BlackBerry Curve 9220 Review

3/11/2013 9:04:07 AM

Curve 9220 is for users who don’t need any high requirements for technology. The machine has good practical performance plus endurance.

BlackBerry Curve 9220 looks not much different from 9320. RRP is $195, making this smartphone is the cheapest brand-name model in the market. The device runs BlackBerry 7.1 OS plus BlackBerry Setup, allowing users to link accounts from emails, SMS, social networks, data protection, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), BlackBerry ID (used to install apps)…

The device doesn’t feature 3G or GPS connectivity hence maps in apps appears useless. Though, via Wi-Fi plus GPRS connection, the brand’s browser could run fast, display better text than any popular models integrated with web-browsing.

The product looks compact and sturdy.

The product looks compact and sturdy.

Technical specs include 2.44in display plus 320x240pixel resolution, 512MB of RAM, 512MB storage, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM radio, micro-SD slot supporting 32GB capacity and rear 2MP camera. Especially, the 1,450mAh battery provides the longest runtime among models in the Curve series. This is an appropriate smartphone for students and users who don’t desire high requirements.


The model is designed elegant, compact and modern. Corners are rounded to keep the device fixed in palm. The rubber lining covers the body tightens the case and firmly keeps everything in places during long use. Keys are separated to comfort users in texting maneuvers.

The back lid is made of glossy plastic, along with the curve design that is commonly seen in Curve series hence user must feel the phone sturdy in palm. Though, this glossy plastic coat easily gets dirt and fingerprints, plus scratch as well.

Inside, the battery occupies most of the space, SIM tray is situated on the left while memory card slot is placed on top. The camera is designed to be separate thus removing or replacing battery won’t affect the camera much. Lightweight as it is, the model is quite heavy (102g).

In the left lies a shortcut key BBM, designed for fast access to apps: BlackBerry Messenger, emails, Facebook, Twitter… This feature is only available on Curve models.

In the right are volume keys and quick camera. The advantage of BlackBerry keys is to enable users assign or change their features. For instance, users can assign camera button to open web browser or check emails.


Although the screen features low resolution and small size, thanks to the BlackBerry 7.1 OS whose power can change interface as well as character size and icons, thus users can modify everything at custom, without worrying that texts would be too small to read.

The design incorporates easy-looking icons plus nice brightness and display.

The design incorporates easy-looking icons plus nice brightness and display.

From tilt-viewing, colors aren’t changed much but in outdoor conditions, they are illegible.

From tilt-viewing, colors aren’t changed much but in outdoor conditions, they are illegible.

The glass screen can stand against shock. In tests, we used pens and fingers to tap onto the display directly but there was no scratch or affect to the below screen. However, when fingers pressed the display hard, the below TFT LCD would be slightly affected, icons looked melted but this state could recover quickly.

The display delivered quite good brightness, even in bright conditions. Though, from tilt-viewing, there was still glare because of the protect glass, resulting in difficulty seeing either correct colors or images.


The device uses a 2MP camera, without autofocus, resulting in low image quality. Colors in low-lit are completely noised. There’s no flash plus image quality depends a lot in the environment. There’re only features such as frame options, night scene, texts… However, shooting ability wasn’t considerably improved.

Despite that, recording with voice is quite fine at 640x480pixel resolution, in full-lit lighting, with nice display plus good sound. File format is MP4, easily read on many devices.

Additionally, stereo near the bottom, delivers quite fine sound, enough for usage in office space.


The device’s web browser worked quite stably when opening texts and images via Wi-Fi connection, with less lag. Especially, social network apps have fast access because they were re-programmed to suit the small screen and specified for BlackBerry.

Nonetheless, social network apps won’t work once user turn Wi-Fi connection off. At then, the device turns to use GPRS, able to browse webs or read news only.

There’s also an effective FM radio. Connected with headphone, it was able to transfer sound to external outputs and detect several channels.

FM radio feature

FM radio feature

There’s also YouTube feature allowing users to view online clips. We tested with a 30-min video and found it run steadily with any lag.

Remarkably, talk/call ability of this device is much better than any Android phones. Voice sounded loud and clear; there’s no one-beat latency while waiting for another to answer. This issue often incurs in Android phones.

Battery and performance

Using 800MHz processor and 512MB of RAM, the model’s performance is not an upside. When installing extra apps: Yahoo Messenger, Opera Mini…, we had to wait a lot for the device to process.

Furthermore, the model’s start-up isn’t fast at all, since turning the power until displaying the interface, taking 60 seconds totally. However, the browser appeared powerful when playing web-embedded clips without any required installations of other plug-ins while for Android, it may not be able to display some embedded clips naturally.

The battery’s capacity is 1.450mAh. In a continuous usage featuring talking/calling, browsing webs via Wi-Fi connection and receiving regular feeds from social networks, the total time allotted could be up to 10h per charge. With the same usage above via GPRS connection, time allotted would be 14h.

Overall, BlackBerry 9220 is an efficient smartphone for those who don’t have many requirements for technology. This model owns superior talk/call ability over Android models, which are in the same price group and from Mexico or Canada, making BlackBerry 9220 a considerably long-lasting and useful model.

Technical specs

·         General info

·         2G Network: GSM 850/900/1800/1900

·         Announced: 2012, April

·         Status: Available. Released 2012, May


·         Dimensions: 109x60x12.7mm

·         Weight: 102g

·         Keyboard: QWERTY


·         Type: TFT, 65K colors

·         Size: 320x240pixel, 2.44in (~164ppi pixel density)

·         Feature: Touch-sensitive optical trackpad


·         Alert types: Vibration; Polyphonic(64), MP3 ringtones

·         Loudspeaker: Yes

·         3.5mm jack : Yes


·         Card slot: micro-SD, up to 32GB

·         Internal: 512MB ROM, 512MB RAM


·         GPRS: Yes

·         EDGE: Yes

·         WLAN: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n

·         Bluetooth: Yes, v2.1 with A2DP

·         USB: Yes, micro-USB v2.0


·         Primary: 2MP, 1600x1200pixels

·         Video: Yes

·         Secondary: No


·         OS: BlackBerry OS 7.1

·         Sensors: Accelerometer, proximity, compass

·         Messaging: SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM

·         Browser: HTML

·         Radio: Stereo FM radio with RDS

·         GPS: No

·         Java: No

·         Colors: Black, Fuchsia Pink, Pure White, Teal Blue

·         Other: P3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/FLAC player; MP4/H.263/H.264 player; Organizer; Document viewer; Voice memo/dial; Predictive text input


·         Type: Standard battery, Li-Ion 1450 mAh (J-S1)

·         Stand-by: Up to 432h

·         Talk time: Up to 7h

·         Music play: Up to 28h


·         SAR US: 1.31W/kg (head); 0.61W/kg (body)    

·         SAR EU: 1.61 W/kg (head); 1.01W/kg (body)    

·         Price group: Mid-segment


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