BlackBerry Torch review

A slider, a touchscreen, a new approach. But can the Torch keep RIMs fire burning?

The definitive BlackBerry Torch 9800 review
The definitive BlackBerry Torch 9800 review

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BlackBerry Torch review: Verdict

BlackBerry torch

If you're a BlackBerry user who wants to move to OS 6, you may go for the Torch because it has that veneer of gloss. It's also a new form factor – especially when you consider the 9780 looks almost exactly the same as the 9700.

Likewise, if you're a power user who wants full customisation, this may suit better than an iPhone. And despite Android having been around for several years now, the media aspects of OS 6 far outshine Google's standard offering.

Overall, the Torch doess the basics (calls, messaging, Twitter, Facebook, PIM) well and then expands on them with an improved web browser (albeit without flash), brilliant media capabilities, a camera that does the job and phenomenal battery life.

And while perhaps the most common complaint about the Storm was its lack of physical keyboard – RIM's definitely addressed that here. It just doesn't feel like its been addressed fully.

We liked

The battery's strong performance was really amazing, as was the ease of connecting the Torch to a Mac.

The media capabilities have been well thought out and the handset really does have a premium look and feel.

RIM hasn't forgotten its messaging roots and continues to lead the way as well as with calls which held a signal and were clear at both ends of the line.

We disliked

The price of apps in BlackBerry's App World are still relatively high. Also, typing wasn't as easy as it could be with an onscreen keyboard that felt like it wasn't up to the job, and a physical keyboard that we were slow to get used to.

The browser is a huge improvement, but still lacks flash which is a big omission since HTC has proven it can be incorporated well. RIM's decision not to include a holder in the box will irritate some and annoying if you have paid upwards of £400 for a SIM-free model.


Against other models, like the HTC Desire or the iPhone, BlackBerry is the obvious corporate choice – no other manufacturer can match it in terms of the control and security that BlackBerry Enterprise Server offers. And when it comes to competing against them with its media capabilities, RIM has put in a stellar effort.

But it's been outshone and overshadowed by it's younger brother – the Bold 9780. Tellingly, Vodafone is offering it in white trying to encourage more sales of a handset that's only been out a matter of months. We're also hearing of the Torch 2, which is due to hit later this year - but there's no denying that the price drop will give those looking at a £600 iPhone 4 pause for thought.