BlackBerry Torch 9860 review

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

BlackBerry Torch 9860
Blackberry OS 7 comes to phones for the first time on the BlackBerry Torch 9860

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The obvious alternate options for the BlackBerry Torch 9860 are RIM's own new touch handsets: the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and the BlackBerry Torch 9810, which still has a slide-out physical keyboard, like the old Torch 9800.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review: front view

But since the Torch has gone all touch, it lands much closer to the likes of the iPhone 4 than it ever has before. As we said, the iPhone's iOS operating system is generally more touch-friendly than BlackBerry's, and the App Store bests BlackBerry App World by a good margin for quality and quantity. But the extra customisation options BB OS 7 has over iOS will no doubt tempt many.

Apple iphone 4 review

Of course, tinkerers are generally better catered for with Android, although the current trend for Android phones is to have pretty hefty screen sizes – see the Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Sensation and especially the new Samsung Galaxy Note for proof.

The Torch 9860 is a modest 3.7 inches, closer to the iPhone 4. For something of a comparable size, check out the HTC Desire S. Running Android 2.3, it's a smooth operator, and is available for cheaper on contract.

HTC desire s

Actually, the price of the Torch 9860 does make it more expensive than the dual-core, 1080p-recording LG Optimus 2X, and generally puts it in range of the similarly powerful HTC Sensation and Samsung Galaxy S2.

Samsung galaxy s2 review

Although we'd recommend those phones over this one in general, the BlackBerry is smaller and lighter, and for those who want to use BlackBerry services, such as BBM, this is the only way to get them.

Windows Phone 7 is an option that's getting better all the time, thanks to the Mango update. Keep your eye out for the new handsets coming out soon, including the HTC Radar.

Matt Bolton
Managing Editor, Entertainment

Matt is TechRadar's Managing Editor for Entertainment, meaning he's in charge of persuading our team of writers and reviewers to watch the latest TV shows and movies on gorgeous TVs and listen to fantastic speakers and headphones. It's a tough task, as you can imagine. Matt has over a decade of experience in tech publishing, and previously ran the TV & audio coverage for our colleagues at, and before that he edited T3 magazine. During his career, he's also contributed to places as varied as Creative Bloq, PC Gamer, PetsRadar, MacLife, and Edge. TV and movie nerdism is his speciality, and he goes to the cinema three times a week. He's always happy to explain the virtues of Dolby Vision over a drink, but he might need to use props, like he's explaining the offside rule.