TechPinas Ten Points (TPTP) Gadget Reviews presents...
BlackBerry Torch 9800
"The new BlackBerry Torch smartphone builds on the familiar and powerful capabilities of the BlackBerry platform to provide the features that are ideal for socially connected consumers while also providing the tools that business customers trust," shares Gregory Wade, Managing Director, Southeast Asia at RIM. "The new BlackBerry 6 operating system includes many new features that users will enjoy, including Universal Search, Social Feeds and a fast WebKit browser."
BlackBerry Torch 9800 features an exciting combination of a full touch screen, optical trackpad and backlit slide-out BlackBerry keyboard. It offers support for 3G networks around the world, includes Wi-Fi connectivity and features built-in GPS for location-based applications and geo-tagging. The handset features a 5 MegaPixel camera with continuous auto focus, image stabilisation, scene modes and zoom, and it also supports VGA @ 24fps video recording. Also, it comes with a combined 8 GB of media storage out-of-the-box and includes a microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports storage memory to 32 GB.
2. In true TechPinas fashion, let's do the panels --
The face of BB Torch 9800 flaunts its 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen. Above that, you will see the earpiece and the proximity sensor. Below, we have the Call knob, BlackBerry button, Optical Trackpad, Back button and Drop knob.
Sliding the touchscreen up reveals the patented BlackBerry fretted full QWERTY keyboard.
The right side of the device has the microUSB port.
The left side shows the camera button, volume control knob and 3.5mm audio jack.
Top panel has the Silent Mode and Screen Lock rockers.
Nothing at the rear.
The back panel flaunts the 5 MegaPixel camera, LED flash and the textured battery cover
3. What can you say about BB Torch 9800's Form Factor and Design Identity?
Form Factor: I've always thought RIM is one of the best phone makers in the world, releasing well-constructed handsets that can actually take a beating. BB Torch is no exception; Its construction is stellar. What I particularly like is how solid the slide mechanism is; No wobbling whatsoever.
Design Identity: I think BB Torch 9800 is a gorgeous phone. I like the metallic accents lining the edge of the device and on fretted keypad. In my opinion, the handset exudes corporate sophistication and elegance.
4. BB Torch 9800 is a slide-out device; What can you say about its touchscreen and its physical keypad?
Touchscreen: BB Torch 9800 features a 3.2-inch capacitive touchscreen that's very responsive to touch gestures. Its not as big as the screen of flagship slider phones by other companies but I think it works well with the OS in the sense that the UI doesn't feel cramped.
Keypad: I have average-sized thumbs and I didn't experience problems thumb-typing on BB Torch's keypad. The tactile feedback is great.
5. BB Torch 9800 runs BB 6 OS; What can you say about the OS?
I recorded a video of the BB 6 OS' UI. I'll post that in a week's time.
I think RIM worked hard to optimize OS 6 for touchscreen devices such as BB Torch. I like the intuitive user interface, the enhanced web browsing experience (vs. previous versions of the OS), the universal search function, social feeds and the more engaging multimedia experience (again, vs. previous versions of the OS.)
6. What can you say about Messaging and Social Networking Services Integration on BB Torch 9800?
As expected, BB Torch excels in the Messaging department. Composing and organizing text messages and emails can done be quickly and easily. The email client is a joy to use.
If you like Facebook for BlackBerry and Twitter for BlackBerry on Curve and Bold lines, you'll fall in love with the Touch and Type version of these apps on BB Torch 9800. You'll see more status updates by friends and you'll find it easier to jump between pages.
BlackBerry Internet Service brings out the best in BlackBerry Torch 9800. If you want to discover the features that hardcore BB fans have grown to love on their phones (like Facebook and Twitter for BB) and to unleash the BlackBerry's true power to keep you connected with your social networking, email and messaging accounts while on the go, then make sure that you keep BIS activated on your phone. If your BB is issued by your company, register it on your office's BlackBerry Enterprise Server.
7. What can you say about the BB Torch's imaging and video recording capabilities?
I think the phone takes decent photos and videos. However, in my opinion, compared to other flagship handsets like Nokia N8, HTC Desire HD, HTC Desire Z, Samsung Galaxy S and iPhone 4, BB Torch's imaging capabilities would seem mediocre at best.
BB Torch's camera works best in well-lit conditions.
8. What can you say about the phone's browser and connectivity support options?
Its browser is one of the best things about BB Torch 9800. It features tabs for quick simultaneous access to multiple sites, pinch to zoom gesture support and a zoom feature with intelligent text wrapping in a column. The browser is joy to use.
BB Torch supports Wifi, Bluetooth and 3G. I find that the phone handles all these connectivity options quite well. Easy to set-up and connects with no hiccups whatsoever.
9. What can you say about the phone's music and video playing capabilities and audio quality?
BB Torch's music player comes with a slightly improved UI compared to earlier versions. It supports single track repeat and album art aka Cover Flow. Tracks can also be played in the background.
The video player is practically the same as that of most touchscreen phones. You get the familiar play, stop, previous track and next track buttons. Unlike other video players though, Torch's support DivX and Xvid.
The sound quality from Torch's speakers is quite good; not just loud but also clear. The same can be said when you use the BB earphones.
BlackBerry Torch 9800 is easily the most gorgeous BlackBerry handset I've ever used. Looks-wise, it can stand shoulder to shoulder with svelte phones like HTC Legend, Nokia N8, Samsung Galaxy S and iPhone 4.
Thanks to BIS, when it comes to messaging and SNS, BlackBerry Torch is the phone to beat. Touch-optimized Facebook and Twitter Apps for BB are totally easy and fun to use.
While not having as big an ecosystem as that of iOS or Android, BlackBerry 6 OS is nonetheless very easy to use and quite slick too.
Great as it is in some areas, BB Torch seems lacking in the imaging department - IMHO. I would have loved to see an 8 MegaPixel shooter with 720p video capture capability on BB Torch. Those imaging specs appear to be a standard in flagship releases such as this phone.
TP Star Verdict --
All things considered, I'm giving BlackBerry Torch 9800 8 out of 10 stars.
Here are the complete technical specifications of BlackBerry Torch 9800:
|Name||BlackBerry Torch 9800|
|Type||Slate Form Factor (Full Touchscreen) with Vertical Slide-Out Full QWERTY Keypad|
|Price Category||High-End (Flagship Release)|
|Dimensions||111 x 62 x 14.6 mm|
|Available Colors||Black, Dark Orange, White|
|Operating System||BlackBerry 6 OS|
|Display||3.2-inch, 360 x 480 pixels, TFT, capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors|
|Processor||624 MHz processor|
|Camera||5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash|
|Video Capture||VGA at 24 frames per second|
|Audio and Video Playback||Media player MP3/WMA/eAAC+/FlAC/OGG player |
- Video player DivX/XviD/MP4/WMV/H.263/H.264
|Ports||microUSB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack|
|Connectivity||Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, DLNA Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP|
|Network||2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 /800|
|Memory||4 GB storage, 512 MB RAM, 512 MB ROM, expandable via microSD card slot, supports up to 32GB, 4GB card included (in most territories)|
|Uptime||Standby of up to 432 hours on 2G Standby of up to 336 hours on 3G Talk time of up to 5 hours 40 minutes on 2G Talk time of up to 5 hours 30 minutes on 3G|
|Value-Added Features||BIS, Full QWERTY Fretted Keypad|
|Availability||Now Available in the Philippines|