BlackBerry Torch 9810 review

Touchscreen, keyboard, 5MP snaps and a new OS - sound familiar?

TODO alt text

When the original BlackBerry Torch 9800 went on sale, it had the accolade of being the only handset running the new BlackBerry OS.

BlackBerry torch 9810 review

Unfortunately, it's lost that mantle this time, because the Bold 9900 was the launch device for BB's OS 7. But the BlackBerry Torch 9810 is one of the first to run OS 7, along with the Torch 9860.

Not that it needs to worry too much about being usurped. As we mentioned in our recent Bold 9900 review, it's such a poor excuse for a new operating system anyway (we think the term 'minor upgrade' is more appropriate), that it makes little difference.

BlackBerry torch 9810 review

OS 7 is very much similar to the look of the BlackBerry PlayBook, with a mishmash of icons devoid of uniformity and a rather busy look. But they're certainly clear. As we stated in the last section, you won't believe how much these icons feel like they jump off the screen at you.

Since the Torch 9810 has a portrait form over landscape, by default, you get your icons in rows of four.

Curiously though, when you turn the phone to landscape mode, rather than fitting more icons onto a line, it still just gives you rows of four but more space in between the icons to even them out.

BlackBerry torch 9810 review

It would have been nicer to make the rows fit more icons on when you turned the 9810 sideways, to take advantage of that real estate, but we assume there is method in RIM's madness somewhere.

Thankfully, you can also disable your various app drawers. Unveiled in OS 6, multiple app drawers probably seemed like a good idea at the time (enabling you to have areas labelled 'Frequent', 'Downloads', 'All', etc) but they became a pain for many users because you'd often overshoot when in one drawer and end up in another.

Forums were filled with people complaining about this, so it's nice to see that RIM has evidently listened to those who purchase its BlackBerry handsets.

Universal search is also on board – an inheritance from OS 6, which we think works exceptionally well on the BlackBerry range.

BlackBerry torch 9810 review

OS 7 was promised as a faster operating system than OS 6, and we agree that it is. Maybe it's the beefed up processor, or maybe it's the way it's coded that means this machine doesn't lag or treat us to the awful spinning wheel of death that we used to be all too familiar with.

That's not to say that the Torch 9810 is fast at everything, though. It still suffers from one of BlackBerry's worst Achilles' heels – the fact that it takes forever to start up.

BlackBerry torch 9810 review

From a cold boot (ie taking the battery out and putting it back in), the BlackBerry Torch 9810 took a few seconds shy of two minutes before we were able to use it. We can understand old BlackBerries having this issue, but this is really pathetic on a 2011 model.

To put it into context, our MacBook Pro started up in a fraction of that time. Yes, we know it obviously has a bigger processor because it's a computer, but it also has hundreds of gigabytes of storage and dozens of start-up programmes to wade through.

BlackBerry torch 9810 review

Luckily, once you're in, the BlackBerry Torch 9810's operating system is fairly intuitive. And, for those coming from previous BlackBerry handsets, OS 7 is still near enough to the old operating system for you to get to grips with fairly simply.

BlackBerry torch 9810 review

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen, QWERTY
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value1.44 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyTorch
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleSlider
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time6.50 Hour
Product Model9810
Screen Size8.1 cm (3.2")
Screen Resolution640 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)161 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 7.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height111 mm
Width62 mm
Depth14.6 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time307.20 Hour
Product NameTorch 9810 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Product LineTorch
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeDigital Compass, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberPRD-40596-004
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

All-in-one design

A fluid all-touch display plus slide-out QWERTY keyboard provide an incredible multimedia experience, while never compromising efficient typing with the classic BlackBerry keyboard.

Power packed

Ample memory

With 8 GB of memory, expandable up to 32 GB with a microSD card, feel free to take more pictures, capture more videos and download more apps.

Speedy processing

Thanks to a 1.2GHz processor on the BlackBerry Torch 9810, you can experience browsing, socializing and gaming at blazing fast speeds.

Convenient connectivity

Connect the way you want with HSPA+ high speeds and Wi-Fi connectivity.