BlackBerry Torch 9810 review: Buttoned-up

GSMArena team, 5 October 2011.
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A fresh dose of oxygen or a new torchbearer? It doesnít matter which one you think RIM needed to keep the flame alive. They got both in the new BlackBerry Torch 9810. Double the processing power, the new sped-up and brushed-up BlackBerry OS 7 and higher resolution displays, RIM know giving users what they need is no longer enough.

The new BlackBerry generation is encouraging users to want more. Itís not about suddenly waking the typical BlackBerry customer up to the business benefits of HD video. Nor is a bump in screen resolution and processing power enough to convince the masses to ditch their droids and iPhones and come flocking to BlackBerry.

Itís a step though.

BlackBerry Torch 9810 official shots

We ended our review of the original BlackBerry Torch 9800 by calling it a step in the right direction. Good to see, RIM have not lost momentum or changed direction. Quite the contrary. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 may as well be a manual on how to make a good sequel.

Key features:

  • Enhanced email and data security
  • 3.2" 16M-color TFT touchscreen of VGA resolution (480 x 640 pixels)
  • QWERTY slider
  • Quad-band GSM support and tri-band 3G with HSDPA
  • Wi-Fi b/g/n connectivity
  • GPS receiver and BlackBerry maps preloaded, digital compass
  • 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and a LED flash
  • HD video recording, 720p@30fps
  • Single-core 1.2GHz processor
  • 768MB RAM
  • 8GB of inbuilt storage
  • BlackBerry OS v7
  • Fast boot functionality (if you don't remove the battery)
  • Optical trackpad
  • Hot-swappable microSD card slot (up to 16GB)
  • DivX and Xvid video support
  • Office document editor
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Smart dialing

Main disadvantages:

  • BlackBerry Internet Service account is a must to enjoy all phone features
  • No Flash support for the web browser
  • No NFC
  • No video-call camera
  • No FM radio
  • No haptic feedback
  • All-plastic body
  • Poor loudspeaker performance

Thereís almost nothing on the outside to suggest the amount of progress made inside. Itís the same phone, down to the last millimeter and gram. But itís a major leap forward to a 1GHz+ CPU, a VGA screen, HD video and a more compelling touchscreen experience.

Things look good for the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and some of it is down to the fact that, out of all the new generation Berries, it has the most comfortable starting position. The Torch 9860 drew the shortest straw we guess, no keyboard and all. Whatís the point of a BlackBerry phone that canít give you the blackberry thumb? The Bold Touch 9900, being the flagship, will inevitably be held to higher standards.

Blackberry Torch 9810 Blackberry Torch 9810 Blackberry Torch 9810
BlackBerry Torch 9810 live photos

The strength of the Torch 9810 on the other hand is in its power to surprise without being unpredictable. It may keep a low profile but wonít escape the attention of anyone after a solid smart messenger. And we donít mean the brand-loyal only. Itís the right phone to offer to long-term customers, no doubt about that. Hopefully, the added speed and skill puts it on the radar for a wider range of users too.

OK, then. What we have here is a minor facelilft and a major software upgrade. Thereís supposed to be a better phone on the other end of the equation and weíre about to start discovering it. Join us after the break for the hardware examination.

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