The smartphone market is hot right now. As a result, many manufacturers are cranking out phones left and right in an effort to try to top one another and have the best, most balanced smartphone on the market. Certainly the latest Android phones and Apple's iPhone have captured a lot of the attention lately. With the BlackBerry Torch, RIM is attempting to bring some attention back to its BlackBerry line of smartphones.
The Torch is RIM's first BlackBerry to ship with a touchscreen as well as a hardware keyboard. It's also the first in the BlackBerry line to feature the new BlackBerry 6 OS. RIM's first two touchscreen devices (the Storm and the Storm 2) were met with lukewarm response. With the BlackBerry Torch, RIM is offering a much more user-friendly design than either Storm offered. Not only do you still get RIM's popular hardware keyboard, but you also get a touchscreen that functions well and provides another form of navigation in addition to the keyboard and trackpad.
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BlackBerry 6 doesn't bring a lot of revolutionary new features to the platform, but it does bring it up to speed with other popular platforms of today. Prior to BlackBerry 6, RIM's software was beginning to show its age. By adding a few key features such as a much-improved web browser and a touchscreen display and combining them with BlackBerry's popular messaging capabilities, RIM has definitely provided a worthy device for any BlackBerry loyalist who is looking for an upgraded device.
At the beginning of this review, we told you RIM described the BlackBerry 6 platform as offering familiar and trusted features while also delivering a new and engaging experience that's powerful. Indeed, many of the BlackBerry's most popular features such as its strong messaging capabilities, are still present. Navigating the phone is very similar as well, but with one exception: Now, you can navigate using the touchscreen as well.
We felt that RIM did a good job at preserving the features BlackBerry users love while also adding touchscreen functionality and navigation. Our one complaint with the screen is that we wish it was bigger with a higher resolution. Though it's true the Torch has a larger display than many BlackBerry devices, it's still feels small in comparison to the recent crop of smartphones and has a lower resolution in comparison to many of today's popular devices.
All in all, the BlackBerry Torch is easily the best BlackBerry smartphone on the market today. With its multimedia and social networking capabilities, it also proves that a BlackBerry smartphone can be more than just a business-friendly device.