Monday, March 7, 2011

The case for the BlackBerry Curve 9300

Sometimes we bloggers focus too much on the hardware, and not enough on the service connected with it. I think it is because a lot of us who now review and evaluate mobile phones came from personal computers and laptops. 

Today, I want to make the case for the BlackBerry Curve 9300. The BlackBerry Curve 9300 is the latest entry level smartphone from RIM. It is a 3G capable QWERTY messenger phone. Among RIM's offering this is my favorite, since it has the lowest cost of entry, available for as low as Php14,700 at DCK Mobile Gadgets with an official RIM one-year parts and service warranty, that is the lowest price I have found for the BlackBerry Curve 9300 with an official warranty. 

At that price, it is about the cost of a mid-level Android smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Ace, and cost more than other good budget Android like the HTC Wildire, LG Optimus One and the Samsung Fit, Mini and Galaxy 551. If other than calls and text, you are looking a mobile WiFi web browsing device, the Androids with their larger displays and touchscreen interface will be more inviting. But it would take a unlimited data plan for these phones to be used to their full potential, which means another investment of Php14K per year.

On the other hand if you are looking for a value minded always connected mobile solution, consider a BlackBerry and the Php300 per month BlackBerry Social service, available from both Globe Telecoms and Smart Communications. This keeps you connected to the web 24/7, albiet selectively, for Php3.6K a year.  

What do you get for your Php300 a month?

1. BlackBerry Messenger. In addition to SMS, you can send messages to other BlackBerry service users via BlackBerry Messenger. If you have a barkada on BlackBerry's this could be the best way to stay connected. Basically, it is "unlimited text" within the BlackBerry network. The service crosses network lines so if your barkada is made up of Globe, Smart and Sun users, you can communicate with all of them provided you all sign up for BlackBerry services. Think of it as unlimited text to all networks. 

2. Instant Messaging. You get 24/7 unlimited instant messaging to Yahoo, AOL, MSN and Google Talk networks. Google Talk is a good way to stay in touch with your Android friends on unlimited data plans.

3. Social Networking. Who does not Facebook these days? While HTC may have their new Facebook inspired phones, BlackBerry offers the cheapest way to stay connected to Facebook 24/7. BlackBerry's Social will allow you to connect to Facebook, Twitter and My Space all you want. Be careful not to click links to third party sites, this will incur data charges.

These videos are from BB OS 6, found on the BlackBerry Torch. Models running BlackBerry 5 also can post and updates and received social feeds, but instead of having one integrated client, each network is accessed through it own app. 

Or push email instead. Instead of Social Networking, you can have push-email instead. Basically, Php300 a month buys you: 

(a) BBM, IM and social networking; or,
(b) BBM, IM and push-email. 

So, while the BlackBerry may not be the highest tech phone in the market, it is the platform which provides you the cheapest way to get hyper-connected (my wife term for those of us who like to be online 24/7). 


  1. I don't think you can subscribe to both BB MSG & BB SOCIAL at the same time, AFAIK they can only be subscribe to one at a time only,
    pls correct me if wrong

  2. I did not see any limitation, so I assumed that you could. But I did not really ask them directly. Best to be sure. Have sent both Globe and Smart queries and will post feedback here.

  3. You are correct. You have to pick just one of the two. Will revise the article. Thanks.

  4. there is also an activation fee of 450 pesos daw, as explained to me by their customer service. wierd... i hope this is just a miscommunication.

  5. The P450 is the activation fee for the BlackBerry Internet Service. I don't that applies to BlackBerry Social and Messaging.

  6. I think the activation fee is good only for the postpaid plans, prepaid plans are good-to-go. I was asking that now in some forums and they were like snubbing me every time I ask about it. So, I presume that it is not an issue to those with BB. I have ordered a BB for myself, a BB8520. I hope it would meet what I expect from BB and its services.

    I think there is a promo from Globe, BB9300 is free at Plan999 with unlimited BIS for 3 months, only until March 15, 2011. Sad.

    About the post, I think it is more on the BIS services rather than the BB9300. I expected something about how the BB9300 bumps with the other similarly-priced smartphones. Still a good post though.

  7. This is really just a hobby blog. I do not have the equipment to do a real review. For that, you are better off looking at GSMArena, Trusted Reviews and Phone Arena. I am surprised about how many issues are not reported... so resort to Forum's is a must.

    When buying laptops, the professional reviews were good enough. With smartphones, I guess being less mature products, there are more issues than I expect, despite resort to a lot of reviews. The three devices I have gotten in the past three months resulted in unexpected surprises.

    I had the N8 production defect issue, the Samsung Galaxy Tab's A-GPS takes forever to to get a signal compared to the HTC Desire HD. The HTC Desire HS's flash does not seem to adjust correctly resulting in over exposed pictures at night.

    The BB9300, well it is pretty much a BB8520 with 3G. Value for money the BB8520 is a great deal at the current price point. If you don't need the 3G, the BB8520 will do fine.

  8. I understand the "lack" of resources issue, I was just expecting an entry of a first-hand grasp about the phone model.

    Actually, my concern about the entry was that it is a little confusing, in terms of the objective of the article. That is, I read the title "...BB9300" which it turned out that it was just used as an example to compare the cost of having add-ons [services] as compared with other smartphone [brands]. Which in fact, it was a case of having any blackberry phone, whatever the model is.

    I ain't bashing or whatsoever, I was just intrigue about the article because I was recommending my sister to get one from a postpaid promo offered by Globe. And I like to need some extra reviews from users other than the review sites, though reliable but sometimes can be tainted with muddy comments from bloggers. Consider this one as a constructive critique - if you must. Thanks for the clarification, still.

  9. All comments are welcome. It is nice to know someone is actually reading this thing.Okay, the model choice. I wanted to choose a entry level BlackBerry model. The BB8520 will be phased out soon. Hence the choice of the BB9300 over the BB8520.

    The theme of the article is the phone is only as good as the service attached to it. At the risk of being flamed, a high-end or even mid-level Android phone or Apple iOS phone without an unlimited data service, in my opinion, is all for show.

    If one just needs a WiFi device, get a tablet or iPod Touch. iPod Touch plus a good feature phone is a value for money combo.

    What makes the BB9300 (and the BB8520) good is that there is a reasonable priced service which makes the phone worth it. Without the BB service, it really is no better than one of the lower cost Symbian messenger phones.

    What will not make RIM happy (with me), is that, in my opinion there is no good reason to buy a Bold or Torch these days. If you want to invest in a high end BlackBerry wait for the next generation.

    If the service were not a consideration (assuming I could have any plan or service I wanted), a humble LG Optimus One or Samsung Galaxy Ace would be a better choice than a entry level BB.

    But LG Optimus One + Unlimited Data is a more costly option than BB9300 + BlackBerry Social.

    In sum, any BlackBerry phone, even the highest end Torch, without the BB service is really not better than phones half their price.


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