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BlackBerry 9800 Torch Review

There is a lot riding on the new operating system RIM announced at the Wireless Enterprise Symposium this spring. This is the first significant operating system upgrade BlackBerry has had since Android and iPhone have exploded in popularity, and will mark RIM’s first concerted defense as reigning champion of the North American smartphone market. AT&T announced the BlackBerry Torch 9800 slider more recently, which is a pretty big departure in form factor as far as BlackBerrys go.

In many ways, the hardware is secondary in importance to BlackBerry 6, as older devices like the Bold 9650, Bold 9700, Pearl 9100 and all future devices (like the 9670 clamshell, Curve 9300, and the 9780) will be privy to the facelift. However, in order to really draw attention to the upgrade, RIM needed a new device to properly introduce BlackBerry 6 to the public. Some may say that a portrait slider is a little unoriginal; the Palm Pre isn’t that far from memory, and this could be seen by cynics to be little more than slapping a Bold keyboard onto the back of a Storm. However, there are some finer details in the device itself that set it apart from other BlackBerrys – the lack of SurePress definitely makes it a first for RIM, if the slider form factor doesn’t strike you as a particularly big deal.

There are a lot of things that we still want to see from RIM, but right now this is what they’re offering. At very least, it will sate existing BlackBerry loyalists who are hurting for something easier on the eyes, but does the BlackBerry Torch 9800 offer enough to sway buyers sitting on the fence, or even those comfortable with Android or iPhone?

  • 3.2-inch (480 x 360) capacitive touchscreen
  • 624 MHz processor
  • 5-megapixel camera with LED flash
  • WiFi (b/g/n)
  • GPS
  • HSPA 3G (UMTS 2100/1900/850/800 MHz; EDGE 850/900/1800/1900 MHz)
  • microSD (support for up to 32 GB)
  • 3.5mm headphone jack
  • BlackBerry 6 operating system
  • 4 GB internal memory with a 4 GB card included
  • 14 days standby, 5.8 hours talk time
The Good
  • Still has extremely efficient and reliable messaging
  • Smooth and crisp user interface updates
  • Excellent virtual keyboards
  • Simplified menus and setup
The Bad
  • Display and processor fail to meet the competition
  • Some function gaps and glitches in software
  • New home screen layout needs some polishing
  • Pinch-zooming can be chunky
Price: Rp. 6,650,000  -  Second Rp. 5,900,000


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