BlackBerry Torch 9860 gets reviewed's [full review of the BlackBerry Torch 9860 full touch screen smartphone

BlackBerry Torch 9860 gets reviewed

Kevin Michaluk of sibling site has just posted his BlackBerry Torch 9860, and just like his BlackBerry Bold 9900, it's jam packed with detail.

Now, if you were as confused as I was by RIM's new naming conventions, let's try to help -- this Torch is pretty much what the Storm used to be, a full screen, touch screen BlackBerry, with no slide-out keyboard like the original Torch (and no SurePress like the original Storm, thankfully.) Of course, there's also still a Torch with a slide out keyboard. (Could they have at least called that a Torch Pro, like HTC would have?)

Either way, this is in fact the closest thing to an iPhone RIM makes. So how does it stack up?

It's a smooth device that will certainly be a seller. How big of a seller is yet to be seen. Users that want the big screen and don't mind not having a physical keyboard will be in BlackBerry heaven. Once you adjust to using the virtual keyboard there really isn't much bad to be said about the 9860. But if you're like me, you want to get things done efficiently and in my opinion, having a keyboard really helps that cause, even if I have to sacrifice potential display real estate for a screen. I know I'm in the minority on that one these days - you should definitely head to your local store and try out the Torch 9860 and come to your own conclusions. If playing videos, viewing photos, snapping pictures and web browsing are tops on your list, then I can say the Torch 9860 may be just what you're looking for. With the boosted processor and increased RAM, the OS trucks along fast enough to keep up with pretty much anything you can throw at it.

Once again I'll ask -- if you're walking into a store this fall, iPhone 5 on one side, Android phone de jour on the other, would you walk past them for a BlackBerry Torch 9860? Check out Kevin's review and let us know.


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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

BlackBerry Torch 9860 gets reviewed


I used to be a faithful Blackberry addict. I had the 8830, Storm 9530, and the Bold 9650 and instead of the newer phones getting better, they got worse. My husband and I made the switch to iPhone when it came to VZW and I can't see us going back. RIM took too long and they still aren't close enough to having a QNX Blackberry available to the public. And many of my Blackberry toting friends are switching or have already switched to other platforms as well. I think Blackberry 7 is too little, too late.

I am a Iphone guy all the way, but I always thought RIM had a good looking phone with the BB. This phone just ruined that thought, that is one ugly phone. Better go back to the drawing board on this one......

I take issue with the statement that blackberry are superior communications devices in this day and age. While I will concede that some users still want a tiny keyboard (why?), I think it's more because of familiarity. Once you get used to a software keyboard, it's just as efficient. I find email on BB's to be cumbersome, and they are still abysmal in web browsing and apps. Even when I had a BB, I rarely used BB Messenger, and now iMessage is entering into that arena with a much more polished and seamless implementation IMO. Right now RIM is surviving on it's corporate entrenchement and not much else. iPhone all the way, but I'm sure I'll take a look at this new phone just to check out the competition.

IMO iPhones do nothing but play games, calls get dropped constantly and it's all closed off with poor battery life and no multitasking capabilities. The interface hasn't changed for years and Apple is more interested in starting litigation than innovating their product. See how easy it is to post a bunch of absurd statements that do nothing more than propagate ignorance. But don't worry I put IMO so it saves me from actually having to know anything about the points I made or provide and proof to support them.

I don't think iMessage is more polished at all at this point. BBM has profile pictures, location time zone, personal messages (status update), shows what music you're listening to, contact categories, groups (and that's a whole new section of its own since it has posting pictures and comments), app integration (foursquare, games, etc.) and I couldn't think of anything else at the moment. If iMessage is almost identical to what is show in iOS 5 beta which only has the capability to message other devices with iMessage and shows when they are typing the message and if it was read or delivered. However, it does have the potentially to be something big in the future.

I wonder if Rene has ever touched a Storm? His comment about no more surepress is the reason I ask. Being a former Storm and Storm 2 user, I liked surepress. Only reasons I switched to iPhone is because my storms did not play well with my Mac's and the storm's did not have big enough processors to operate smoothly. With big clumsy fingers, surepress allowed me to use a bigger screen, without opening apps or typing letters I did not want to. IMO

Had a BB Pearl, 2 Curves, the last being an 8900, had a Torch 9800. Idk what I was thinking, but I went over to the dark side and purchased an IPhone. I kept it right over the 3 month return period and then began desperately seeking something, anything different. I hated the lack of personalization of the Iphone. I hated that there wasn't an indicator light even when asleep and most of all, I hate the mail/message handling and ITunes...Blech. My husband asked why I didn't move away from the BB arena at this point and maybe go Android simply because of Apps and web browsing and the fact that BB is and has been more of a business phone. I then purchased the HTC Inspire - which rocks - however, I would purchase the Torch 9860 in a New York minute!
BB is a work horse and a very good one at that. It's functionality of mail and messaging has no counterpart, no competition even, IMHO. Even with the HTC Inspire, I have spent months trying to get it to work guessed it, my old BB's. Nothing will work like them in this arena because of a dedicated server or something like that, but whatever it is, I miss the cleanness of a BB, the absolute purity of what I want a phone to do.
For moi, there absolutely is no other like the BB. Call me old-fashioned, ignorant, whatever, but I've finally found what I, personally, need in a phone and it's BB all the way, Baby!