1. stealthfox's Avatar
    Hi everyone.

    I'm one of those community members who tries to read up alot on CB, but doesn't necessarily posts all the time. By no means should this be taken as a comprehensive review of the Torch. This is just the opinion of a current BlackBerry user and owner on the new device.

    Short BB background on myself:
    -Owned my first BB, 8800, from 2005-2007
    -Bought Bold 9000 in late 2007-Present

    It's time for an upgrade. Don't get me wrong, I love my Bold. But the device itself is starting to get dated. I'm getting more and more issues with the trackball locking up on me, chrome starting to come off in some places, keyboard buttons starting to loose the black on them, etc.

    I'd love to stick with another BB, but I'll be honest in saying I've looked at the iPhone4 a few times. Especially with my sister being a diehard Apple lover with her 3GS. But like any new device, even Apple isn't immune to issues at launch with their iP4. So naturally I began looking at the new devices in the Bold family. The 9700 is a natural choice. Upgraded to trackpad, somewhat smaller, and a little more "umph". For the way I use my 9000, the 9700 would do just fine by me. However, it wouldn't make any sense not to test out other new BB devices. So I spent about 45 minutes yesterday in AT&T testing out the 9700 and 9800.

    The 9700 was pretty straight forward. Everything I can do on my current 9000, but obviously a little more slick in its operation. Granted it doesn't have some of the apps and such on the demo phones, but it gives me a general idea of what I'm getting into. And since I'm posting in the 9800 forums, I'm sure you want to hear about the Torch.


    Body/Hardware:

    First off, I love the overall size of the Torch when the slider is closed. Pretty comparable to the rest of the BBs. The phone does feel nice in your hand. A little more hefty than some of the others, but it does feel like a quality built piece. Then came the part I was dreading...the slider. This has been the main deterrent for me since I heard about the Torch. Sliding the phone open and closed a few times however, really gave me a sense of relief. The Torch doesn't feel 'light' or loose when you slide it. By 'light', I mean the top half of the phone doesn't feel so much lighter in weight to the bottom half that it feels like the spring wants to shoot the top half off from the bottom when you slide it. I've found that to be the case on many other lower quality sliders I've handled in the past.

    The keyboard seems to be pretty nice as well. It is a little awkward that it is set into the phone more to make room for the slider. But once you start typing, it takes you back to any other BB you are used to. The same can be said for the Call, Menu, Back, and End buttons. They all feel like top quality RIM pieces to me. I do not have alot of experience with the trackpad, but it seemed to be on par with the 9700 that was next to it.

    I am pretty disappointed in the lack of a left side convenience key. I don't think it would have been that difficult to integrate one. Personally, I have mine set up on my Bold to access my SMS and MMS. Also I am not that impressed with the battery door cover. Coming from a leather-like backing on the 9000, the texturized-rubber backing feels cheap to me.

    Software/OS6:

    Diving directly into the touchscreen, I wanted to test out the 'lag' I've been reading so much about. When flicking through the menu screens, I experienced a minimal amount of it, but enough to know it was there. The lag could be seen even more, when directly comparing it to the iPhone4 next to it. It also seemed that when you jumped into an app, such as the browser for example, the lag that was experienced decreased noticeably. This was also the case when jumping from app to app. Very responsive. But with that being said about the lag, I was pretty impressed with the touch sensitivity of the screen. The phone had a very good sense of what I was trying to do.

    Texting on the screen was a relief. Whether I was in portrait or landscape mode, I was surprised how much I enjoyed using the soft keyboard. I don't think there was one time where it came up with other letters than what I wanted to type, and I've typed on many phones where that was the case. Personally, the Torch and iP4 soft keyboards are the best I've used to date.

    I came into the experience feeling as though I NEEDED a physical keyboard and trackpad. But I found myself really wanting to use the screen more. Now I wasn't in a hurry to try the phone out, and I can see myself utilizing the physical aspects of the phone more in my personal life, especially with work related emails and such.

    OS6 felt amazing! It definitely felt like an upgraded BB OS I am used to, and not a foreign system. The shortcuts on the Torch are one of the best aspects of the phone. Tapping on the time will give you your manage connections, tapping on mail/message icons will lay them all out for you. Shortcuts seem to be plentiful on this device, and they all seem very useful. Now I am unsure which ones will be carried over in OS6 to other BB non-touchscreen devices (9700, curves, etc.). But on the Torch, it works.

    I did not get to play with how the phone locks. I know there is a lock button on top of the phone, although I've read other posts on CB that state the key is sensitive and the password lock takes about 30 minutes to go into effect. These didn't cross my mind while using it in store, but I would like to know others opinion on the matter.


    Conclusion:

    Like I stated before, this shouldn't be taken as a comprehensive review of the phone in its entirety. It is just my opinion and experience with the Torch in store.

    While reading reviews online before being able to have some time with the phone, I was less than impressed. A slider was the furthest thing on my mind to replace my 9000. In fact, I just didn't like sliders. And when I watched the comparisons of this phone, its pretty obvious that it is not a contender with the newest phones like the iPhone4, Captivate, Droids, etc. The lag scared me, the webkits are still not up to par, and the phone re-uses older BB technology.

    But I had to experience it for myself.

    The phone overall?
    Solid.
    Can you go into this thinking the Torch is the best phone on the market right now?
    Absolutely not. That's just not the case.
    Is there newer/updated technology on ther devices out there that will give you a better bang-for-your-buck?
    Probably, but that depends on what you're using the device for.

    I had to change my mindset, but I think I'm looking at it the right way. The Torch is just this...a BlackBerry. It is an upgrade from my 9000. It has everything I am used to/comfortable with (physical keyboard, trackpad, etc.). It is a 'bonus' to have a new touchscreen attempt at a BB, but you don't have to use it if you don't want. And if you don't utilize the touchscreen...it is still a larger screen despite the lack of the best screen resolution out there.

    Will I be purchasing a Torch? Most likely, unless there is some big issues that come to light. I like the BlackBerry systems, and I think RIM makes quality, dependable phones that work for the average media user, and excel at business related services.

    To each his/her own. I hope that my opinions help someone get a better understanding of what the phone has to offer, and maybe a different way to think about it.

    Good luck to all
    08-12-10 01:11 PM
  2. MarkLamp's Avatar
    Good review. Open minded and honest.

    Breath of fresh air.
    08-12-10 01:20 PM
  3. Serkle K's Avatar
    Very nicely put! I'm still on a 9000 myself. I think I will be getting this device.
    08-12-10 01:46 PM
  4. pittesq's Avatar
    I was in the same boat. Had a 9000 that I thought was a solid phone and put off upgrading because I was waiting for a touchscreen/physical keyboard hybrid. I picked up the Torch this morning. So far I'm very happy with it. The new OS takes some getting used to. So does not havingcertain apps that aren't compatible yt like quicklaunch. But other than that it is a huge upgrade for me. i like having the touch screen option even though i prefer the keyboard. So far i've used both depending on the task. The Only knock I have so far (and this won't apply to everyone) is that i have big fingers and the top row of keys on the physical keyboard abuts the edge of the slider. So i need to type more towards the middle/botom of those buttons to type comfortably. But it's not a huge deal. So far that the only gripe.
    08-12-10 01:54 PM
  5. koolk23's Avatar
    Stealthfox, I like the phone too. I thought that the Web Browser was pretty slow.
    08-12-10 01:56 PM
  6. Ezcal's Avatar
    It's good to hear that you don't hate the keyboard, especially coming from a 9000 like me. Thanks for the review, it's much appreciated!
    08-12-10 02:03 PM
  7. Vajraja's Avatar
    Great review! I just jumped up from a Bold 9000 to the Torch today and couldn't be happier. I could never justify moving to the 9700 because it was never that much of a leap for me. But I love the BB platform and the enhancements in the Torch work, for me : )
    08-12-10 02:11 PM
  8. rjkolo's Avatar
    Great review, I played with the phone yesterday and don't get me wrong the iP4 is a great piece of technology, but it is lacking in it's own areas. Just like the Blackberry's do. It is the users preference that it comes down to, I am still using my 9000 and can't wait to upgrade to this phone after work today.
    08-12-10 02:12 PM
  9. stealthfox's Avatar
    Glad to hear that the review is helpful to some of you. Also glad to hear that some of you are in the same boat with the 9000 to 9800 jump. That's makes my decision that much easier.
    08-12-10 05:08 PM
  10. hari.p's Avatar
    thank you .. your review helped a lot.
    08-12-10 07:33 PM
  11. zensen's Avatar
    i like your review. its points out some points you were worried about because of what you read but you gave it ago and some of your worries were alleviated and some that people were complaining really seemed like when people are pixel peeping on a photograph :P

    one thing i did notice though

    Can you go into this thinking the Torch is the best phone on the market right now?
    Absolutely not. That's just not the case.
    well, that's subjective because the operating system cannot be found anywhere else and if you're a user of the blackberry this does seem to be the best blackberry phone out there. I don't know if there's any other phone that comes close to the security that RIM offer especially if thats what you're looking for.

    Had it been worded "Can you go into this thinking the Torch is the best phone hardware wise on the market right now? Absolutely not. That's just not the case."

    I would totally agree to that statement but again, it is your opinion and it really isn't wrong especially if you think another smart phone is better
    Last edited by zensen; 08-12-10 at 09:07 PM.
    08-12-10 09:04 PM
  12. mikesatx's Avatar
    Another solid review. Thanks!
    08-12-10 09:11 PM
  13. stealthfox's Avatar
    i like your review. its points out some points you were worried about because of what you read but you gave it ago and some of your worries were alleviated and some that people were complaining really seemed like when people are pixel peeping on a photograph :P

    one thing i did notice though



    well, that's subjective because the operating system cannot be found anywhere else and if you're a user of the blackberry this does seem to be the best blackberry phone out there. I don't know if there's any other phone that comes close to the security that RIM offer especially if thats what you're looking for.

    Had it been worded "Can you go into this thinking the Torch is the best phone hardware wise on the market right now? Absolutely not. That's just not the case."

    I would totally agree to that statement but again, it is your opinion and it really isn't wrong especially if you think another smart phone is better
    Thanks for taking the time to read it and respond. True, my wording was a little funky there, I admit. I do think that right now with the hardware and new software, it is the best BB on the market. However, I'm not sure if I feel that it is the strongest bang for the buck when comparing it to any other brand/device out there. It may be, I just don't know.

    I am getting a little worried about some of the 'quirks' I've been reading other users post already. Flimsy sliders, buzzing in earpiece when on calls, non-responsive/lagging trackpads, and more. I have my hopes that if these are not rare occurrences, that they will be addressed in perhaps the next batch???
    08-13-10 02:12 AM
  14. supern0va's Avatar
    I'm looking for the same upgrade... Bold 9000 to Torch 9800...

    Early purchaser : Any updates on how thing goes ?
    10-31-10 02:18 PM
  15. jcp007's Avatar
    OP, upgrade to OS .246. You may notice better performance. I have had mine since launch day and it has been even better with this most current OS. Great review.
    10-31-10 02:28 PM
  16. AJ_Franklin's Avatar
    I enjoyed reading your review, OP, and went from the 9000 to Torch without a hiccup. Gave my Bold to my sister in law and now she is loving it and becoming addicted.

    Can't go wrong with this Torch. It's a great device that will only get better with time.
    10-31-10 02:50 PM
  17. falconeight's Avatar
    I agree with the review. And I think more than any other phone manufacturer it is going to be very hard to get blackberry uses to switch to new phone builds and software.
    10-31-10 03:57 PM
  18. Matrix Leader's Avatar
    I upgraded from a 9000 after I had trouble with my upgrade to the 9300.

    the 9800 is slow at all as compared to what they said. This was because it came preloaded with OS 246 which changes things drasitcally!

    Don't judge the speed by a device sitting at the store with the early release OS
    10-31-10 04:01 PM
  19. thp007's Avatar
    Don't you find the speaker little to low on the torch. I want to upgrade from my 9000 to the torch but when i tested it at the store it's seems that the highest volume on torch is at about 70% of the volume on the 9000. If you are at noisy places it would be very hard to hear the caller. There were many times that i had to turn the volume all the way up on my 9000 because i couldn't hear anything.
    10-31-10 09:06 PM
  20. mataleao's Avatar
    I went from the 9000 to the 9800 and am glad I did. The end.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    10-31-10 10:24 PM
  21. sleepngbear's Avatar
    I went from the 9000 to the 9800 and am glad I did. The end.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Ditto. I took a look at other options available with AT&T (got the rest of the family on the plan so I'm pretty much tied to them, not that I have a problem with that), but options are pretty limited for the form factor I wanted. I played around enough with the wife's iPhone to know that I couldn't live with just a virtual keyboard, which also ruled out AT&T's only decent Android offering, the Captivate. If they had something like the Epic 4G I may have considered it, but they don't, so moot point. I thought about the 9700, but the main reasons I wanted to upgrade the 9000 in the first place was a bigger display and a better browser, neither of which the 9700 currently provides. No regrets whatsoever; the flexibility of physical & virtual keyboard and trackpad are ideal for me, battery life is great (just went about 36 hours since the last charge and it ain't dead yet), display and overall performance are perfectly adequate for what I do, each software upgrade has consistently improved something without breaking something else, and the phone has been absolutely rock solid so far.

    The Torch came along at just the right time for me, and I couldn't be happier with it.
    11-01-10 12:14 AM
  22. Bonnie Bonzai's Avatar
    Stealthfox, just wanted to say thanks for your review. My daughter has a curve 8520 and is angling for a Torch on her birthday and now I am much more comfortable with the idea of her having one.

    Thanks
    11-01-10 12:29 AM
  23. Matrix Leader's Avatar
    Same here, I have owner a 9700, 8520, 9000, and 9300, when I got a new device, it was nice to play with for an hour then you just put it next to you on the desk........you know...just another BlackBerry......

    However, with the Torch, after upgrading from my 9000, I find myself grabbing it to play with it every once in a while...there's so much you can do...browing is a different experience alltogether! The screen is a pleasure to look at! The phone is bulky...but the size feels just right for such a sophisticated device...the camera is the best BB camera ever!
    11-01-10 02:12 AM
  24. dwaynewilliams#WN's Avatar
    I really want to take the plunge and get a 9800, but I'm finding it difficult to justify putting my 9000 down. I just changed the housing, trackball, and keypad on my 9000 and now it looks and feels great. With OS 5, the 9000 has become the perfect phone for me. I am the type of guy who likes to try new things, but I cannot find a reason other than "the Torch is cool" to get one. I don't have any apps other than AT&T Navigator downloaded to my phone and I'm not really interested in any apps. I only peruse about five mobile websites, so I'm not a big web surfer. I don't watch movies, play games, or read books on my phone. I use PIM functions a lot and send out a lot of BBMs, emails, texts, and voive calls. Even though I like the look and feel of the Torch, getting one would be wasteful. So I will have admire from afar. Those who have one are lucky.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    11-01-10 06:05 AM
  25. bluesnoop85's Avatar
    im just like the reviewer, do a lot of reading on CB, minimal posting.
    review was great, genuine and honest. like the reviewer have been reading a lot about there not being enough power to handle OS and apps.
    I've been meaning to test out for myself, will be going to local shop friday (i hope) and maybe it can connivence to get the torch, otherwise will look into the new bold.
    11-01-10 07:28 AM
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