RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Thankfully, we’re finally able to let go of the terrible platform experience we endured when checking out the original Storm for the very first time, and even though it shares some fundamental characteristics, we’re undeniably more receptive with the new experience. Partly thanks to its significantly faster 1.2GHz processor with 768 MB of RAM, which blows away the 528MHz CPU of the Storm2 9550, the experience is much more inviting with its responsiveness. In fact, it clears out those frustrating memories of lockups and slowdowns that we found with the OS 4.7 experience on the original Storm. Looking back at it now, it’s clear that RIM learned from their past mistakes seeing that this is what the Storm should’ve offered when it was released – something that intuitive and quick to action with its response.
Naturally, we’re gladly accepting the evolutionary steps taken by the full touch BlackBerry, but at its core, the platform experience with OS 7 leaves us desiring for more. Specifically, it doesn’t quite come off as being exceptionally new since it bears a lot of elements with past versions of RIM’s mobile platform, which continues to be a heavy menu driven system. Although it executes things swimmingly, its use of a paneled layout with its homescreen isn’t anything new – and we’re sorely waiting for RIM to produce something with a little bit more originality.
Furthermore, it’s still keeping personalization limited to things like modifying the background wallpaper and placement of icons within the app panel. Yes, we totally agree that the experience is finally befitting for a full touch handset, however, it’s not doing the handset any justice by looking and feeling rather dated by today’s standards.
Even though it’s packing the largest display to bless a BlackBerry, using its portrait keyboard can be challenging on most occasions due to its constricted layout. Not only are buttons tiny in size, but the narrow body of the handset doesn’t provide enough room to comfortably hold it while typing – albeit, it’s not a problem in landscape. In terms of response, it’s pretty quick with its movement and makes the whole process of inputting long passages of text very easy. Still, we’re finding ourselves being on the cautious side of things when speed typing. Beyond that, we’re not fans of RIM’s implementation of highlighting text and placement of the cursor – but thankfully, the optical trackpad eases our worries with the latter.
What can we say about email on the Torch 9850? For starters, it’s what you’d expect out of any BlackBerry, which is a fantastic experience that caters to the needs to power users with push email support. As much as we adore its intuitive and straightforward nature, we’d still like to see some features like threaded conversations to organize things just a bit more. Anyhow, the extra real estate reduces the amount of scrolling needed to read emails.
Launching any of the Torch 9850 organizer apps, there are no major changes with any of them. With the Calendar app, we’re able to synchronize things from our Gmail and Facebook accounts, which are actually color-coded to better distinguish appointments. Besides being able to set alarms from within the Clock app, we’re also given access to other secondary apps like the stopwatch and timer. Additionally, there is an option to enable bedside mode, which allows the clock to be displayed while preventing incoming calls or messages from popping up. Some of the other organizer apps on board with the handset include the Calculator, MemoPad, Tasks, and Voice Notes Recorder.
1. Medalaster01 (unregistered)
Dated hardware and software yep because rim doesent have the budget to hire top dev team to make itself a software to actually use the duel core and or an app market that could fire up the competation.
15. x-rim (unregistered)
RIM's budget and the talent of its developers is not the problem, it's leadership.
4. Artax (Posts: 7; Member since: 28 Jul 2011)
Hardware is not a dual core but it really fast and smooth. RIM also wanted to keep the battery life higher so it omitted the extra core. Honestly it doesn't feel like it's dated or slow in the performance dept...it just needs some new shine on the OS.
5. Eingild (Posts: 203; Member since: 19 Apr 2011)
C'mon. You're telling that the 9850's specs is not up to date, yet you compared it to the iPhone 4 which is a last year's technology? C'mon dude.
7. CoolBB (unregistered)
Ugly design, but that's just my unimportant opinion. I LOVED Blackberry's torch 9810 design SOO much wow, but now they changed it to this basic-looking phone. 3.7 touchscreen is nothing to boast about even though it's BB's largest. Even the iphone 4 beats this. I hope their next design will improve. Their new bold 9900/9930's design is BEAUTIFUL though.
8. Tazman69 (unregistered)
Uh...the iPhone does not beat the 3.7" touchscreen of the Torch 9850/9860. The iPhone screen is 3.5". Also, this is an entirely different phone than the 9800/9810 Torch which is a smaller screen with a slide out keyboard. Personally, I like the look of this phone and will be getting it. I'm not too enamored with the physical buttons but it's not a deal breaker.
10. CoolBB (unregistered)
Sorry I meant that the iphone 4 design beated this, but yes you are right with the 3.5" display, but even the screen quality beats this.
And I'm not a fan of the physical buttons either, but cool that you'll be getting it.
9. G (unregistered)
The Big question is....What to go for, the 9900 or the 9860. Had myn heart set on the Bold upgrade but am liking the look of the Torch upgrade. Mmmmmm.......
11. phonejunkie77 (Posts: 2; Member since: 25 Aug 2011)
Each phone has its good bad and ugly. i do believe the new 9850 is a beautiful phone that will appeal to some and not others. as far as hardware and some of the people that complain about no dual core or wanting quad core get a life. if the phone functions well then its good. only reason you would need dual core is if you plan sitting and playing games all day instead of doing other things.
12. phonejunkie77 (Posts: 2; Member since: 25 Aug 2011)
opp forgot one thing. as far as iphone all the apple fans like to bash on other phone designs and looks. look at the i phone it has stayed the same candybar shaped with one face button for 4 generations and a fifth coming up
13. JoeGrind (unregistered)
I love it, I love it, compare with a co worker Iphone and we both when onwww.msnbc.com and my BB Torch loaded the site before the Iphone 4, we compare youtude videos and same. So yes the wait for this New BB Torch was worth it. Again i LOVEE it.
14. thumbsup (unregistered)
I got the chance to play around with this phone yesterday and I have to admit that I am impressed. Blackberry has come a long way but still is behind on the hardware and most importantly the software. I love the design, not big and bulky and heavy like the storms yet its thin and light. The screen is amazing with the liquid graphics. The operating system is smooth, fast and the 1.2ghz processor seems to run it flawlessly. I like this phone primarily due to the fact that for me it is the perfect size phone. I have had many Android devices and felt that many of them were just too big to put in my pocket even without a case. I applaud Blackberry however I do not believe this will stop the impending buyout by microsoft. yes you heard it.... I predict a buyout of RIM by Microsoft. They will load WP7.5 on all new blackberries. Is it the perfect marriage? No, but its a start.
16. John G (unregistered)
One thing to say for the RIM bashers... They have always made phones geared towards those who like to use their phone to take calls. More of a business phone than a toy. For those of you Android lovers ... you can bet the battery life will outlast ANY Android phone. Sure, great technology and OS, but what use is a dual core if the batt is always about die. To you iPhone lovers ... One word - Toy. Blackberry users don't need a fake drumset, or lighter app to look cool on your LED screen. Unlike your newest phone, Blackberry users like to keep their callers on the line.
Its more like Android and iPhones are for the kids and teens, and Blackberry is reserved for the adults.
By the way, before you retort, I am currently using a Blackberry Storm 2. I have not had the problems that many have reported. I still like it and it is running strong. I have not even used any of the newer BB phones yet and can only imagine how much better they can be. The 3.2mp camera I have still has better quality than the iPhone 4G. Goes to show that the tech specs may not be as "flashy new" as the competition, but the quality of the device does what it says it will do, and more.
18. friscokid (Posts: 1; Member since: 23 Oct 2011)
Unfortunately due to corporate restrictions I can only use a Blackberry. I get them for free so I have had a chance to use almost all of Blackberry's models. My last was a Storm 2 which I absolutely hated. I just got a new 9850 and I have to admit it's by far and away the best Blackberry to date. I would say it's not up to par with other smartphones but for a blackberry it's a big step in the right direction.
19. Robinb (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Nov 2011)
Got 9850 a couple of weeks now. love it. Light, feels sexy in my hand. perfect weight and size for a phone. why get an android phone...may as well get a table.The software, with all new touch UI is nice and familiar, but has some neat features that enhance the touch experience. swipe, touch and hold for menus, contextual Only complaints are, the portrait keypad is small, and back key could be moved a little further away from the \'L\' key so I don\'t keep pressing L when i want to back space. I can get around this by using the reduced keyboard which doubles up the Letters like on the Pearl and let the predictive text sort out my typing. The Horizontal keyboard however is perfect.
the predictive typing and learning curve of the dictionary is next to amazing. This is everything that the first Storm should have been. For those BB users out there having doubts or clinging to your physical keypads. Don\'t worry, you wont miss it. I used a Palm and then BB for the past 12 years...and I don\'t miss the physical keypad for a second.