On our caller's end, they stated that our voice was rather mute in tone with no evidence of static noise in the background, but still distinguishable enough to make out words. However, we were happy to hear normal sounding voices on our end that weren't muddied with any distortion. Sadly, the volume emitted by the earpiece was clearly on the weak side – even when setting the volume to the loudest setting. In addition, it made conversing in noisy environment rather difficult. When switching over to the speakerphone, tones were stronger but muffled sounding. All in all, the calling performance on the Torch was average at best.

During our testing, the handset performed admirably in maintaining a solid connection with no evidence of extreme fluctuations in signal strength in the greater Philadelphia region.

Without a doubt, BlackBerry smartphones in general are known for their supreme battery life – especially when RIM maintains and diverts data so well in the back end. The BlackBerry Torch doesn't disappoint as we were able to easily use the handset for a solid one day on heavy usage – with some juice left over to start the next day. We'd imagine we could have optimized our time by manually setting the brightness level to the lowest setting and closing down any unused apps.


First things first, traditional BlackBerry users will find the Torch 9800 as a worthy device to continue RIM's legacy as it easily maintains all the aspects about BlackBerry with a dash of some new features. RIM's attempt in attracting new users might prove difficult despite boasting a prized form factor and revamped platform that play to the strengths of the everyday consumer. When comparing the Torch 9800 to some of the big guns in the mobile world right now, such as the HTC EVO 4G, iPhone 4, Motorola DROID 2, it is difficult to fathom for someone to jump with the Torch – even more when all are priced accordingly at $199.99 on-contract. From a hardware perspective, it painfully cringes in the presence of some high-powered devices sporting 1GHz processors, high-resolution displays, and industrial designs that exhibit quality form. But digging around deeper into BlackBerry OS 6 also doesn't boast a level of confidence in attracting non-BlackBerry users since opposing platforms substantially place a lot of emphasis on presentation and integration. Sure there is finally social networking integration with the platform, but it's only getting into that space right now. In closing, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is able to keep that fire going for RIM, but until they get serious about getting the platform into the same league as its competitors, that fire might someday become extinguished.

RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800 Video Review:


  • Responsive QWERTY
  • Decent battery life


  • Issues with rendering some web pages
  • Still outdated looking interface

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