Blackberry Torch (available by Bite in the Baltics) Review – RIM has finally made it to the next smartphone level

So as you may know Bite is the only distributor of Blackberry in both Latvia and Lithuania. While the last Bold (9700) has been selling very well and it is still a great device, there are some factors that did not make the current Blackberry product family sexy (specially for the residential segment)

blackberry torch 9300 300x199 Blackberry Torch (available by Bite in the Baltics) Review   RIM has finally made it to the next smartphone level

One of them is a local factor which is the lack of support for neither country for teh Blackberry aworld (which we hope will be launch soon). In the meantime we leave by accessing Getjar, which I may say does a great job

The second option was the lack of a real touchscreen device (the Storm was a big flop) and the lack of an appropriate OS and browser.

So the news of the arrival of the Torch, including the new OS6 version, including  a bonafide Webkit-based browser was very very exciting

And my summary is that this is a great device and Blackberry has finally stepped up to the new OS game and has fixed their browser painful experience until date. Probably it has not surpassed any of their rivals (Apple, HTC/Android and the new kid of the block Windows7) but it has created an amazing device, with a unique combination of Qwerty and touch screen that provides a very good platform for social media and browsing. Only the weight of the device (a bit on the heavy side) and not the greatest screen resolution are the most negative points. And yes the look and feel is not that original but let’s be clear lots of people likes the way that Blackberry look

Let’s go into details

Hardware

Height (closed): 4.37in / 111mm, Height (open): 5.83in / 148mm

Width: 2.44in / 62mm, Depth: 0.57in / 14.6mm, Weight: 5.68oz (161.1g)

Classic BB design, first glance it will remind you of the bold 9700 but you just see the screen on the front. Well packed features and when we slide down the qwerty keyboard it seems about the right size.While using plastic elements it gives you the impression of an elegant design

The worse part is that it seems heavy. Funny enough it is only 50grams more than the Bold 9700 but the first impression is that one

Keyboard is excellent and at par with the Bold. I believe the keyboard combined with the touch screen it was sets this unit apart from other smartphones in the market.

Battery is phenomenal. Really long and up to 5 hours talk time. Really exceptional as with touch devices this is one of the key issues

Overall it is not a sexy device it compare with the latest HTC or the iPHONE 4 but it is a classic and elegant BB design with an awesome combination of the qwerty and touch screen

Screen/ Camera

The Torch  480 x 360 capacitive display is probably one of the device’s weaknesses. It is not a bad screen resolution and pixel density, but compared with all its rivals on the high end level of the smartphone is lacks behind them (I would have expected at least a 480 x 800)

In the other hand Touch sensitivity is very good. I have read on several reviews (like engadget) that touch screen wasn’t outstanding but I believe that may have been because of initial engineering samples. My unit responded very well at any touch and the experience was very good

Also I believe that RIM has done a very good job on the way they have organized the menu on the home screen and it makes very easy to navigate with the touch screen

Camera is good with 5 megapixels with an LED flash. The closed up quality shots were great and I find much easier to navigate through the different camera menus than before

Software

But what we were all waiting for with the Torch is not the hardware. It is that finally RIM has developed a modernized OS as it previous version was well beyond the pack (Apple, Android and just launched Windows 7). While it’s not the radical departure some analyst were hoping for, most of the issues that users have noted on previous OS version have been taking care of.

MOST IMPORTANT one was the Browser because previous version you could hardly really enjoy browsing on your BB. The new Webkit-based browser, and Webkit also serves as the new underlying framework for email on the phone, as well as a new class of applications coded using web standards (sound familiar?).

Particularly I really like also the Universal search function (super search) on the main screen that searches on all net  all the data on your BB memory (contacts, bookmarks, email, etc..). Also the social media aggregation (social feeds) is really interesting

For a very detailed review, go to Engadget (although I don’t agree fully with the assessment)

http://www.engadget.com/2010/08/04/blackberry-torch-review/

For  a detailed product characteristics

http://worldwide.blackberry.com/blackberrytorch/torch_specifications.jsp

One Response to “Blackberry Torch (available by Bite in the Baltics) Review – RIM has finally made it to the next smartphone level”

  1. Nice review October 25, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    Nice review Chris,
    Finally a BB with touch screen…

    Fabio

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