RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Well what do you know? There’s nothing different with the camera interface of the Torch 9850! Naturally, most of the layout is reserved for the viewfinder – with some finger-friendly sized buttons lining the bottom edge. Aside from the healthy amount of scene modes available, there is nothing else that’ll entice photo buffs.
In general, BlackBerries aren’t known for their photo taking abilities – and it shows why that trend continues with the Torch 9850. Flaunting a respectable 5-megapixel camera, shots might be good enough for a 4” x 6” printout, but we wouldn’t recommend trying to blow them up since it’s unable to capture any fine details with scenery shots. Even though it doesn’t happen all the time, shots can sometimes come out slightly over-exposed as well – thus, distorting its usually neutral color production. Scary to say, we wouldn’t want to be using it indoors or in low lighting since things are completely muddied down by various degrees of digital noise. Not surprisingly, the LED flash is able to fix it, but it generally leaves the shot looking over-exposed once again.
720p video capture of the BlackBerry Torch 9850 exhibits some of the same qualities found with its still image results. Meanwhile, there is an abundance of digital noise found with videos taken in low lighting. Despite those flaws, we dig that it consistently shoots at 30 frames per second, audio recording is clear & distortion-free, and that it offers continuous auto-focus to keep things looking sharp.
RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Sample Video:
RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Indoor Sample Video:
At this point in the review, we’re getting a feel that very little has been done visually to OS 7 because the music player is unchanged as well. We do like its smooth looking coverflow-esque presentation, however, it would’ve been intricately useful to find some sort of mini-player, so we do not have to run the music player to execute any functions. Indubitably, its speaker isn’t the most boastful with its output, but we do like the neutral sounding tones that it emits, but more importantly, it doesn’t sound irritating at the highest volume setting.
Finally! We no longer need to cower in fear about ruining our eyes when watching videos for an extended period of time on a BlackBerry thanks to the large display of the Torch 9850. Playing the same movie trailer encoded in DivX, MPEG-4, and Xvid 1280 x 720 resolution, we’re enthralled by its smooth playback, luscious looking colors, and rich details. Honestly, this is the go-to BlackBerry if your primary concern is video watching.
Although it’s showing how much better it is than both Storms combined, there is one gripe we have with this “modernized” BlackBerry – it still lacks in the multimedia sharing front! Meaning, it doesn’t offer any sort of DLNA functionality out of the box, but at the same time, it misses out on having any physical connection in the form of a microHDMI port. Sadly, these are some common items that are increasingly becoming typical amongst its rivals – so it’s rather depressing to see the BlackBerry Torch 9850 still missing out on all the fun.
In addition to the 2.5GB of internal storage, the handset ships with a preloaded 4GB microSD card – thus, dishing out 6.5GB of total memory. Obviously, some people will be content with it, but if you require more, you can always replace the card with others that are up to 32GB in size. Indeed a relief, we like that we don’t need to pull the battery in order to access its microSD card slot.
Internet and Connectivity:
Again, we’re ecstatic to finally quash all of those terrible memories of web browsing on a touchscreen enabled BlackBerry because the Torch 9850 redeems itself on more than one occasion. First, pages load in a timely manner over a 3G connection, but we’re impressed to find that we’re able to start navigating almost instantaneously while it’s loading. Secondly, the tight and responsive navigational controls goes on to highlight how the processor and RIM’s proprietary Liquid Graphics technology are able to provide one of the most sensual web browsing experiences we’ve seen on a smartphone. And unlike some other browsers that display that checkerboard pattern when scrolling very quickly, the Torch 9850 doesn’t fall victim to it as much. All in all, we’re in love with its web browsing experience – even if there’s no Flash support!
Giving us the best of both worlds, the BlackBerry Torch 9850 is a global smartphone that will work domestically with Sprint’s network – while connecting to various GSM networks overseas. However, its support with UMTS 3G is limited to the European 2100MHz band, which means that you’ll experience only EDGE connections if you use on the GSM networks in the States. Still, you can opt to connect to hotspot for faster speeds thanks to its 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi. Furthermore, other connectivity features with the Torch 9850 include Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and aGPS.
Without a doubt, business and enterprise users will be entertained by the notable features on the Torch 9850, but we find the availability of Documents To Go to be especially useful seeing that it offers the ability to create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. On the other end of the spectrum, other users will adore its continued open embracement of social networking with apps like Facebook and Twitter available – plus, the Social Feeds app adds support to other things like RSS feeds. Interestingly, Sprint doesn’t add any of their usual bloatware except for the usable Self Service app that provides relevant data regarding the handset – like data consumption and available minutes. Actually, besides finding the usual set of BlackBerry branded applications, there isn’t much in the way of other third party ones except for the Amazon MP3 Store, YouTube, and Slacker Radio.
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.