When it was first released, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 took the smartphone world somewhat by storm with its new form factor and updated platform experience. Although it was touted to give very real competition to the high-end smartphones of that time, it failed to attract new users. Nevertheless, Research in Motion (RIM) has released its successor BlackBerry Torch 9810 in an effort to stamp its mark in the current smartphone market.

While it is true the BlackBerry Torch 9810 has improvements in more than one department when compared to its predecessor, however design is definitely not one of them. For instance, the phone size is the same at 4.37 x 2.44 x 0.57 inches. This was a bit disappointing as QWERTY sliders these days are way thinner than this one.  The buttons and ports are also identical but with a new paint job which is a black and silver trim this time around. Sadly though, it still has that same weighty (5.68 oz) feel in the hand. Just below the extra-hardened glass screen are the navigation keys that are now a trademark to BlackBerry phones that is phone, menu, trackpad, back and home. On the left side of the phone is the micro-USB port sitting there on its own. Meanwhile on the right is the volume rocker and Convenience key, which is also another trademark-like reference for BlackBerry. On the top you will find the mute and lock buttons. The 3.2 inch display that comes with this phone is definitely the most significant improvement we can mention as of now as it has a higher VGA resolution of 480 x 640 pixels.  The slider keyboard mechanism runs on an invisible metal track and it doesn’t feel a tiny bit loose, on the other hand it might actually be a bit too firm that you might need some effort to get the keyboard out. On the back is the 5MP auto-focus camera with an LED flash that is identical to the one on the BlackBerry Torch 9800 with some minor tweaks.

Previously with the BlackBerry Torch 9800, the 624MHz CPU and 512MB RAM was just not up to the level of other phones in the market. Nevertheless, RIM has realized this and now with the BlackBerry Torch 9810, there is a 1.2GHz single core CPU which is supported by a dedicated Adreno 205 GPU. The 768MB of RAM onboard also helps make the phone more responsive.

Yes, it’s true that the BlackBerry Torch 9810 only has a single core processor but the performance of the OS is pretty impressive and that’s what matters. The OS 7 that is coupled with RIM’s Liquid Graphics Technology was capable of providing a sensual experience that was both responsive as well as more improved in handling the needs of power users.  Nevertheless, on the surface it‘s not so much different from the previous version as the homescreen is laid out in the same manner. This OS still exudes the basic not so liked features like the being menu driven and giving a clunky feel, thus making us wait for the QNX to be the main OS for BlackBerry more eagerly. The BlackBerry Torch 9810’s physical keyboard needs a lot of patience when used, however as an alternative, there’s the on-screen keyboard. It has a new layout which offers more space this making it a reasonable option for those who find the physical one tiring. BlackBerry is known for its emailing capabilities, so how is it on the BlackBerry Torch 9810? It was a fantastic experience as its push email support is great for power users.

As we mentioned earlier, one of the first improvements that catches your eye is the 3.2 inch display. It now has a resolution of 480 x 640 pixels that also means a pixel density of 253 ppi. Although pixel density is not the greatest in the world, it is a marked improvement to its predecessor. It displays more sharp images with some vivid colors. However, colors do fade at certain angles as well as when there is direct sunlight on the screen.

One look and the 5MP camera can be mistaken as being the exact same one that’s found on the BlackBerry Torch 9800. However, cameras go beyond its megapixel count. For instance, the digital zoom is now 4X instead of 2X as it used to be. Geotagging and Face Detection are also new improvements found on this camera. The continuous autofocus on the BlackBerry Torch 9810 is a plus point, as there’s almost no lag. Nevertheless, you can always switch to the single-shot and zero autofocus option. Wher there was proper lighting, the photos were pretty decent and even when it wasn’t so, for instance in the evening the exposure levels were still good. This time around though, the camera is capable of capturing videos at 720p HD which is great given it could only record in VGA previously.  Sadly though, there is no front facing camera meaning you cannot video chat with your loved ones or do some last minute touch up to your make up.

RIM has finally decided to make some improvement with its web browsing since it was losing ground with other smartphones. With its predecessor, it brought to use a useable WebKit based web browser, but it still had its inconsistencies. Now with this phone, we see some great fluency with the navigational controls besides giving us the smoothest experiences we have seen in terms of scrolling ad pinch zooming. Sadly, there’s still no Flash support.

In terms of performance, we could hear our callers’ voice clearly. However, they could not hear as so well as they say there is some robotic tone. As for the battery, it was capable of giving 8 hours of continuous talk time, way better than the 6 hours BlackBerry had rated it for.


Pros and Cons
With the BlackBerry Torch 9810, we get a much more responsive platform experience. The web browsing experience was also great on this phone.

However, the design could have used some improvements. The OS 7 does not give enough new features.

Although this phone is a marked improvement from its predecessor, the BlackBerry Torch 9810 is still a little outdated when compared to the long list of smartphones out there. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty solid BlackBerry phone that gives great web browsing experience and speed.

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