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BlackBerry Torch review

A slider, a touchscreen, a new approach. But can the Torch keep RIMs fire burning?

Our Verdict

For a phone that's supposed to be the poster child of the new BlackBerry 6 OS, we hoped for a lot more. If you're a BlackBerry stalwart then you might find some joy here, but otherwise the Torch is unlikely to convert many of the Android and iPhone brigade.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 512 MB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 5.50 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 360

View full specification

For

  • Smooth touchscreen control
  • Great camera with scene selectors
  • Slide-out keyboard is a good compromise
  • Bright and crisp 3.2-inch screen
  • Good enterprise asset-tracking options

Against

  • Too slow for serious smartphone use
  • Keyboard is too small
  • App selection too practical
  • Not great for media
  • A bit on the bulky side

BlackBerry Torch review: Contacts and calling

Making calls on a BlackBerry has always been a pleasure.

BlackBerry torch

From dialing numbers by simply typing a person's name on the keypad to the sound quality on connected calls, you can't fault RIM's effort with the Torch. It seemed able to hold on to a signal with ease – even when in a moving car or switching between GPRS, EDGE and 3G – and the volume and base levels were spot on. Callers at the other end reported the line to be clear, too.

BlackBerry torch

You can dial numbers using either the slide-out hard keyboard or simply use the soft keyboard that's brought up with the phone closed when you press the green caller button. You can access the phone book this way too, and it all works rather well.

BlackBerry torch

But there is one cosmetic element missing, and that is full-screen caller ID. It won't be a deal breaker for most but with RIM increasingly targeting the youth market, it seems a real omission to have a small photo of your incoming or outbound caller appear on that screen while the rest of the real estate is wasted on a blue background.

Even Symbian saw sense and introduced this in latter editions, and it's an element of a phone OS most users have come to expect. This could be fixed with third party add-on software, as it has been on previous BlackBerry models, but it does niggle to not have it on an OS that is highly customisable in so many other ways.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Service Provider3
Input MethodTouchscreen, QWERTY
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory512 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value0.86 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Product FamilyTorch
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleSlider
ColourBlack
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time5.50 Hour
Product Model9800
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution480 x 360
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)161.1 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Memory Card Size Included4 GB
Memory Card Type IncludedmicroSD
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 6.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log
Height111 mm
Width62 mm
Depth14.6 mm
ManufacturerBlackBerry
Product NameTorch 9800 Smartphone
Processor Speed624 MHz
Product LineTorch
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeProximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberTHRTORCH9800BLK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.uk.blackberry.com
Marketing Information

Maximized Multimedia

Memory

With 8 GB of memory, expandable up to 32 GB with a microSD card, feel free to immerse yourself in all that inspires you.

Pinch and zoom

Use your fingers to pinch a screen for a zoomed out effect and expand two fingers to zoom in.

Enhanced music player

Thanks to BlackBerry 6 and a large screen, you can experience a full-featured music player that allows you to see full album art and track listings in portrait or landscape.