BlackBerry Torch 9810 review

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

BlackBerry Torch 9810
BB OS 7 and a touchscreen are big selling points of the BlackBerry Torch 9810

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BlackBerry torch 9810 review

It's hard to see who the BlackBerry Torch 9810 is going to appeal to.

Younger users are likelier to flock towards the colourful Curve handsets, and serious users to the Bold 9900.

The Torch 9810 feels a little stuck out on its own, and while RIM has made some concessions and upgrades, we can't help feeling it's too little, too late. This is really what the Torch 9800 should have been a year ago. And while RIM may have caught up, we can't really afford it points merely for keeping up with the Joneses.

We can't quite work out if it's a youth phone, a media phone, a business phone or all three. We suspect the latter, but again RIM appears to be trying to service too many demographics in one go.

Don't get us wrong, the Torch 9810 does certain jobs valiantly, but it just doesn't feel exciting.

If it felt like a safe pair of hands, that would be one thing. But with some fairly minor but annoying gripes, it just doesn't feel... anything.

We liked

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 is an easy to navigate smartphone with a fantastic screen, fast processor and equally impressive battery life.

And of course, BlackBerry it is the world leader in messaging. Contacts are top-notch, and if you fancy a touchscreen keyboard but are scared to take the plunge, this could be the handset to ease you in gently.

We disliked

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 feels only like a minor update, and what the Torch 9800 should have been. No amount of marketing spin can paint this as a new model, and it shows.

Sure, the handset has a great processor that irons out the lag many users saw in the Torch 9800, but that's not enough.

OS 7 may be new but it's not a radical departure, and we can't help feeling a little bit cheated by the whole experience.

And lest we forget, it's still overly chunky and not in the same design league as the likes of the iPhone or latter day Android phones. It's too fat and doesn't leap off the shelves at you, which a top end BlackBerry has to these days if it has any hope of survival.

Final verdict

Years ago, we'd have been thrilled by an upgrade, but now we don't want updates – now, consumers demand massive changes and this isn't a revolutionary product, merely an evolution ("evolution" being the word RIM uses itself on the marketing literature).

If you're obsessed with the BlackBerry Torch form factor, then we heartily recommend the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and wish you luck. But faced with the choice, we'd take the Bold 9900 anytime.

The only benefit we can see is that this now will make the original 9800 cheaper, so you could get that on a good deal, but the Torch 9810 is nothing more than an incremental update badged as a whole new phone.