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BlackBerry Curve 9360

We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.

BlackBerry’s newest Curve the 9360 was released in September of 2011. The 9360 is one of the first phones to feature BlackBerry’s 7.0 operating system. It comes with the QWERTY keyboard and touch sensitive optical trackpad that BlackBerry users are used to having. There are 512 MB of internal RAM and storage which is expandable up to 32 GB using the microSD slot. Though it is on T-Mobile it doesn’t look like it’ll access their 4G network but it is 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capable. It can take 5 megapixel images and record VGA video. Also, unlike many BlackBerry’s which come in the standard black you can get this one in black or merlot.

Features List:

– BlackBerry 7 OS

– External QWERTY keyboard

– 512 MB internal memory

– 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth capable

– Camera

– Merlot

Digital Trends’ Cell Phone buying tips:

Apps

If a building is only as good as its foundation, then a smartphone is only as good as its app store. Even as manufacturers continue to stack their handsets with YouTube support, instant messaging, and other essentials right out of the box, the features just don’t add up to the amount of capability a phone can take on in the hands of the right developers: You name it, a good smartphone can do it.

The app store you buy into will have a longstanding effect on the way you use your phone – perhaps more than any other feature. But it’s tough to get a feel for every smartphone app store when you don’t get to push a cart down the aisles until you have a carrier contract in your filing cabinet and there’s no turning back.

Apple’s App Store has been leading the market in sheer numbers of apps since the original iPhone was release. Android is catching up in total numbers and offers a higher ratio of free apps in the Android Market than Apple does. Nokia’s Ovi Store, RIM’s BlackBerry App World and Microsoft’s Windows Marketplace all offer quality apps but currently lag far behind Apple and Android.

The difference between a smartphone and a feature phone

You could divvy up cellphones into dozens of different categories, but these are the two umbrella groups that matter. Smartphones like the iPhone can serve as personal calendars, e-mail machines, Web browsers, gaming platforms, and a literally unlimited number of other purposes. They’re essentially mini computers. Feature phones are more basic, but they still offer features like cameras, text messaging, and even some limited data connectivity, like checking weather or sports scores. Although smartphones obviously have a lot to offer, they also weigh more, offer less battery life, cost more to buy and run, and can make basic tasks like calling seem more complex. If you plan to buy one, make sure you’ll really take advantage of all the extras.

Best time to buy cell phones

With all major U.S. carriers announcing new phones around the clock and a dozen manufacturers all working overtime to produce the next killer device, keeping track of all the different models in circulation at any given time can seem like a Herculian task. But this frantic pace works to your advantage: Any time is a good time to buy a cell phone, as long as you keep your eyes open.

Jamie Lendino, a contributing editor at PC Magazine, recommends spotting three or four phones that suit your needs, then jumping on whichever one dives in price first. With the rapid pace of cell phones, you shouldn’t have to rest on your laurels for long. “Remember that ‘old’ in the tech world could mean just a few months from now,” says Lendino. Even the original iPhone, a high-demand handset which originally sold for $600, dropped a whopping $200 a little over two months after launch.

Of course, to take advantage of the most attractive phone deals, you’ll need to agree to a two-year service contract with a carrier like AT&T or Verizon. For potential buyers locked into existing contracts, this could mean riding it out with an older phone for a few more months in order to grab the massive rebates available upon renewal. Always call your provider to see if you might be eligible for an upgrade prior to an existing contract expiring. AT&T, for instance, allows customers with monthly bills over $99 to upgrade after just one year – as long as they’re willing to lock into another two years of service.

Choosing a carrier

Because most U.S. cell phone carriers heavily subsidize phone purchases in exchange for two-year contracts, and lock the phones to their networks, your choice of cell carrier will have more impact on which type of phone you end up with than any other factor. If you already have carrier and feel satisfied with it, the choice is easy. If not, you’ll need to choose one.

AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon dominate the cell phone market in the States. Speaking in very general terms, AT&T has a reputation for having the hottest phones but somewhat flaky service due to its overloaded towers, Verizon has the best reception but expensive rates, T-Mobile and Sprint offer some of the most affordable plans but have  more limited phone selection.

Prepaid carriers like Cricket, Tracfone, and MetroPCS often appear to offer excellent deals, but caveats like poor customer service, limited phone selection and inferior coverage have to be taken into account.

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