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Review: BlackBerry Curve 9370 for Verizon

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Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

The Curve 9370 runs BlackBerry 7, which is the same system that shipped on the Bold 9930 last year. The big difference is that the 9370 does not have a touch screen like Bold, so you have to rely on the trackpad for everything.

The home page has the status bar, the notification bar, main screen/wallpaper, and the app tray.

The status bar — where the clock, signal indicator, battery meter, etc. are located — is the top-most element. It offers a tray of tools, such as network controls (Wi-Fi, etc.), the alarm clock, and other basic settings. This feature doesn't work from other screens, only on the home screen.

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The notification bar acts similarly to the drop-down notification shade in Android. It lets users quickly get a look at all of the unread messages they may have received. This includes email, SMS, MMS, BBM, Twitter replies/DMs, and Facebook notifications. The app tray is where users will really be able to customize BlackBerry OS 7 handsets. The tray offers five different user-configurable home screens / menus.

The Universal Search tool can be used directly from the home screen to search for pretty much anything on the handset or the web. This includes contacts, web sites, and so on. Type a query for anything on the phone (a song, a file, a contact, etc.) and Universal Search finds it. If what you're looking for isn't on the phone, it offers web-based tools (YouTube, Bing, BlackBerry Maps, etc.) to continue searching.

I've used touch-based smartphones for so long that I found the trackpad difficult to adjust to for interacting with the menus. My instinct is to reach up and press the screen when I want to do something. For new smartphone users coming from a typical feature phone, this will likely not be a big issue, but anyone who is used to a touch device might be better served by a different BlackBerry model.


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