The BlackBerry Curve 8300 emerged as one of the best smartphone ideas of 2007. It pre-dated the first Android handset by a full year, and unlike the original iPhone, it was priced within reach of the average consumer. It introduced the masses to the possibilities of a connected and capable handset, and was the primary catalyst for the BlackBerry's meteoric rise to household name. With each subsequent iteration, however, the Curve remained a handset geared toward first-time smartphone buyers, and that axiom feels particularly true today.
We're now presented with the Curve 9360 ($29.99, on contract), a device that's ostensibly hobbled in order to differentiate itself from RIM's higher-end offerings, most notably the Torch 9810 ($49), Torch 9860 ($99) and Bold 9900 ($199). Specifically, we refer to its lack of a touchscreen. The omission will certainly be a deal-breaker for some, but whether it causes the market to reject it as a whole remains unknown. For our part, we're most interested in the impact on the handset's usability and its relevance in an increasingly competitive environment. In other words, has RIM included enough improvements to keep its Curve franchise afloat, or will this iteration sink like a stone? Join us after the break, as we delve into the Curve 9360 and explore these finer details.