BlackBerry Curve 9380 Review: Not What You’d Expect: User Interface

By 03:41 Wed, 11 Aug 2021 Comments


BlackBerry Operating System (OS) 7 is new, but doesn’t feel like it

We already met with the RIM's latest Operating System (OS) on numerous phones with different hardware. At first it was a pleasure, but then it is inevitable to realize it’s the same recent Operating System (OS) with the bare minimum of touch-optimizations.

And when we thought we saw everything, here comes the first ever touch-only Curve. It's a small and cute gadget, supposedly cheaper than its other touch-capable siblings. The 3.2" display has HVideo Graphics Array (VGA) resolution, but the BB Operating System (OS) 7 is fine in resolution scaling so it fits equally well on the Video Graphics Array (VGA) or even the WVideo Graphics Array (VGA) ones.

We are going to see at the BB Operating System (OS) 7 in detail once again, for a complete and comprehensive coverage of the phone and its features. There are parts of reused text but that's inevitable given most of the interface is the same, it’s only scaled differently. And you can rest assured that all the BlackBerry Curve 9380 specifics are duly reflected.

Number 7 is the last upgrade of the Operating System (OS) before the upcoming switch to QNX. The Operating System (OS) 7 brings few recent features (NFC and HD video are well worth a mention though) and focus rather goes to the improved user experience instead.

The recent platform is based on more potent graphics hardware, and it’s exactly the higher system requirements that won’t allow older BlackBerry phones to run the recent BB Operating System (OS) 7.

Here goes our traditional video demo to warm you up.

BlackBerry Operating System (OS) 7 looks are inspired by the Playbook's QNX-based tablet OS. The UI icons have been updated to mimic the PlayBook, but the rest is pretty much the same as you've seen it through the years - all functionality changes are kept to a minimum for fine or bad.






BlackBerry Operating System (OS) 7 UI

The status area of the homeclassy screen has virtual buttons in a row, allowing you to quickly toggle the cellular, Wi-Fi, NFC and Bluetooth radios. It gives you quick access too to the alarm clock and settings menu.



You can manage your wireless connections by selecting the status area and clicking on it

Clicking on the loudspeaker icon underneath lets you change the currently active profile, while the magnifying glass on the other side of the homeclassy screen lets you start a search. BlackBerry Operating System (OS) 7 is voice search enabled, too. Tapping on a small mic icon next to the Search bar will activate it.






Profiles • The universal search works great

Missed events - SMS, email or missed calls - can be quickly accessed by pressing the bar between the search and profile icons on the default screen.





Notifications

Below that is the app tray, which consists of several tabs. You can easily swipe it out of sight or pull it up to show one to five rows of icons.

Sideways swipes reveal the different panes that sort the main menu into All, Favorites, Media, Downloads and Frequent. The frequently used apps list are auto populated by the system. You can define which of the main menu panes should be shown. Folders can be added to the main menu and items can be moved into folders.

You can either utilize the menu key or tap and hrecent on an icon to reveal options such as Move, Mark as Favorite, Move to folder.





Frequent, Media and All tabs

So, there is a trackpad and there is a touchscreen. The trackpad is the usual sharp and precise control. One place where it makes a lot of sense is in listed submenus that pop up as you press the Menu key. Not that they are not thumbable - it's just that incorrect presses are completely ruled out with the trackpad.

Pretty much everything you see is clickable in BlackBerry Operating System (OS) 7 and works the way it's supposed to. There are still small elements such as the homeclassy screen Search and Profiles icons, which are easier to access via the trackpad rather than the touchscreen.

The vital thing to note is that, unlike the flat iOS layout, the Curve 9380 has a menu button to access options that are not visible on the screen. You acquire used to that pretty quickly though so in the end, the Curve 9380 manages to haged both recent and returning users happy. Trackpad and touchclassy screen complete each other in a natural way.


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