 may run a new edition of the OS, but its phonebook is the same as before.
The contacts get listed alphabetically by first, last name or company and you can pick which of their recent activities to get displayed when checking out their details. Smart search lets you find a specific contact by typing a part of the name, so navigation is pretty fast.
Like previous BlackBerry devices, the Curve 9360 lets you put your contacts in one of two categories - personal and business and then filter your phonebook accordingly. There is also grouping available and you can create as many custom groups as you like.
In edit mode, the available contact details are neatly organized. You can replicate some of the fields and add custom ones easily.