Home' LAPTOP Magazine : February 2012 Contents SMARTPhones
A vivid touch screen and quick web browsing make the BlackBerry
Torch 9810 one of RIM’s best phones yet, but it’s too pricey.
Why mess with what was already a good thing?
An update to the Torch 9800, the 9810 looks
nearly identical to its predecessor from last year,
but features a new operating system, a higher-
powered processor, and access to T-Mobile’s
Right off the bat, the Torch 9810’s design—
although nearly identical to its predecessor—
indicates that this BlackBerry means business.
The metallic gray finish, offset by black accents,
manages to attract attention while maintaining
a quiet professionalism.
having an on-screen as well as a physical
keyboard on the Torch 9810 seemed redundant at
first. however, we quickly found ourselves switch-
ing keypads based on the situation. surfing the
web and shooting quick texts were simplified with
the touch-screen keyboard, but when it came to
drafting lengthy messages and editing text, the
optical trackpad and physical keyboard proved
The keys on the Torch 9810’s physical keyboard
were comfortable to press, and we made very
few mistakes when entering URLs, texting, and
making notes. The touch keyboard wasn’t quite
as effective. The keys are quite narrow when the
phone is in portrait mode, so we were much more
likely to make typos.
one of our main complaints with the Torch
9800 was its low-quality 480 x 360 screen. RIM
granted our wish for more detail, as it boosted the
resolution on the 9810 to 640 x 480 pixels. While
this panel is no match for the super AMoLeD Plus
display on the Galaxy s II, the screen was bright,
vibrant, and cr ystal clear.
Perhaps the biggest improvement made to the
Torch series is the 9810’s 1.2 -Ghz processor, a big
step up from the original 624-Mhz processor in the
9800. With the additional processing power, the
9810 ran quickly and smoothly. Flipping through
the interface was seamless, and the device was
quick to load videos.
For BlackBerry users who grew up using a Bold
or Curve, RIM’s new BlackBerry 7 os is certainly
a breath of fresh air. The interface and design
are quite similar to BlackBerry 6, but the new os,
aided by Liquid Graphics technology, provides a
much-needed speed boost that helps this device
zip along like a touch-screen device should.
BlackBerry doesn’t have a good reputation in
the web-browsing department. however, the Torch
9810’s quick processor combined with a faster
browser make this task feel a lot less like a chore
than on previous devices.
The Torch 9810 technically offers 4G speeds,
but it uses T-Mobile’s slowest technology at 14.4
Mbps. nevertheless, this BlackBerry beat its 3G
brother, the Bold 9900. Laptopmag.com took about
30 seconds to load on the Torch 9810, while The
New York Times’ mobile site took about 4.5 seconds
and esPn took 9 seconds.
BlackBerry AppWorld still leaves much to be
desired. By last count, the store offered about
35,000 apps, which
can’t compete against
the breadth of Apple
(425,000) or Android’s
Among the pre-
installed apps on
the Torch 9810 are
Amazon’s MP3 store
and slacker Radio.
sounded good with
headphones, and the
speaker on the Torch
9810 is sufficient to
bother folks a few
cubicles down. sound
was pretty loud and clear, if a little tinny.
While we did not run our standard battery test
on the 9810, our anecdotal experience was posi-
tive. After a full charge and unplugging at noon,
we surfed the web, made a few calls, and tested
out most of the applications, only to lose about a
quarter of battery 6 hours later.
RIM has undoubtedly been sinking, but the Torch
9810 does a lot of things well. For BlackBerry users,
the Torch’s quick web browsing, seamless system
navigation, and high-def video will be welcome
upgrades. For anyone on an iPhone or Android
device, this is old news. Plus, the $249 price for
this handset is out of whack when you can get the
same phone on AT&T for $49 and faster Android 4G
phones with bigger and sharper screens for $150
less. While the Torch is the best BlackBerry available,
it’s not the best phone for T-Mobile customers.
— oliver Renick
CPU: 1.2 - G h z Operating System: BlackBerry
7 os RAM/ROM: 768MB/8GB Display Size/
Resolution: 3.2 inches/640 x 480 Wireless:
802.11b/g/n Ports: microUsB, headphone
Card Slots: microsD card Size: 4.4 x 2.4 x
0.6 inches Weight: 5.7 ounces
Bright, vivid display
Better data speeds than other BlackBerrys
Limited app selection
Touch keyboard is cramped in portrait mode
The slide-out keyboard on the Torch 9810
was comfortable for typing long messages.
Laptop | February 2012
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