EXCLUSIVE! BlackBerry Torch Hands-on and Review

6 August, 2010 BlackBerry (RIM)



BB Conference


RIM had hardware demo units available at today's Torch product intro, and we got some time to get a first impression of both the hardware and the new OS. There's no doubt that RIM is hoping that the combination of the two will let it expand into the consumer space, where most of the smartphone action is these days. All the speakers from RIM repeatedly emphasized that the products are thoroughly touch-based and are multimedia powerhouses. But do those claims hold up to a casual hands-on??

Even with the emphasis on touch, the Torch is still obviously a BlackBerry. Slide out the keyboard, and if the virtual keyboard is visible onscreen, it will instantly vanish. If you like the BlackBerry's hardware keyboards, this one should keep you perfectly happy. 

BBT Facebook App

Otherwise, the hardware seemed good. The devices were both locked down and linked to chargers, so it was difficult to get a good sense of the Torch's weight, but it did seem light. The movement of the keyboard slider was solid and precise, and the screen looked excellent, even when viewing movie trailers. Overall, BlackBerry's extensive hardware experience showed in the details of the device.


BBT Lookout App on OS6

BBT Google

Both RIM and AT&T have application stores for BlackBerry devices, and the demo units were loaded up with a variety of applications, including some games and a number of social networking apps. The BlackBerry app stores may not have the breadth of the iOS catalog, but a casual user will probably find something they like. 

See Full Specification of BBT (BlackBerry Torch)

Here is some OS6 Screenshots


BBT keyboard


BBT Charging


BBT OS6 Menu

BBT Slider Mechanism

The CrackBerry crew have disassembled a Torch to see what makes it burn and produced some glamor shots of naked hardware for us to gawp at in the process. As you can see by the exploded shot of the phone above, most internals are either integrated or soldered down, but this undressing does afford us an opportunity to take a look at the biggest novelty in this new BlackBerry, namely its slider mechanism.

9800 Slider


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