A powerful 1.2 GHz processor provides smoother multitasking and navigation, fast downloads, and crisp HD 720p video recording via the Torch 9810's 5-megapixel camera. And the integrated Liquid Graphics technology combines a dedicated graphics processor with the main processor for a highly responsive touch interface with incredibly fast and smooth graphics. Packed full of the latest mobile technologies, the Torch 9810 includes an augmented reality feature that uses the built-in compass (magnetometer) to display over 150 million points of interest, BBM contacts, and more. And BlackBerry's universal search has been amped up in BlackBerry 7 OS. With speech-to-text translation, you can now look for files, e-mail, contacts and music--and even search the web--all without typing a thing. With BlackBerry, on-the-go productivity is the name of the game. You'll get access to the world-class BlackBerry push messaging service with access to up to 10 supported business and personal e-mail accounts, plus BlackBerry Enterprise Server support for corporate e-mail installations. The DataViz Docs To Go Premium suite is pre-loaded for editing Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from anywhere, and you can access BlackBerry App World to download more productivity apps (as well as games and more).
- 4G-enabled professional smartphone with 3.2-inch touchscreen, slide-down QWERTY keyboard, and BlackBerry 7 OS
- 1.2 GHz processor, and Liquid Graphics technology; Wireless-N Wi-Fi networking; GPS for navigation and location services
- 5-MP camera with HD 720p video capture; Bluetooth stereo music; 8 GB memory; microSD expansion; HTML5 web browser
- Up to 6.5 hours of talk time, up to 300 hours (12.8 days) of standby time; released in August, 2011
- Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 0.6 x 2.4 inches ; 5.8 ounces
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
- Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S. and to APO/FPO addresses. For APO/FPO shipments, please check with the manufacturer regarding warranty and support issues.
- ASIN: B005IDWIMM
- Item model number: 9810
What the Torch 9800 should've been.....
For all intents and purposes - the Torch 9810 looks NO different than the 9800. If you put them side-by-side, I'm not sure if anyone would be able to tell which is which. That's alright though, since RIM focused on what's really important, and that's the hardware of the phone.
- The processor in the 9810 has been upgraded, same one that's in the Bold 9930 - Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2 GHz. There's no multi-core functionality or anything like that, but the processor upgrade definitely helps makes the Torch 2 a snappier phone.
- "Liquid Graphics Technology" - the Torch 9810 is touted as having this feature too, along with most of the OS 7 phones. Basically RIM put in a separate graphics processor to handle all the visual stuff, which again, does help make the phone seem more fluid and responsive - but don't think that means you won't see the all-too familiar hourglass. You will at times, just not as often.
- Screen resolution has been bumped up. It used to be 480 x 360, but they've increased it to 640 x 480. I was hoping RIM would jump on the qHD wagon and get some phones with that kind of screen resolution, but it looks like we'll have to wait a bit longer.
- Updated camera software: the camera is still 5 MP, but the zoom was extended from 2X to 4X, and face detection was added to the Torch 2. There is no front-facing camera, so doesn't look like Video Chat will be working anytime soon on a BB phone....
- OS 7: nice OS, browser is once again improved. The amount of space it takes up in memory seems to have shrunk as well - about 15% less than OS 6. Two new business apps are included, called BlackBerry Protect and Balance. Protect allows your business to remotely monitor, configure and wipe, if necessary, a remote smartphone so when the phone disappears, your whole business life doesn't disappear along with it. And Balance separates business from personal stuff on a BlackBerry, which helps avoid the possibility of confidential data accidentally being sent to all those shady contacts.....
Alright - so is it worth it??
This one is honestly a judgement call - so I'll say it like this: if you have the original Torch, you might not like it, since it feels like this is what the Torch 9800 should've been all along. If you have an older Blackberry - you will like this.
1) The upgraded hardware really helps make the phone a pleasure to use. With the faster processor and the increased RAM size, the phone's no powerhouse - but it becomes somewhat competitive with what's out on the market today.
2) Battery life gets a nice improvement: I believe this was an OS issue as much as a hardware issue on the Torch 9800, but it seems that RIM corrected the OS part with the new OS 7 - battery usually lasts me a day, even with Pandora going. Nice job RIM. (Good note to make: the old Torch's battery is compatible with the new Torch)
3) Phone calls - hey, let's face it, the Torch is a PHONE. It can do a whole lot of other stuff - but at the end of the day, it's a PHONE, and I should be able to make PHONE CALLS. Never had a dropped call yet - especially in NYC. Something I hated about the iPhone was that - especially in the city - I would lose a bunch of calls. Never happened with this Torch. Not yet anyway....
4) 4G - RIM's first 4G phone right here. I only experienced the speed once - near NYC. I got around 4 MB/s down - it was beautiful. 4G service is very spotty though - at the moment, especially with AT&T. Should get better as time goes on.
1) Battery cover: GOD, I really hate the back that RIM put on this Torch. I don't know what they were thinking, but I trashed it as soon as I saw it. I'll use the old Torch's cover, thank you very much....
2) Same old, same old: RIM tends to get stuck in a rut when it comes to taking some chances with designs. I was hoping the Torch 2 might have some design improvements - or at least some visual improvements, but instead, it's just more of the same. I hope RIM gets willing to take some risk in this field soon....
3) Top buttons way too sensitive: this was a problem on the first Torch too. It was way too easy to lock your phone. RIM, in keeping with the same design elements, also migrated this problem to the Torch 2.
Bottom line: the Torch 2 is a good phone, really what the Torch 1 should've been. If you're okay with it looking like the original Torch, then by all means - jump on this. For the rest of you - you may want to try another Blackberry, such as the new Bold 9930 - or the Monaco, which should be coming out sometime this month.
I'll update this as I use the phone more, but feel free to leave a comment or question below. I'm here to educate, so if I got something wrong, let me know....
I do not plan to discuss the Torch long list of features and capabilities. They are all listed at RIM's and 100 other different sites. I will only talk about why I currently prefer the Torch vs. almost anything else (still not decided between a Torch and a Bold) as a 'business' phone even now when my employer would allow me to use other brands if I wanted to.
THE TORCH ADVANTAGE
- Physical keyboard - The most visible Torch feature is the sliding keyboard. This allows for a larger display when compared to, let's say, the Bold, without resulting into a larger phone. The illuminated keyboard seems to be the exact same size of a Bold's, only it becomes available when needed. This is not the only phone with a sliding keyboard but this is probably the best engineered. Sliding the keyboard in and out is quick, near-effortless and it quickly becomes second nature.
- Touch screen - Not the first Blackberry with the feature but this seems to be the best on a BB so far. Yes, it's not as good as iPhone's but, for what I'm using it, it's just right. There is an on-screen keyboard which adapts itself to portrait/landscape but that's the least advantage the touch screen offers. The new Blackberry OS allows me to 'touch' just about anything on the screen and trigger... something. Gestures are also supported including 'pinch-zoom' in and out. And, related...
- Buttons - Maybe this should have been at the top of the list. This Blackberry does not force me to do everything by touching the screen. Almost everything can be done by either pushing/clicking a button and controlling the cursor with the little trackpad or by interacting directly with the screen (tap virtual buttons) or a combination. Most of the time it's 'a combination' for me and it's always the way I feel most comfortable about doing things. I appreciate the ability to use physical buttons when I want it.
- Email integration - This is a 'soft' feature. The Torch can integrate several email accounts, including the 'enterprise' email into one 'consolidated' mailbox while still giving me the ability to view them separately if I chose to do so.
- Wi-Fi - The Wi-Fi ability saves money. My employer encouraged me to pick a plan that charges by the call. Unless it's a VoIP. Therefore, while at home or in the office, the Torch makes calls the Wi-Fi way at no cost to my employer.
[Some of the comments below may or may not apply, depending on the carrier you're using.]
- The App Store - Not so good, not too many selections and a lot of 'premium' apps doing things that lots of free apps or significantly less expensive apps would do in an Android or Apple environment.
- Paid GPS and other services. GPS does not need 3G or any connection to the phone company to do what GPS does. My in-car GPS takes me from here to there, updates its maps (for free) whenever I connect it to my laptop and it gives me real-time traffic updates. And I don't pay one dime in subscriptions. GPS should be free.
- Many More 'premium' Services - I understand that phone companies want to make as much money as they possibly can but competition is tough and I found no incentive to take advance of paid 'radio' or similar offers.
- The Battery - Without watching movies, just a little bit of Web browsing and regular phone and mail, the Torch would need daily recharges. It would go for 2-3 days with phone and email (no browsing) only. A longer battery life would have been nice.
MY RATING (4.5 stars)
I will round this up to 5 stars because I am really happy with my Torch. There are some real issues when it comes to 'apps' and services other than phone and mail but, from my point of view, they don't matter to me much. Yes, the battery is a concern and at time I worried about running out of juice in a place where a recharge was no possible, but all the other 'weak' features I don't miss because I don't use them. The Torch is my 'business' phone and just about everything that impacts my business is done well.
>> Brush your teeth, it's the law! <<