Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Torch 9810 is the second iteration of the company’s original touchscreen/QWERTY slider smartphone. It replaces the 9800 model offered by AT&T last year, and offers upgrades on a number of the main components – not the least of which is the new high-res touchscreen display. Also new is the BlackBerry OS 7 smartphone operating system with its new “Liquid Graphics” engine, which gives the entire OS a more fluid, polished look.
The package contains:
- RIM BlackBerry Torch 9810
- Hands-free 3.5mm stereo headset
- microUSB cable
- Wall Charger
- Polishing Cloth
- Quick Start Guide
- Safe and Product Information Booklet
Design And Features:
The Torch 9810 gives you the best of both worlds: a physical keyboard and a full touch display. While the 9810 is almost identical in design to the 9800, it is slightly thinner, measuring 4.3 by 2.4 by 0.54 inches (as opposed to the 4.4-by-2.4-by-0.6-inch Torch 9800); it weighs 5.6 ounces, the same as the original Torch. The 9810 has a silver and black color scheme, which gives it a fun, flashier look in comparison with the mostly black and chrome 9800. I do prefer the textured rubber battery cover on the 9800 to the 9810′s hard cover, which makes the 9810 feel plasticky and not as well constructed as its predecessor.
The slider mechanism feels sturdy and solid, and slides up smoothly to reveal the full QWERTY keyboard. The keyboard is pretty much identical to the original Torch’s, as far as I can see. It’s slightly wider, but you can barely tell from using it or looking at it. Nevertheless, it is a bit on the narrow side, so users with larger fingers might find it uncomfortable. Keys are sculpted and nicely sized, and include a handful of useful shortcut buttons. The Torch 9810 also has a software keyboard that you can use in portrait and landscape mode, but both variations feel pretty cramped.
The 9810′s 3.2-inch 640-by-480-pixel display is an improvement over the original Torch’s screen (3.2 inches, 360 by 480 pixels), but it still seems lackluster next to Samsung’s Super AMOLED Plus displays or the qHD displays we’ve been seeing on the latest Motorola and HTC phones. It is also quite small by today’s standards for touchscreen smartphones. If a larger screen is what you crave, the all-touch (no keyboard) Torch 9860 will fit the bill. The Torch 9810′s display is powered by a technology (on all of the latest BlackBerrys) that RIM calls Liquid Graphics, which is supposed to give you a “smoother, more fluid touch experience.” While I definitely noticed an image-quality improvement in moving from the 9800 to the 9810, I didn’t exactly find the touch experience to be “fluid.” I’m not sure if this was due to the processing power in the Torch 9810 or the software, but pinch-and-zoom in the browser stuttered, and scrolling wasn’t as smooth as on other smartphones. On the bright side, I noticed less pixelation in images in a side-by-side comparison with the original Torch, and text looked sharper and easier to read as well.
But the BlackBerry Torch 9810 is one of the first to run OS 7, along with the Torch 9860. OS 7 is very much similar to the look of the BlackBerry PlayBook, with a mishmash of icons devoid of uniformity and a rather busy look. But they’re certainly clear. As we stated in the last section, you won’t believe how much these icons feel like they jump off the screen at you.
Since the Torch 9810 has a portrait form over landscape, by default, you get your icons in rows of four.
Curiously though, when you turn the phone to landscape mode, rather than fitting more icons onto a line, it still just gives you rows of four but more space in between the icons to even them out.
OS 7 was promised as a faster operating system than OS 6, and we agree that it is. Maybe it’s the beefed up processor, or maybe it’s the way it’s coded that means this machine doesn’t lag or treat us to the awful spinning wheel of death that we used to be all too familiar with.
Physical Keyboard – Heading to one of BlackBerry smartphones best features — the keyboard. We have some debate here when we compare the BlackBerry Torch 9810 to that of the BlackBerry Torch 9800. RIM says that the keyboard is minutely wider then that of the one found on the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and while I can’t see or for that matter even feel the difference, I’m sure diehard Torch fans will notice it. To me though, it’s the same keyboard. It has the same “clicky” keys that will eventually soften over time and become less noisy and is as responsive as anyone would expect a BlackBerry keyboard to be.
Virtual Keyboard – The virtual keyboard on the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and ultimately, BlackBerry 7 did get a makeover for the better. While I find I still dislike typing on a BlackBerry virtual keyboard due to the fact I’m a fan of RIM’s physical keyboards, the new layout does justice to the devices. While it may only be a minor change in the placement of the keys, I found the layout to be more natural I guess you could say.
While it offers only 5 megapixels of resolution, compared with the 8 or more available on some other high-end devices, the
camera in the Torch 9810 does a very nice job of capturing photos. Very nice, indeed. Some photos might run a bit dark, but the focus and color are accurate, and the photos are pleasing to the eye. You can’t ask for much more than that, especially when the flash works acceptably.
The 720p HD capable camcorder function works equally well.
Thoug the Torch 9810 lacks the dedicated hardware music controls found on some other BlackBerry models, the phone still works fine for music tasks. Music is organized by artist, album, genre, and song title, and there is full support for album art. On-screen controls make the playback easy enough to control, and music plays in the background as you manage other tasks.
The spec sheet suggests up to 6.5hrs of GSM talktime from the Torch 9810′s 1,270 mAh battery (or 5.9hrs 3G talktime), or up to 307hrs of standby. With the smartphone set to check for new messages and social networking updates as frequently as possible, we managed a full day of use with power to spare.
GPS: This is an area that a lot of people have been wondering about for the new BlackBerry 7 devices. With the inclusion of a digital compass, Magnetometer the real question is whether or not GPS performance has benefited in anyway. From testing the Torch 9810 and using my Bold 9900 I am totally convinced that GPS performance has improved.
WiFi: 802.11 b/g/n are all supported on the BlackBerry Torch 9810.
WiFi HotSpot / NFC: You’ll find neither here. However, you MAY have some hope for seeing WiFi HotSpot in the future as well as UMA calling.
BlackBerry Torch 9810 Specification
|Size (LxWxD)||Closed: 111mm x 62mm x 14.6mm
Open: 147.6mm x 62mm x 14.6mm
|Display||3.2″ high-resoultion touch display|
|Battery Life||GSM talk time: Up to 6.5 hours
GSM standby time: up to 12.8 days
UMTS talk time: up to 5.9 hours
UMTS standby time: up to 12.3 days
Audio playback time: up to 54 hours
Video playback time: up to 7 hours
|Memory||768MB RAM memory; 8GB onboard, expandable up to 36GB via MicroSD|
|Camera||5MP camera, flash, continuous auto focus, image stabilization, 4x digital zoom, scene modes, HD video recording|
|GPS||Autonomous and simultaneous GPS enabled with preloaded BlackBerry Maps application|
|Wi-fi||802.11 b/g/n enabled|
|Network||Supported on 2G, 3G and HSPA voice and data networks, including international roaming|
|Media||Video formats: .mp4, .m4a, .3gp, .m4v, .avi, .asf, .wmv
Audio formats: .mp4, .m4a, .3gp, .m4v, .avi, .asf, .wma, .mp3, .flac, .ogg, .aac, .amr, .wav, .mid, .qcp
Picture formats: .bmp, .jpg, .gif, .png, .tif, .wbmp
|All-in-one design||A fluid all-touch display plus slide-out QWERTY keyboard provide an incredible multimedia experience, while never compromising efficient typing with the classic BlackBerry keyboard.|
|Ample memory||With 8 GB of memory, expandable up to 32 GB with a microSD card, feel free to take more pictures, capture more videos and download more apps.1|
|Speedy processing||Thanks to a 1.2GHz processor on the BlackBerry® TorchTM 9810, you can experience browsing, socializing and gaming at blazing fast speeds.|
|Convenient connectivity||Connect the way you want with HSPA+ high speeds
and Wi-Fi® connectivity.
|BlackBerry browser||The new BlackBerry browser offers incredibly fast page load times, better web-based gaming, HTML5 video support and seamless scrolling and zooming.|
|Voice-activated universal search||The most powerful on-device search has gone hands-free. With speech-to-text translation, you can now look for files, email, contacts and music-and even search the web-all without typing a thing.|
|Augmented reality||Make life more fun with augmented reality apps like the WikiTude World Browser to learn about your surroundings in real-time.|
|The power to perform||A 1.2GHz processor powers BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860 smartphones, seamlessly integrating with BlackBerry 7 OS. So you can game, surf, socialize or watch videos with smoother multitasking and navigation.|
|Liquid Graphics||Experience more fluid animations, instant response times and stunning graphics on your BlackBerry Torch 9810 touch screen. Thanks to the blazing-fast CPU and powerful graphics processing, Liquid GraphicsTM technology delivers an incredible multimedia experience.|
|Camera and video||With a 5 MP camera with flash, and advanced features, it’s easy to capture those spontaneous moments. Or take a high quality video like a pro with 720p HD video recording on the BlackBerry Torch 9810.|
The Torch 9810 has a 1.2GHz processor with 768MB RAM, plus 8GB of on-board storage; it’s expandable up to 32GB with a MicroSD card. Apps launched quickly, and the touchscreen was generally responsive. Voices on the other end of the line sounded loud and clear; a few callers sounded a bit distant, but I could still hear them. My contacts could hear some background noise while I was standing on a busy city street corner, but they said it wasn’t distracting.
In an age of dual-cores, the 1.2GHz single-core CPU of the Torch 9810 isn’t quite as captivating, and combining the fact that it recycles the original’s design in every way, it lacks any WOW factor. Besides the faster performance of OS 7 that we’re seeing, there’s nothing dramatically different or new to warrant existing Torch 9800 owners to make the jump.
- Much more responsive platform experience
- Vastly superior web browsing performance
- Recycled design
- Not enough new features with OS 7
- Outdated right from the start