on August 16, 2010
I just purchased the Torch to replace my heavily abused Bold 9000 (still one of the best blackberry devices ever created). I also have a Curve 2 (Verizon) for work. I have been using Blackberry devices for over 4 years now and upgrade regularly when new devices become available. First the good:
The web browser has been improved by leaps and bounds. It was without a doubt Blackberry's weakest feature and although it isn't as good as say the iphone's or andoid's browser...it is still darn good. My friends with Blackberry Bolds and Curves can't help but drool with envy every time I pinch to zoom and scroll my web pages...all with a nice refresh rate.
The multitouch screen is a great addition. Again..not as pretty or nearly intuitive as the iphone's or the droid's...but a great feature to add to a blackberry. It's fairly responsive and not like that garbage that RIM/Verizon released in the Storm. Actually sometimes it's too responsive. Regardless, it's nice having the extra screen real estate to work with.
Media management - it's great to not have to wait 2 weeks for a half dozen of your photo thumbnails to pop up. Enough said!
Solid Design - it feels like a tank (unfortunately weighs as much too). I dropped the phone from about 4 feet (it was actually flung out of my hand by my very inebriated friend) and it survived without a scratch or a hiccup. This fall was incurred with no case or protection on the phone mind you. The screen was still in sms mode where it was right before it was ejected from my hands. The slider feels very solid as well. I hope it stays that way.
SMS Messaging now uses the same bubble format as BB messenger. This is a very welcome change. It's nice not having to scroll three pages to make sense of what somebody was responding to. In addition you can actually preview attachments such as photos in SMS mode. The same applies for emails. No having to download an attachment to see a preview.
The camera is a great improvement as well. It takes some nice pictures and the flash is actually semi-usable. To be honest I think this LED is the brightest flash I've seen on a phone. Now I just need to find a flashlight app.
A keyboard! I know it's small and a slider but it's so nice to be able to type with one hand and not have to rely on a touch screen QWERTY all the time. The phone feels very natural in your hand even with the slider open. The on screen keyboard is acceptable in horizontal mode and no more difficult to use than the iphone's or android's but it's very tough to type in vertical mode since it's ridiculously narrow. You are still able to easily get out simple sentences without having to slide the phone open though. The darn auto correct is handy but sure makes a mess of sentences at times.
There are a slew of other improvements but these were the ones I thought made the most of an impression.
The Torch is snappy but it's disappointing Blackberry didn't bump up its processor. If I'm not mistaken it still uses the same proc that's in my Bold 9000. Don't get me wrong...the phone feels quicker than most Blackberry devices but why not join the 1ghz party like the rest of the big boys?
Apps - if you're looking for apps this is the wrong phone. The app store is mediocre at best. Plus why do I have to pay 2-5 times as much for an app on my blackberry than what I paid to get it on my iphone? Hopefully the apps will improve with time.
Learning curve - the phone has a little bit of a learning curve and OS Six feels...well not complete. I wonder some time how engineers and testers miss the easy stuff. For example...to move an icon you can actually press and hold it to select options (a la iphone)...but you need to use the trackball to move it instead of just moving it on the screen with your finger. That to me feels half-@ssed. I actually ran into that issue with another item on the phone but it escapes me. Maybe I'm just being picky. Also selecting missed calls bring up a menu when you use the command button. Up pops up delete - email - text - view contact - forward - add notes - switch application - help and full menu. Unfortunately 'call back' was not one of the options. It confused me for a little while but all you have to do is to press the green call button to call back. (Thank you for all the input from my fellow Amazon reviewers!)
The menu options are vast and sometimes require several strokes to get to what you want to do. I like having a million options believe me...just not at the "touch screen" level. Also the application icon menu is nice but very busy and difficult to navigate at times. I will probably get used to it...but they could have made it a bit more intuitive.
In addition, I've noticed that some program options don't work. For example, when I try and change my contacts to sort by last name it reverts back to first name. I've noticed the same with the option to view my calendar by month instead of day. I change it but it reverts back to default. I don't know whether or not it's just my phone or all the 9800's but hopefully the issue will be corrected with the next OS update.
I have also discovered a slight glitch which may be isolated to my phone. Highlighting and selecting a text message sometimes brings you to the wrong text conversation. It takes a try or two to get it right. Be very careful or you may suffer from sent-the-wrong-message-to-the-wrong-person-insert-foot-in-mouth syndrome! (Update: Corrects with soft reset ALT-Right SHIFT-DEL)
Overall...it's a really good phone - i just don't LOVE it. Yet. Good call quality. You tube videos don't stutter like they used to. I have a web browser I can actually USE. Touch screen. So I'm a little disappointed the menu is not more like my iphone. Then again I'm a Blackbery kind of guy. And that's why my iphone is next to my night stand for a late night bejeweled session and not in my pocket.
Anyway...sorry for the long winded review but I just wanted to give everybody an honest idea of what the phone is like. I rely on Amazon a great deal for reviews and I hope this helps you.
UPDATE: The latest software update/build has corrected most if not all the quirks and glitches mentioned above. If your phone doesn't have the latest software you should update it immediately. The new build not only corrects many issues but it also makes the phone somewhat smoother/faster. The slider spring eventually gave out. Even though it's tougher to open and close now I can't believe the phone has actually survived some of the drops it has endured. Still wish it had a faster processor. I have discovered that the mute button is poorly placed on the touch screen since it activates almost every time I answer the phone and bring it to my face. Regardless, the phone has spoiled me...I can barely stand using my Curve at work.
on August 17, 2010
Reading the reviews online, some nothing more than a rehashed press release from RIM, i was excited: finally a good replacement for my 8310 Curve. I ignored the references to the iPhone 4: screen too small, not as crisp, processor speed too low, in short, bound to fail. Instead I started thinking about what I want in a new phone.
I think what people reviewing this phone tend to forget, is that it's more of a business-oriented phone, not so much 'let's download the latest fart app and show it to all my friends'. This phone has got excellent messaging capabilities, proper mailboxes for as many as 10 accounts, 3G speed (when AT&Ts network plays along nicely on the West Coast) and now a proper web browser (same as iPhone).
And, guess what: to me it doesn't fail at all. Why?
* it has got the trusty Blackberry keyboard. Why would you need an on-screen one, when you have the real deal? Tried all kinds of phones, such as the iPhone4, Samsung Galaxy, Tilt2. Still, the Torch had the best feel.
* it has the best messaging; I like the ease of use of setting up new accounts to monitor, and how easy it was to move from my old phone onto the new one. all inboxes into one, or show them on-screen as separate inboxes, one for each account.
* the browser is amazing; not a distinguishing factor between iPhone and Torch, but definitely better than the old RIM browser
About the processor speed:
* how fast does it have to go? You don't need the fastest possible to browse, I hope? Your 3G speed is probably more important than how fast you can get a web page to show up, rather than the processor. I did some tests with streaming YouTube videos, I did not see any lag or stutter, other than when the phone starts buffering. This happened more when in California than at home in Chicago, where I consistently got 5 bars.
What I simply don't care about: social media, social feeds, and all that. You know, you can either delete these icons, or move them into a folder and hide them. If you don't want them, you don't have to see them.
So maybe when people say 'the Torch is failing', they need to be a bit more specific about what for they're using the phone. It's time for reviewers to be more upfront, saying what they were looking for in a new phone.
If this phone needs to be the latest and greatest YouTube video viewer? Might still work. If this needs to be the fastest phone on paper? No, look for other phones instead. If you need a solid messaging phone, for both business and maybe after hours? Definitely look into any Blackberry.
I like mine, don't want to trade it in for anything else.
About the price reduction: where are the terms and conditions? Is this for a totally new subscriber, or also for renewing your plan? Kinda bummed out that this is happening already within 7 days of launch, but I'm sure I'll find a solution.
on August 16, 2010
I am so sick of arguing with people about iPhones. The name should be changed to iFun because thats really all they are made for. They can barely handle any of the tasks that a "phone" should so why have the word "phone" in the name. With that said, this new Blackberry is a phones phone. No nonsense. Its not gonna win any fashion awards at the 2010 Phony awards. It wont be breakout phone of the year. It probably wont ever outsell droid or iPhone. Your kids and their friends wont be talking about how excited they are to get the new Torch. But when it comes to making and receiving PHONE calls, emailing, texting, surfing the web, updating status's or blogs, viewing documents, there is no better phone out there then this one.
The main thing that I knew I would love is the physical keyboard combined with touchscreen. I really dont think physical keyboards will ever be phased out because they are faster and more accurate than any touchscreen could ever be. And I think RIM is betting on that fact with this phone cause there is not one phone on the market that combines a big screen with a kick a** keyboard. I had a Bold 9000 and upgraded to this phone (via amazon wireless for only 99 bucks!) and besides the speakers not being as loud, this phone is better in every way then an already amazing phone in the Bold 9000. Contrary to what all the reviews around the web are saying, the screen is amazing. Who would want to watch HD movies on their phone anyway? Thats dumb. I have a tv and/or a laptop for that. Not to mention on 3G networks you cant stream any higher resolution than this phone can view anyway.
I really do love the screen and how responsive it is. Its just a smart intuitive screen and combined with the optical touchpad (which makes clicking links or selecting text so easy when you have big fingers like me) theres really nothing you cant do with it. The Universal Search feature is great too and makes you wonder "why havent I always had this as an option". Thats how all my blackberrys have been though. World phone to the Curve to the Bold and now to the Torch and every time I'm thinking why cant all phones be made like this. They make sense. They enhance your life because life is about people and relationships and this one communicates with those relationships better than anything. I hate that Blackberrys arent as cool to own even though Kanye West Obama Justin Timberlake Lady Gaga Jay-Z T.I. etc all own blackberrys. (no A-list celeb needs to feel cooler by having a phone hence why most dont have iPhones.) But thats something I'm more than happy to give up in exchange for reliability and practicality.
If you own a Blackberry right now you will LOVE this phone. If you have ever owned and liked a Blackberry in the past, you will love this phone. If you are thinking about getting a Blackberry, you will love this phone. If you really like the iPhone or new Droid then go get one of those. They are good devices in their own right as well but as for all the aforementioned things, NOTHING will beat a Blackberry. Its just like anything else, cars women music sports its all just personal preference and theres no judgement for choosing whats best for you. But as for me, I prefer a phone that does what phones do.
on August 25, 2010
* Peerless messaging support
* Exquisite construction
* Vastly improved web browsing and media support
* Physical keyboard
* Not as sexy as iPhone or Android
* App support ok but not great
* Sluggish touchscreen response.
I had been eagerly awaiting this phone's release, and then was prepared to be disappointed after reading the less than stellar reviews.
Although I was planning to wait and see if Verizon would finally get the iPhone, my phone recently had a near death experience, which sent me to the AT&T store.
The Torch is my 5th Blackberry over the last 7 years. I've had a Blueberry (7230), two 8700's and a Curve 8300. Nearly all of my friends and family have the iPhone so I've used them a lot. It's a fantastic device but I've felt that for how I use my phone (messaging and phone calls) the Blackberry is more efficient and easier to use. After an hour in the AT&T store trying pretty much every phone they had I went on Amazon and ordered the Torch the next day.
The construction is gorgeous. The combination of the soft touch rubber back, chrome finish front and glass screen makes it feel like it should come in a box that says Bulgari rather than Blackberry. The slider action is rock solid and the general weighting makes it very satisfying to hold in the hand; unlike the iPhone4 which feels like a piece of high grade medical equipment. It feels expensive, unlike the more lightweight (and slightly plasticy) 8700 and 8300. Its heft and solidity recall the 7230 and the Motorola Razr as far as build quality.
After loading a typical selection of apps onto it performance feels fine; except for the touch screen. I think many complaints about sluggish performance may be people using the touch screen; it feels slower to respond to taps and less decisive when you swipe than the iPhone or Android screens I've used. Using the touchpad, the phone feels zippy. Hopefully RIM will address this with a software update; and I expect I just need to get used to it. But occasionally missed presses or swipes aside it seems far faster than the 8300 or the 8700 (or the Storm) ever were. I'm sure if you have a gazillion apps open it slows down, but now thanks to iOS4 so does the iPhone.
There has been much moaning and groaning about the `low' resolution screen. While the screen on the Torch is no Retina Display I put it side by side with my iPod Touch and was hard pressed to tell the difference. Text and graphics look good; although at times it seems the OS doesn't take full advantage of the color depth of the display. For those of us who do not aim jeweler's loupes at our phones it's a perfectly nice screen.
I'm not a fan of touchscreen keyboards; and many people I know who have switched miss the physical keyboard. The Torch keyboard is similar in design to recent Curves and the Bolds, but smaller, flatter, and set deep in the device (thanks to the slider) so it takes a little getting used to; but after an hour spent typing emails on the Motorola Backflip, Palm and Samsung phones I think it's still the best slider keyboard out there. The onscreen keyboard (especially in Suretype mode) is usable for quick replies.
Messaging support is, as to be expected, peerless. The unified inbox and notifications rock; it's nice to be able to see everything in one place and not have to go digging around in separate apps for different kinds of messages and the latest calls and appointments. You can Compose Emails, SMS, MMS, and IMs from the inbox, and if you enable social feeds Twitter, Facebook and MySpace as well. If you use BIS to connect to your Gmail or Google Apps accounts contacts and calendar syncing are now supported(removing the need for Google Sync); and the excellent Exchange support remains for Enterprise users who need that functionality.
App support is spotty; if your idea of smartphone nirvana is having pages and pages of apps, get thee to an iPhone (or Android device). But the basic OS is very richly featured; and I'm always surprised at the number of apps that are available. I sometimes see people downloading Android apps to get basic functionality; it's all seems built in here. The App world however, could be better. It's no ITunes App Store but hopefully that will improve and the apps themselves seem to be getting better and better.
Media support is much improved; I was able to sync 3gb of music from my iTunes Library onto the Torch with nary a hiccup; and albums, playlists and cover art were all recognized. The media player isn't quite as slick as the iPhone but it's pleasant to use now; as opposed to the previous version which felt like Windows Media Player circa 1995.
The Webkit browser is 10,000 times better than the old Blackberry browser; if you use the mobile web at all on a current Blackberry the improvement alone is worth the upgrade. HTML Email is also rendered wonderfully. Thank you RIM for hearing our cries.
The voice dialing seems improved over the Curve; especially in my car. I haven't had to repeat myself once and there is a training program to make it even more accurate. Also it's nice to be able to get to the phone app with a single touch of a physical button from anywhere.
I've used the Curve on the AT&T network in LA and NY for three years; and while it's not perfect it seems that Blackberries perform vastly better than iPhones on the same network. I've had many friends on iPhones in NY and San Francisco get no signal while the Curve worked; so far the Torch seems to perform similarly. Who knows maybe the iPhone will take down Verizon's network if they ever get it.
I've always said, if you use your phone for media and apps, get an iPhone. If you use it for phone calls and messaging, get a Blackberry. I think that's still true; but the gap is narrowing a bit. The Torch and the new OS 6 bring vastly improved web browsing, social networking and media support to the table. It's not the new hot kid on the block (Android), or a BMW-like app machine (iPhone) but it's very good at many things.
This phone is a good value at $199 for a two year contract; but if bought online at a significant discount it's an absolute steal. You can buy the Torch, a nice case and a 32gb SD card and still spend less than the Iphone 32gb. I can see people wanting the Bold for the better battery life and slightly larger keyboard or the Curve for the smaller size, but almost anybody else who uses their phone as a tool to get stuff done would be hard pressed to find a nicer phone than the Blackberry Torch.
on August 15, 2010
So far so good! I've owned it for a couple of days and am amazed at all of the capabilities it's got. My firm has an Enterprise server, and the integration is really cool. The Universal Search function integrates with Enterprise, and that's extremely helpful. Social networking has been totally built into the phone, so if you like Facebook/Twitter/MySpace/etc., it's all there. With the new browser, the Internet and maps are about 1000 times better. Phone calls are loud and clear -- for the first time, my sister didn't bitch at me about sound quality when I was talking to her from my living room!
My biggest issue with the Bold was the 1/2 screen -- I wanted a full screen, and boy did I get it. The screen is huge and everything is serious big and readable.
So far it's been really smooth, and the things I had issues with (screen not dimming, touch screen TOO sensitive), I was able to adjust to my liking in Options. You can really personalize this phone. I have no issue with the keyboard -- it's not as bouncy as the 9700, but it's basically the same size and easy to use. Having a keyboard is a dealbreaker for me, so I was excited about this phone coming out.
I appreciate that RIM cut down on the "goodies" (the leather case, the good earphones) to keep the cost down, but I missed them anyway -- they're part of what makes owning a BlackBerry a cut above. And my main critique of the phone would be its heft -- it feels HUGE. I keep comparing it to the 9700. Appearance-wise, they're almost the same, but the Torch feels like a brick in comparison. I still love it, though.
on August 28, 2010
I've had this phone for a week and I love it. It seems we are all supposed to say we're disappointed a bit (processor and what not) but who cares as long as it works, and this phone works great. It does everything you want and you'll really get a lot out of the universal search app on the home screen.
This is a productivity phone that is good at music and podcasts. That'll satisfy about 90% of phone users. If you really want to play games on this phone it's probably not as good as some others with bigger screens and faster processors. But honestly, do you want to play games on your phone? I'm talking about serious games, of course there are plenty of small game apps to keep most people happy. I especially like pinball deluxe.
What you get with this phone that you don't with the other is the legendary blackberry keyboard and quality build. I have a lot of friends that have an iPhone and they say they can type on the screen. You probably do as well, but look ar their email sent from the iPhone I'd wager 99.9% don't last more than a few words. It just isn't pleasing to type on glass. In case your wondering if I know, I do, I had an iPhone and hated it, mainly do to the typing and poor call quality, but I'm not here to bash the iPhone.
This is a great phone, and if you own a blackberry or do a lot of email texting, you no longer have a reason to make the painful mistake I made in buying the iPhone. This phone will do it all for you! Enjoy!
on August 29, 2010
I am a long time Blackberry user. When I lost my BB a while back I switched to the iPhone. I used the iphone for about a year then came back to BB when the Torch came out. I can't say enough good things about this phone. I can type literally type 10 times faster using the trusty bb keyboard. The BB implementation of the touch screen takes a few days to get used to but the combination of touch screen with a good keyboard makes for a very productive combination. I have good call quality and it seems to be able to hold a connection where my old BB and the iPhone would always lose their connections. The browser actually works and works as well as the iPhone. The old BB browser was terrible. The text messaging is much better as it groups and organizes text messages with the same metaphor as BB IM. If you are a teenager the iPhone may still be for you. If you are a grown up and need to use your phone for email, messaging, and calls first, then as a secondary goal to manage media then the BB is the only serious phone to use. The droids and the iPhone have been hacked and the number of viruses for these phones is growing. The BB has not been hacked and there are no viruses. Overall the phone is fast, well built, has great tools, good media management and is secure.
on August 18, 2010
I have really been satisfied with the performance of the Blackberry Torch. There are so many features I love on this phone.
* Great Phone and Messaging Device - Number one priority for a smart phone is calling and messaging. This phone excels at both.
* Notification System - Notifications for apps(email, SMS, phone, Facebook, calendar, etc.) appear in the notification bar at the top of the screen.
* Easy Access to Quick Settings - Tapping the top of the screen brings up connectivity options, alarm settings, and links to other phone options.
* Universal Search - Start typing on the physical keyboard from the home screen to search the entire phone or after typing tap the browser icon to search Google.
* Physical Keyboard - First of all, great for typing. Second, doesn't take up space on the screen (virtual keyboards block much of the screen) so you can view emails, texts, etc. much better.
* So Many Options - OS 6 works well by touch and by using the track pad. Both methods together create a great experience. One place the track pad is very useful for is clicking small links on web pages, because it is very hard to be accurate with your finger.
* Multitasking - Very quick and easy to use. I use it all the time to browse and SMS at the same time. Even works well with many applications running.
* Shortcuts - The physical keyboard is very useful for speed dial, copying and pasting, and the many many other shortcuts in OS 6.
* Physical Keys - (Send, menu, escape, end) Very useful, one major problem I have with some touch screen phones is the lack of these physical keys. Holding the menu key in any app brings up the multitasking screen.
* Well Constructed Slider Mechanism - Smooth sliding action, no wobble that affects usage.
* Webkit Browser - A major upgrade to Blackberry browsing. Best feature is double tap to wrap text so it fits the screen, making reading text much easier. Also has pinch to zoom.
* Customizable Profiles - Sound profiles have many many options. You can change settings for all types of notifications. Easy access to profiles from home screen. The flashing LED alert (which can be disabled) is one of my favorite Blackberry features.
* Wifi Music Sync - Easy and efficient way to transfer music to your phone. Works Great! Has normal headphone jack.
* Social Networking Integration - Facebook, Twitter, etc.
* 5 MP Camera - Takes great photos, has flash.
* Auto On/Off - Conserves battery.
* Visual Voice Mail - Much easier than calling your voice mail to listen to messages.
* Good Battery Life - Will definitely last at least all day even for heavy users.
* Low Resolution Screen in comparison to some other new smart phones. However in my opinion the physical keyboard (because it doesn't waste screen space as a virtual keyboard does) makes up for this most of the time.
* Slow processor (compared to other new smart phones) - However I have not had any problems with lag even when running multiple applications.
* No HD video.
* Webkit browser still is not perfect. I hope the performance on many sites will be improved with new OS updates
The Torch should be great for anyone who wants a very reliable smart phone for calling and messaging with many other great features and apps. This review probably seems fairly long, but I just touched the surface of the many features of this phone. I am still finding new features and shortcuts every day. I would definitely recommend this phone.
on February 1, 2011
I almost love this phone and it does EVERYTHING I need it to.
In the past 6 months, I have tried the major players looking for a replacement to my disappointing BlackBerry Storm 1. Basically, the Torch is waaaaaayyyy better and faster than the Storm 1 or Storm 2.
If you tried the Torch in the first few months of its release, try it again; the operating system software upgrade made it much faster. They've fixed almost everything that was annoying about those machines and created a device that will fulfill most if not all of your desires.
Comparing the major players on a high level
If you need reminders of appointments, a BlackBerry is your ONLY choice. If you use your phone for business, the Torch is better than any BlackBerry ever made. If you want to keep up with the mindless ramblings of "friends" you've never met on Facebook and Twitter and other social media, any phone released in the last year, including the Torch, is about equally qualified to waste your time. If the most important thing to you is games, then you definitely don't want a BlackBerry of any type. In general, BlackBerry designs their products to support businesspeople and then they try to include pastimes. All the other mobile devices seem to have been designed primarily as toys / time wasters. For full disclosure, I think I looked at Palm's latest offering but since it was on Verizon, I didn't even try it. Verizon's data network is pathetically slow in my area and the phone drops calls at my house.
Great things about the Torch
1. It's the best Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) out there. I am totally ADD and I need to have constant reminders. I need to get a reminder a few hours or days ahead of time, and then have my device repeat the reminder so I make sure to do whatever it is I'm supposed to do in a timely manner. You don't get that with the i-Phone, Android or Windows Phone. The i-Phone reminds you once, then you're on your own. I almost missed a class because of this... and I was the one teaching the class! Otherwise I have nothing but good things to say about the i-Phone, but that was a death blow and it went back the next day. Android doesn't remind you at all! It goes into a reminder area with a tiny little icon, and you have to press that icon to get the info. Back to the store it went! Windows Phone was equally disappointing; I didn't even buy it. Oh, don't fall for the Salesman's Universal Copout of "there's an app for that"; there isn't -- I looked and you will find forum after forum complaining about this and there is no solution. (See "Bad things about the Torch" at the bottom of this review for further info on this subject.)
2. SureType keyboard. It's the best thing about any BlackBerry and hardly anyone knows about it, including salespeople. If your fingers are bigger than a 6-month-old and you realize that proper spelling and typos reflect your level of intelligence, then SureType is for you and only BlackBerry has it. The on-screen keyboard can have 2 letters per button in the usual QWERTY pattern. Just type normally, and the BlackBerry is going to start making suggestions for words you are in the process of typing. There's a demo on the BlackBerry web site; just google "suretype blackberry". It's faster than Multitap and much easier than trying to use any on-screen or slide-out keyboard. I NEVER make a spelling mistake on a BlackBerry, well, hardly ever.
3. one of the biggest screens available.
4. Visual Voicemail - you can SEE all of your voicemails on a list along with who called, when and length of message, instead of just listening sequentially. Listen to your boss's voicemail first and listen to your chatty friend later (if you have time). The interface kind of looks like a list of emails, but when you click, a sort-of media player starts. Brilliant! It allows you to back up a little or a lot or skip forward much easier than voicemail historically allowed you to do 9 seconds at a time. Ugh! How 80's!
5. Google Maps -- you can talk to it. Press the phone key and tell it what you're looking for. It will find it on the map. Excellent if you're driving while using the navigation program, which is probably when you would be using Google Maps?! I don't think i-Phone will EVER be capable of that because you would need to have more than one button for that functionality. With the i-Phone cyclops, it will never happen, well, unless they take up screen real estate.
6. Google Mobile App -- you can talk to it. Press the phone key and tell the search engine what you're looking for. It will find it on the internet.
7. the phone -- you can talk to it. In the phone application, at the bottom-right corner of the screen; press the icon. "Call John Smith at home" in a moment you'll be connected to John Smith's home phone.
8. Switching between apps on the Torch is easier than ever. Hold the BlackBerry button down and you will see up to 9 of the last used / more popular applications in a 3x3 grid.
9. They have added kind of a tiny mousepad / select button. It's an improvement over the trackball in previous BlackBerries and makes selecting a spot to edit text waaaaayyyy easier than the Storm.
10. Additional pages besides the homepage. There's a Frequent page that is automatically populated by the last 12 programs you used. You can populate the Favorites page with any application you want. There is also a Media page and Downloads page.
11. 2-finger zoom in and zoom out, just like on the i-Phone. I guess Apple couldn't patent or copyright it.
12. You can create new folders on any page even though the documentation is all flawed. Select an app icon with the mouse pad; tap the BlackBerry button; you will see an option to Add Folder. OR you can press and hold an icon, and then select Full Menu; you will see an option to Add Folder. This is highly useful for creating a Crap folder to put all the junk that comes with the Torch. I created another to put all my email boxes in.
13. Speed is good, not lightning but very respectable on the network. Way faster than Storm 1 or 2 because of the hardware and the network. Where I live, AT&T is much faster than Verizon. If you're connected to Wi-Fi, you're on an even keel as any mobile device.
14. no more clicking the screen. A lot of people hated this about the Storm; it didn't bother me. You don't do it with the Torch.
15. you can get to a lot of different functions at the top of any home screen, like Search, Visual Voicemail, Text Messages, Emails and connectivity options.
16. Search - the magnifying glass now automatically searches your device AND the web
17. a camera with a flash -- if you know anything about photography, you know the more light the better. Other phones can only be used outdoors during the daytime, unless you like grainy photos of course. But be warned that the camera freezes quite often.
18. a video camera with a light. It's bright. The light is my go-everywhere flashlight. While others are scrambling to find a flashlight, I whip out my searchlight that could spot planes over London.
19. the chargers from the BlackBerry Storm work with the Torch
Bad things about the Torch
1. the camera freezes all too often -- hopefully RIM will fix this soon with a software upgrade.
2. Invariable snooze time and no "snooze all" -- Ironically , if I could give the Torch 4.5 stars, this is why it would lose half a star. 15 years ago, I had a Palm Pilot. When the Palm gave you a reminder, you could say "remind me in 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour...", incrementally up to 7 days I think. I could even "Snooze All". The BlackBerry snooze button will allow you to get a reminder in 5 to 30 minutes -- that's it -- and you must set the number of minutes ahead of time in the options. Sometimes I need the device to nag me again in 5 minutes; sometimes I don't need another reminder for a week. Despite outcries from the BlackBerry Storm community, RIM has chosen not to improve their machines to this point. We count on technology to be cumulative but in this case all of the phone manufacturers seemed to have forgotten an important lesson from the past.
That's about it. I almost love this phone and it does EVERYTHING I need it to. If RIM fixes these problems, I can't see ever changing phones, but RIM has a habit of creating something and then moving on to the next product, so I'm not holding my breath. But basically, after a long search, this is the best product available for me (and other business people).
(See my review for "BlackBerry Storm 9500 Unlocked Phone with 3.15 MP Camera (Black)")
on August 28, 2010
The Blackberry 9800 Torch has been described by AT&T as the "best Blackberry yet" and the perfect combination of work/productivity and personal/media device. I completely agree that the Torch does exactly that. The strength of BB has always been world-class messaging capability, superior battery life and excellent reliability. The Torch meets all of these standards.
In addition, BB OS6 provides numerous media-related enhancements and other UI improvements. Most importantly, the addition of a full Webkit browser allows for true Internet browsing and full HTML e-mail rendering. Virtually every long-time BB user has experienced frustration with BB's awful browsing capabilities, especially in the past 2 years as iPhone has shown what a true mobile browser can do. The good news is that the BB Torch has finally resolved this issue and delivers a best-in-class browser to the BB platform.
I use my BB extensively for my job. I need to be able to receive 200+ emails/BBMs per day and know that the device will always work reliably. I travel quite often, and knowing that I can step off a plane and receive 100% of my emails and BBMs without international roaming issues is an important factor for me. Admittedly, the media related functionality has not been as crucial for me in the past. But just like everyone else, I certainly wanted a true mobile browser and access to social networking functionality and apps. I'm happy to say that the Torch's new browser, social feeds, BB Podcast app, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and WiFi music sync (to name a few...) are huge improvements to the BB platform over prior versions and make the 9800 a very capable personal media device as well. In addition, the touchscreen is a great and surprisingly enough I have not found myself reaching for the physical keyboard very often, which is not at all what I would have expected. I have used an iPhone for the past 2 years as a personal device and while it is a fantastic device in many respects (apps, games, browsing, etc.), it simply does not stack up against the BB in terms of messaging capability (for my needs anyway...).
In my opinion, choosing a smartphone will always involve some form of trade-off. Each person needs to rank which functions are most important to them and decide which device best meets those needs. With the Torch, BB has delivered a product that gives me the personal apps and media capabilities that I desire in addition to all of the messaging reliability that BB has become known for. I'm now finally able to get rid of my iPhone and consolidate down to a single device. I think it's pretty much a no-brainer to say that existing BB users will love this device, and I'm willing to bet that those new to the BB experience will be very satisfied with the Torch.