Pretty good but not in love... August 16, 2010
Reviewer: Dr. Manhattan "The world's smartest man poses no more threat to me than does its smartest termite." (NJ USA) -
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.
Apples to apples... August 17, 2010
Reviewer: Roland Muts
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.
Amazing phone. No better phone out there for doing phone stuff August 16, 2010
Reviewer: Cory Crawford "C-Dizzle" (Seatte, WA) -
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.
The Lexus of Smartphones, not flashy or sexy but solid and efficient. 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.
Good job, RIM! August 15, 2010
Reviewer: J. Ehrlich "music addict" (Santa Monica, CA) -
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.
Best Blackberry Ever August 29, 2010
Reviewer: C. Carter
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.
Great Smartphone! 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.
Great for for BB lovers 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!
fantastic device, does exactly what is was designed for 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.
comparing to Apple i-Phone, Android and Windows Phone February 1, 2011
Reviewer: S. Brusco "Sam Brusco" (Cranston, RI) -
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)")
Best BB to date - from a Bold 9000 owner - 2 weeks using the Torch and it keeps getting better August 25, 2010
Reviewer: Jeffrey Howard "jeffreii" (Coral Gables, Fl United States) -
I got my first BlackBerry almost 2 years ago when I purchased the BlackBerry Bold 9000. The perfected physical keyboard and quick and efficient messaging and communications of the BlackBerry OS had me hooked immediately.
It's important to note that my 9000 became better throughout my use of it...OS updates were constantly available (though they were leaked betas it was easy to decide which to install and which to skip from reading [...] feedback). I fully expect the Torch 9800 to be the same way - I think it's great now but I know that as RIM continues to optimize the new BlackBerry 6 OS, it will continue to become even better - they'll make things faster, improve battery life, add new features and of course fix bugs.
First off, let it be said that I am surrounded by iPhones. Everyone in my family - even my girlfriend - and most of my friends, use iPhones. Mostly 3GS's and a few 4's. They are great devices but totally not for me. The lack of a physical keyboard is the worst part. The email is not nearly as efficient - the notifications are totally lame compared to what can be done on BlackBerry - especially with a great app called BerryBuzz installed. Yes the iPhone4 has a better screen, faster processor, slightly better web browser, more apps - but for what I need, it's more of a toy than a phone and messaging device.
In anticipation of the Torch 9800 release I read all the reviews and information I could find. The technophiles bashed it for being slow and having outdated hardware...I was worried...because I wanted to like this phone and I wanted to replace my aging (albeit still an outstanding workhouse) Bold 9000. I was also concerned about the physical keyboard - the Bold 9000 is like the holy grail of BB keyboards. The Bold 9700 and now the Torch 9800 are smaller and I have long thin fingers and liked the extra space.
Forget all of that. This thing is great. The device is snappy - screen transitions are smooth and quick. The touchscreen is excellent, responsive and well designed. The layout of buttons...RIM nailed it - everything is where you think it would be. The magic of the Torch is that you have 3 input options: touchscreen, trackpad, keyboard. All of them are incorporated together in one stroke of brilliance. You can complete almost any task using just one of them - or you can pick and choose when to use it.
The keyboard...I missed my 9000 at first but no more. I am used to this new and smaller keyboard and quite happy with it. I find myself typing fast and not making mistakes. The nice thing about a physical keyboard is that you don't have to look at the screen while you type - as on a touchscreen keyboard - you can also feel when you make a mistake. Oh, and the onscreen keyboards? I'm not really a fan...even on the iPhone. I find the portrait one to be cramped but I can definitely type on the landscape keyboard fairly well...but I pretty much avoid it because it's so easy to pull out the physical keyboard.
The slider form factor...let's be honest, it's a bit of a sacrifice. I liked my 9000 having the keyboard right there ready to go at all times...but if you want a touchscreen...and you want it to be decent sized...you can't have the keyboard there too. Enter the slider. This scared me as I remember my Sprint PPC-6700 and AT&T Tilt...both horizontal sliders. I hated using them - it was a pain to pull out the keyboard, turn the device, wait for the screen orientation to shift. Not so with the vertical slider. You can pull it out with one quick push of the thumb...the feel is great - like a high-end kitchen drawer that wants to be opened or closed once you get it going (to steal CrackBerry Kevin's assessment). Horizontal keyboards really require two hands to type - while the vertical slider, though more efficient with two hands, can be handled in a pinch with one hand. Overall the device is smaller in length x width than an iPhone - although a bit thicker. It's by no means large, not nearly as thick as I feared it might be, and the little bit of extra weight and solid build makes it feel like an expensive and well-built device. It doesn't feel like a piece of plastic in my hands.
-Sometimes you get a bad device. This happens with other phones, computers, hard drives, gadgets of all sort, cars, TV's etc. You return it and get a new one for free. It's life. Sometimes you even get two bad ones in a row. If you really want it, you return it until you're satisfied or you eventually give up. Lucky for me I got a good one...my hardware is rock solid. No complaints at all.
-AT&T doesn't spare you on the junk installed on the phone. Alot of it can't be removed but much of it can. If you take a little time to familiarize yourself with the process, I found that wiping my device and reinstalling the OS from scratch - taking time to make sure not to install the junk I didn't want - made my device even faster. I highly recommend it to anyone. It's a bit of a hassle but if you're going to spend a lot of time using something, you should take the time to customize it to your liking and optimize it for speed. More on how to do so here:
-There are some software issues with the device as well - honestly none of them effect me and the way I use the phone. You can find lots of support if you do have issues - again on [...] - and you can trust that they will be fixed in upcoming builds of the new BlackBerry 6 OS.
I may have missed some important points but there you have it. I wanted to add that although there's a lot of negativity going on regarding the Torch - there are many VERY happy users. Some people prefer BB and some don't. Some want a different kind of device altogether like an iPhone or an Android device. I think until you try a BB you don't know what you're missing - and if you miss your BB - this is your chance to return. The hardware specs of the Torch are indeed inferior to the latest Androids and iPhone4 - but hardware specs on paper are not the whole story. The overall experience, for me, is better. The lower resolution screen of the Torch is still sharp, crisp, clear and bright. The slower processor still handles quite well and the device is snappy.
If you still don't believe me, check out this compilation of happy users posting their reviews and comments on [...]:
Best BB yet. Good job RIM. October 23, 2010
Reviewer: Zacheus Maggette III "LILZACK" (WASHINGTON, DC USA) -
I'm really impressed with my new Torch.There's still room for improvement though. First I must say I switched to AT&T a week ago and I'm damn happy I did. Much better reception now. I was with Turd-Mobile for a year before switching and what a horrible year it was for me. I know this is a review for the phone and not for the reception but you can have the best phone in the universe but what good is it if you can't use it? Now let's get to the phone.
1. The design. Pretty slick. At first I thought it would be a fake-me-out Palm Pre but RIM pulled it off very well.
2. The option to use a touchscreen or a physical keyboard. I wasn't a fan of touchscreen but it's growing on me. I still don't wanna lose my physical keyboard though. Plus the touchscreen doesn't click like on the Blackberry Storm.
3. The email process is phenomenal. Blackberry has always dominated in that category.
4. Huge 3g network for AT&T and the Wi-Fi is excellent also. Plus like I mentioned earlier my reception is great. I can accept calls in places where the iPhone 4 doesn't work at all.
5. The applications Blackberry Appworld has to offer (especially the "themes in motion" apps for your home screen). Yeah Blackberry Appworld has only 9800 apps compared to the iPhone's 225000 but that's more than enough for me.
6. Good camera. It produces pretty good color and good picture quality at 5 megapixels.
7. What I always liked about Blackberries:Instant messenger. I Iooooove it! There's nothing like it.
8. I love the notification pattern and the way they don't interrupt your phone calls causing you to have to stop what you're doing and close it out, open it, etc. The logo just appears at the top of the screen until you're ready to read them.
9. Blackberry OS 6 is pretty good. Big improvement from the previous operating system.
10. Battery life is much better compared to the one on my Blackberry Curve when I was withTurd-Mobile.
1. Screenlock sensitive. It's too easy to lock the screen accidentally.
2. Video recorder is mediocre. Why does this recorder not have HDMI capability and 720p like the competitive monsters such as the iPhone and the Android devices? COME ON RIM!!
3. The web and the pinch zoom is great but I HATE the checkerboard pattern that shows up sometimes while zooming in or scrolling. That has to go.
4. Rebooting is very slow and charging the battery takes a long time too.
5. Accesseries for this phone are hard to find. That'll probably get better with time though.
So overall I am loving my Torch. I'm very happy with it. Even though there were some missing pieces of the puzzle left out that would've made this phone even better, this phone is an indication that RIM still has a lot of fight left in them. It was a good buy.
Best Blackberry Ever, Harsh Critics to blame for bad reviews August 23, 2010
Reviewer: Sevag Demirjian (Los Angeles, CA) -
I was skeptical about this phone upon reading the bad reviews by the "professional" critics, but I didn't know anyone who actually had the phone, so after breaking my new Bold twice and reverting back to my old Curve, I had to give it a shot. I paid $199 with my upgrade. That price is a steal for this amazing device. It is hands down the best blackberry I have ever owned, and I have owned many of them. I haven't had an iphone or a droid, but I have spent a lot of time using iphones, and everything I found impressive about the iphone, this phone has. Add to that everything I love about blackberries and you have one of the best all around phones available today. The speed at which you can browse the web and pull up photos, especially through the facebook and twitter apps, is night and day difference from all other blackberries. I had the 3G Bold, but the speed difference in performing these functions between that and the old curves was negligible. The Torch, on the other hand, pops up apps and web pages as fast as my desktop.
Many of the "cons" I am reading about this phone can be written off to new users not knowing how to properly use this phone. So the one con I DO agree with is the learning curve. This phone is a complex beast with many hidden features and shortcuts. Learning how to use them all is not a quick process. I have had the phone for a week and have just gotten comfortable with all the features and have just now changed all the settings and options to my liking. Which also means you will be addicted to this thing the first week you have it, checking out all the features and adjusting all the options. You won't be able to stop using it, as switching from touchscreen to using the trackpad to sliding open the full keyboard to bang out a full message is seamless and fun.
There are so many ways to use this phone that it will definitely have something for everyone. Flipping the iphone sideways to go widescreen is one thing blackberry users no longer have to be envious of. Using the blackberry app store with super fast browsing and downloading also bridges the "app gap" between blackberry and iphone users. BBM is as great as ever, and the ability to slide your finger sideways to switch from one full BBM conversation from another is awesome.
The complaints: The lack of a proper battery low warning, so the phone seems to die more suddenly on you than previous blackberries. Also, sliding the keyboard open without clicking something on the screen is an artform. I don't seem to know how to use the touchscreen keyboard very well, so I only use it for one or two word responses. I don't see much reason to ever use it though, when you have the full keyboard so readily accessible.
When I talk on the phone, there seems to be a faint metallic echo on my end. I am not sure if this is just my phone or all torch's. Time will tell.
I find it hard to believe you would not love this phone, unless you don't like blackberry much to start with. I highly recommend this to all blackberry users and for non-die hard iphoners looking to jump on the BBM network.
UPDATE One Month Later: Still love the phone and agree with my initial review. Additional Issues which have come up: The faint metallic echo is still present and I heard similar complaint from other torch users. I also seem to get more dropped calls with my torch than I ever did with my curve. Not a significant issue though, might just be the AT&T service. Camera is amazing, went on vacation and used it as my primary camera, best phone camera I have ever seen. Accidental touching of the screen to select items is also a small issue, I accidentally turned off all connections last night without noticing. Easy fix may be to lower the touchscreen sensitivity.
Solid BlackBerry August 18, 2010
Reviewer: AJ Franklin "aj_franklin" (Houston, TX USA) -
I was one of the folks who was anticipating getting the Torch for two months before the release. I was also one of the first in the doors at my local AT&T store where I upgraded on a family plan and paid $200 + tax. I kept my $30 unlimited plan for a while to see how much data I actually use before upgrading to a cheaper, $15 rate.
I owned a Bold 9000 for the last two years and never had a better phone. It gave me two years of great service and performed well in all ways. It didn't have the greatest camera (The Torch's is great) and the YouTube videos would stammer and start (The Torch's have all run smoothly). After getting used to the 9000 I could find and manipulate any of the features quickly.
This new Torch takes another week to get used to, but I think if I had started with a touch screen gem like this I wouldn't have any problem getting used to it. I just find myself looking for places easily found on my 9000 that have been enhanced on the new OS 6. But the universal search feature is a real winner and makes the transition easier.
The phone has great sound quality on both ends and provides a popup menu for handling calls, such as put on hold, conference, mute, etc. It's plenty loud enough for me and I only have the volume at about 60%.
Texting is just as easy as it was with my Bold, although the keyboard is a little smaller. Using a BB keyboard is similar to typing in Braille; you get the feel of it and your thumbs get smart.
Highly recommended to owners of older Berries and a good choice for newbies who are willing to invest a little time acclimating to its many great features.
Highly recomended as any ones first smart phone! I love it and I am 50+ yo ,note have not learned all it can do yet but learning October 6, 2010
wonderful phone for me! this is more phone then i will ever use!
wanted to go from 10 yo candy bar with no features to a state of the art smart phone
tried another first [see below]
i asked many of their phone type and many seemed to prefer other phones like the i phone
but all Black Berry users said their phone jest worked for them my brothers son had one he used heavily for business in sales and he said it jest worked all the time.. and he showed me that it did when we went places and he was able to access inter net every location we were at and get information that we needed !
was impressed with it but,,
i had held off on one due to the small screen size..
the BB Torch come out and i went to see one..i had very positive view of it in the store!!
right off the bat in the store with NO instruction from the sales man..
i was able to check my email
was able to look up store and shopping
was able to see were i was on a map
was able to Google some thing
was able to send a text message (which i had never done before)
ALL THIS with NO instruction from the sales man!!!
i was impressed! so went and bought one !!
review at home..
saved half from amazon buying it on line but
at home i relished that the phone in the store was set up by the store and it is not as easy to set up.. you have to follow instructions which can be a bit confusing..i called for advice 2x
i still dont have it all set up but those things i dont have set up i dont use!
i do have it tethering my note book using the usb but not wireless, yet.
twitter face book ect i dont use and likely wont have need of them
but they are avabille to any that want them !
the phone in hand review:
i have no problem with top slide chanter as some report, it top slides very nicely with a intentional soft effort click to get it moving, one person i handed it to said it was hard to open but, my thought is any easier and it may open jest holding it up side down, it works great for clumsily me !!!! i have no reported clicking when using key board
i have heard the echo some have reported .. seems to be from connection issues not the phone but is distracting at first, have hung up and redialed some times cleared it some times not
the touch face has great color and style and displays pictures date nicely, and it is not overly sensitive as many i have tried, my daughter did not like the screen key board as much as her phone
it might be a lower res then some fancy ones but is compatible with all things and as i am not showing off tiny print program data i wont miss the higher res screens at all
the pinch and spread works great if need any detail!!
- i can take pictures but the flash if used a lot will drain the battery (i will be getting an extra battery!)but other wise it works all day and half the next!
you will not get as much warning (beeps) ahead as my old candy bar phone .. when you hear it
you dont have long to go, less then 5 min ... so hand up and charge it ..
cons on this phone .. nothing major i know of .... set up is a bit challenging to any not used to smart phones like me .. the off bar is easy to use but in getting from the pocket you can turn it off or on ..
answering the phone is instinctive and supper easy but the touch screen will some times put you on hold were you are jest fiddling with it in hand as you talk
there is no warning that you did it either wish it had a unique beep for that
also the camera will start up the same way from you jest moving it in your hand.. is some what annoying
the darn clock feature.. when you put it on charge or docking with computer it comes on
the alarm feature seems to always be asking if on or off and ok .. most bothering but not so i would still buy it again jest wish it did not do so.. but it is a NICE looking clock !!
key board = really good but only for the new kids that use thumbs
as a touch typist it is not set up for us.. so why do the qwerty key board at all !?
rather have letters in order of frequency of use or straight alphabet order
compare to the other new smart phone:
tried a droid back flip(thumbs down)truned it in with in 20 days
and almost gave up on smart phones completely as it was hard to use and nothing intuitive about it to my generation could not even answer a call reliability.
pocket dialed the first name in the directory all the time.. off button did not help as it got pushed while in pocket.
its key board was great set up and did work.. was better then torch but the phone and its OS was not instinctive to use .. yes looked great when was being demonstrated by sales man and ha d as Way Kool wow factor but
when get home you you have a really large learning curve as they expect you to move up from other phones that you have learned so take for granted that you KNOW already how to use a smart phone
i started disliking it in the 2ed week were as the black berry the more i use it the more i like it so it was not that i can not use a smart phone
it is that the black berry makes no assumption you know any thing about a smart phone and is as easy to use out the box as can be once you get it set up..
IF You are getting a smart phone for the first time
you will like this phone!!it is instinctive to use and WORKS !!
if you have a black berry and it is or is not a smart phone already ..
why are you waiting to up grade? it is great
if you have a diffidence type phone this will seem almost too easy to learn so again why not.
oh as that the other have lot of apps
i see that there are enough RIM Black Berry apps to keep me happy
also the black berry can use ATT APPS ...so there are many there
if you find the RIM ones limited some how.. they work
the ONLY app i wish i could find for my Torch is the UPC code shopper were you can read it and find a item cheaper at another store! and it may be that i jest have not found it yet..
well the droid impressed me with that advertising also
but found that 60% are jest redoes by some one of other apps that they wanted changes to
i was not impressed with any once you got past the first 30 Because i dont see a lot of repeated attempts to redo some thing that some programmer wanted to have a app with his name on it !
again i dont know any thing of the i phone so can not compare
i only tried the two latest and greatest phones and the BB Touch is a clear winner in my book.
Absolutely love it but there is room for some improvement. September 21, 2010
Reviewer: Amazon User
I have previously owned 3 other BB phones: Curve 8300, Curve 8310, Bold 8700. My Bold was fantastic, but I hated the constant resets after taking it out of the holster...don't know the reason, but it was time for a new phone b/c I hated it when that happened. I actually considered switching to an Android phone but decided to give BB one last try...plus, I could NOT give up the keyboard! Verdict after a few weeks' use: the Torch is a fantastic phone and does not deserve all the negative reviews I read online. I'd go so far as to say 'I love it'!
This is not meant to be complete, but here are some things that stand out.
1) The combination touch screen/keyboard is awesome...it is so easy to navigate menus and for emails, typing is a breeze. I can type SO MUCH FASTER with a keyboard than with, say, an iphone's touchscreen. No comparison there! The keyboard is similar to that found on the Bold, so it's familiar. I found that typing on the BB's touchscreen is not so accurate, but I have similar experiences when trying out the iphone. The keyboard alone puts BB on top.
2) The new OS rocks! I love the way apps/icons are organized and it's very customizable and easy to move things around. It does take some time to get used to but overall not too difficult. Changes are seen in just about every app that comes native with the BB.
3) The browser! Wow!! So much better than before. In fact, I used to use Opera Mini before and deleted it now. Well, Opera Mini doesn't work too well on the Torch, but the new BB browser is fantastic!
4) It's still a BB! Email/phone capabilities are still top-notch!
5) Excellent camera (for a phone)
6) Media apps are all improved; picture browser is so much better and loads a lot faster.
7) Social feeds--good if you're one of those facebook/twitter types...it is pretty nice, but I don't use it.
8) So far, no resets experienced, which is a great thing!
9) Forgot one more thing: Universal search rocks!! Just start typing on the keyboard anything...a contact name, phone options, a movie name, a restaurant name....immediately you have icons popping up that let's you choose what program you want opened to get the info you need. It may be a link to your phone options, address book, google search, youtube, poynt, or yellowpages, etc...very handy!
1) The battery does drain rather quickly if wi-fi is left on, but I have it off and the phone lasts days on standby!
2) I had trouble getting wi-fi to work with WPA encryption, but with WEP, it works well...not sure why.
3) The accelerometer is a bit sensitive. Would be nice to be able to lock orientation (which you can do with a 3rd party app, but it doesn't always work).
4) Google maps---ok, not a BB problem, but why can't there be pinch to zoom? To zoom in or out, you have to touch magnifying glass icons on the screen (or use keyboard shortcuts). I have not tried BB maps yet.
5) Viigo--doesn't work too well on the Torch, but it's not a BB problem...Viigo needs to update their software. I now use 'Snaptu' for RSS feeds, which is excellent on the Torch.
6) Processor speed could be higher--that would truly make the phone feel zippy, but overall since I'm used to Bold speeds, this isn't a big deal to me. It's not terribly slow at all.
Those are my basic impressions. Hope that provides previous BB users an idea of whether they should continue to stick to BB, and hope it provides new users a general idea of whether to try a BB phone. I'm sure RIM will make another Torch in the future with faster processor speeds to compete with those iphones/android phones. But for now, I'm satisfied!
From a BB owner not expecting an Android/iphone replacement - "eh." August 17, 2010
Reviewer: J. Wilson (Richmond, VA) -
The SHORT -
Touchscreen AND physical keyboard
OS 6 is awesome
Sliding touchscreen rattles a when open (other party hears tapping/clinking during calls)
Tinny reverb from my voice during calls especially when screen is in closed position
5 MP camera: 4 out of 10 stars
Errors, errors and more errors (on the 4th phone in a week)
Don't expect this phone to win (or even place in) an Android/iphone vs. Blackberry contest. I bought it because I really want a touch screen with physical keyboard, and although I liked my Nexus One I have always thought Blackberries were great products.
The VERY VERY LONG -
Note: I'll be posting updates in the comments.
Here are my initial impressions of the Torch. My smartphone background: Pearl to Curve to Nexus One to 9700 Bold. Some things might seem quite nitpicky - keep in mind I'm just recording what I experience and the reader can decide if it's pertinent to them. :)
HARDWARE: nice - the phone is sleek but rather weighty. My not-large fingers hit the bottom of the top slide quite a bit while typing on the top line of the physical keyboard, so it's crammed (with the Otterbox case on). Not sure why they decided on a plastic camera cover that touches - and is therefore easily scratched by - whatever surface the phone is lying on if not in a case, though.
PHONE: I hear tinny feedback when I talk. I expected the same excellent BB phone, but this is not it. I hear there's a software update to fix it but it's not official yet.
SCREEN RESOLUTION: Not fantastic, not as nice as the 9700 (but bigger). Not horrible either. Tracking (accuracy of touch) seems pretty good.
CAMERA: sucks somewhat for a 5 MP camera. I lost b/w, sepia and macro functionality that existed on the 9700 v 5 (sad about that) but gained many modes (party, closeups, outside, portrait, snow, etc.). The quality of the HTC/Android camera is far superior at the same MP level.
The UI is very nice, quite an upgrade. Very Android-like. The application management UI is top notch.
The Facebook app seems like an upgrade but since configuring it on my phone, I don't get any gmail notices I previously did, nor to the device as I have specified.
The Gmail app is the same as my previous BBs - still no html. :(
Social Feeds (aggregates all social feeds) is kinda cool and easy/intuitive to set up.
Twitter app is nice, but I don't use twitter much.
Profiles (notices, ringtones, etc.) are easy to configure many different ways.
WiFi works great.
AWESOME select text tools.
Can multiselect photos for sending.
Lockups: first one was after I set the encryption on the device memory, I received a call on my office phone (forwarded to this phone) that never showed up due to a process locking the phone up - there was a notice on the screen saying this could take a while. Second lockup was during video recording - I could not play videos I'd recorded - that cleared on its own after a while. Interface sluggish on beginning of day 2 - it took a long time for touches or key presses to work.
YouTube error upon uploading a video and getting "incorrect password" error the first time: A connection cannot be established to YouTube server (403). I checked my account online and I'm signed in via Google - I was able to log in using my gmail e-mail as the username and google password. I uploaded the video then although I'm showing 3G network can't get to the internet (thru App World, Google Mobile, Browser, etc.).
In setup, I clicked ATT Address Book and received the error: Uncaught exception: supplied contact isn't linked for this application then the icon disappeared after I clicked ok on the error. It's back after rebooting, but then gave me a cannot connect error several times. Tried again and went back to the exception.
I haven't changed any settings and now my screen won't sleep nor autolock (which I set to 2 minutes, password required). This cleared up on its own later.
On Day 2: I pulled the battery/sim card due to sluggishness upon unlocking - you'll need a quarter or strong nails to get the battery out. I bet an eraser would help get the sim out - they did a good job with microsizing everything. Takes 2 minutes to boot back up. It seems to be locked up - I can't enter my password to unlock it. The only thing that gets the screen to show is opening the keyboard - inputs don't work (keyboard, touch or buttons at the bottom of the screen) but I can get calls and notices of sms/e-mail. Then I was able to get in by pushing the volume keys but only when the keyboard was hidden so I had to type on the screen, but now that it autolocked I'm back to square one. Re-rebooting resolved it - for now.
On Day 5, I lost data-bility. Very long story short after talking/chatting with half a dozen ATT/RIM techs, multiple diagnostic tests (manage connections-mobile network options-menu key-diagnostics test-menu key-run), deleting 2 IPPP service books (options-device-advanced-service book), a couple of re-registrations (options-device-advanced-host routing table-menu key-register now), a few service book sends from the network and consequent battery/sim pulls - I took it to the store where we were able to browse the web after they pulled the battery however still no bb icon near 3G nor pin messages or e-mail coming through. New SIM: No go. Next phone: the keys below the screen didn't work. I'm on the third phone. Much less tinny sounding (with/without the Otterbox Case or screen up/down) but screen was going on/off while I was leaving the store - it's quite loose. The manager called later and said he could hear it when I jiggled the phone (keyboard showing). I'm charging the battery and not installing apps in preparation for returning it for the fourth one.
Phone Number 4: so far it's ok a day...not as much jiggle in the screen but now I'm sensitive to it. I had the equivalent of a BSoD on the way out of the store (App Error 503 - reset, I think). Pulling the battery fixed it, but later the buttons below the screen stopped working - battery pull fixed that too.
4GB of music I had transferred to my 8GB card (not using sync) using the original phone as a USB drive was deleted in the process.
In Setup when I click any icon in the Help and Tutorials section except Tutorials I get the error Error displaying content for: cod://net_rim_bb_help_9800_series_en/ Error message 404 (truncated) The fourth phone does not have this problem.
When I use the search function, I receive the message "Indexing...Search results may be incomplete." This has been the message for two days and I can't figure out how to check the indexing status.
The flickr app by RIM meets the requirements for this phone (it says) so I installed it then cannot find it to run it even after searching the phone. It's showing in the apps list but I can't run it. I deleted it, reinstalled and rebooted. I noticed a nondescript "application updater" had appeared. In it, a message says "You must update the following applications to use them with BlackBerry Device Software 5.0. Flickr is listed. I clicked it and chose update. It said "Installing Flickr..." for several minutes. It told me it was installed successfully and asked me to reboot, which I did. I search for it and it's not on the phone.
Long pressing on blank spaces of different tray tiles gets different full menu options (same as pressing the menu key I guess): on media: explore, memory use and media options are included; on downloads and frequent - nothing happens when long pressing - sometimes; on all I don't have enough room.
Opera Mini gave an error when I tried to download it, something about a jar file - ended up loading Opera Mini for Blackberry and it has sporadic touchability and no multitouch.
No FB chat app?
No bar code reader in the camera app?
BeWeather Free is awesome and I'm planning to buy the full version if I keep the phone.
For screencap check out the free CaptureIt program (won't work using the menu key to capture a popup error message).
I would have hoped an upgrade would be to explain the application in detail for which there was a pre-installed link before agreeing to a long "going to the web now" terms and downloading the software.
Other preloaded links to apps: Snap - what is it? It says it's made by Exclaim Mobility. I searched the Blackberry App website for the company and the app and there are no matches; google really doesn't return any helpful info either. The Exclaim website has the most minimal of info (says it launches mid-August - of what year?) and throws the acronym UGC around as though everyone knows what it is. Where - is not listed in App World from the phone but is from the web.
DESKTOP MANAGER 6 NOTES
The DM6 help file is incorrect about mobile internet (tethering). The Tools - Mobile Internet option doesn't exist on my DM6. I use Google Sync so I only want to sync apps/messenger contacts/profiles/ringtones with this tool but I can't find out if or how these sync.
It's not a toy with 1000 apps, but is still very powerful! October 27, 2010
Okay, so if you want a phone which has a million apps, DONT buy this phone. Blackberry has decent number of apps out there but not as many or as good as iPhone or Android apps. A lot of Blackberry apps are still not compatible with the Torch. Other than that, this phone is wonderful.
A lot of reviewers talk about a sluggish touch screen, I don't know what they're talking about. Also, I don't think the processor will make a difference. It's not that you are gaming or something on your phone. The processor on the Torch is fast enough for all the phone functions. The browser is much improved and loads pages in a reasonable amount of time. It might be a bit slower than the iPhone but just by 1-2 seconds.
The Torch has amazing battery life, lasts 2-3 days on a single charge which for a smartphone is phenomenal (I keep the wi-fi on all the time). The voice quality is good, I receive signals even in elevators. The camera quality is good too.
I would definitely recommend this phone who wants a phone for normal phone functions, calls, messages(the keyboard is life saving). And it has the Blackberry messenger which for me was the one reason I got this phone.
Go get this phone of you want something classy and not a toy to impress girls around school or college.
Blackberry torch finally happy October 23, 2010
Reviewer: Berry happy
After trying many phones including the captivate with the new 2.1 android I was not blown away after all the hype!!!My Blackberry that i now own is faster and more efficient to use than the android and it just makes sense.I like the size feel and layout of this phone and no one does e-mail like BB, having the slide out keyboard is great as I hate typing on the touch keys.The ringer is nice and loud unlike the captivate which i could hardly here and missed many phone calls.
After a while of using the blackberry i was hooked....i mean things just make sense and are where they are supposed to be and don't get me started on the bundled bloatware that comes with those other phones.
All in all a great phone!!!!!!
Better Blackberry Experience September 20, 2010
Reviewer: Bryan (Detroit, MI USA) -
If you are familiar with a blackberry you will feel right at home with this device. I am coming from a Bold 9000 and much of my comparison comes from that. The torch is for those who want the basic functions of a phone/messaging device first and toy apps later. While blackberry devices do not have the thousands and thousands of redundant apps that android and iOS offer, I find that most of the apps on blackberry, though limited, are of higher quality (there are of course exceptions). The browser is much improved and makes using the web on the torch enjoyable. The social feed application that comes with the device is a very nice integrator. I like having all of my feeds (mainly RSS and Facebook) in one place. If you see something that is interesting, just tap on the entry and the proper application opens up showing you more and allowing you to perform some action (like comment). Speaking of integration, common settings are available from the home screen. I have also found that the normal settings screens are more to the point and less cryptic. They are organized into groups. In general, I have an easier time finding the setting that I want to change. The device itself feels like it is built well. The slider is nice and tight. The keyboard has a nice tactile feel. I find that I am using the reduced on-screen portrait keyboard more for texting and short messages. The physical keyboard is a must for me when it comes to website URLs and e-mails. The horizontal onscreen keyboard is ok, there is enough space between the keys, but I still find that once in a while I hit the wrong key. In general, I really like the device; there are some great new features and old ones that are much improved. If you are on the edge of what to buy Android, iOS, or Blackberry I would say that you should weigh out your needs/wants. If you do some research online, you will see that each OS has its pluses and negatives. Just remember that lots of apps do not mean lots of quality.