BlackBerry Torch review

A slider, a touchscreen, a new approach. But can the Torch keep RIMs fire burning?

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BlackBerry Torch review: Verdict

BlackBerry torch

If you're a BlackBerry user who wants to move to OS 6, you may go for the Torch because it has that veneer of gloss. It's also a new form factor – especially when you consider the 9780 looks almost exactly the same as the 9700.

Likewise, if you're a power user who wants full customisation, this may suit better than an iPhone. And despite Android having been around for several years now, the media aspects of OS 6 far outshine Google's standard offering.

Overall, the Torch doess the basics (calls, messaging, Twitter, Facebook, PIM) well and then expands on them with an improved web browser (albeit without flash), brilliant media capabilities, a camera that does the job and phenomenal battery life.

And while perhaps the most common complaint about the Storm was its lack of physical keyboard – RIM's definitely addressed that here. It just doesn't feel like its been addressed fully.

We liked

The battery's strong performance was really amazing, as was the ease of connecting the Torch to a Mac.

The media capabilities have been well thought out and the handset really does have a premium look and feel.

RIM hasn't forgotten its messaging roots and continues to lead the way as well as with calls which held a signal and were clear at both ends of the line.

We disliked

The price of apps in BlackBerry's App World are still relatively high. Also, typing wasn't as easy as it could be with an onscreen keyboard that felt like it wasn't up to the job, and a physical keyboard that we were slow to get used to.

The browser is a huge improvement, but still lacks flash which is a big omission since HTC has proven it can be incorporated well. RIM's decision not to include a holder in the box will irritate some and annoying if you have paid upwards of £400 for a SIM-free model.


Against other models, like the HTC Desire or the iPhone, BlackBerry is the obvious corporate choice – no other manufacturer can match it in terms of the control and security that BlackBerry Enterprise Server offers. And when it comes to competing against them with its media capabilities, RIM has put in a stellar effort.

But it's been outshone and overshadowed by it's younger brother – the Bold 9780. Tellingly, Vodafone is offering it in white trying to encourage more sales of a handset that's only been out a matter of months. We're also hearing of the Torch 2, which is due to hit later this year - but there's no denying that the price drop will give those looking at a £600 iPhone 4 pause for thought.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Service Provider3
Input MethodTouchscreen, QWERTY
Wireless LANYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory512 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value0.86 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Product FamilyTorch
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleSlider
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time5.50 Hour
Product Model9800
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution480 x 360
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)161.1 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 6.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height111 mm
Width62 mm
Depth14.6 mm
Battery Standby Time408 Hour
Product NameTorch 9800 Smartphone
Processor Speed624 MHz
Product LineTorch
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeProximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberTHRTORCH9800BLK
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Maximized Multimedia


With 8 GB of memory, expandable up to 32 GB with a microSD card, feel free to immerse yourself in all that inspires you.

Pinch and zoom

Use your fingers to pinch a screen for a zoomed out effect and expand two fingers to zoom in.

Enhanced music player

Thanks to BlackBerry 6 and a large screen, you can experience a full-featured music player that allows you to see full album art and track listings in portrait or landscape.