If you’re still one of the hundreds of thousands of users with a Curve 8520 or 9300 device, RIM has recently released the much better-priced Curve 9320 in South Africa, promising you less lag and more time spend chatting away on BBM. Hit the jump for more device info if you’re keen on getting one.
At release (as of today) only the Curve 9320 will be available on competing networks and MTN’s latest pamphlet already has the phone on contract. The cheaper 9220 will also be available in SA but its unclear when that device will actually launch. My guess is that RIM wants stock of the Curve 9300 to filter out before introducing the newcomer. If Cell C’s build your own contract idea is anything to go by, they might be the service provider to go for when the mobiles hit there.
Specs-wise the 9320 and 9220 start off with a faster processor (likely running at 800Mhz) with 512MB of RAM, enough to take away the terrible lags users experienced in OS 5 and OS 6 with slower devices. The camera takes another bump up to 3.15MP from the very limited 2MP on the Curve 9300, with the 9320 also boasting a LED flash and image stabilisation. The camera on the 9220 remains at 2MP and lacks flash. HD video recording is a possibility, but I’d expect that to be limited to 720p only. OS-wise the new handsets ship with Blackberry OS 7.1, matching up neatly to the other handsets in the Curve, Torch and Bold families. The screen size stays capped at 2.44″ with the same 320 x 240 resolution that is seen on the older Curve devices.
The new Curves also feature a built-in FM radio with the 9320 also chipping in with a GPS assisted with A-GPS through cell tower triangulation. The differences in the outer shells of the two phones will be largely cosmetic, with the 9320 featuring a silver accent on the rim of the phone, as well as a special convenience key labeled “BBM” to access your BBM messages without delving into menus or notification drawers. Both phones will also feature huge 1450mAh batteries, easily taking them to over two days of moderately heavy usage. If you choose to drain that battery by playing music, you’d also find that the 3.5mm headphone jack is now conveniently located on the top of the phone, making walking or running with it in your pocket or on your arm much easier.
If you’re keen on one, Expansys lists the 9320 at R2499 in Black (the only colour) while MTN is peddling the phone for R179 per month (note, without BIS included).
Discuss this in the forums: Linky