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BlackBerry Torch 9860 review

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

BlackBerry torch 9860 review

The Blackberry Torch 9860's 5MP camera hasn't changed in basic spec from the first iteration of the Torch, but it has had some tweaking in the software.

What you get is five million pixels, an LED flash, autofocus, several modes (including Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Night and several others) and a new Face Detection mode.

Why the face detection isn't built into the Auto mode, we don't know, but there it is.

BlackBerry torch 9860 review

The Convenience key can be used as a shutter, and pressed halfway to autofocus. It's actually a little difficult to press fully, so you'll find it easier to use the on-screen photo button (not something we usually say).

BlackBerry torch 9860 review

The shutter is instant, though, producing a photo onscreen in a fraction of a second – no lag. And the quick shutter speed means there's very little blur in the photos too, which is always a good sign.

The live view screen can distort a little if you move it quickly, but it doesn't seem to affect the photos at all.

BlackBerry torch 9860

OUTDOORS: On an overcast day, the colours here look a little washed out compared to real life. The amount of detail isn't bad, although there's a fair amount of grain and noise in just about any solid colour.

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BlackBerry torch 9860

COLOUR: Same as above, all the colours here look a little duller than they should. And, once again, there's a lot of digital noise across the whole image. But everything, including the paintings on the van, is fairly crisp and clear.

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BlackBerry torch 9860

CLOSE UP: Lots of the scratches and moss on this sign have been picked up, but many areas of the image look a little soft, and the black is full of noise, once again.

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BlackBerry torch 9860

LANDSCAPE MODE: The greens are strong in this image, but taking is was a bit of a faff – the camera really struggled to expose correctly for both the sky and the grass.

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BlackBerry torch 9860

INDOORS: The flash came on for this photo of an Argos display, and it was probably for the best. It's only just bright enough, and although it looks decent when small, making this image larger reveals the whole thing is rather soft.

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BlackBerry torch 9860

LOW LIGHT: In low light (the camera will warn you if the light levels are low), the camera has managed to make the picture bright enough, but there's a severe loss of detail, and the whole thing just looks blurry.

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BlackBerry torch 9860

FLASH: The flash does a great job of illuminating the (fairly close-up) candle, bringing back all the detail, although the flower at the front has become overexposed, if anything. However, you can also see the limitations of the flash here – it barely reaches the end of the table the bowl is sitting on. It's bright, sure, but the range is limited, meaning that the photo overall looks darker than the one above.

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BlackBerry torch 9860

ZOOM OUT: Ducks! They aren't all that detailed at this distance, so let's zoom in a bit.

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BlackBerry torch 9860

ZOOM IN: All the digital zoom does is actually crop to a smaller part of the image, so zooming in all the way, as we have here, produces an image that's 640 x 480. However, the noise levels don't increase dramatically.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
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
ColourBlack
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
ManufacturerBlackBerry
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 Addresshttp://www.uk.blackberry.com
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.