The Blackberry Torch 9800 Full Review

So by now you have read all the reviews and this past Thursday, you might have picked one up already. But if you were still on the fence, maybe this can help you decide. We received our Torch last week Tuesday and I have been using it ever since. I’ve been using Blackberry devices since the 8700c, so I’ve been around the block.

[singlepic id=714 w=320 h=240 float=right]Style
The first thing you’ll notice when using the Torch is that it is very familiar to the Bold 9700 in my opinion. A lot of the design cues are there. This is definitely not a bad thing, as I think the 9700 is a hot looking device. The Torch is a little wider to me than the 9700, and a little heavier.

The back cover for it, is a nice rubberized design. It feel good to the touch, and provides a nice grip when using the phone. On the other side, one thing I didn’t like with the Torch, is that RIM decided to remove one convenience key. why they did this, I don’t know, but I liked having two.

Performance
Let’s start right off with battery, it is amount the same if not slightly shorter in life then the 9700. In a couple of my real world test, on 3G I made it to about 2,3pm before being down to 25-30%. When I switched to EDGE at the start of the day, I made it to 7,8pm. Now I’m more of a power/heavy user than most, so with light to moderate use, you might make it until the end of the day.

Using the device, speed isn’t bad at all. There are still times when I get a little busy icon, but it isn’t too bad where I might get annoying. I do wish they was using a 1GHz processor at this point in the game, but the 624MHz one didn’t let me down.

[singlepic id=716 w=320 h=240 float=left]Everyday Use
It has definitely taken me some time to get use to the Torch, and honestly after a week I’m still not fully use to it.

First there is the form factor. I’m not a huge fan of the slider form factor, but it wasn’t bad on the Torch. It is very easy to use either up or down, but it take some figuring out. For example, when up and I’m typing on the physical keyboard, in it’s extended state, reach the top of the screen is a little awkward. It isn’t until I slide it down can I complete my action with ease. There when it is closed I can use the touchscreen just fine, but take a little effort to slide up when I want to type.

Then there is the mind struggle of whether to use the touchscreen or the trackpad. If you are new to Blackberry & this is your first device, you don’t have this issue. But if you are long time user, you might find yourself trying to decide which to use a lot.

Now Blackberry 6 (The OS) is very nice! I definitely like using it. Only gripe I have with it, is it is very busy. I feel it has too many options. Starting with the actual options area. I think I spent WAY too much time trying to find the option area I needed. From the new graphics, to the fact that RIM categorized items in new groups. I was literally lost in there for awhile!

Then when you use the home screen menus, you have way too many way to get to an app. Which kind of makes it cluttered to me. For example, so you download Foursquare. If you use it a lot, you’ll find as you swipe left/right, you’ll see Foursquare on the All, Frequent, Favorites (if you faved it), and Downloads page. While some might like being able to get to the app from everywhere, it feels a little busy for me. Other than that, Blackberry 6 is a nice OS upgrade. It isn’t a revolution, it definitely isn’t a Triple Axle like the commercial would have you think, but a nice step up from the past.

[singlepic id=713 w=320 h=240 float=right]Wrap Up
Now that I have finished this review, I’m actually going back to my 9700. I love OS 6, and will definitely be upgrading my 9700 when it comes out for it, but the slider just isn’t for me. Plus I just got my 9700 just right with all the software I use, which was another issue for me. Since Blackberry 6 is still new, a lot of the software I use either doesn’t work on BB6 yet so it isn’t available, or the existing doesn’t work too well on it yet. So I’ll let the developers get going on that before and then I’ll probably move back to the Torch.

Should you get it? Well that depends. Have you never used a Blackberry before and want to join the club? Sure. Do you have an iPhone 3G/S, 4, or an Android 2.1 device and thinking about switching? Don’t. Do you have any Blackberry device that doesn’t have OS 5.0? Sure get it. I’ll be keep this one locked in the vault awaiting it return to active use!