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RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

BlackBerry Torch 9850
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Camera:

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.

Camera interface - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Camera interface - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Camera interface - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Camera interface - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Camera interface - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Camera interface - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Camera interface - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

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.

Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Samples taken with the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

Strong - Indoor samples - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Medium - Indoor samples - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Low light - Indoor samples - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

Strong

Medium

Low light

3ft - Darkness with flash - Indoor samples - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
5ft - Darkness with flash - Indoor samples - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
7ft - Darkness with flash - Indoor samples - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

3ft

5ft

7ft

Darkness with flash


Although we find it passable, especially for something that’s recorded with a phone, the 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:




Multimedia:

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.

Music player - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Music player - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Music player - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

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.

Video playback - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Video playback - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Video playback - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Video playback - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

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!

The web browser of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The web browser of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The web browser of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The web browser of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The web browser of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The web browser of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The web browser of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
The web browser of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

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.


Software:

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.

Documents To Go - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Documents To Go - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Documents To Go - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Documents To Go - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review

Preinstalled apps - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Preinstalled apps - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Preinstalled apps - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Preinstalled apps - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Preinstalled apps - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Preinstalled apps - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Preinstalled apps - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review
Preinstalled apps - RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 Review


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PhoneArena rating:
7.5Good
Display3.7 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (252 ppi) TFT
Camera5 megapixels
Hardware
Single core, 1200 MHz, QC 8655 processor
0.75 GB RAM
Size4.72 x 2.44 x 0.45 inches
(120 x 62 x 11.5 mm)
4.76 oz  (135 g)
Battery1230 mAh, 6.8 hours talk time

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