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What the Torch 9800 should've been.....
on September 2, 2011
For most people, the Torch 9800 was the first decent touchscreen phone RIM brought to the market. None of that SurePress nonsense, and the screen was actually responsive enough to be of use when you didn't necessarily want to use the trackpad/keyboard.
For all intents and purposes - the Torch 9810 looks NO different than the 9800. If you put them side-by-side, I'm not sure if anyone would be able to tell which is which. That's alright though, since RIM focused on what's really important, and that's the hardware of the phone.
- The processor in the 9810 has been upgraded, same one that's in the Bold 9930 - Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2 GHz. There's no multi-core functionality or anything like that, but the processor upgrade definitely helps makes the Torch 2 a snappier phone.
- "Liquid Graphics Technology" - the Torch 9810 is touted as having this feature too, along with most of the OS 7 phones. Basically RIM put in a separate graphics processor to handle all the visual stuff, which again, does help make the phone seem more fluid and responsive - but don't think that means you won't see the all-too familiar hourglass. You will at times, just not as often.
- Screen resolution has been bumped up. It used to be 480 x 360, but they've increased it to 640 x 480. I was hoping RIM would jump on the qHD wagon and get some phones with that kind of screen resolution, but it looks like we'll have to wait a bit longer.
- Updated camera software: the camera is still 5 MP, but the zoom was extended from 2X to 4X, and face detection was added to the Torch 2. There is no front-facing camera, so doesn't look like Video Chat will be working anytime soon on a BB phone....
- OS 7: nice OS, browser is once again improved. The amount of space it takes up in memory seems to have shrunk as well - about 15% less than OS 6. Two new business apps are included, called BlackBerry Protect and Balance. Protect allows your business to remotely monitor, configure and wipe, if necessary, a remote smartphone so when the phone disappears, your whole business life doesn't disappear along with it. And Balance separates business from personal stuff on a BlackBerry, which helps avoid the possibility of confidential data accidentally being sent to all those shady contacts.....
Alright - so is it worth it??
This one is honestly a judgement call - so I'll say it like this: if you have the original Torch, you might not like it, since it feels like this is what the Torch 9800 should've been all along. If you have an older Blackberry - you will like this.
1) The upgraded hardware really helps make the phone a pleasure to use. With the faster processor and the increased RAM size, the phone's no powerhouse - but it becomes somewhat competitive with what's out on the market today.
2) Battery life gets a nice improvement: I believe this was an OS issue as much as a hardware issue on the Torch 9800, but it seems that RIM corrected the OS part with the new OS 7 - battery usually lasts me a day, even with Pandora going. Nice job RIM. (Good note to make: the old Torch's battery is compatible with the new Torch)
3) Phone calls - hey, let's face it, the Torch is a PHONE. It can do a whole lot of other stuff - but at the end of the day, it's a PHONE, and I should be able to make PHONE CALLS. Never had a dropped call yet - especially in NYC. Something I hated about the iPhone was that - especially in the city - I would lose a bunch of calls. Never happened with this Torch. Not yet anyway....
4) 4G - RIM's first 4G phone right here. I only experienced the speed once - near NYC. I got around 4 MB/s down - it was beautiful. 4G service is very spotty though - at the moment, especially with AT&T. Should get better as time goes on.
1) Battery cover: GOD, I really hate the back that RIM put on this Torch. I don't know what they were thinking, but I trashed it as soon as I saw it. I'll use the old Torch's cover, thank you very much....
2) Same old, same old: RIM tends to get stuck in a rut when it comes to taking some chances with designs. I was hoping the Torch 2 might have some design improvements - or at least some visual improvements, but instead, it's just more of the same. I hope RIM gets willing to take some risk in this field soon....
3) Top buttons way too sensitive: this was a problem on the first Torch too. It was way too easy to lock your phone. RIM, in keeping with the same design elements, also migrated this problem to the Torch 2.
Bottom line: the Torch 2 is a good phone, really what the Torch 1 should've been. If you're okay with it looking like the original Torch, then by all means - jump on this. For the rest of you - you may want to try another Blackberry, such as the new Bold 9930 - or the Monaco, which should be coming out sometime this month.
I'll update this as I use the phone more, but feel free to leave a comment or question below. I'm here to educate, so if I got something wrong, let me know....