RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
This version of the phone is intended for Sprint, but an identical one, called Torch 9860, is for AT&T.

Introduction:


Can you believe that it has been almost three years since the original BlackBerry Storm 9530 debuted? And that it was positioned to being an iPhone killer at the time? Crazy to believe it, but yes, it has been that long. A year later, RIM was gracious enough to follow it up with its successor, the Storm2 9550, which managed to iron out some of the kinks and issues with its predecessor – but still, it failed to be compete with its rivals. Interestingly enough, we thought that RIM’s desire to build an all touch smartphone died out last year when no successive device was announced, but it seems that RIM made use of the downtime.

Well, after close to two years of dormancy, RIM is about to unleash their third take on the all touchscreen form factor with the BlackBerry Torch 9850. Not messing around with any gimmicks, it seems that the Torch 9850 might be the actual one to finally end RIM’s losing streak in achieving success in this category. Some might say that the third time is a charm, right? However, is it just too late for it to finally make some headway?

RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The package contains:

  • RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Hands-free 3.5mm headphones

Design:

Initially, we thought the Torch 9850 to be inferior in quality and craftsmanship compared to the  two Storm smartphones. However, after getting a good feel for it, we’re accepting the totally new design approach that RIM is taking with the full touch BlackBerry. For starters, it’s a skinnier and more streamlined (0.45” thick) device, and at the same time, it’s by far the lightest (4.76 oz) out of the entire touch-only bunch. On top of that, we adore that the chrome trim sprinkles a bit of premium touch to a handset that’s constructed mostly out of glossy black plastic. Ultimately, it has an endearing design that’s able to drastically differentiate itself from RIM’s past offerings.

The RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 is constructed mostly out of glossy black plastic - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 is constructed mostly out of glossy black plastic - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 is constructed mostly out of glossy black plastic - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

The RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 is constructed mostly out of glossy black plastic


RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

You can compare the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Boasting the largest and highest resolution display to grace any BlackBerry smartphone thus far, we’re grateful to find a reasonable 3.7” WVGA (480 x 800) screen on the Torch 9850 – whereas the previous Storm units employed smaller 3.25” displays. Sharp is one way of calling it, but it’s nice to see plenty of distinctive details as well. Additionally, its high contrast allow colors to pop with enough iridescence to make our eyes drool. Granted that it’s not as alluring as Super AMOLED Plus displays, it’s nevertheless very attractive on the surface.

We find a reasonable 3.7” WVGA screen on the Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
We find a reasonable 3.7” WVGA screen on the Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
We find a reasonable 3.7” WVGA screen on the Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

We find a reasonable 3.7” WVGA screen on the Torch 9850


As much as we’re inclined to interact with its touchscreen more, the handset still employs that typical optical trackpad as an alternative and useful way of navigating. Regretfully, we’re not digging the very narrow looking volume rocker and shutter key that are clinging to the right side of the phone – they simply lack any distinguishable outlines.

The sides of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The sides of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The sides of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

The sides of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850


Flipping it over,  the Torch 9850 is carrying a higher 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with a single LED flash. Removing the metallic back cover that’s covered in that soft touch matte material, we’re given access to its SIM card slot, microSD card slot, and 1,230 mAh battery.

Back - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Back - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Back - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Back - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

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RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 360-degrees View:



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18 Comments

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.

2. digicon

Posts: 121; Member since: Aug 11, 2011

Well when is it going to VZW ! ? !

3. Joshing4fun

Posts: 1244; Member since: Aug 13, 2010

Too little, too late.

4. Artax

Posts: 7; Member since: Jul 28, 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: Apr 19, 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: 3; Member since: Aug 25, 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: 3; Member since: Aug 25, 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.

17. silkydrip

Posts: 3; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

Lol iPhone 4G

18. friscokid

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 23, 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: Nov 14, 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.
Torch 9850
  • Display 3.7" 480 x 800 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Storage 4 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1230 mAh(6.10h 3G talk time)

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