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BlackBerry 9800 Torch Hands-On

BlackBerry 9800 BlackBerry 6 Comments  27  

Aug 3, 2010, 10:03 AM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper
updated Aug 3, 2010, 1:59 PM

Phone Scoop goes hands-on with the new BlackBerry 9800 Torch, the first to offer the BlackBerry 6 OS. Here's what we think.

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The BlackBerry 9800 Torch is slick. It is about the same size as a 9650 Bold, perhaps a little thicker. RIM has always done a good job designing and manufacturing hardware, and the 9800 Torch looks to be no different. It feels solid in the hand and well built, with good materials.

9800 Torch  

The Torch has a 3.2-inch capacitive touch display that was responsive, though I found the 480 x 360 resolution to be a bit disappointing. RIM's competition — i.e., Motorola, HTC, Apple — is firing off HD displays with 800 x 480 pixels left and right. RIM needs to step up the display tech.

There are four physical keys underneath the display (Send, BlackBerry, Back, End), and an optical trackpad in between for on-screen navigation. The trackpad worked well, as did each of the buttons.

There are but two buttons on the right side of the device, one for the camera and a second for the volume controls. The were not awesome. The camera button, in particular, requires the user to press it way down into the side of the device. Way too much action. There are also the two now-familiar silence and lock keys built into the top edge of the 9800. They work fine. There are no buttons on the left or bottom edges of the 9800. The microUSB hatch for charging and data transfer is on the left.

The slider mechanism is solid, though sliding it open with your thumb is a pain in the butt. There isn't a good "catch" for your thumb to hold onto to help provide leverage when opening it. According to RIM, the 9800's screen won't react to your thumb if the slider is being opened, though I was unable to see that for myself. Once open, you have access to the full QWERTY keyboard.

The keyboard is excellent. I'd rate it one of the better keyboards from RIM in recent memory. The additional real estate provided by the slider form factor gave RIM a little extra breathing room. It put that extra space to good use when designing the keyboard.

I am generally don't like vertical slider phones. RIM has done as good a job as it can with the 9800. The hardware is top-notch. Nothing about it felt cheap or under-designed. Those who like the idea of a touch screen but still need that physical keyboard should be happy enough.

Here is a video tour of the 9800 and BlackBerry 6.


This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.


Aug 3, 2010, 12:16 PM

Blackberry Haters bow down

I could go back and pick out dozens of quotes that say "blackberry is old and needs new software" well AT&T has it. Blackberry is never first to a feature, but when they do release its flawless. unless ofcourse its for verizon and sounds like you're playing "trouble" TM everytime you click it. I'm still happy AT&T passed on the storm and let verizon have it. Looking forward to it! but where's flash 10.1?
Bow down huh? How about I just let my HTC Incredible continue to mercilessly teabag every blackberry... ever.. and its not even the best android phone anymore.

Have fun with AT&T's flawed data plans you fool.
The Blackberry Storm was true crap and soured my opinion of RIM. I think it was damaging to their brand.

Although RIM has never been about having the highest-end specs, they should've had this out on the market two years ago. It's finally a welcome...
Actually, no phone is without is flaws, Bold 9000 likes to reset itself or freeze, and the Storm had memory leak problems soo please reframe from making uneducated comments!!!
@ Tomb1312, you can't be serious? Eh? Bow Down? AT&T? That is likes buying a 36 inch CRT tube TV and telling your friend who owns a 60 inch LED flat TV to bow down. I owned a BB Curve 8300 for over a year and it was a solid device and never failed me...
For Sprint's version of the Torch... it's probably going to be 4G. BOOYAH!
It's nice but nothing new. They just caught up with the rest of the smartphones. Nothing new and innovative.

They will need to come up with something completely new in order to grab some ground back that they have lost to other companies.
I can't wait to see a CDMA version of this phone! I've been a BB fan for years, and I for one am glad they take their time making changes.

Long live RIM! Wink

Aug 3, 2010, 10:27 PM

3.6Mbps or 7.2Mbps

Phonescoop's specs on this phone say 3.6Mbps, but the guy reviewing this phone on here said it's a 7.2Mbps... which is it for sure?
its 3.6mbps from my info
The guy reviewing this may have been in a more heavily concentrated area for AT&T's service. Where I am, the service sucks, and it's a pretty large city. The iPhone drops calls down town. BOOO!

Aug 3, 2010, 12:18 PM

"Both CEO's have said they are "very excited" about 1000 times."

LOL YES! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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