BlackBerry Torch 9810 review

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

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BlackBerry torch 9810 review

Fancy indulging in a little home movie making? (Not that kind!) Then you're in luck. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 comes with HD video recording on board (1280 x 720).

It's a nice addition, and makes us shudder when we think about how we used to get by with blocky old VGA on the previous model.

And it makes us feel ever so slightly smug when you read what we said about this in the original Torch 9800 review:

"With blocky pictures and tinny audio, it once again makes you feel in some ways that [RIM] hasn't thought this through. It's not awful, it's just not mind-blowing.The Torch could be very well capable of HD video recording, but this has been left out because of the smaller processor. We'll see what happens when the Torch 2 is released."

Well, it is here and it is much better. Fluid and crisp, we were really impressed. Of course, we are talking in a BlackBerry context, since it's no match for the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S2 and its HD video recording. But it's not a bad effort at all.

When you first fire up the Torch 9810's video camera app, you'll notice it quickly focuses. This is because it has a built in autofocus for the video recorder too (something we don't always see). And it continues to refocus as you move about, provided lighting conditions are good.

BlackBerry torch 9810

Not only that, but the image stabilisation is here too, along with more scene modes to pick from. It isn't as effective here, for the simple reason that it's not easy to keep an image stable when you're constantly on the move. We found it to be ineffective and couldn't work out why it's here, if truth be told.

The light, as with the stills camera app, is incredibly bright – less a Torch, more a floodlight.

We're not exaggerating – you don't want to shine this in anybody's eyes. We honourably tested it out on ourselves so you wouldn't have to worry, and it almost blinded us.

But that is, of course, once you get the light to come on. RIM doesn't make this task easy.

If you're filming something in the dark and decide to flick the light on quickly to illuminate your video, you're in for a nasty surprise because, goodness only knows why, RIM has buried the option to turn the light on and off way down in the menus.

BlackBerry torch 9810 review

By the time you've gone through them all and saved your choice, you'll have clicked six times. It's hardly an option that's easily at hand and we think RIM really has taken its eye off the ball here, which is a shame.

To add insult to injury, there's an icon there notifying you if the light is on or off, but you can't click it on the camera screen.

To transfer your videos, you can only really get them via Bluetooth, email or YouTube. HD videos are way too large for MMS, with a minute-long clip clocking in at 80MB.

Of course, you can set your BlackBerry Torch 9810's camera to VGA just in case, but you'll then have to go through all the menus to change it. Again, there are no on-screen toggles here to do that.

There is a rather useless one for changing the name of your video file though. We don't know who was responsible for these interface brainwaves, but RIM should probably hold back on their bonus this year.

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.