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They say that the measure of a good servant is never noticing that he or she is there.
And that's how we feel about the contacts implementation on the BlackBerry Torch 9810.
You barely even notice it's there, and just use it on autopilot. It's exactly the same as the Torch 9800, which runs OS 6. And that's probably as good an endorsement the handset (and OS 7) could get, because we'd be the first to come out all guns blazing if it was bad.
We're not complaining though, or accusing RIM of laziness. Quite frankly, BlackBerry mobile phones have long had a decent contacts systems, and we're glad that they've left us with one that looks great and works well rather than changing it for the sake of it.
Firstly, getting contacts onto the phone is a piece of cake. Load them via the Windows or Mac sync software or use BIS (unless you have a BES handset provided by your employer.)
You can dial contacts direct from the home screen using the on-screen dialler, from the keyboard using smart dialling or from the voice recognition software just by speaking. And it all works.
Friends are listed with rounded square thumbnails that look pretty (or disorganised if you only have contact photos for some people) and you can put everything from phone numbers to trouser size to favourite colour in the contact fields.
As expected, call quality was typical BlackBerry fare – top notch. It was clear, succinct and a pleasure to use.
The Torch 9810 kept hold of signal for dear life, even where other handsets such as our iPhone 4 have previously failed, which was commendable.
In fact, the signal seemed to be permanently displaying full bars, even in areas where reception is normally a little flaky. This made us feel sceptical, but calls did connect when we put the Torch 9810 to the test here.
The onboard speaker, fresh from delivering beautifully clear and bass-filled ringtones, turned its hand easily to providing a good speakerphone experience.
Yet, you'll only be making phone calls on this device, because that thing that looks suspiciously like a video camera on the front is actually just an LED for notifications. Bah.
And there's one thing we still miss – although this is a fault more of the operating system than the actual Torch 9810 itself – we still don't have full-screen caller photo ID.
The Torch 9810 has that amazing screen, and it's criminal that BlackBerry hasn't built this in STILL (we bemoaned it in our review of the original Torch 9800) yet other manufacturers do it with ease – even on budget models.
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