As Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone continue to battle for the top spot in the smart phone industry, the Research In Motion finally enter themselves in the race with the new Blackberry Torch 9800. Though this phone is not considered a “game changer”, the Torch is a great addition to the BlackBerry family.
If the early user reviews are any indication, the BlackBerry Torch is shaping up to be yet another resounding success for the RIM team. Understated yet powerful, the Torch features support for a wide range of cellular networks and offers impressive hardware and value for the money.
Let’s talk hardware before we get into a discussion about aesthetics and performance. The BlackBerry Torch 9800 features a Marvel 624 MHz CPU, 512 MB of RAM and 4 GB of on-board storage. Additionally, there’s a 4 GB microSD card that comes standard with the handset. Of course, the microSD can be upgraded up to 32 GB if you need more storage space. There’s also a 5 Megapixel camera with an LED Flash, the expected 3.5 millimeter headphone and MiniUSB ports, and an optical trackpad if you want to keep the gorgeous 360×480 pixel screen free of smudges and fingerprints.
In terms of looks, the Torch is extremely similar to its predecessors such as the 9700. The Torch comes with both a capacitive 3.2” touchscreen and a slide-down, full-size QWERTY keyboard. On this particular model, the individual keys have a slight bevel to them for a familiar, intuitive feel when typing. Measuring 0.56 inches thick, it feels incredibly solid and stable without being overly bulky. Weighing 5.68 ounces, supposed to be heavier than the iPhone 4 but doesn’t seem like it. Overall, it’s a nice evolution of the classic BlackBerry design without much compromise of its original look.
When it comes to usability, the new BlackBerry OS 6 is the highlight of this show. The latest iteration of the beloved operating system performs admirably when it comes to viewing media online and with general web browsing. The Torch is offered through AT&T and runs on their HSDPA/UTMS network, allowing for potential download speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps. In addition, it features quad-band EDGE support for making calls in virtually every country on the globe. As expected, it also features support for Wireless-N WiFi connectivity through any of AT&T’s 20,000 nationwide wireless hotspots.
The phone already comes fairly well equipped, so you shouldn’t need many BlackBerry Torch accessories. It also works with older RIM phone docks without any issues. While the Torch’s screen offers fair protection against scratches, you may wish to obtain one of the BlackBerry Torch Screen Protectors for a reasonable price online.
There are also many custom BlackBerry Torch Cases for sale that can protect your long term investment against surface damage. All in all, the Torch is an excellent phone that should keep current BlackBerry users happy and might even convince a few Apple fanatics to give it a try.