Review: BlackBerry Torch 9850
BlackBerrys are dedicated messaging devices, and the 9850 is no slacker. It does, however, have one serious drawback: The software QWERTY keyboard.
Quite simply, it is one of the worst I've used. The letters are terribly small and packed too tightly together. It literally took me 6 attempts to type my own name, for Pete's sake! The keyboard has three entry modes: Direct, Predictive, and Corrective. Using Direct mode offers no typing help at all. The Predictive mode attempts to correct as you go, and I found it often got in the way of what I was typing. The Corrective mode had the best results for me, but even then I had to do a lot of editing. I made no improvement after using the device for several days, which is what I would qualify as a typical break-in period. I sent some seriously cruddy emails while testing the Torch 9850. The Torch does support the software QWERTY in landscape mode, which makes it somewhat more usable, but it takes up too much of the screen's real estate and leaves too little room to see what you're typing.
Where physical keyboards appear to be RIM's forte, software keyboards are its nemesis.
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OK, email. The 9850 handles Exchange, POP3 and IMAP4 accounts with ease. Users can add up to 10 different email accounts to the 9850. It can display HTML email with no problem, and there are simple touch controls to perform actions such as replying, forwarding, and so on. The SMS/MMS client offers threaded messaging, which are defined in text bubbles that help to visually separate the different sides of the conversation. Adding any sort of media to outgoing messages is a breeze. BlackBerry Messenger 6 is on board, of course, to allow for PIN-based messaging. This newer version lets users interact with one another from within select connected applications. As for instant messaging, Google Talk, Windows Live, and Yahoo are supported. AIM isn't. If you add a Gmail account to the 9850, the software automatically sets up Google Talk.
On the social networking front, the 9850 comes with official Facebook and Twitter applications pre-installed. Each works well enough of its own accord to keep users in touch with their circles of friends, family and colleagues. There is also a Social Feeds application that streams status updates and posts from Facebook, Twitter, Google Talk, Podcasts, and user-defined RSS feeds.
Video Tour: BlackBerry Torch 9850
Here is a quick look at the Research In Motion BlackBerry Torch 9850 for Sprint. It offers the latest system software from RIM in addition to svelte good looks.
NXP Sues RIM Over Patents, Wants Triple Damages
Research In Motion was hit with a lawsuit by NXP, which alleges that RIM's BlackBerry Torch, Curve, and Bold smartphones infringe on six of its patents. NXP wants sales of the devices halted, and compensatory and triple damages.
Sprint Launching BlackBerry 9930 and 9850 on Aug. 21
Sprint today announced that it will release both the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9930 and the BlackBerry Torch 9850 starting Sunday, August 21. The 9930 will cost $249.99 with a new two-year contract, and the 9850 will cost $149.99 with a new two-year contract after a $50 rebate.
Sprint Confirms It Will Sell BlackBerry 9930 and 9850
Sprint today announced that it will sell variants of the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9930 and the BlackBerry Torch 9850 later this fall. Pricing and the exact availability were not disclosed.
RIM Dinged with Bluetooth-Related Patent Suit
Wi-LAN has filed a lawsuit against Research In Motion alleging that the BlackBerry maker is infringing on a single patent related to Bluetooth technology. Wi-LAN says a number of RIM's smartphones, such as the Bold, Pearl, Storm, and Torch, infringe on the patent.