We caught a glimpse of RIM’s next OS 7 smartphone last week, the BlackBerry Curve 9380, and to add to the pre-release goodness is a fresh video of the live device. OS 7 is running as smooth as ever, and NFC is definitely in there, as seen on the wireless management screen. The BlackBerry 9380 is also put next to the Torch 9850/60, just to see how it compares, and it’s definitely the smaller entry-level phone we’ve come to expect since the CDMA roadmap leak.
We’re expecting the BlackBerry Curve 9380 to have a 3.2-inch 480 x 360 display like the current BlackBerry 9800, but bump up the processor speed to 800 MHz, and add 720p video recording to the 5 megapixel camera. Wikitude is loaded on there, so it’s probably safe to assume a magnetic compass is included as well. As far as looks go, the 9380 plants the four navigation keys flush with the screen, much like the Storm2, and instead of being on the side, the 3.5mm headphone jack is on the top. Aside from that, the volume rocker and general styling falls closely in line with the Torch 9850/60.
The weirdness of RIM’s naming conventions are readily apparent when you see just how similar the 9380 is the the 9850/60; shouldn’t they both be Torches, or Storms, or something? I get that RIM is trying to set the Curve as the entry-level family, but do consumers really identify phones based on pricing tier? Sure they care about price, but first and foremost they identify phones visually, and if the name doesn’t line up with what they expect to be looking at, there’s bound to be some confusion. Would Joe Shmo off the block have any reason to believe the Curve 9360 and this Curve 9380 are related in any way other than both being BlackBerry smartphones?
In any case, here’s a hands-on video. Will there really be enough room for this BlackBerry with the 9850/60 out there?