BlackBerry Torch 9800 First Impressions

By Team CrackBerry on 3 Aug 2010 12:09 pm EDT

Today at an exclusive AT&T/RIM event held in New York City we had the chance to play with the newest device in RIMs arsenal -- the BlackBerry Torch 9800. A mix of touchscreen and familiar QWERTY keyboard, this is the first slider BlackBerry and looks like it could possibly be the best BlackBerry to date. It will also be the first device to have BlackBerry 6, RIMs latest "revamped" OS. The Torch will be officially available for purchase on August 12th for $199 exclusively through AT&T (for now). While you'll have to wait a few weeks to get your hands on one, we had the chance to play around with it and see whats new both with the device itself and the all-new BlackBerry 6 operating system. Read on for our first impressions. 

BlackBerry Torch Specifications

  • Size (LxWxD) Closed: 4.4" x 2.4" x 0.57" / 111mm x 62mm x 14.6mm
  • Open: 5.8" x 2.4" x 0.57" / 148mm x 62mm x 14.6mm
  • Weight: 161.59 g / 5.7 oz (includes battery)
  • Operating System: BlackBerry 6
  • Memory: 512 MB internal flash memory/4GB built-in storage memory
  • Expandable Memory: 4GB microSD card included/Supports up to 32GB microSD card
  • Battery Life: GSM Talk Time: 5.5 hours; GSM Standby Time: 17 days/MTS Talk Time: 5.8 hours; UMTS Standby Time: 13 days
  • Physical keyboard: 35 key backlit QWERTY
  • Touchscreen keyboards: portrait/landscape full qwerty, condensed portrait
  • Display: High resolution touch screen - Half-VGA+ display (360 x 480 at 188ppi)/3.2" (diagonally measured)
  • Navigation - Capacitive traditional touch screen (no SurePress)/Optical trackpad
  • Camera: 5.0 MP camera, flash, auto focus, face detection, image stabilization, scene modes, 2X zoom, video recording
  • Video Camera: Normal Mode: 640 x 480 pixels
  • WiFi: 802.11b/g/n, support for UMA (carrier-dependent)
  • Bluetooth v2.1; Mono/Stereo Headset, Hands-free, Serial Port Profile, Bluetooth Stereo Audio (A2DP/AVCRP) and Bluetooth SIM Access Profile supported

BlackBerry Torch 9800 Hands On Video


Picking up the device you just want to touch it. Not because it's a touchscreen, but because it just feels amazing. The construction on the device is as solid as it gets, and it just flows well and feels amazing in your hand. If you didn't know it was a slider, you really wouldn't even want to open it. The first things you notice are the screen (same size as the Storm) and the familiar BlackBerry buttons (Send, Menu, Back, End) as well as the optical trackpad. The right side the volume buttons, headset jack and convenience key, while the left side has only the microUSB port and a left-side convenience key is noticably absent. Sliding the device open reveals a full QWERTY keyboard buried stealthily below the screen. The sliding does not feel cheap by any means. As you glide it open you can feel it go where it needs to be and click into place. There is no in between or looseness in the process. Once open the Torch looks a bit odd having a big display over top of the full keyboard, but it doesn't feel top heavy or off balanced at all as we previously suspected it might. Sliding the device closed is just as easy, and once there it is not at all loose or prone to open. The back of the Torch resembles that of the Storm to an extent having the camera/flash on top and the battery door below. The battery door looks to be brushed aluminum and has a very solid feel, and again no looseness at all. Inside you'll find the battery, microSD card and SIM all strategically tucked away.

The keyboard holds the same basic design as both the Bold 9700 and Tour models, but it is surprisingly thin. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get going it is as smooth as a BlackBerry keyboard can be. Same goes for the on screen keyboard. In either potrait or landscape mode typing is easy and accurate. Change the device orientation with the keyboard open and there is almost no delay as it switches between portrait and landscape. At heart the Torch resembles the Bold 9700 only with double the internal memory (512MB).  The display shines bright and looks amazing at 480x360, but a higher resolution display would have really tricked this guy out. The camera gets an upgrade to 5MP which is a very welcome addition, and includes face detection, flash, multiple modes and much more. There is a new viewfinder and "scenes" that allow for different types of images, most notably the zero-lag sports mode. Video recording sadly isn't much improved (still no HD) and is slightly better than the bold 9700 at 640x480. Navigating around the homescreen was both amazing and fun with BlackBerry 6 (read more below) but it did take all we had not to press in and try to get the screen to click.


Where oh where do we begin on this one? Ever since we saw the first promo video of BlackBerry 6 back at WES 2010 we've been chomping at the bit to play around with it -- and now, for the first time we have. A collective "wow" gets inserted here. It would take forever to sum up all the new features, but BlackBerry 6 is where it's at. The homescreen has five views -- All, Favorites, Frequent, Media and Downloads -- all of which serve their purpose and do it well. Dragging up the tray from the bottom of the screen reveals your icons, and you can then swipe left or right to change views. Scrolling through was quick and easy and there was really no noticable lag. Tapping an icon opens the application, alternatively you can use the optical trackpad to get around as well. 

Some great "shortcuts" have been added into BlackBerry 6 as well. All of the items in the banner are now clickable. Click the signal indicator to jump to Manage Connections, the clock to open the Clock app, message alerts to see your Messages and the profile icon to change your profile. Very cool.

Overall there is a really a new coat of paint all around. The application switcher has been updated allowing for easy flow between apps. It has a new look and is much improved which should make for much easier multitasking. Icon menus are much cleaner and things just look amazing. 

Save the best for last? Of course! How bout that WebKit browser??! Its what a browser on BlackBerry should be. No longer will we avoid using it (admittingly we have in the past). Tabs, speed, pinch to zoom and more - its all there. MUCH more on this to come so stay tuned.

Ultimately the Torch is where its at. We'll have loads of BB6 and Torch coverage in the coming days, so keep it here as things get rolling. 

Related BlackBerry Torch 9800 / BlackBerry 6 Review Links 

Other BlackBerry Torch 9800 and BlackBerry 6 Links

Reader comments

BlackBerry Torch 9800 First Impressions



I was hoping for something like that myself, something along the lines of what they did with the new iPhone. i.e. anyone eligible for any upgrade between the release date and the end of the year can upgrade to the Torch.

Unfortunately, it does not seem to be the case.

Exactly I bought my 9700 in January with my company's small business account, and the small business dept doesn't have any pricing info besides the $199 w/ 2yr contract. As usual, customer service never has all the information right away...

I don't like the name... I get it because of the olympics and all but it's just stupid. The blackberry torch?

Aside from that, the device sure does look nice.

Can you guys that actually held and felt it, describe how it feels? Is it heavier than a 9700 and as heavy as the 9000? Also, does it use the larger 1550 MaH battery the Bold 9700 and Bold 9000 use or the smaller 1350 MaH of the storm, tour, curve?

Also, is the battery cover spring-loaded or pressure sensitive? Meaning does it come off if you de-press a button or slide it off like the Bold 9700?

The only thing I don't like is the weak video recording capabilities and the low screen resolution. There's no reason it should be the same resolution as the Storm. I mean RIM it out of the park in 2008 when they added such dazzling screens but now they are quite behind with Apple who released a 960 x 640 screen.

They named it the Torch in regards to the new WebKit browser, after acquiring Torch Mobile.

I've been out of contract now for 2 months...just received a coupon from AT&T for $100 towards an upgrade. Wonder if that coupon will be accepted for the Torch?

His Review was still not bad

seems his biggest complaint is based on resolution, the "cluttered" feeling is I am sure in large based on the LCD resolution, and the device seemed a little laggy again most likely compared to the other platforms,

Kevin is very much reviewing based on from a BB users standpoint

I agree with BGR that this probably wont pull Android/iPhone users back to BB if they are into Media, but it is a good device to keep some RIM users from jumping ship

* The hardware (casing, build quality, feel) is typical RIM — it’s great. Very solid, actually a bit heavy, but a very good feel. The sliding mechanism is top notch.
* The software is typical RIM — uninspired, old, clunky sometimes, and cluttered. Even with the new UI elements in OS 6, we experienced choppiness in the web browser, hangs navigating between screens, and a general feeling of well… claustrophobia on occasion. The simplified BlackBerry now sort of feels like too much has been added without thinking of the ramifications.
* The keyboard is perfect — just like a Bold 9700, and it seems to not be dug in the slider mechanism, unlike the Palm Pre.
* The internals of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 are disappointing. From the 624MHz CPU to only 512MB of RAM, to (sorry, confused RAM with built-in storage) the 1300mAh battery, it has us a little worried as it feels like the hardware is pushed to the max. On a brand new phone. That’s not even out yet.
* The screen is laughable. For a company that is always “planning three years out” they surely didn’t get the memo that a 480×360, poor, poor LCD wasn’t going to cut it in 2010. That’s the focal point of the entire device, and it makes you feel outdated out of the gate.

All in all, we came away with mixed emotions. On one hand, OS 6 is a much better UI leap from OS 5 than OS 5 was to OS 4, but it still feels a bit not thought out. On the other hand, the device seems like it will continue to excel at specific functions, mainly email, any sort of text-based messaging, etc. My personal thought so far is: this is a stop gap device for current BlackBerry users… and that’s an issue. iPhone 4 or recent Android owners won’t be lusting after the 9800, and that’s never a good thing.

iPhone and droid users never are lusting for anything except the incremental upgrade to their own device and spec improvement respectively.

The torch looks finally to be a great consumer device, and although it won't be winning people over from the consumer powerhouses, it'll sell a huge amount to people who work from their phones, because they can use it as a consumer device AND a work device. Sounds like a winner to me.

Also, I would kill children to get more phones with this form factor. Its AWESOME.

Couldn't agree more. Sprint and BB just doesn't mix I guess. All we get is some crappy looking "clam shell" thing. No thanks...

Rogers always get's the dibs on GSM blackberry phones right away. I'm sure Bell and even Telus will get it, just that Rogers will get it first.

Since Americans only have to pay $199 on a 2 year to get this, we better not get shafted paying something like $299 on a 3-year etc...

You do realize Telus and Bell are both GSM carriers now right? And they were the first (I believe) to have the 3G+ network in Canada, right?

It would be silly for them to stick with ideas from back in 2008 or something.

I was just saying how Rogers has had a long history with Blackberry and usually got all the devices first such as the 9700, white 9000, white 9700 etc...

But it's all good, Telus and bell and Rogers have confirmed they will all be getting the device. Hopefully, the competition means lower prices and contract limits. We canadians will get shafted if we have to pay 299 and get a 3-year contract when our dollar is parity with the USD and RIM and blackberry are a canadian company :)

Looks like MobileSyrup got emails from their contacts at various carriers and it seems like the price is going to be $199 for Canada as well.

It better well damn be too, seriously, people need to start raising hell about the prices of goods. Doesn't make sense when the Canadian dollar has been on par (if not better than) the US dollar.

We haven't Broken Par since April

and we get shafted due to duties at the Boarder, RIM deals in US dollars, and doesn't manufacture here, products still have to be imported, and importing costs! even with Nafta just shipping charge increases in Canada drastically can force the price of goods up, My Landed cost of goods we manufacture in Alabama cost 7% more to sell from my toronto location than my New Jersey location because of the cost of shipping over the boarder. it is safe to expect that RIM sees similar disparities and that is why it costs more, for us in Canada,

Now costing 30-40% more that is just robbery but if it is $199 in the US I'd accept $249 here for the sake of the 7% increase 3% difference in the Dollar, and then the Carrier mark up on the import difference.

Mind you I plan to buy this outright, unless I jump carriers then I'll take advantage of a 1 year contract price.

This devices "catches up" which will satisfy many users...but it's not enough.

Also, regarding app development - RIM has been parading around easier development for years with decreasing success. I'll believe it when I see it!

I want to own the Slider on Verizon but still skeptical after they way they've treated their customers the past few years.

What if they release BBOS7 next year that needs 1ghz to run properly smooth and fast? they expect you to buy another phone? (OS5-->OS6)

Imagine Apple released Iphone 4 with 624 MHZ Arm cortex chip while the iphone 3gs has 600mhz arm cortex chip. The world would again blame apple for that mistake x10 just like the antenna problem.

I've come around on the 9800 (as a 9700 owner). At first, I wasn't that impressed, but I think it will be an attractive option for new users. That said, unless Webkit Browser is absolutely phenomenal, I don't see the need for people currently on the higher-end Blackberrys to run out and upgrade. While a real touchscreen is nice, my thought is that if you own a Bold or Tour as opposed to an iPhone/Droid touchscreen device, you did that as a conscious choice for the QWERTY keyboard and easy messaging. The Torch will be slightly more complicated for simple messaging tasks (alternating between touch & QWERTY, needing to slide open keyboard), and I highly doubt the browser will be as good as what iPhone and Droid currently offer. But it will be a good "compromise" device for new purchasers who don't want to completely abandon a tactile QWERTY keyboard.

Wow, I knew I was thinking something about this phone, but I didn't know exactly. I think you just hit the nail on the head for how I feel about this device.

And the same can be said about OS6 for me. My Bold 9650 runs just dandy for me. I am in no rush to upgrade to OS6 once it is available. I'll let everyone else be the guinea pigs first.

Meaning, the reason I never upgraded from my bold 9000 was that it did everything the 9700 or 9650 could do. Yeah sure the camera wasn't as good or the app memory was low, but everything else was the same.

Now that it's confirmed OS 6 isn't coming to the 9000, curve 8900, Storm etc... There is a huge reason to upgrade. Since the keyboard is the same as the 9700, I'm confused as to why even release the 9700 refresh in the first place. Why wouldn't anyone want this larger screen and touch-capacity over the 9700 refresh. I didn't buy the storm phones because I don't like all-touch but this allows a keyboard and trackpad for those who prefer buttons.

However, if you are a 9700, 9650 owner, and are able to upgrade to os 6, I don't know why youd run out to buy this. Keep in mind, there are already better blackberry's in the works such as the rumored Storm 3.

i am seriously disapointed that i will not be able to get os6 with my blackberry 8900...i am a teen user and the new operating system appeals to me even being a long-time blackberry user. they hit the nail on the head for marketing for both buisness and student clients.

i'm also upset that i would have to fork over $200 just to get it because my device is older...which i am not prepared to do. if, perhaps, i got a memory card with a larger memory, could i use the operating system for the devices getting it that are alike to mine? ive never done it before, but would it be possible? xx

StormJH1 said: "I highly doubt the browser will be as good as what iPhone and Droid currently offer."

Based on what conclusion? You know that all 3 use the WebKit rendering engine, right? The only thing different is the skin on top.

There is a lot more difference than just a skin. The rendering engine is only one part.

For instance with Android's latest update, 2.2, the webkit browser shows huge improvements over Apple's Mobile Safari. Plus the reviews have already said the Torch's web browser chugs along slowly when loading pages, practically locking up the phone. That may be due to the low hardware specs of the torch, but either way just having the same rendering / layout engine isn't going to guarantee the same performance.

Salmondrin already tested the BlackBerry Webkit browser using the Acid Test and it beat both the iphone and Android.

Too bad just passing the ACID test doesn't mean it's a good browser, it just means it is good at passing a test. The real test is performance and real world use...

If I'm not mistaken, this is the first berry with wireless n. Correct? That would finally mean lighting fast WiFi speeds.

the download speeds and processing speeds are limited by the device itself NOT the wireless connection... wireless N is a useless "check box" feature that has zero real value.

Man how long till Canada gets it , i cant wait i want this blackberrry sooo badly my 8220 is getting to be a pain in the but (damn surepress)please please get here soon.

It would be nice if you explained your comment. How could this be a fail when you've never even touched the device once.

reminds me of my samsung phone ages ago. they came up with the slider too some decades ago. the slider does become slider when you keep on sliding it to text. it gets loose after a few years and soon you'll see the other half flying out of your hand. so i say to RIM, you were so behind with the slider phone that this model is in fact not cool! yeah the touch screen is fine but the slider is ugly. Look at the shape when you slide the screen's odd..undescribable. not chic at all! but hey RIM Blackberry started with odd phones so why bother deviate from their roots, right. I love their bolds and curves and pearls, but never liked their touch screen and now they came out with a slider?! ugh!! just a sore to my eyes.
one more thing..AT&T sucks, we know for the fact that iPhone is having a lot of problem, RIM Blackberry why would you choose to launch your product in AT&T, don't you review the market???
oh well. good luck to those craving for this slider blackberry. have fun. i still love my bold 9700. nothing beats this phone.

ATT is the leading company when it comes to blackberry that's why. They wanted to reach the most people. I hate their company also but hey what can we say if their in the lead then its w/e. Maybe I can get it unlocked for TMO. Also the sliding is nice not unattractive it gives people the choice on using it as a touchscreen or as a Bold was used.

It looks so much like Samsung Flight, of course a sexier version with a better OS makes it much better. But still, with all of the reveal drama i was expecting something much cooler...

Can you tell us about the Battery life? I had the incredible for about 3 weeks & I had to return it because of the weak battery life it carried. I went back to my BB Curve. Please advise?????? to which Canadian carriers will have the Torch? I'm with Telus and I would pretty much kill for this phone..

I read on the Financial Post that Telus will be carrying this phone, and when I spoke with Rogers customer support they too are going to supply it.

Yup... only here in the Good ole US of A do we get shafted up the ass with god damn carrier exclusivity!!!!!!!! It's completely unbelievable that it's legal... EVERY other country in the world gets multiple carrier options for a device... Same with iphone, now the 9800 (not to mention Storm on vzw, which isn't as bad, being such a POS, but still... exclusivity blows period.)

O2 got exclusivity on the Pre here in england, but I feel for you there. Carrier exclusivity is bullshit, you pick the device, then the carrier imo.

Verizon said late this year, early next year for their release. Just spent 30 minutes on the phone with them.

So. AT&T has the Iphone and the 9800? I wonder what kind of "palm greasing" is going on there. It better get to Verizon.

Why have exclusivity to begin with? Why would you limit the amount of customers you can reach? They should put it on all carriers so it can reach as many people as possible. Carrier exclusivity is just bad. In the short term you might get more money from the one carrier you've made a deal with, but you probably would've made more money from the increased exposure and larger amount of potential customers you could get if you didn't have an exlcusivity.

its simply that to make a CDMA device its another, separate development project. Expect the "9830" on VZ or sprint in 1Q11

Just an FYI, Verizon was the first company offered exclusive rights to the iPhone before AT&T. Verizon declined however because of the fact that apple refused to let go of Customer Service and repairing rights (something Verizon is heavily weighted in). In essence, Verizon wanted to be able to do what they want but weren't allowed. And thus one of their biggest mistakes ever was made.

Verizon won't be getting this device. Verizon and RIM are not seeing eye to eye at the moment.

leaked OSes for the 9700 also had the VZ and Voda stuff on it... guess what, a 9700 never did nor ever will work on VZW... it's just some portions of the BB OS are generic and shared across all BB's, GSM or CDMA doesn't matter... absolutely ZERO indication that it will go to VZW...

I like RIM, but I have to burst this bubble. The Torch is yet another sub-par smartphone that will suffer the typical dismal BlackBerry release experience for early adopters. Plus, who really takes a slider phone seriously?!

It's pretty obvious the specs are last-gen standards. The same tired 624 Mhz processor. Only 512 MB RAM for use by the OS runtime. Bluetooth 2.1 instead of 3.0. Wireless N is no longer a feature in my mind but a standard, and a 5 MP camera is nothing new either. All they've really done is put a touchscreen on a BlackBerry with a sliding (*cringe*) keyboard. Again, nothing new.

OS 6 is more a negative than a positive on this phone. Sure, it might make the OS -look- nicer and -feel- faster, but it won't actually -be- faster. Third party apps won't get much, if any, performance boost just because it's running OS6. And because the -beta- tools for OS6 were released just barely 2 weeks before the device is available, early adopters will be lucky to get any apps that work right on the phone out of the box, much less take advantage of any new APIs. Only the most daring of developers will cite OS6 support on any application in the near future until they can actually know if their app works correctly. And it will take even longer than that before developers remember to log in and mark the Torch compatible with their app so users can actually download it from the App World.

Oh, and did I mention it's a slider? =P

This is a bad pattern RIM has gotten in to, and if rumors prove to be correct one they intend on continuing. Users want apps on their phone. Who is going to buy a "Blackpad" when the only app you'll get with it is a Web browser? RIM is rushing, and it's obvious. Instead of 20 new hardware lines, RIM needs software. More tools, more APIs, and a better underlying OS to support them. Optionally, they could just take Android to the BlackBerry, which could save them a lot of pain in the end.

I do and I know quite a few people who do. We find it much nicer and more elegant than a flipper. I think the form factor is perfect and it looks quite desirable to me and I am a Bold 9000 owner. I have had a few sliders and never did any of them break or fail, as a matter of fact my old LG is a toy my son uses to take pics and pretend he has a cell phone (he is 8). The device continues to hold up to him and his not so gentle use at times.

Perhaps you mean you don't take a slider seriously. Many of us do and even Palm did it recently; I'd be willing to bet some market research shows there are people who want a slider.

Well, time will tell if your prognostications are valid or as I suspect, off the mark. Especially since you are commenting on OS6 that you have not even used yet.....

You are correct in that I personally don't take sliders seriously. Obviously some people do otherwise no one would be manufacturing them. It's a personal preference. The slider stab was more in jest and to point out that sliders aren't exactly anything new which is the main point of the post.

And, I have been using and developing on a Torch and OS6 for a few weeks now.

"OS 6 is more a negative than a positive on this phone. Sure, it might make the OS -look- nicer and -feel- faster, but it won't actually -be- faster. Third party apps won't get much, if any, performance boost just because it's running OS6."
You know this how? And -- assuming you're correct -- why would you expect an OS upgrade to increase performance of existing apps? That's a pretty rare occurrence - and when it does happen, it's always within a narrow spectrum of use cases. Did you expect them to rewrite the OS from the ground up, when it's already the most secure phone OS and arguably the most efficient OS out there?

". And because the -beta- tools for OS6 were released just barely 2 weeks before the device is available, early adopters will be lucky to get any apps that work right on the phone out of the box, much less take advantage of any new APIs. Only the most daring of developers will cite OS6 support on any application in the near future until they can actually know if their app works correctly. "

Which sounds great until you read the actual information we're given, which says full backward compatibility. Now maybe I'm crazy, but I don't think they'll promise this unless they deliver.

"RIM is rushing, and it's obvious. Instead of 20 new hardware lines, RIM needs software. More tools, more APIs, and a better underlying OS to support them. "
Spoken like somebody who hasn't even bothered to look at the capabilities and APIs offered by the BB OS platform.

"I like RIM, but I have to burst this bubble. ...Optionally, they could just take Android to the BlackBerry, which could save them a lot of pain in the end.".

Ah, I see. Nice troll.

I love slider phones! I'm a Palm Pre user, and the slider may make the phone slightly thicker than a BlackBerry, but when the keyboard can be hidden when it's not needed you can get the screen to be much larger than you can on a candybar phone. It's really worth it, trust me. And with a slider phone you don't feel like your talking into a frozen waffle when you're on a call! It feels like... a phone! Granted, sliders can be hard to make, but it seems like RIM is making a solid one. What is your problem with sliders? Have you ever owned a slider phone come to think of it? I'm not trying to be rude or make personal attacks on you, but it doesn't sound like you ever owned a slider phone.

For a high end phone 624 mhz processor is pathetic and will not keep up with competition. Its issues like this that cause most of us BB owners to defect as noted in a recent survey by Nielsen stating that 58% of consumers are planning to leave BB for Android or Iphone by next quarter.

Yet another ignorant post stating numbers that really don't mean anything, especially when you haven't even experienced the phone at all. Gotta love all the fools coming here bashing what they have no clue about. Pathetic.

The new OS is exciting for sure, but the device and its specifications aren't anything spectacular. BlackBerry is gaining yardage, but it really needs a touchdown. I am hoping that RIM provides OS6 to current users, especially those who have more recent devices. If people need to buy a new phone entirely, it's likely that they will not see as much value compared to RIM’s more forward thinking competitors. Regardless, this is a great development that will surely make a small splash....but it's a big pond.

The new OS is nice. The phone is still under powered the screen is low resolution compared to its competitors. Blackberry need to be more developer friendly. They need to make all customers happy not just the IT people. Even business people want to have a little fun and that is not blackberry. Don't get me wrong I love my blackberry I use it for more business but I'm disappointed in the amount of fun you can get out of this. I'm going to be upgrading in the next year and I'm not sure that I will be getting a blackberry.

I have a 9700 witch has 256mb of memory so I probably won't be able to upgrade to 6 and this phone only 4GB of memory isn't enough for programs unless you can run programs off the memory card. You can store programs on the iphones 32GB of memory. So unless you can run programs off a memory card this phone doesn't have enough memory

You do realize that most apps take up around 1 MB... On my 9700, I run about 15-20 apps and I'm using up about 20-30 MB's. Even on my iPod Touch, all my apps don't take up more than probably 100 MB's... You don't need probably more than a couple of hundred MB's for apps because there aren't enough good ones out there to take up more than that. Now, I don't know if the 4GB can be used for apps as it probably can't as per the other BB's, you use on board device memory, but if you could use the 4GB's, you'd have more than you'd ever need... through in a 32GB microSD card and you are as good from a memory perspective as an iPhone..


Since RIM is a Canadian company, and since AT&T is the US version of Rogers, wouldn't it make sense for RIM to release it in Canada first, or at least at the same time as AT&T??? Any one have intel on when Rogers will be releasing this device?

Rogers will be carrying this phone, just not sure when. I am certainly going to call them and pre order one if possible today.

Telus And Virgin Mobile are the first to come forward in Canada to announce the Blackberry Torch.

Telus And Virgin Mobile are the first to come forward in Canada to announce the Blackberry Torch.

I thought I was a die hard BB user but I would like some more multimedia capabilities and compatibility with some services. The display is kind of a letdown, especially since I really love images on my current Bold. I've actually started waiting for the Dell Streak and may make the switch to Android (but keep the 9000 as backup until it dies). I really don't know - but at least my wait for either device is about to end!

i have an 9650 with sprint and i know this will never be available to me but this phone is the B*LLS !!!!!!.............good luck to anyone whos picks this one up

Hmm, After reading the blogs. I think Blackberry is a bit late on the technology. Yes, the Droid "Does" alot, but have weak batterys. Yes, the Iphone, is your badass MP3 phone , but has attenna issues, can't really use it as a phone because AT&T sucks especially w/ their limited data package plans. RIM the Storm 3 should not have the same processor, 512MB, 5 MP camera, or be a Slider & better have a darn good battery life too! Ok, your tech is a bit late, & are not the 1st to come out w/ the stuff. We understand that you want to make sure your product works unlike the 2 phones I mentioned earlier. But when you launch a new product make sure you are at least "catching up" w/ the competion. Any thoughts?

Its not that the Droid only has a weak battery, its a combination of fast processor and not enough battery. But on the Incredible I do get an entire day out of it on one charge. I owned a Storm, and for that RIM should send out a massive im sorry to each one of us that bought that phone. The reason why blackberrys do so well in the power management is that their processors arent that strong or power hungry. Its like comparing an engine in a Honda Civic to a high end sports car. Yes they are both cars, but you will not get the same gas mileage or efficiency out of both

I used bb for many years and due to RIM not catching up, I made the move to the Iphone 3gs..I miss my crackberry, but to say the Iphone is "just" an mp3 player is like saying Blu-ray is "just " a dvd. I use my Iphone in my medical office on a daily basis and believe me, you would rather view MRI's or other optical files on it, than my old bb's. Oh...and i do have unlimited data as I have been an AT&T customer many years and to fault a company to the extent that everyone has due to the new plan...well, I kept it and was allowed to because I am a long time customer.

And I do agree with you in regards to RIM being behind..512 mb is not enough and having to store apps...crazy! RIM doesn't need to just catch up...they need to win us converts back to the light side!!:)

Not an Apple fanboy...just a doc that wants to see RIM continue to try and take a bite out of "THE apple"..I am all for competition.

Just for laughs.....I still close all of my "open screens" like my old curve, habit from memory leaks..why apple made made my habit miss my curve..sigh!

Just wonderful! Well I for one am not waiting for RIM to offer the phone to Verizon and I want nothing to do with AT&T so off to DROID I go. The iPhone wouldn't be an option even if it were avilable at Verizon. Don't like to be associated with the 'crowd' that Apple seems to draw.

Has anyone else noticed that although this is about the same size as the 9700 it's a lot heavier? Like 40 grams heavier - that's pretty substantial and not in a good way :(

9700 - Height: 109mm, Width: 60mm, Depth 14mm, Weight: 122g
9800- H: 111, W: 62, D: 14.6, Weight: 161g
iPhone4: H: 115, W: 58.6, D: 9.3, Weight: 137g

Storm 2 is a tank (as far as weight)... 112.5 x 62.2 x 13.95 mm, and 160g

So basically same size and weight as a Storm 2... to give you an idea...

Screen res is really the achilles heal of this thing...

"The display shines bright and looks amazing at 480x360, but a higher resolution display would have really tricked this guy out."

Mostly likely why I will wait it out... to see if RIM might eventually wake up and offer higher res...

totally agree! what were they thinking about the display. It really needed to be higher.

this disappoints me more than the cpu on this phone.

Yeah - the cpu is more than adequate... I had a 9700 and it was a zippy device... Now if it had the 9650 cpu, that would have been a dissappointment... that thing was sooo laggy... but a 9700 is as fast as it comes for a BB... So if the 9800 is as fast (it will have faster graphics than a 9700 if it supports OpenGL, so no worries)...

But the res is a let-down...

when will the new os6 come out for the verizon bold 9650 looks pretty cool and how do you download the os6 via windows 7? Please instruct me on how to do it thanks guys!!

no one cares about vzw or the 9650.... VZW dug their own hole with RIM... snubbing them for Android... now vzw can get what it deserves, which is no love from RIM...

I think RIM did a good job on this phone but i still see some people coming with being skeptical with this device! I think its gonna be a nice addition BUT if they wanted to hit the market and come back with a Bang, here is what I think is missing: 1) Higher resolution screen (This screen is great but if you want to pass competitors, you need something as good or better but im not complaining about this one) 2) More RAM (Seems like RIM hasnt learned yet that the bare minimum to run OS6 is gonna byte them in the A**! when I have 10 apps and 4 themes and my phone is laggy and freezing, thats a good indication that we need more RAM! URGENT) 3) HD camera for video 4)Some kind of ichat but for bbm!! therefore we would need a front camera! 5)Some top of the line microprocessor even though RIM has been able to do pretty good for awhile with bare minimum but we need them to improve more then just 1 lousy step!! 6) Give me back my right convenience key!! (I put my BBM shortcut on that one!! its actually great and i recommend to anybody to do that) 7)RIM is a Canadian company from Ontario Waterloo!! Why dont they make this kind of exclusivity with Rogers!??? WTF RIM?? It should come out at the same time or before in my opinion!!
Anyways I love my BB and wont switch for nothing else since this 9800 is coming soon! if I can get an unlock one from AT&T I will buy it cause I cant wait any longer! I love my 9700 but I have specific friend who pisses me off with its iPhone4 and I need to shown what RIM can do! In my opinion, BB is the S**t! I will stay with them but I need them to jump by 3 or 4 steps in the next 2 years!

I think RIM did a good job on this phone but i still see some people coming with being skeptical with this device! I think its gonna be a nice addition BUT if they wanted to hit the market and come back with a Bang, here is what I think is missing: 1) Higher resolution screen (This screen is great but if you want to pass competitors, you need something as good or better but im not complaining about this one) 2) More RAM (Seems like RIM hasnt learned yet that the bare minimum to run OS6 is gonna byte them in the A**! when I have 10 apps and 4 themes and my phone is laggy and freezing, thats a good indication that we need more RAM! URGENT) 3) HD camera for video 4)Some kind of ichat but for bbm!! therefore we would need a front camera! 5)Some top of the line microprocessor even though RIM has been able to do pretty good for awhile with bare minimum but we need them to improve more then just 1 lousy step!! 6) Give me back my right convenience key!! (I put my BBM shortcut on that one!! its actually great and i recommend to anybody to do that) 7)RIM is a Canadian company from Ontario Waterloo!! Why dont they make this kind of exclusivity with Rogers!??? WTF RIM?? It should come out at the same time or before in my opinion!!
Anyways I love my BB and wont switch for nothing else since this 9800 is coming soon! if I can get an unlock one from AT&T I will buy it cause I cant wait any longer! I love my 9700 but I have specific friend who pisses me off with its iPhone4 and I need to shown what RIM can do! In my opinion, BB is the S**t! I will stay with them but I need them to jump by 3 or 4 steps in the next 2 years!

I'm j/w how many "haters" are upset and putting down the 9800 simply because they're stuck on a contract with a different manufacturer or with a different carrier. I find it amusing when reading a bad comment and at the end is "this should be a (Verizon, etc) phone" or "the physical keyboard is pointless". Really, do these people not realize how childish they're being. As if moving it to a different carrier or getting rid of the keyboard will make a difference to YOU because it's such an "awful" device, so why bothering commenting at all? SMH. I have high hopes for this device after seeing users from other carriers and phones getting so upset over it.

The device is meaningless. Nothing more than a Bold/Storm love child. The specs are out of 2009 and with that Im being generous. OS6 is the only story here.

It's still complete BS that here in the US, we are always at the mercy of a SINGLE carrier for top-notch devices... 9800, iphone, Storm, all effing "exclusives" to a SINGLE carrier... every other country in the world has at least a few carrier options for each device... Capitalism to the extreme... Frankly it should be illegal for carrier exclusivity because it gives said carrier an unfair advantage... "Want device 'X'... well you'll just have to sign your life to us if you want it..." It's BS. That's why people are so upset over it.

Well... who knows, they may have funded part of the development, but I highly doubt it... although surely they handed over RIM a large sum of cash for the exclusivity...

spend less on getting the best phones and a little more on coverage I would switch. As it is I will take the bettery coverage with Verizon and stick with still a great BB from them.

One thing (though minor) that I think has gotten lost in all the hype over this device, I wonder what shape/form our favorite cases will take on this phone, if at all?

I mean, how will an Otterbox Commutter work? I gasket and shell for the bottom and then something else for the top? Will that even work (if the rubber from each part were to touch.....?

Will be interesting........

I got one of the skin ones when I got my 8310 and like it a lot. Was trying to figure out how it would work with a slider.
It'd either have to be very flexible (and probably get stretched out easily); not cover the whole phone or as you said, come in 2 pieces.

I see a number of comments hoping that AT&T will give a deal to those of us who still have time on our contract (like me). There is another option. You can sell your current Blackberry. For instance currently will pay about $90 (subject to change)for a Bold or Storm 2. That's a nice discount towards getting the new Torch. Just a thought. I can't wait to get my Torch and I'm not going to wait for my contract to expire.

I currently have a 9630 on Sprint and am eligible for the upgrade. Should I get a 9650 or wait to see if this gets announced for Sprint.

I'm worried it either won't be announced for Sprint, and I'll wait forever, or by some freak chance it will release late this year or early nxt yer, and I'll be stuck til next August with a 9650.

Thoughts? Opinions?

I had the Tour on Sprint and upgraded to the Bold 9650 about a week ago. I had the same concerns as you, but from what I can tell from forums and rumors (all we have to go on), IF Sprint ever gets this device, it'll be sometime in 2011. I agree w/ the earlier post that said it would most likely be a 9830 or something, aka Torch2.
Bottom Line from a 9650 user: the Bold is ten times better than the Tour. I love it and it's going to get OS6 sooner than the Tour, and the Tour may never get it. BUT if you're happy w/ the Tour and don't care about OS6, Wait it Out! Although I love my Bold, it looks like the Torch is a better buy at the same price. Hope this helps.

Quite interesting. I think BlackBerry 6 is a bigger deal than the Torch itself though- not to say the Torch isn't good, but BB6 looks more important to me. The touchscreen on the torch though (no surepress crap, yay!) is a good sign. Lets hope they keep making Touchscreen phones, because that's the feature. But I hope they keep the physical keyboards. I really can't stand onscreen keyboards. RIM would be crazy to go without a keyboard though, I doubt it would happen. Universal search looks nice, but it's a blatant ripoff of Palm's webOS- RIM is even using the exact same name for it as Palm. But RIM did beat the webOS implementation of Universal Search- my phone is a Palm Pre Plus and I'm a huge webOS addict, but Universal Search on webOS isn't so universal. No email searching, no calendar searching, no music searching- just contacts, google or bing, wikipedia, maps, and applications. But the idea was Palm's- especially the whole "just start typing" thing, which is a core principle of webOS. There are never search buttons you need to press and you don't tap a search area, you just type. But at least RIM recognizes a good idea and knows how to expand upon it- that's what the computing world is all about. I'm not going to abandon webOS for a Torch (trust me, there's no way you could lure we away from the wonderful Palm homebrew community and the elegance of webOS ;D) but I'd certainly consider picking one up as a second phone. BlackBerry OS still isn't all the way where it needs to be, but BB 6 is a gigantic step closer to it. Now I know that it can get there though- that's what I'm glad to see. They don't need to revamp the OS- they're going the route of just sticking with the old OS but making it as modern as they can while still maintaining compatibility. That's what Microsoft did with the very first releases of Windows in the transition from DOS. On an unrelated note, the webkit browser should be huge- let's hope RIM promotes it.
There is one place, however, where RIM really blew it with the Torch. AT&T exclusivity. Really, you went for an exclusive? That's bad enough but an exclusive with AT&T? Why? Why would you do that? AT&T has so much bad press, no one likes them- they're truly hated. Even for a cellphone carrier! Most people on ATT who would be willing to spend 200 bucks on a phone have got iPhones already- you think AT&T will promote you over the iPhone, RIM? You better hope Apple is losing exclusivity with ATT. You could have made a deal with Verizon or Sprint. You could have but it out on all 4 carriers, or at least 2. Why did they make it exclusive to AT&T? Why?

I am just about tired of my Storm2, i would love this phone, it looks nice, I have not heard to much about the Storm3 but I think I want to get away from the storm all together a friend of mine was telling me about the new Droid but I don't know.

Sorry, but after several years here, I jumped ship to a Droid X, and this phone is just another reason why. Still a step behind the leaders, RIM never aims high enough. Corporate e-mail is no longer enough to stop the bleeding. I have more memory, a faster processor, richer and more dynamic apps than on my Bold, Storm 2 and Curve. None of them even got close to what I have now. Shame...

Globe and Mail is predicting the end of RIM if this thing does not take off well. And I can believe it.

Compared to what is available on the market now, it looks like a baby step.

Worst of all, a Canadian company that does its first release in the U.S. looks really bad...
A Canadian company that is more intrested in serving the U.S. market.

I can see RIM packing up and going to the U.S. eventually

The Globe and Mail put up a glowing story about the 9800 this morning, so it seems their 'dire prediction' is history.

Why would RIM move to the US? The reason why they launch in the US first is they'll probably sell more 9800s on launch day in the US then they will total in Canada. It's simple economics.

population of the US>> about 300 million
Population of Canada>> Under 35 million

where would you rather release your phone?

512 MB internal flash memory/4GB built-in storage memory

Expandable Memory: 4GB microSD card included/Supports up to 32GB microSD card

So, does this mean it has 4GB built-in app storage??? A lot better than the few MB I have now. Works for me. I can't wait for T-Mobile to get this! If it can run apps off the media card that makes it golden.

Don't like it, looks like a Storm on top of a Bold, and the camera should've been a 8mp instead of the 5mp and work on Verizon's network, not AT&T.

I said it 6 months ago this phone is going to rock!

and it looks badass! hehe count me in gona get one
for sure

RIM has confirmed this morning that they have updates planned for the BlackBerry Bold 9700, BlackBerry Bold 9650 and BlackBerry Pearl 3G.

i had an old pearl.. i have a bold 9700 now...i never really liked sliders..i liked blackberry originally for the quik emails...all phones probably do that now tho...this looks cool really does suk..especially where i am..i have no clue....

Ugh. With Blackberry's declining smartphone market share, I have to wonder what possessed them to offer the Torch exclusively with AT&T. I love my Blackberry, but I also love my Verizon service. I know several people with AT&T service (all have iPhones and adore them) and every one of them detests AT&T's service but puts up with it because they are mac fanboys/girls and will do whatever they have to do to have an iPhone.

Again, I love Blackberry, but NOT enough to switch to AT&T to get this device!! I don't know what I'm going to do when I am in the market for a new phone this fall. My Curve 8330 is pretty outdated. I am not interested in the Storm/Storm 2 because I want the physical keyboard. The Torch looks sleek and has all the attractions of Android/iPhone but with the Blackberry functionality I love so much. Unfortunately, like I said, there's NO WAY I'm switching to AT&T. So, looks like I'll most likely be making the switch to a new smartphone - maybe an Android device? - this fall. I'll have to check out the options. I don't want to, but looks like RIM has left me no choice here.

what does that have to do with his/her comment?
If you have VZW get the 9650 that's a great upgrade.
I may get this unlocked for use with TMO if possible. Or wait for it to possibly come to TMO.

Thanks for the suggestion, I have been looking at that one and it's most likely what I'll go with, as I do love Blackberry. Just was hoping for something different/better to come out before I'm due for an upgrade.

Blackberrys do still hold more of the smartphone market than any other device. HOWEVER, their percentage of the market has been DECLINING and it is predicted to decline further, hence my comment.

We haven't had problems with AT&T and can transfer pics and ringtones via bluetooth. A lot of our friends on other networks can't. You have to look at the total of what these places offer and what's the most important to you.

That said I probably won't be able to afford it, but I desperately want one (I have a 8310).

Only 512 of memory and a 360x480 screen???? Why did they skimp on these two features? How about a digital compass?

Other than that it looks amazing, maybe they have something better in store for Verizon down the road.

If they can fix the two glaring problems above I might have to set down my Droid and give RIM another chance.

Everything looks great to me EXCEPT:

- 3.2” HVGA+ touch screen (480x360)

That's less then an inch (diagonal) improvement over the Bold 9700, and the resolution is the same! WTF?! Oh, and it's still less than the new Android devices sporting AMOLED, Super AMOLED, Super LCD, etc hi-res screens. RIM failed on this part, unfortunately.

Once again, At&T beats Verizon to the market! Now I will have to wait until hell freezes over for them to get it!

I am very disapointed that the Torch is only for ATandT customers. I will not wait till it will be in some months available for T-Mobile as well. I am going to switch to some Android device. Goodbye, RIM, you have a stupid business policy.

It looks impressive and I'm glad about the upgrades but I'm still on my Storm 1 with the Storm 2 OS override and am perfectly happy. I'm also not a big slider phone fan. But like any other BB, I can't wait to at least play with this :)

Im tyring out the 9800 Simulator, amongts the nice things I found out the twitter version included its the so I guess we gonna get an update soon.

blackberry is to little to late up contract is up in january will definitely upgrade to a droid or iphone seems like blackberry is always playing catch up to these to o.s. and blackberry has been around for years be for theses two platforms came along

I JUST got my BOLD 9700 on Friday (7/30) so when the Torch does hit stores I'd definitely be in my 30 day return window. Sure it would cost me a $30 "restocking" fee to return my BOLD for the Torch but is it a move I'll make?? Let's see. Some have asked who likes sliders? I do, I agree with others on here that I find them a bit classier than your standard flip phone. I was really hoping for at least 1gig of memory with this phone, like the original BOLD, but does have more than the 9700. OS6, we've all been waiting for OS6, it's funny that people are bashing it without even having used it yet, now I can honestly say I don't like the iphone, that's because I've used one before, I can't say that about OS6 because I've never used it, hell I've never seen it in person yet, but you can bet Aug. 12th I'll be at AT&T to play around with it to see how it is. All in all, I LOVE my 9700, OS5 is working just fine for this regular guy, I've got all the accessories I need for my new Berry, guess it will just come down to how cool it seems in my hand after I actually hit up a store on Aug. 12th & see the Torch for myself, that will be the deciding factor whether this guy stays BOLD or gets Torched!

its good to see RIM still trying to remain relevant and the torch is a good-looking phone if it was released 2-3 yrs ago.

the specs are second tier compared to current stuff on the market (e.g. droid x, iphone 4 etc...)

I'm not impressed

Hardware Blah

Software Blah

Seems like RIM just cant get it right

I'm looking for valid reasons to stay on the blackberry bandwagon

And this does nothing for me

Is this suppose to be excitement?

A Slider?

I've been eligible for an upgrade for the last 3 months

I've been holding out reason to purchase a new phone and OS6 isn't it

Oh Well the rest of the competitors have caught up

no matter what any troll or AT&T basher says...thats not going to stop this phone from coming out or selling...i wonder if those people are aware of the amount of time they waste posting all that negativity hmmmmmm

Maybe VZW learned their lesson from the fallout of the storm fiasco and let some other company be the guinea pig. It will probably come to vz some day. I just that rim and VZ kill off that ugly clamshell

Say what you want about AT&T and continue to bow down to Verizon. Fact is THEIR NETWORK CANNOT HANDLE THE DATA LOAD. I don't care what their coverage is 3g EV-DO is SLOW and they know it. It is a proven fact that AT&T's 3g network is the fastest in the country, and yes, it even beats Sprint's 4g. Why? I don't care how fast your air interface is, if you don't have fast backhaul speeds to your switch via T1, T3 or Ethernet fiber you will never have happy customers. AT&T is now tied with Verizon with dropped calls and AT&T has the fastest 3g network. So what is Verizon advertising now? Rule The Air? With what, the Storm 2? Don't expect Verizon to be a leader in hardware when they don't have a network to support it. I hope Verizon gets a 3g iPhone so I can watch everyone run right back to AT&T.

How exactly do you know what connections verizon is running to its switches? I'm pretty sure that the company thats rolling out FiOS has better speeds than the company that's peddling U-verse. Just my 2 cents.

I'm picking this up right when I get back from Maui on the 18th. Probably going to pick up two of them actually.

I think it looks fine and for every person that doesn't like it there will be another person that does; and some of you are acting like this is the last phone RIM are going to release, seriously get a grip!!

Looks cool, but as a loyal Verizon customer, I would never move to AT&T for another Blackberry device. Heck I am a Mac guy to the core, and I wouldn't make the switch to AT&T for the iPhone.

Verizon's should drop the "Can you hear me now?" campaign and replace it with "Can you wait a little longer?"

AT&T has an emergency upgrade program. You will have to pay an extra fee of $75 but will get it for the $199 price. Although you had to have had your Bold 9700 for at least 6 months.

So many negatives about the Torch. I applaud BB for the new device, it looks very nice (from a distance). So another player in the slick smartphone world.
My question is that as a developer (well, ok a designer/manager of development) I am interested to know where else 6.0 will be available? Currently building apps for BB is tough, need to produce UI for 5, or 6 screen sizes; need to worry about OS versions; difficult to integrate web pages seamlessly; etc. I have been itching for a webkit compatible browser on a BB and here it is. But can I install 6.0 on a Curve, a Bold, a Tour, a Storm (a Pearl - bah). When building apps for enterprise clients who will not suddenly upgrade to the new Torch the question will always be asked.
Anyone got the scoop?

OS6 is looking better the more I see... but I'd like to see how it works in the real world.

But the Torch... I can see there being a need for this form factor. But it just seems like the whole RIM/AT&T press release was a lot of hot air. There is nothing remarkable or innovative about the TORCH other than it is a BB - looks like a PALM device. Processor, Memory, Screen, Video Capabilities are all sub par current Android and iPhone capabilities.

Really find it hard to believe that someone walking in to a AT&T retail store is going to have a sales rep tell them to buy the TORCH over an iPhone (unless they get a bonus for it). If the iPhone is worth $199, then RIM/AT&T should have offered the TORCH at a lower price point. It's like going to the Ford Dealer and being offered a Focus and a Mustang at the same price.

Hasn't otterbox made a defender case for every blackberry? I think I like the otterboxes more than the phone. If otterbox will make a defender case and holster for this---I'll buy this phone if its available for Sprint!

This phone may not "beat" the iPhone or Droid in some areas, but as a long time BB owner/user, this is just what I need...It still handles messaging and emails better than any other device (and is more SECURE...thats a biggie), has a fresh OS (call it an update if you want, you wont hurt my feelings) that looks beautiful, a faster internet browsing experience on par with the competition, and an updated 5MP camera...the 5 main things I use my Blackberry for are messaging, email, surfing the web, taking pictures, and playing mp3s.

So, in a nutshell, this phone is a perfect upgrade for ME...I dont need my phone to be the fastest/best thing out there, I just need it to do what I want it to do, and from the looks of it, this phone will do that, and do it well. SOLD!

Now iOS is third (maybe forth, depending about how you feel about Palm's OS) in terms of OS/UI sophistication and quality.

Major kudos to RIM, now make a touchscreen phone on Verizon that makes we want to move back.

Best of luck in the most sincere possible way!

this is wat i really love about this phone =

"Memory: 512 MB internal flash memory/4GB built-in storage memory
Expandable Memory: 4GB microSD card included/Supports up to 32GB microSD card "

see that right there....where it says 4gb built in storage.....its about time rim puts bigger builtin storage on their phones.

will deff try to get my hands on one of these in the future......
not sure tho why rim is goin the route of apple n havin this exclusive for ATT alone...even if its jus at the start.
i'll wait for unlocked one.

but i am loving this phone....was gonna check for the bold 9700 re-release the 9750 or sumthin ....but mite jus go for the 9800.

Damn I want one. I just hope the internet will be as fast as on the iphone. That for me is the only disadvantage

I hope crackberry+tipb do a speed comparison between the iP4 and 9800.... will be very interesting to see the results!

I can beleive that RIM keeps giveing us crap devices! I am going wait three years to drop 199$ for a device from RIM. I can beleive that is this day and AGE of IPone 4 and EVO Dual, Quad Core procesing. RIM is going to be the next PALM! Push emails are becoming standard and touch screen and RIM are two words that dont go together. RIM needs to pump more money R+D. My advice to RIM is get off ATT NU#@ and make a real device that can compete with IPhone4 and EVO HINT HINT HINT DUAL CORE!

The torch has some improvements but it just isn't enough. I wonder why RIM stock is going down right now as we speak!! Even the shareholders are jumping ship! Not a good first impression if you ask me! SMH

I really hope T-Mobile gets the 9800. At first I was anti-slider, but after continuing to read about mind is changing. I love my 9700 but I think I might be ready for a touchscreen. We'll see...

I'm hoping that eventually RIM will wise up and release a horizontal slider! Vertical slider is cool in theory, but practially, it's good all wrong... I've used iphone and Nexus... on screen keyboard is fine when vertical... that's not when one needs a physical kb IMO.... it's when in landscape mode that on on-screen keyboard doesn't work very well.... leaves too much of a sliver to see... hence physical slide-out keyboard would come in REAL handy... horizontal slider RIM. Horizontal. Not Vertical. Too Palm Pre ish. The pre owners I know never use their slide out keyboard.

Every Pre user I know of uses the slide out keyboard. This is actually the form factor I've been waiting for from RIM.

What if they release BBOS7 that needs 1ghz to run properly smooth and fast? they expect you to buy another phone?

Imagine Apple released Iphone 4 with 624 MHZ Arm cortex chip while the iphone 3gs has 600mhz arm cortex chip. The world would again blame apple for that mistake x 10 just like the antenna problem.

Sounds like you have a serious Mhz size obsession and suffer from premature conclusions.... A wise man once told me that 'its not about the size of your processor, but what you do with it' that counts :-)

RIM is legendary for writing tight code and apps that operate extremely fast using very little resources. A well written app on a slower CPU can easily out-perform a sloppy app on a screaming fast processor. Fast processors and tons of memory encourages lazy developers to write fat code.

I suggest you quit comparing raw processor specs and jumping to premature conclusions, and instead do a meaningful comparison, like running Similar apps doing the same tasks on different devices. I suspect that the Torch's performance is very similar to (if not even better -like the web browser test results seem to indicate) than all those 'screaming fast' 1Gb MHZ Androids out there!

Personally, I think the Torch looks beautiful. The new OS looks really nice, and this seems to be exactly the direction that many have thought RIM should go for a while now.

Problem is, its been a while now. This phone surely would have surely competed well in the marketplace if it was released in early 2009. But I don't know what these guys at RIM have been doing. Back when the Storm came out, it was the first touchscreen phone Verizon had. It REALLY was innovative. It had multitasking, video-recording, an integrated message box, Surepress click screen, etc - all features that the iPhone didn't have. That was then.

Now smartphones are distinguishing themselves with far more sophisticated features: big hi-def screens, front-facing cameras, HDMI outputs, 1 GHz processors, turn-by-turn GPS, voice activation, flash (soon), AM/FM radios, mobile hotspot, etc, etc, etc. In comparison, the Torch is Blackberry's first phone to have pinch zoom.

OS 6 does look very impressive, and certainly seems to have a lot of potential. But without any major new innovations, what will draw people in? It is a Storm for QWERTYies, with about the same memory as the original storm (although 4x the RAM).

At $199, the Torch is the same price as AT&T's iPhone 4, Sprint's EVO 4G, Verizon's Droid X. Other than die hard Blackberry fans, who will choose the Torch over these phones?

In all, I love my Blackberry and have always hoped to stick with the brand. But its becoming clear that RIM, though they enjoyed a nice head start, cannot keep up in the hi-speed world of smartphone innovation. It will be a sad day when my contract runs up - I'll likely be leaving Blackberry for Android.

I admittedly only scanned through the comments, so this may have come up before, but..

Over the years, I have had a number of slider type phones. Either they have a flexible ribbon cable between the two halves or they have some sort of sliding terminals that maintain contact. Either way, they stop working. Usually sooner rather than later. The opening/closing is just too hard on the connection. I have seen enough data ribbons with stress cracks to swear off slider phones forever.

I'm a long time storm1 user and had been anxiously waiting for Bell to get the iPhone 4 so that I could switch...unfortunately I found out that my company will only let BBs on the network, so I'm stuck with blackberry.

With that said, the torch looks like a sizable improvement over the storm there are still so many potential issues
1. Processor
2. Memory (unless we can use some of the 4gb for apps and not just media)
3. Screen size and resolution
4. Look...the phone looks like the storm 1- how about some design innovation

Given that I have to get a BB I will be getting the torch, but I was really hoping that this would at least bring BB up to par with android and iPhone.

As others have said this looks a lot like the palm pre which was suppose to save palm (and we know how well that worked out)

I hope I'm wrong and that I'm truly blow away when I do eventually get this in hand

They finally have a chance to get the one really good phone they will be producing out to a wide audiance.. and what do they do... they give it to AT&T only. The worst carrier on planet earth!!! Instead of giving it to everyone... like the Bold or Curve, they give it to the worst of the worst. And now with their messed-up plans... what a screw-up. Good going RIM...

I will stick with Andriod until RIM gets their act together and gets decent phones out to all carriers.

After Samsung Galaxy Q will come up, I will definitely switch to Android. I am very disapointed that only ATT will get this phone in the begin, I am really not ready to wait another year(s) to get a phone with features from the year 2009 from BlackBerry.

Is the touchscreen on this device surepress or capacitive? I will not have of this surepress nonsense. Anyone know?

RIM got a small bump in their stock price around 11AM as you would expect...

But unlike you would expect, it has been dropping steadily after everyone had time to look at the TORCH a little closer. Might have been big news if it had been release a year ago, but it in no way is equal to what Android and iPhone are doing - at least in the hardware department.

Of course that might have been RIM's plan... makes it easier to buyback your stock if it is cheaper.

Guys, I had a chance to use the Torch a while back. Great phone but RIM has really put an emphasis on the little things we use everyday. For example the ringtones, alarms and alerts have all been re-done with an emphasis on quality.

OS 6 is something everyone has to experience first hand.

OK i have 2 blackberries and been using them for a while and love them like crazy. I also have an iPod touch for media. i keep hearing about RIM needing to catch up and how the hardware is less than the iPhone etc...

My opinion is as follows:

1- Years ago BB had most things integrated and the menus are super contextual. Wherever you are you select and open the menu and smart choices appear.

2- The menus are great, UI like the iPhone are limited and make it hard to find things based on my experience.

3- Apple are actually touting a unified inbox and not even half decent multitasking as something great but BB has had that for a long time. Many other things BB had and the competition are still getting and they make it sound as they created something amazing. So not sure where all the catching up is for BB. Sure the UI and the coolness to a touch screen are needed but that is not what makes a phone.

4- Comparing hardware specs is not what makes a phone great. Plus this is the Torch 9800 who says RIM does not have a 9820 with 1GHZ etc... i mean it is the first of the new line. This probably allowed them to keep the price lower. I do not want to pay an extra 300$ to get a few MHZ and an extra 512 MB that i will not use. I mean i have 256 on Curve and i hardly use 136 and i use it a lot.

5- Screen resolution i find it hard to read things sometimes due to the size of the screen so doubling resolution not sure if that really helps but i got to see it first.

6- Everybody complains about how not big of a change OS6 is, in my opinion OS5 was great and it made people extremely productive, OS6 brings it's looks into the fold and adds the touch features needed and keeps all the greatness that was there and made BB what it is and ads flair and panache to it while making it even better.

7- BB OS in my opinion even at version 5 was easier and better than the other OS, it was not as cool i admit but that has nothing to do with how good an OS is. OS6 is cool and i like it.

just some thoughts wanted to share with everyone

WTF, why only ATandT? The same operator for the iPhone! Is RIM really so stupid, or is it only a bad joke? This phone should be available for all operators from the beginn, RIM is loosing its position without new phones like Torch. I am angry....

the more frustrated I am...the pcmag article summarized things well...those that are blackberry users today, and need a keyboard will have this on their list of candidate phones...everyone else - no.

If they could have produced this phone a year ago and/or bumped the specs to at least be on par with competitors (and I know the hardware isn't the whole story, but it is part of it) AND added some unique features like hotspot (I know android 2.2 is coming with it, but they could be the first with a big splash), taken a look at some of the iphone apps and incorporated the functionality directly or worked directly with the developers to get them to launch with the BB OS6 version at the today that would have been something, included HD video (come on where is their commitment to media when they don't include this), etc, etc

and I'm very excited to own one!like people have said before, it would be awesome if AT&T would do like they did for the iphone and have a special upgrade promo. Sadly, it's unlikely.

I've seen over and over that with a new 2yr contract the phone will be priced at $199, but has the non, new contract or whatever price been released?

How many times do you have to hear android suxs before you listen? They only have more sound boards and a gun so if you wanna go generic fine

I want this phone so bad....i am not sure wether to wait for the Storm3 or get this sexy piece of hardware! And im super happy that Bell got the phone so I don't have to switch to robbers wireless! I cant wait for the horizontal slider to come out now!!

You will have no support and no waranty from T-Mobile. You could have troubles in BIS (and BES) services from T-Mobile etc. etc. I would not do this. Its a pity we cannot get it from T-Mobile oficialy, I am in the same situation. I will change my phone to an Android one. There is no limitation to the providers service there.

Ok, all of this "stuff" that RIM is touting as new and Innovative, both Android and Apple have had for the past year. The 06 is cool granted for a BB. Personally I ditched Rim after my craptacular experience with the Storm. That phone sucked, then instead of fixing it. What did they do, they released a new phone year later and stopped support of the old phone. Now I hate apple as much as anyone on here, but atlas when they build a device, and release updates, you can still update your device. This phone is neither innovative, nor current. The Developing platform sucks, No one is going to want to program for an outdated processor. Developers like a challenge and creating works that break ground. Can't do that with 512 and 500ghz

Look at that we have a physical keyboard... Having a physical keyboard are becoming outdated. Now with Android and Iphones text to speech and capicitve touch feedback. Its a lot easier for me to type without one And big whoop, they finally got a browser that does more than display the bare minimum. My only question is did they fix the HTML email capabilities, that are sorely lacking in all of the other builds. What about the media player? I remember on my storm, I would try to raise the volume and it change the song.

And lets not even get started on the AT&T exclusivity, seriously AT&T. Really RIM, o not only can they not handle the data loads of the Iphone, now you want to add the demands of the BES and BIS to the network. lol...

And for all of you guys who like to say this is a "business phone" not a toy. I just have one question. How much business do you think you'll be able to do, with that nifty lil tiered data package that AT&T has? You know, some of those powerpoint presentations, come at about 5 to 10 megabytes.

BB Torch: OK
BB06: Fail
AT&T Fail... wait Double fail.

BlackBerry's don't use AT&T data packages - they use BlackBerrys.
Yes, you need to have a AT&T plan for IM's and MSM's, but you can get an unlimited one relatively cheaply.

...not really impressed at all. Some reports I've read did write on why previous blackberry owners switched to other formats like iOS or Android phones was due to speed, fun factor & interactivity. Blackberry's are very functional, it gets the job and that is true, but I can't help but a longing for more when you see other OS's that provides more like, higher resolution screen's, faster processor, more memory, records HD videos and what not. Only reason why I point this out is since this is a touch screen phone, its should be compared as such. Not to say that BB OS 6 is going to be a disaster, I would think it would run smoother and faster if it had a more powerful set up, especially with java. I myself have a Sprint Tour 9630, I'm happy with it and have been loyal to the RIM brand for years. Some might see my post as a rant, complaint or "I'm disloyal to RIM", etc., but times change and peoples tastes change. Personally, I fail to see loyalty to certain brands when it comes to technology when technology itself is a constant change. I used to have the first color phone from Sanyo when it came to the US and look at it now. As far as BB OS6 goes, it is sad that it won't be coming to devices like mine, but I'm just going to assume that due to hardware limitations, my Tour isn't going to handle it anyways so the next best thing is to hope for a BB OS 5.1 or 5.5 that's made specifically for my phone or others like the Storm & earlier Bold users. This is my 2 cents, thanks for reading.

It seems to me that there is a lot of pessimism for a product/os update which isn't even out yet! You won't look at say for example a packet of biscuits and go I'm not buying that because I don't like the picture. That's just petty, regarding this at&t thing, I'm from the uk so I don't the whole situation though I do know exclusivity is integral to new phones, RIM is not going to go bankrupt because they had a exclusive deal with one American carrier. A lot of people on here fail to realise that it will be most likely be released world wide, I know I'm getting the torch for sure, could someone explain the american networks to me please?

I dont care what anyone says RIM/BlackBerry Kicks Ass! The Torch Kicks Ass! every other smartphone Sucks! if you don't like my comment too bad!!!!!!! WooooooHoooooo!!!! BlackBerry 4 life!!!!!!

I love my 9700, and I loved my 9000 before that. I was very much looking forward to jumping on the new 9800, but now I'm starting to wonder. It just seems like they didn't do enough here.
The form factor is great, I've been looking for a good touchscreen with full qwerty keyboard forever, but why didn't they go further? All the competing smart phones are now running a 1ghz processor, why is the 9800 still running only the 624mhz that was in my 9000 2 years ago?? I don't think this is acceptable. I went for the 9700 even though there was marginal changes, but now I need to see more from BlackBerry to get me to upgrade.
the new OS sounds better, I'd really need to play with it, but as both BoyGenuis and Engadget say, the hardware doesn't seem able to keep up with the software. All I can hope is that this was more of a stopgap measure, and the boys in Waterloo have something bigger in the works. I'm debating taking a break from BB myself for a bit, getting a new toy, and waiting for them to get back into the game in a more serious way.
Unlike some of the more rash comments, I'll leave my final decision until I've actually seen it myself, but I just wish they had done more.

unfortunately this was too little too late for me. i got a samsung captivate 2 weeks ago after having a 9700 and 9000 before that and i dont think im ever going to come back to a blackberry unless some major overhauls are done.

Bad news for RIM... This phone sucks no 1ghz processor... No hi-res screen and the OS witch could be a saver can't be run on devices that came out 4 months ago this is pathetic. I mean they wanna go under... I will never go to driod cause its a horrible OS and ill stick with my 9700 untill the storm three comes out but it NEEDS thes specs.

1. Hi Res screen at least 640x480
2. Front facing camera 5mp front and back
3. N receiver
4. 1 ghz processor
5. Thin Thin Thin

If they can't do this with the Storm 3 there done because this is pathetic

Especially the hardcore gadget consumers. Me, I am more consumer, but this is what the doctor ordered. IMO 624mhz is fine and does the job well enough and will do so fine on the 9800. I hate the fact the ATT has exclusive rights, but that is how it is...least I will see plenty of reviews and hopefully some bugs worked out and most new phones from any maker have them..IMO this will be the best BB out for a little while and a move in the right direction. I really think they will do well with this device as many BB loyal customers will buy one...I know I will as long as the reviews seem good enough.

Is funny how so many people wanted RIM to catch up and minus the processor, but updated OS, new webkit and a lot more that will bring BB back in the game.

Here is hoping they sell well!

I'll tell you. 3 months ago, I would have LOVED this (I am a blackberry guy, trying desperately to not want to switch to Android). But honestly, I think they missed the 'killer app', that the iPhone (sadly) will make standard. "FaceTime" A front facing camera would have made the Torch perfect. Gotta wait for the Torch2 I guess (which should be out in, oh, about 3 months)... :)

Droids and iPhones are toys. BBs are BUSINESS POWERHOUSES. Ill gladly take a lesser processor and resolution to have a great business device. If I want games, Id have a PS3. BBs are great for business and happen to have some cool side features...if more people would recognize that, there wouldnt be so much trash posts here.

Im glad I have enough of a life that I dont want to go to Droid or iPhone sites and whine about how inferior their devices are for business...that would make me a complete, hint, to be you. Feeling like a moron? I think theres an app for

OMG watch that video its soooooooooooOooooooooooooooooooooooo slow its crazy I know for a fact I can't handel it it can't handel the OS its pretty bad

Ahem... Did anyone notice the navigation touchpad?
Why do you need that when it is a touch screen device? Duh.....
3G at 384 kbps is too sloooow....
The Bold 9700 has 3.6Mps.
Someone at RIM fell asleep.....

why hasn't this site ever owned up to RIM raved about both storms also...every SINGLE OTHER TECH BLOG is talking about how this phone is the doom of RIM, hell even CNN. yet says "OS6 is where it's at" give me a break. call a turd a turd.

These comments need to calm down on this post, if you don't like don't buy it you had your say now shut up, but bearing in mind your judgeing something that few people have touched and on a picture and specifaction, it could have a crap processor but run ok who knows, if your that worried about the broswer go use a computer, mobile web was never designed to replace the 'normal' web. Chill people it's just a phone the world not going to end and focus your attention on all the staving kids. Perspective!

These guys are drinking the kool-aid and taking pills, thats a no

Its clear that this phone is choppy and slow, in the apple store those phones get touched and ran down, but they wont be showing white blocks and moving at a snails pace....

Torch 2 may fix this...or wait 3 months for a 6.103


To everyone complaining about the screen resolution..

Pixel density is still very high, it has a higher resolution than the iPhone 3GS, and the screen is smaller (and thus, sharper).

RIM doesn't need to jump on the bandwagon with every other new smartphone with an 800x480 (and higher) resolution, those phones are primarily for web browsing, media and games.. with messaging and actual phone use in a distant last.

That's a good ponit but that was last years phone Iphone already came out with this years phone. And if this is what blackberry is trying to save the company with then there doomed. And the 3GS that came out a year ago had a 1ghz porcessor and a WebKit bowser. The black berry is efficient in every till you get on the web. Now its gonna be sluggish alllllllllllllllllll day and the bowser would be nice if the processor could handle it

I waited for RIM to come out with something...... The Torch I'm sure is a nice device and I will check it out when ATT get a working version before I pull the tigger on another device, but I gotta tell ya this looks like the same path Palm took a few years back.......



"The display shines bright and looks amazing at 480x360"

480x360 looked amazing five years ago. This is 2010, the year we make contact, and 480x360 looks like crap. I know this site is a Blackberry love fest, but its OK to be disappointed now and them. I should know, I'm a Storm 2 user RIM left behind when they made Blackberry OS 6. Try to spin that one.

Don't get me wrong, the Torch looks like a great device, and I'm stoked the OS6 will be coming to the 9700 too, but why didn't RIM really (I mean really) max out the specs on this thing?

The 9800 is a great evolution of BB design - it improves on pretty much every issue with earlier Berries. But the engineers had to have known what kind of hardware and software specs are coming from Apple and Android these days - so why not go for broke and really max out the resolution, the processor, the memory storage? Is it a cost thing?

I LOVE the form factor and I LOVE my Bold 9000, but the specs. on this new Blackberry are garbage. I don't know what RIM was thinking! 624 mhz? 360 X 480 screen resolution? These specs are barely an upgrade from my Bold 9000 ... oh WAIT its NOT an upgarde, I'm using a 624 mhz processor right now!

I had no doubt in my mind I would continue onto my third blackberry with this device, but now I find my self questioning what my next phone will be.

Way to screw all your loyal customers waiting for the next best thing out of Waterloo. Too bad RIM picked up blueprints for a 2008 phone and released it in 2010.

Three questions:

1) When does VZW get it?

2) Is it global (GSM/SIM card)?

3) Does the display have landscape mode?

Instead of talking about the device, they only talk about the OS, because the hardware part of the phone sucks. Proccessor 624 MHz and 512MB and 4GB storage and battery talk sucks. i will rate this device 3 out 10

Horribly disappointed that they have aligned themselves with AT&T as an exclusive carrier. I have loved my BB and wish I could have the newest when my time to renew arrives. That will not happen with AT&T. I have to consider the carriers everyone else I know uses and that is not AT&T at this point. Oh well.

Is that going to be enough to run a lot of apps? How much free file space is left if you have say the 10 most recommended/used apps installed?

I hate my 8310 as I am usually running under 5m and I don't have many apps on and running.

Also are the pics clear - often my 8310 is blurry (didn't have the problem with the Razr I had).

I want. Badly.
Just hope that the hardware specs get bumped ASAP and before I take the plunge.
Also, in the touchscreen KB, is SureType still an option in portrait? Hope so!