BlackBerry Torch 9800 Smartphone Review


The first time you pick up the BlackBerry Torch, you'll notice it has a similar look and feel as well as similar dimensions to other BlackBerry smartphones. The fact that it has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, however, is distinctly different. When the phone is closed, it measures approximately 4.37 x 2.44 x 0.57 inches. When opened, the phone's height increases to 5.83 inches. At 5.68 ounces, the Torch's weight is comparable to other BlackBerry devices though it's definitely heavier than some of the other smartphones we've recently reviewed such as the Samsung Captivate (4.5 ounces) or Apple iPhone 4 (4.8 ounces).

Because the Torch has a slide-out keyboard, there's more room for a larger display. The Torch has a 3.2-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 360 and support for 65K colors. The screen itself looks good, though it is smaller and supports a lower resolution than some of today's other popular smartphones. The slider on the BlackBerry Torch is smooth, but there is a tiny bit of play in the screen when it's extended.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The keyboard itself feels very similar to other BlackBerry keyboards with a standard layout and slightly raised keys that are easy to differentiate from one another by touch. As with other smartphones that have sliding keyboards, the top row of keys isn't quite as accessible as the rest because the screen interferes. During our tests, we were able to type without difficulty but our fingers were touching the base of the screen when using the top row of keys.

At the base of the screen, you'll find BlackBerry's four standard keys: Send, Menu, Esc, and Power/End. Between the two middle buttons, you'll find the phone's trackpad. The phone comes with 4GB of internal storage as well as a 4GB microSD card preinstalled. If you want additional storage space, you'll need to swap out the 4GB card for a card with greater capacity. The card slot is located underneath the battery cover in the lower left corner. You won't have to remove the battery to swap memory cards.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

The BlackBerry Torch has rounded edges and a soft rubber grooved battery cover. Overall, the device feels solid. On the top edge of the BlackBerry Torch you'll find a Lock key and a Mute key. On the left side of the device, you'll find the phone's microUSB port. The right side of the device contains the 3.5mm headphone jack, volume rocker, and camera button. On the back of the BlackBerry Torch, you'll find the phone's 5.0 megapixel camera and flash.

In terms of other features, the BlackBerry Torch has many of the other must-have features of a smartphone such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, and an accelerometer.

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