RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800 Review
From a quick glance, we easily noticed that RIM didn't do too much renovating with the camera interface on the Torch 9800 – especially when it mirrors the one on the Storm2. Images produced by the 5-megapixel shooter were slightly above average and could have been even better if it weren't for the overcast looking tones it produced. Although it was able to meticulously capture some detail in our shots, they all looked darker – even when lighting provided the most optimal conditions. The LED flash is a nice amenity on the handset which particularly did a good job in illuminating shots taken in low light, however, it tended to produce a bit over-exposed images taken in complete darkness. Unfortunately it cannot handle closeup or macro images since the camera failed to focus in on an object that's close. In the end, the decent looking images captured on the Torch should be more than satisfying for the quick point and shooters out there.
When 720p video recording is fast becoming the standard of most premier smartphones, it's a little bit of a letdown to see a latest-generation BlackBerry sport VGA video capture. With anti-shake enabled, videos recorded had a decent amount of detail, but also looked less choppy thanks to its 24fps capture rate. On the other hand, you'll easily see the difference when it's off and it drops the rate to 23fps. Unfortunately, it's no high definition video recording, but at least the performance is more desirable over any other BlackBerry handset out there.
RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800 sample video with anti-shake at 640x480 pixels resolution.
RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800 sample video without anti-shake at 640x480 pixels resolution.
Such a refreshing sight to see, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 manages to present a reasonably good looking music player that provides a subtle graphical improvement in its presentation. Although it may be a simplistic looking interface with common items like the album cover, artist, track title, and on-screen controls being displayed, you can quickly jump to playing a track by scrolling to the appropriate album cover a la Coverflow. The effect when moving about different albums looks pretty smooth with few instances of slowdown – making the whole process seem fine in execution. With the audio boost option enabled, sound from the speaker was powerful enough to be distinguished, but you can easily get a feel for the somewhat strained tones when high-pitched sounds are played.
The video watching experience is your typical one as the BlackBerry Torch will play continuously with no evidence of choppiness or lag for videos that tally in resolution close to the display. We were able to load a video encoded in MPEG-4 480 x 320 resolution with no problems at all, however, playing the same one in 640 x 480 resolution was a totally different experience. The handset struggled to keep pace with the video since it was clear that the audio from the clip did not sync up to what was on screen – plus, there was some noticeable choppy performance.
For those media heavy users out there, RIM includes a 4GB microSD card for all your needs, but it easily pales in comparison to the minimum 8GB offerings from its rivals – however, it definitely beats relying on its 4096MB internal storage.
Out of the box, we were really impressed to see a handful of icons for various apps on the handset. However, our mood quickly changed when we began to find that they're simply links to their downloads – so they are technically NOT preloaded on the handset. Luckily the Torch plays to the strength of social networking individuals since it packs dedicated apps for Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter – all of which were quite proficient.. As we mentioned earlier in the review, there is also a “Social Feeds” app which aggregates all your social networking accounts in addition to the IM clients – which is the place where you're taken when you click on a notification.
Location based apps such as AT&T Maps, AT&T Navigator, and Where are available to you – but keep in mind that they are not pre-installed on the phone as well. As always, any BlackBerry user will find the BrickBreaker game ready for some record attempts. All in all, you can download additional ones from App World, but just remember that not all apps developed for OS 5 will run on the Torch – you'll just have to sit back and wait until developers come around to upgrade them.
1. Jeradiah3 (Posts: 1009; Member since: 11 Feb 2010)
blackberry has to do something to bridge the cap between them and the "big boys" like apple and android. the design is good, but for a former blackberry user like me, it doesnt sway me back. the keyboard reminds me of the palm pre when it comes to texting because it has little space to press the buttons although the touchscreen buttons are an improvement. the OS6 looks good, but still....nothing like froyo 2.2 or iOS4. blackberry still has the hearts and minds of business across the country, but it needs to attract the general public or it wont go anywhere
2. paynekiller (Posts: 139; Member since: 24 May 2010)
well, its a blackberry, only thing they might update slightly is BBM.
3. Alvicious (unregistered)
What is this the new Palm Pre Plus (+)
4. heyhey (unregistered)
How did "supreme battery life" in the review turn into "decent battery life" in the Pros? Also, I'd have thought the mediocre call quality would be a much bigger con than "outdated looking interface"?? Or does making calls not matter all of a sudden after iPhone4?
5. AM0795 (unregistered)
Really? How does this get a 9 and the droid 2 get an 8.5? It has a better screen, keyboard, software, hardware?
6. narley21 (unregistered)
I feel bad for BB. i give it five years and they're irrelevant. Pull your heads out guys. cant ride the government for the reset of your wireless lives.
7. paynekiller (Posts: 139; Member since: 24 May 2010)
When will RIM ever learn. But I don't feel bad for them tho, I feel bad for the people that religiously believe Blackberry is the best phone out there. It annoys me, because they constantly ask me "You have a BB, you need to get one!" Hellll NO! Not when I have my EVO which is lightyears ahead of all the garbage RIM puts out.
9. Phone pro (unregistered)
Ye have little faith lol. Blackberry are gonna bring in the UI which is used in there new tablet. This is gonna be a really good move. Blackberry is already a perfect phone. Ok it doesn't let you control your house or see what the weather looks like in 10 different countries (oh no it does! Just not like HTC say). It's function is a phone and staying in contact with the people you wanna keep in contact with. Everything's just there, right in front of you. I had the bold 9000 and iPhone 4. I found that I used and enjoyed my blackberry much more. Yes it had a million problems (ie battery life, Internet, processor)but it done everything so perfect and felt like a real computer in your hands. Admittedly I did sell it and kept my iPhone but only cos the software was just to old to keep up with current times so I agree that it needed this new update and I hope the torch (os6) is what they needed. I am getting the torch as it's the phone that can keep me in contact instead of a phone you play with. I hope blackberry keeps doing things how they have been and i hope they concentrate on making the features like the Internet and all round speeds flawless. I also hope they don't listen to people who say they need to be like iPhone and android as soon everyones gonna be saying (well it's happening right now) these platforms are not that great after all.
10. sam (unregistered)
it's a blackberry- so it will most likely be great
the only down side is the slow browser. so doesn't compare to the iphone4 and android phones
11. deepak arya (unregistered)
I am planning to buy torch, but still unable to decide between i4 or torch.. which one is best option to go with..
12. shaheen7x2 (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Apr 2012)
i bought Blackberry Torch.. totally impressd on the feautrs.. and its performance.... i had choosen ths model mainly for Internet purpose and am havng great Satisfaction...Multitasking ..jzz wow really a powerfull phone.. Battery life too good..
got lots of Apllications nd lots of stuff frm Blackberry Market.. both free and paid are available ther, anyway thankz to Blackberry ammm Happy to hav a fo lik this.