BlackBerry Torch 9860 review

Does RIM's first proper all-touch smartphone shine?

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BlackBerry torch 9860 review

When BlackBerry OS 6 rolled out on the BlackBerry Bold 9780, we commented that it was a shame there was no big change to the contacts functionality from OS 5. Now OS 7 is here on the Torch 9860 and it's pretty much the same again.

As we said then, there's not much that's functionally wrong with the Contacts app on BlackBerry smartphones, but it takes absolutely no advantage of the larger screen space or touch capabilities of the Torch 9860.

BlackBerry torch 9860 review

You're given a simple long list of names, and you tap someone to go through to their full entry. Shortcut buttons at the bottom enable you to edit the entry, write an email, call or delete the entry. You can also tap the entered information directly to action them, but it's flawed.

BlackBerry torch 9860 review

There's no shortcut to text someone, unless you hit the Menu key and choose the option from there. This is pretty basic stuff for a phone, regardless of how prevalent Facebook/Twitter/BBM use has become instead.

Contacts can link through to your Facebook friends in the included Facebook app.

But you can't force the issue – it's just a tickbox saying that you'll allow the information to be connected "periodically". So you can push someone's information to your phone from Facebook, or add a new contact on the Torch 9860 and search for their Facebook profile to pull down a photo.

It's really all rather basic in the face of what Microsoft is doing with Windows Phone 7, or the extra features HTC brings to Android in its Sense phones, such as the HTC Sensation or HTC Desire S.

Adding a contact hasn't changed, really – there's the usual bevy of input options, ranging from simple name and mobile number to information such as birthdays and notes about people, and you can add your own custom field.

BlackBerry torch 9860 review

The BlackBerry Torch 9860 finds signal really well, and this translates to very good call quality. The caller comes through nice and clear, and both the earspeaker and loudspeaker can go quite loud to be heard over any ambient noise.

BlackBerry torch 9860 review

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
Wireless LANYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory4 GB
Built-in FlashNo
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value1.12 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 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time4.70 Hour
Product Model9860
Screen Size9.4 cm (3.7")
Screen Resolution800 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)135 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
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
Height120 mm
Width62 mm
Depth11.5 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time333.60 Hour
Product NameTorch 9860 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Product LineTorch
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberPRD-33124-020
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Multimedia marvel

Powered by the new BlackBerry 7 OS and Liquid Graphics, your photos, videos, games and apps come to life in incredible detail on the large screen.

Picture perfect

Capture life's little surprises with 720p HD video so you can relive them over and over again. Or pull off amazing photos with face detection, 4X zoom and image stabilization.

All-touch, refined

A spectacular 3.7" touch screen is the largest on a BlackBerry smartphone yet. It boasts millions of colors for a stunning viewing experience, and provides a smooth, accurate and fast typing experience.