The obvious alternate options for the BlackBerry Torch 9860 are RIM's own new touch handsets: the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the BlackBerry Torch 9810, which still has a slide-out physical keyboard, like the old Torch 9800.
But since the Torch has gone all touch, it lands much closer to the likes of the iPhone 4 than it ever has before. As we said, the iPhone's iOS operating system is generally more touch-friendly than BlackBerry's, and the App Store bests BlackBerry App World by a good margin for quality and quantity. But the extra customisation options BB OS 7 has over iOS will no doubt tempt many.
Of course, tinkerers are generally better catered for with Android, although the current trend for Android phones is to have pretty hefty screen sizes – see the Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Sensation and especially the new Samsung Galaxy Note for proof.
The Torch 9860 is a modest 3.7 inches, closer to the iPhone 4. For something of a comparable size, check out the HTC Desire S. Running Android 2.3, it's a smooth operator, and is available for cheaper on contract.
Actually, the price of the Torch 9860 does make it more expensive than the dual-core, 1080p-recording LG Optimus 2X, and generally puts it in range of the similarly powerful HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S2.
Although we'd recommend those phones over this one in general, the BlackBerry is smaller and lighter, and for those who want to use BlackBerry services, such as BBM, this is the only way to get them.