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When the original BlackBerry Torch 9800 went on sale, it had the accolade of being the only handset running the new BlackBerry OS.
Not that it needs to worry too much about being usurped. As we mentioned in our recent Bold 9900 review, it's such a poor excuse for a new operating system anyway (we think the term 'minor upgrade' is more appropriate), that it makes little difference.
OS 7 is very much similar to the look of the BlackBerry PlayBook, with a mishmash of icons devoid of uniformity and a rather busy look. But they're certainly clear. As we stated in the last section, you won't believe how much these icons feel like they jump off the screen at you.
Since the Torch 9810 has a portrait form over landscape, by default, you get your icons in rows of four.
Curiously though, when you turn the phone to landscape mode, rather than fitting more icons onto a line, it still just gives you rows of four but more space in between the icons to even them out.
It would have been nicer to make the rows fit more icons on when you turned the 9810 sideways, to take advantage of that real estate, but we assume there is method in RIM's madness somewhere.
Thankfully, you can also disable your various app drawers. Unveiled in OS 6, multiple app drawers probably seemed like a good idea at the time (enabling you to have areas labelled 'Frequent', 'Downloads', 'All', etc) but they became a pain for many users because you'd often overshoot when in one drawer and end up in another.
Forums were filled with people complaining about this, so it's nice to see that RIM has evidently listened to those who purchase its BlackBerry handsets.
Universal search is also on board – an inheritance from OS 6, which we think works exceptionally well on the BlackBerry range.
OS 7 was promised as a faster operating system than OS 6, and we agree that it is. Maybe it's the beefed up processor, or maybe it's the way it's coded that means this machine doesn't lag or treat us to the awful spinning wheel of death that we used to be all too familiar with.
That's not to say that the Torch 9810 is fast at everything, though. It still suffers from one of BlackBerry's worst Achilles' heels – the fact that it takes forever to start up.
From a cold boot (ie taking the battery out and putting it back in), the BlackBerry Torch 9810 took a few seconds shy of two minutes before we were able to use it. We can understand old BlackBerries having this issue, but this is really pathetic on a 2011 model.
To put it into context, our MacBook Pro started up in a fraction of that time. Yes, we know it obviously has a bigger processor because it's a computer, but it also has hundreds of gigabytes of storage and dozens of start-up programmes to wade through.
Luckily, once you're in, the BlackBerry Torch 9810's operating system is fairly intuitive. And, for those coming from previous BlackBerry handsets, OS 7 is still near enough to the old operating system for you to get to grips with fairly simply.
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