BlackBerry Curve 9310 Review

The BlackBerry Curve 9310 from Boost Mobile packs the best of BlackBerry into a small package - all designed for social.

The BlackBerry Curve 9310 is a compact, affordable device with a lean towards the social
By Adam Zeis on 13 Aug 2012 02:42 pm EDT
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The Good

The Curve 9310 is a great device for those looking to go social. Its small size and classic keyboard will please both old and new BlackBerry users. It doesn't have the fastest processor, but it still hauls and never really lagged through normal tasks. With Twitter, Facebook, BBM and more this is truly a social BlackBerry. Boost prepay plans make it very enticing as well.

The Bad

The screen resolution isn't the greatest, but those picking up the device simply for email, BBM and the like won't mind so much. I do wish the design carried a bit more onto the back of the device as the battery door feels cheap and unfinished. 

Conclusion

I really do like the Curve 9310. I've always been a big fan of the classic Curve keyboard, so bringing this updated device to the party was a great move. Plus with Boost plans you can really get a great deal for service.

 

Hardware

BlackBerry Curve 9310 Specs

The device itself is small and light. I love the way it feels in the hand, and even those with a small grab won't have any trouble wrapping their fingers around it. The rubberized bezel provides for good grip on all sides. I'm a fan of the silver/black color combination here as well. I think it works and makes the BlackBerry Curve 9310 look good on the front. The back however I not a huge fan of.

I think the battery door should have been done differently - either in the same silver of the from bezel or in the same rubber as the sides. The glossy black plastic that is the battery door now stands out too much and also doesn't provide much grip. It almost looks like it came off another device and someone smacked it on the 9310.

The keyboard and "tic tac" buttons are actually very solid as well. There is no rattle in the keys (they don't wiggle in place) and everything actually feels really solid. I wasn't a big fan of the tic tac Send, Menu, Back and End keys either, but on the Curve 9310 I really don't mind them so much. I think they fit in well with the spaced out keys of the Curve rather than something like the Bold 9790 for instance.

The LCD flows right up from the keyboard to the top of the device. It's really sleek and looks awesome. The entire front of the device just has a great flow to it that isn't broken up at all. I dig it. Overall it all feels really solid and well made.

I love how pocketable the 9310 is as well. It's nice and small and easily fits I the hand, pocket or what have you. This is great if you're looking for something small, and being that the 9310 is intended to be a "social" device, it's not expected you'll be watching movies or going browser crazy for any length of time.

This does work against itself at points too, for example people with lager hands like myself may find it hard to type at times. I find that I can't type as quickly as I'd like, but I still do love the split keys of the Curve-style keyboard.

The side convenience and volume keys are well placed. Getting at the center key can be a bit trying, but the volume up/down and both convenience keys are easy to find and get the job done. The left side dedicated BBM key is great but essentially just another convenience key that many users will most likely change. The standby/lock button on top of the device feels solid. It's not loose at all as on some devices, and it feels that it will stand up well. The charging port is well located on the side, and sadly there are no charging contacts on the device which means no charging pod support.

The battery life on the Curve 9310 is one of the best I've had yet. I feel like in standby the battery could last for weeks, and even during normal use, I could stretch it out to nearly three days if I had to. Heavy users will definitely make it through at least a full day if not more.

OS

From first powering on you can see the 9310 is snappy. It's running OS 7.1 out of the box and it runs it well. Navigating around the home screen is quick and responsive and I didn't notice any lag. The default settings for the trackpad had me zipping around, so I dropped them to 50 and it was much easier to scroll. All the standard far of apps are presinstalled. Facebook, Twitter, BlackBerry App World, and BBM. There are also some other apps like Poynt, Hookt, Telenav and BlackBerry Mobile Conferencing.

Native apps include messages, calendar, tasks, contacts, BBM, browser, media and more. Right out of the box, OS 7.1 gives you all the tools you need to get going - even if you choose not to download anything else. Once you activate your email account there really isn't much else you have to do to use the device. You can jump in to Twitter, Facebook and the like should you choose to do so however.

Again, I'm a big fan of OS 7.1 on the 9310. It runs really well and I didn't notice any lag at all really for common activities. The only time it slowed down for me was when I tried update multiple apps in BlackBerry App World at the same time. This pretty much seized up the 9310 and it was useless for a good ten minutes until my downloads were finished. Aside from that, no complaints as far as the OS goes.

Social

The Curve 9310 is marketed as a "social" device for the communicators. It's geared towards those that will want the quick messages, BBM, Twitter and Facebook. Social Feeds will keep everyone in the loop, and pumping out quick tweets or emails on the keyboard is great. Holding the 9310 in hand it just feels like a messaging device. It's hard to explain it until you actually hold it, but it just makes me want to send a Tweet or update my Facebook status. It's almost like I could have the device just to send out status updates to various services and I'd be okay with that.

The Curve 9310 and OS 7.1 really integrate the socail aspects as well. You can send pretty much anything to a social service from the BlackBerry menu no matter where you are on the device, and everything floats into your integrated inbox without even thinking. If you're looking to go social -- this is your ticket.

Media

Curve 9310 FM Radio

While you're out and about with the 9310 you won't have to worry about listening to some tunes. While video playback isn't the greatest due to the screen resolution on the Curve 9310, there are plenty of music options to be had. The Curve 9310 is sporing not only a built-in media player, but also an FM radio for listening to your favorite stations on the go. The built-in FM tuner comes with its own app and works like a champ providing you are in an area with a good FM signal. I had a blast going old school and trying out the FM radio. If radio isn't you thing, you can always load up your favorite MP3s and use the native media player or check out one of the many streaming options like Slacker or Pandora in BlackBerry App World.

Camera

BlackBerry Curve 9310 Camera

The camera on the Curve 9310 isn't the greatest, but on this device it gets the job done. The 3.2MP camera on the 9310 will be used by most for snapping quick photos to upload to social sites and for that it works well. Close up shots weren't a winner at all, but taking photos of larger objects or things further away turned out well. There are a few camera settings to tool around with as well so you can better tweak your shots. Overall I don't mind the camera on the 9310 although it could be a bit better in low-light or close-up situations.

Boost Service

Boost has a pretty good deal with their various Pay As You Go options if you're not wanting to be tied down in a contract. You can choose from the BBM Plan, Daily Plans or Monthly Plans.

Let's clarify Boost's "Shrinking Payments" as well. You'll often see Boost market plans that are "as low as $30 a month". This is basically the lowest end of their Shrinking Payment scale. In order to get there however, you need to pay your bill on time for 18 months. Shrinking Payments reduces your total payment by $5/month for every six on-time payments, so it will take you quite a while to get to that point. Once you do however, if you plan on sticking with Boost, you have a pretty good deal.

The BBM plan (aka BlackBerry Messenger Unlimited) will get you unlimited BBM, talk and text for $45/month. With Shrinking Payments you can knock this down to just $30/month. This doesn't include web access however as it's noted that web browsing requires a wifi connection on this plan.

The daily plan is great if you are only using the device for a few days for whatever reason, and will run you $3/day. This plan includes unlimited talk, text, email and web.

Monthly Plan

Probably your best bet, there are two different monthly plans that Boost offers.

The first is the BlackBerry Monthly Unlimited. This plan includes unlimited text, talk, email, web and BBM for $60/month. Shrinking Payments can get it as low as $45/month.

The second plan is BlackBerry Messenger Unlimited. This is the more social plan of the two and gets you unlimited BBM, talk and text but no web or email. This plan starts at $45/month and can go down to just $30 with shrinking payments.

BlackBerry Curve 9310 Accessories

Curve 9310 Accessories

After you get your Curve 9310 up and running you'll certainly want to grab some accessories to go along with it. At ShopCrackBerry.com we have just what you need - from cases to chargers to batteries and more. We get new items in stock every day, so if you don't see what you want now, just check back later. And with great international shipping options, you can get accessories almost anywhere in the world within a few days.

 

Conclusion

Overall I really do like the BlackBerry Curve 9310. It's a great social device and the Boost plans are really tough to beat. It makes a great 2nd device for the smartphone hoarder and an awesome entry device for anyone looking to try BlackBerry for the first time. I think the plans, Boost service and the device itself will entice many new users to try it out and many existing users to change over for OS 7.1. If you're looking for a higher-end device, then you'll most certainly want to check out something like the Bold 9900. The Bold 9900 offers a more refined design, much better keyboard and a higher resolution screen. The Curve 9310 is geared toward those looking for an entry-level BlackBerry or the availability of prepaid plans that Boost has to offer. 

More BlackBerry Cuve 9310 News
Discuss the BlackBerry Curve 9310 in the CrackBerry forums
Shop BlackBerry Curve 9310 Accessories

54 comments

westex#WP

8 out of 10. Really? For a updated budget Blackberry whose specs are ancient in every way imaginable. I love my 9900, but I wouldn't give it an 8 out of 10. You guys should really get out more.

Adam Zeis

Oh and FTR I did get out. Didn't you see that photo? I took it outside. 

westex#WP

I know all scores are subjective. But it is simply comical to rate this device anywhere above a 5. Shipping a phone such as this is a half ass, lazy effort on RIM's part to get a product out the door for the sake of getting a product out the door.
If this truly is "the best of Blackberry in a small package", then I can't imagine why they are in the shape they are in today. I am a fan of RIM's products the same as you. It would be a tragedy for EVERYBODY if RIM went away. But trumpeting this device is just silly.

Adam Zeis

I'm not going to argue with you, you're entitled to your own opinion. Just keep in mind that the score isn't based on comparisons to all the phones in all the hands of all the people on all the planets in all the universe. It's a score out of 10 total as compared to other BlackBerry devices. And honestly I don't really see how it is lazy or half ass, but thanks for reading!

Jiggy1971

I have to say, as a blackberry user since 2005, I recently got one of these phones, refurb, on ebay for about $70 since I did not want to waste my last insurance claim. I want insurance when I purchase a blackberry 10 device. I drowned 2 9930s in 6 months. They do not like water or beer. ;) Back to the 9310, I think this is a great little device. I have had almost every blackberry and this one stacks up. I think the review is pretty spot on. I like the size, and it doesn't lag or lock up. BB did well. Anyways, my 2 cents.

nereuszeer

Compared to other BlackBerry I'd give this an 8 out of 10 too. My Bold 9930 gets a 10/10. This phone is sweet and the Boost plans are pretty awesome if you don't want a contract. And maybe read the whole review before you judge.

morganplus8

BB 9900 is easily a 10/10 so it makes sense that the manufacture of this phone got it right too.

len5

"easily a 10/10" Come on dude. I've got a 9930 and it a very good phone for calls and messaging. Probably the best at those. But for stuff like web surfing, app selection, poor gmail support and screen size it's no wear near a 10.

Ease up on the RIM coolaid guys ;-)

lenn

bigbmc26

App selection is only relevant if 600,000 apps are important to you. They aren't to me, so the 9930 is a great smartphone for me. I have the apps I use daily from app world. I get my gmail, hotmail, yahoo, & BES just fine on it. All emails work without issue.

The web browser is great on the 99xx, not sure why you have such a problem with it. Websites load fast and render correctly for me, and I'm on Sprint! That's a huge feat with Sprint slow a$$ data speeds.

As for screen size, once again, that's only relevent if you want a large screen. I love the 2.8 screen on the Bold, it gives me room for that great keyboard. I use my smartphone for communication, music streaming, & simple web browsing. All over multimedia is done on my PlayBook.

So for me, the Bold is a 10/10. There's no Koolaid drinking, it just simply works for some of us. Don't be so quick to judge other's needs by yours.

hispanola

"I have the apps I use daily from app world. I get my gmail, hotmail, yahoo, & BES just fine on it. All emails work without issue."

Sounds like you're fine with a smartphone from 2009. In 2012, this doesn't cut it.

"I use my smartphone for communication, music streaming, & simple web browsing. All over multimedia is done on my PlayBook."

If your smartphone had a large screening and better capabilities, there is a good chance you might use it for multimedia.

"There's no Koolaid drinking, it just simply works for some of us."

There is drinking, because what works for some doesn't work for the majority (hence the dire states RIM is in). Don't accept the low standards. Demand better!

Jiggy1971

I disagree. I think Blackberry works well with my gmail account. What do you want it to do?

BigwhiteUK

Looks like it has a flash?

Lord_Jareth_89

How can you say on the CONS that it doesn't have flash when in the picture above you clearly can see the flash led LOL... And 8 out of 10 you people must considere this for the scale of low to mid end devices, obviously you can't think on a general scale wich includes for example the 9860 and the 9900 and so on. I think compared to the oldie 8520 and the 9300, this one is a great phone for someone who want a BlackBerry with all the benefits (including 3G speed) but don't want to expend that much waiting for BB10 to launch. So I don't think you should understimate this little warrior

kingbernie06511

what a POS. 8 out of 10? Really?

wow, this community is very biased, this is the worst time for RIM to come up with such phone. so a BB10 phone would be a 9 or 9.5 out of 10, and yet not much different in rankings than a 9310 at 8/10? you gotta be kidding me.....

Rootbrian

Don't be such a judging son of a blip. This is for PAY AS YOU GO and ENTRY-LEVEL, first time smartphone users.

Perjade

This is not a review , it's a declaration of love !

bigbmc26

Lol, the haters are out in force today!

BruvvaPete

Well, they had a rough weekend because they didn't get their day passes until today, so they all need to lash out at the first opportunity.

BB_Bmore

I'm more interested in the 9730 cdma bold that was leaked today!! Now that's a device I would buy from boost mobile!!!

Bla1ze

Don't get too excited.

BB_Bmore

How about the news that bb10 is ready to be license so says Thorsten Hiens. He also says he carrying a bb10 device around now for work.

Were is this news? Come on CB give us the Good stuff ;)

BruvvaPete

It has been covered in previous posts.

Adam Zeis

None of that is news really. Thorsten has said all along they are ready to license BB10, and RIM employees haven't always been allowed pre-release devices. 

SRR500

I don't understand why RIM released these newest Curves when they already have the 9350/60/70 to serve the low end/entry level market.

How are they any better than the 50/60/70? They have the same processor same memory but a poorer camera. If your goal is to snap pictures and post them on social networks, wouldn't a 5 MP camera be the minimum standard now a days.

In my opinion, RIM is wasting resources on these newest Curves that they should have used to promote the OS7 devices that were already available and get BB10 out on time.

hispanola

Exactly! And having the 9350 myself I can tell you that these devices need at minimum 1gb of ram like the 9370 has. 512mb is too little for a blackberry. The number of times I get a msg that I am running low on memory (I have only have 3-4 non RIM apps installed). It's ridiculous.

Rootbrian

9370 hasn't been released yet. It's just a rumor.

Porcelain Mask

"I can't buy a top of the line phone for $100?! DAMN YOU RIM AND BOOST! EVIL! EVIL! BAD! BAD!"

This is what I'm hearing from every person that is complaining right now.

hispanola

Considering top of the line phones usually go for $200 (US) and you can get the iPhone 4S for ($150), at $100, entry level should not be this weak. Besides, for $99 you can get an iPhone 4 which still trumps anything RIM has.

Rootbrian

Those are subsidized prices on a contract. Stop hating. Get out more.

greyw0lf01

Funny... I see these reviews from time to time and wonder what exactly the point is. People are BB10 starved and this comes out at 8/10. I thought the comment from Perjade was brilliant, “this is not a review, it’s a declaration of love!”

Did we ever a full review of the PB LTE vs. the original PB or against some of the other 7” tablets out there?

mf10

GUYS! RELAX!

He just forgot to put the dot forwards the 8!

bookoo_brainz

Got this phone 2weeks ago and I absolutely love it. 10/10 In my opinion.

llllBULLSEYE

Comparing it to other phones out there that are on the $100 off contract price range
an 8 out of 10 sounds about right.

THBW

Relax, it is an entry level smart phone. Not everyone wants endless apps to fill their days. A durable smartphone with long battery life sort of works for alot of people. And if it breaks, you get a new one. You don't have to mortgage the house. While it's not my first choice, I know alot of people that would use it. Buy what what you need.

chasebleu419

It's Blackberry, It's not going to be an Android with the Hundreds of Thousands of apps. Blackberry is a good business phone and easy to set up. This model is very simple and considering it's available on Boost Mobile, Why go elsewhere? It's cheap without a contract.

axllebeer

* BlackBerry by choice *
Damn a lot of hate here today lol. Whatever though. This phone will serve a good slot for Boost. On Boost this will add into a good slot on their lineup. Not sure what all the fuss is about here...

nyc_rock

Makes a great second device for the smartphone hoarder? Never heard that one before.

Dont like the hawking accessories as part of your review. Come on man, have some class.

hispanola

An 8 out of 10 is laughable considering this is nothing more then a repackaged Curve 9350/60/70. It could have a least had the 1gb of ram that the 9370 has. SMH @ RIM.

Rootbrian

The 9370 is NOT RELEASED YET. Quit repeating yourself.

hispanola

"The only time it slowed down for me was when I tried update multiple apps in BlackBerry App World at the same time. This pretty much seized up the 9310 and it was useless for a good ten minutes until my downloads were finished. Aside from that, no complaints as far as the OS goes."

That should be a major complaint! And while you may have not experienced it in the time you used it, at some point you will experience more of the spinning hourglass that renders the device unusable for a period of time. That pretty much negates a smooth OS experience.

psiebers

I got the new 9310 last night, and I will throw in my 0.02. I have owned every every curve model on Boost, so I speak from experience.

First; price point. I haven't seen a BB come in this low with Boost. They used to charge $249 for model that were so outdated that other carriers didn't carry them anymore. $99 is a great price for a decent phone. Up until a few days ago there was even a special for $75 on these puppies, so who knows, they might drop down a few bucks later on in the game.

Converting it over was a breeze through the desktop manager. It even brought over apps like Telenav; free TomTom GPS for Boost mobile users where Verizon and others will try to gouge you for it. That app in itself is worth it! I must say though that on the 8530 this app natively showed the speed limit (and colored it red when you were speeding), but in the 9310 version Telenav made this part of a premium subscription @ $5 /month together with speed trap, redlight camera, and traffic warning. I hope they don't take more and more out of the app to make it part of the paid package because I will stop using it just for that reason and go back to using WAZE. For now, it is still a good app, but crippled.

The speeds of the menu are good. It is faster than any of the other BB's I have had. It also beats my corporate Torch. Battery life is rumored to be longer; I can't verify that yet.

I love the radio; too bad it is FM only, but still it is great to have old fashioned radio.

One of the cons I have is the cheapo back side. The phone feels better than the 8530, but has the same plasticky back. The designer in charge of the battery door really needs to be fired for having no imagination.

I miss the media player buttons on top, but, truth be told they had issues anyway.

Another thing I don't like is the bloatware it is delivered with. I turned it on and had only 66Mb available! I used Desktop to remove all the unneeded apps like Poynt (pretty poyntless to me), and things like Youtube, and Social ware. The one language I really wanted on there (Dutch) is not availabe (go figure), but yet RIM has jammed every other (for me) useless language on there. Ripping out all the variations of Japanese, Chinese, etc together with the bloatware gives me now a whopping 126Mb available! If anyone can tell me how to add Dutch, feel free to PM me.

So all in all: I think the 9310 is a good phone for a very low price. On top of that my shrinkage payments are a month away from $45! Unlimited BB, Text, and nationwide calling; without contract... Can you hear me now?

:p

kingbernie06511

RIM really picks up the scraps with this phone....

Rootbrian

What scraps? I don't see any.

halfdeaf

Adam-
Thought I might pick up a 9310 as a 2nd phone, Until I read the review.
Seems the "phone" is all about social updating and not much more. I need one that makes and takes phone calls as well. Some people still Talk to each other on cell phones you know. .....Ok, Some kidding aside...

Too bad basic functions are rarely tested anymore.
People would like to know how a phone makes calls? Do calls come in Clear? Have good clarity? Loud enough? Loud speaker loud and/or clear?
Point is, Review a phone. The whole phone. Not just for What its marketed for.

fat_tony1970

This phone is garbage, why does boost only offer garbage blackberries? Slow slow slow, when TRYING to use the internet, the whole page can be done loading and when you try and scroll the page at all it just shows blue and white checker boards for 20 seconds then you can see again, that is until you have to scroll the page again. Then same checkerboard again. Takes forever to load pages, even simple ones.

I know these problems are the device itself also, as when I tether it to a pc, the internet is 3 times as fast on the identical pages. So its not just the slow network they use or throttling.

So just put another 75 bucks with what you're going to spend on this pile and get a real phone. That is if you want to do anything that all other AVERAGE phones do with ease.

punkrockbill

I have been a boost/curve proponent for years. Like many in the world I don't NEED a superphone. I pay $45/month for unlimited everything, I rarely use enough data to hit the throttle threshhold so I have no complaints about the speed, and I BOUGHT THE PHONE FOR $30 with a promo code that boost mobile sent me. $30!!! Those of you hating on this phone simply don't get it - we're not all 22 year old hipsters who have to be seen holding the latest $500 trend and announcing our every trivial thought or action to the world via FB, twitter, etc. Don't like it? Then don't buy it. But if you're going to get on here and deter others from doing so you're just an a$$hole.

To anyone reading these comments because you're considering this phone, keep in mind it is a more basic entry level smartphone, but I give it at least an 8 out of 10 all day, and in 2+ years of boost I can't remember a dropped call (except maybe when I'm out in the woods 100 miles from civilization, and even then it usually works). HOLIDAY50

Senor Wright

Great phone, Great price!..I love this phone.

jmcook79

I bought this phone on sale at Walmart for $49.88 down from the original $99.98. It is the Straight Talk version and uses Verizon towers. As a previous poster said, I don't need a "superphone" Just a basic smart phone for talking, texting, web browsing and Facebook. Coming from a non smart phone with a qwerty keyboard (Samsung R355C), this is a HUGE step up and I am completely satisfied. I've used friends Android and iPhones, and I honestly wasn't impressed. I would rather save my money and buy what works for ME. In the future when the new models are old, I'll get one of those. Not all of us need the latest and best.

Bonnie 46

I think that the 9310 is a pretty good phone. The price cannot be beat. The Boost Mobile plan gives you quite a good value for your money. For those on a limited budget the 9310 cannot be beat. With the economy the way it is I simply cannot afford to spend $300.00 to $500.00 for a cell phone. I think it is a really neat phone. I have fun playing around with it and at this price I can afford a Blackberry! I think that Adam did a very thorough and fair review. This review helped me decide to take the plunge and buy this little gem.

silky1108

I really like my BB Curve 9310, but it's not for everyone. It works just fine for me all you haytas out there. BUT, I heard a rumor (though from an unreliable source), that RIM is doing away with the BB Curve 9310 because it's considered obsolete. Can anyone confirm this for me? The DH that told me luvs to bs people - he's a proven I to the D to the I-O-T.