BlackBerry Torch wins Laptops Readers Choice Award as Best Smartphone of 2010

BlackBerry Torch 9800
By Kevin Michaluk on 17 Dec 2010 01:52 pm EST

While the BlackBerry PlayBook and new QNX-based OS have been getting a lot of positive attention in the techsphere since getting announced back in September, it hasn't been quite the same on the phone side for RIM. Despite BlackBerry 6 offering numerous incremental feature improvements and RIM continuing to post their biggest quarterly earnings reports in the company's history, a lot of the tech press has been beating up on good ole BlackBerry as of late.

But over at LapTop Mag, the results are in and once again the BlackBerry users have spoken, as the BlackBerry Torch 9800 has won their Reader's Choice Award as the top smartphone of 2010. In a poll with over 11,000 respondents, the Torch beat out the Evo 4G, iPhone 4, Droid X, Palm Pre Plus, Epic 4G, Samsung Focus, and T-Mo My Touch. With the Torch lacking HD video recording and not getting a boost in CPU speed or screen resolution as compared to previous generation BBs, I'm not sure its *totally* deserving of the win this year, but what the heck, we'll take it!

Whether you agree or disagree with Laptop's results, I'm curious to see among CrackBerry readers which new BlackBerry Smartphone of 2010 is the preferred choice. Cast your vote on what you think was the best (whether you own it or not) and we'll see which holds the true CrackBerry crown!

Reader comments

BlackBerry Torch wins Laptops Readers Choice Award as Best Smartphone of 2010


Torch wins on the GSM side Bold 9650 on th CDMA side with a close second by the Style 9670 simply because its current official OS is virtually bug free and the leaked or the Bold 9650 is not. Played with the Torch at At&t and would appreciate if RIM put out a CDMA version a 9830 or something :)

I am a 9800 owner and the idea of the 9800 beating the Evo, Droid X, iPhone 4 or Focus is
simply laughable.

It's a good phone but let's be real about this, the 4 I listed kicks the 9800s ass all day every day.

lol! This is just how people are. Once something suites their needs it is automatically "the best thing in the world". Example: I have a friend with a 2009 Civic Si. This guy swears daily that a Honda Civic Si is the greatest sports sedan on the street. Once again, because it suites his needs it is automatically the best thing in the world. I'm glad he likes his car, but the best? Come on!

Anyways, it's the same thing here. BlackBerry loyalists are happy with their Torch devices and that's cool... but I wouldn't say it's "the best smartphone".

I think you're missing the point, original post said "best sports sedan on the streets" you're narrowing it down to specific drivetrain and price range! Although the Si is a decent car, most of the cars in its class offer similar or better performance for the same amount of money and it is by no mean a class dominating car....the point was the Si suits his needs, but not everyone wants a car that has hardly any low end torque for daily driving, as the Si has to be kept screaming at high RPM for any kind of decent performance! Every car in its category and price range (which includes turbo cars) has strengths and weaknesses, you pick the one that fits your needs and driving style! Your comparison of cars to the phones would be like claiming the blackberry torch is the best in its class, but exclude all phones that lack physical keyboards or faster processors

Wasn't that the entire point of the original car comparison? Same with the phone comparison, there no single dominates all, best for everybody phone or car! However, it's a fact that the Spec V, GTI, and Cobalt SS are all in the same category as the Si and all offer similar or better performance for the same amount of money....they are all good cars for the money, its a matter of opinion which is best

You're right, but it's not just the numbers on the page. The Spec V is gimmicky with its G-Meter and boring interior. The GTI has a turbo and only puts out 3 more horses, costs another 4K and maintenance costs are nuts (and with VW you'll be needing it). The Colbalt is a chevy! But yes, opinions trump. I'm just saying certain things like a processor, horsepower, physical keyboard and, build quality, can all be taken on their own, but the final balanced package is maybe why the torch won. That or the laptop mag. writer has a torch.

I wasn't talking about numbers on a page, I'm talking about real world performance and satisfaction on the street, I own an Si and a Spec V and drive them both daily! You can list pros and cons for each car, the Si has just as many con's as the rest of the group! But, like everything else with phones and cars, those are all matter of opinion as well! Still, there's nothing revolutionary or ground breaking about a Si or Torch that put either ahead of the competition in their respective class

Holy crap. lol! I didn't mean for this to turn into such a big thing. But in short, it seems you're the only one who understood where I was coming from initially.

This isn't hard to understand at all. Most techies and bloggers, apparently Kevin included, probably would say that iPhone 3G also beats the Torch but I've owned both and I like the Torch more.

I've played with iPhone 4s my friends own but i'd never get one. The combincation keyboard touchscreen and trackpad is wonderful after you've owned the torch a while and know what each is best for.

The Torch is a great phone. Would we like high res screen and faster processor? Yes, of course, but don't get that confused with saying that phones that have them are better than the torch. It isn't specs that make a great phone, it is useability.

Couldn't agree more. I have had the Droid X, Original Droid and Now T-Mo G2. All of those phone dance circles around any BB handset. I have owned both the Storm and Tour. I had a chanced to play with a coworkers Torch and it was very unimpressive. He did say he loves his Blackberry and understands that Android kills it but it works for him. I will agree with that. It works for you.

I agree with it. Im using a Torch and love it. I could easily go to any other device I want, but I choose the Torch. Its a fantastic device.

i was shore my Little Flaming Torch will Spark a Huge Light ;). When i buy it i was shore this phone will kick ass :)

For me the torch is the winner out of the other phones listed because I can't type on a non-SureType virtual keyboard or any landscape keyboard (just the wrong dimensions for me, too big to properly thumb type but too small to type like I do in my computer). Admitedly the hardware is lacking, but the software is the best I've used!

The Tourch idea is great. The Torch implementation was average.

Tourch 2, 1GHZ Processor, 1GB internal app memory, 256MB for the OS, HD recording, QNX OS. Tell me anyone can beat this... (nope, not rumor, not leak, just a wish list).

Voted 9780 and just waiting for it to be delivered.

I have to say, I don't know what the issue is with screen resolution. Most smartphone users have their phones in their crotches while reading them, and at that distance, an iphone and BB resolution will look pretty similar. Also, unless one is watching video with their phones pasted to their foreheads, I don't see the advantage of HD Video on such a small screen. Sure - put the HD video on a tablet where it is needed. But on a smartphone? Totally unnecessary.

And for those geekazoids who watch movies on their smartphones - get a life and buy a tablet for frick sakes. Your eyes will thank you for it.


I've watched 5 podcasts of Bikini Destination in wide format on the Torch and I'm not complaining about the resolution.

( eyes thanked me for it).

Radar-man you've captured my thoughts perfectly. Sure, the ability to view HD is nice, but to me its only a bonus. I place it far down the list of importance, behind such factors as physical keyboard, battery life, reliability, messaging, security, etc. I'll never understand why anyone would want to watch a movie on a tiny screen. I don't even enjoy it on a laptop. To each his own, but the Torch is the best for me.

Actually as a blackberry, it's definitely the best RIM phone I've seen. It's exactly what I want out of a phone but it does certainly lack hardware that goes to toe with some of the smartphones on there but it is deserving for what it does do primarily which is communication. It might not have the best Blackberry keyboard but the OS rocks and so does the community for what this poll shows.

I just hope RIM don't go thinking just because it won this award that it should release a torch 2 with just an upgraded camera. I certainly would love to see some HD video recording or even output to my hd screen :P sometimes convergence is great :)

+1 i agree with you !!

I hope next Torch will be a better device then this one not only a better camera and a better processor and more internal memory...

The torch blew chunks, reviews all over the net displayed the same overall "blah" feel. I used this light weight and it is a lame duck. You know the phone that was suppose to change everything....this one goes to the 9780

I don't get i,t kevin says the CPU didn't get a boost in speed, but why did it get a newer generation processor then?

It did so it could be better able to handle, function's like pinch to zoom wich is processor intensive!

The Processor did get a boost in performance it is more efficient then previous versions!

HAHAHAHAHFDSLAFJDSHALJFDSAAHAHAH AH ROFL omjesus, nobody thinks this. ahahahaha holy smokes. this phone isn't even in the top 10, maybe even top 20. for christ sakes, i doubt the people running this site even think so. sorry but blackberry is dead.

Maybe in the long run, but in the near term I stand to make a lot more dough shorting Apple stock than RIM. The Curve is selling well world-wide to the under 20 set. If my niece's crowd is any indication they've got a BB Curve in one pocket and an iPod touch in the other. The BB line up of handsets is pretty impressive. If I'm driving a black BMW and wearing a business suit, the Torch is the handset that's going with me, not a plastic toy. That's a fact of life.
By the way, whatever phone you used for this post - it's got serious spelling and grammar issues.

This poll to me means nothing. The phone although good still needed to some of the more updated hardware. I have a torch and I like it a lot and compared to other berries it is the best. For those that say the 9780 is better and than say stuff like " I hope the next torch is not just a bump in memory, camera, blah blah blah" then what the hell was the 9780 (just a bump in specs). So yes the torch is the best BERRY, not the best smartphone.

and katiepea a few, maybe a lot, of people think that the torch was better than the other device casue it came out on top. if you feel or felt different than you should have voted.

if bold 9700 was on the list, it would have easily beat out torch 9800 for sure due to having very good battery life.

Quote / When we reviewed this $199 puppy we gave it 3.5 stars" //

They clearly don't know how to use it.

Quote/ but the BlackBerry owner appears to be a loyal beast, garnering 35.9 percent of the vote //


First, I have a Torch, iPhone 4, and Evo all with active service and I had a Palm Pre. The Torch is my first BB and I love it. It has all the traditional strengths of BB's and the addition of a nice bump to BB 6 OS and a really nice touch screen. Is it as good as the iPhone 4, no but it 90%+ of it for viewing and working. As the Torch made me want to give up the iPhone, no not yet but it is a strong contender. Most here are into technology and phones that have the latest and greatest specs. Many want to be able to hack their phone or load anything they want. However the average consumer does not care, they want a phone that is easy to use, as Apps they need or want and will last. The Torch like any BB or Android phone as a learning curve. But the Torch is not really as bad as many reviews make it out to be. Is the Torch the "Best Smartphone" no, but then neither are any of the others listed. There is no "best" it is what works best for you.

Exactly! It's what works best for you and the Torch is great for my work line, and the iPhone 4 is great for my personal line.

i agree that the torch deserves this because its all opinion based matter what another device can do the "best" device is whatever you think it is...if someone feels the best phone is the nokia 3310 is the best phone then thats the best phone...anyway congrats to the torch

i am a torch owner and i love it. just because the browser is .052637 slower than iphone and a bunch of nerds bash it for its processor, this phone works great for me. the messaging is incredible with the touch screen or keyboard and email is a cut above the rest. its about time the torch gets some recognition

I love blackberries and wish the Torch could come out on Verizon! I'm happy to know that with all the negative opinions out there about this and that , that BlackBerry for me is the smartphone to go to for all my needs.

I have the Torch and I absolutely love it. My husband traded his 9000 for a Torch and I thought he would have a longer adjustment period, but he's perfectly happy with it. Know a lot of people who bought 9800s on releaase date and they're all loving it.
I don't listen to the haters, detractors, spec-crazed robots and Jobsian cultists. If the phone works for me, that's what I use. If it doesn't I return it, as I did with my iPhone. I certainly don't listen to loud and childish trolls like the one a few posts above...
Use what you like and stop trying to impose your preferences on others.

Cmon, "Best Smartphone of 2010?" GIVE ME A BREAK! I can name 5 Phones that run Circles around the Torch or is it "Porch", and then some. Do you want to tell me that the Torch can outdo or outshoot the Nexus S by Google? OMG, when are people going to open their eyes.

Some of the Most prominent Market Analyst's and Strategy Firms on this Planet have openly stated that RIM has "Tanked" along with AT&T "Tanking as well"- So all these people with PhD's are stupid, they dont know what their talking about? Their all Losers, they have nothing better to do with their lives except report "False Info"?

Hey, compared to everything thats out there, the EVO, The Nexus S, the Droid X, the Torch is a piece of Re-Packaged Rim Crap out a Dinosaurs rear end-

Dont get me wrong, I own a Blackberry, Im waiting for the AT&T Branded 9780 to let loose, I like Blackberry, otherwise I wouldnt have one.

Its like a pair of shoes, What is appropriate and fits one person, may not fit another person, and let me tell you, I wear some pretty nice shoes. (Allen Edmonds).. I have a friend who has a high instep, I told him about the shoes, he called me back and said he went to Nordstrom, tried on a pair and was in "Shoe Heaven".

Smartphones are like Shoes, What fits one may not fit another-

You know what..... RIM keeps repackaging their devices, with minimal or no new magic- They also have lost sight on the "Value of a Customer" and what they have allowed to happen regarding the 9780 on AT&T is Shameful. Oh, AT&T has a Heavy hand in this as well, and look at the Consumer Reports on AT&T, they suck, and their true. Right on the Money about AT&T!

"The Truth will set you free"

There is no one on this site that can convince me that a "Pinto" can outrun, out tech, outperform a BMW S series.

The "Word Best" is very subjective, Fit is Very Subjective, The Torch doesnt even deserve a place within the Top 10 of the "Best Smartphones of 2010" Cmon, the phone may be a great phone for someone, but..... it is technologically a Repackaged Dinosaur. Maybe its the Best that RIM has to offer, but its a Far Cry from Best Smartphone of 2010-

Liar, Liar, your pants are on Fire!

RIM and AT&T need to learn how to listen better to their Customers Needs- Its far overdue that they should return some of the Loyalty and support we dole out to them.

Its Time we should see a AT&T Branded 9780 available, and stop playing this "Political Exclusive Footsee game" with the Torch. Those people who want a Touchscreen Blackberry will buy the Torch, and those who want a Proven Performer and dont like Touch will buy the 9780-

There is still time, it would be nice if we could find a Bold AT&T Branded 9780 under our Christmas Tree.

Happy Hollidays to all!

Oh all those PHD's are so smart that for stocks the average person with NO PHD does as well or better in picking stocks. As for dead companies that the analysts picked, Citi, Ford, GM, to name three yet they are still here. Hmm, so much for the analysts and their predictions. Is RIM dead, no but if it does not do some changes it could end up like Palm, which btw is still alive and part of another company that at one time was not an analysts favorite, HP.

Being a very satisfied Torch owner, I have to agree. I have no performance issues with it's 'slow' processor, and it multi-tasks apps like a s-o-a-b. My reception is almost always better then friends with other phones, and I power out emails and txt msgs faster on it's keyboard then on a touch screen. Productivity++ Go Torch!

I bought my Torch on the release date and LOVE IT! My third new BB in the last three years, and by far the best. If you want a phone for email, texting, calender, contact management, and call quality combined, it can't be beat. Internet access with the touch screen is good, camera is good, and it's still got the BB physical qwerty keyboard, truly the best of all worlds. Not perfect, as no phone is, but great combination of all the features I use.

TO be honest the blackberry BOLD is so much better then the torch, I don't like the torch because it looks like some messed up phone, it looks like the Sprint lotus and that is a ugly phone, I love the blackberry bold 9700 the way it's design and everything but you know what I can't wait for the blackberry playbook to come out even tho it sounds like playboy lol, but it's going to be exciting, well if you guys have any old or new blackberrys I know will buy them.

Bought a Torch yesterday, replacing my 9700, and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!!! Wish it had an exact copy of the 9700 keyboard, but the 9800 is definitely usable. Add the touch screen and it's the best of both worlds.
Something that doesn't get enough mention: The solid build quality of BB's. I tried a Samsung Captivate for a bit, and it was cheap and plasticky. Although I wished they would license that screen to BB. I LOVE how the torch feels in my hand. right size, right heft.

I just wish Blackberry would upgrade its torch to the same screen quality as the Droid phones AND include a front facing camera. My contract runs out in May and I really prefer a BB that has a screen of at least 4.0 combined with front facing camera with a newer OS 6. So Ill sit on my BB 9300 to wait and see.

I played with the EVO 4G phone today. I must say, that on 3G it still is snappier than BlackBerry (even on OS6). It has all the features that a BlackBerry SHOULD have, as no offense to RIM, they seem to play "Hey let's catch up to the other phone companies just for a bit before people switch." I like that the EVO has front and back cameras, as that will soon be a very much needed feature in the near future (programs like SKYPE, etc.). RIM makes a solid phone, but why can't they do things on their phones that other companies have already done way earlier? Just a question. I still love my Torch.

I think the Torch is peerless in its versatility. The design seemed to be a bit contrived upon initial inspection, but after using it I've found that I'm leaving my Bold 9700 at home on most days. I'm more interested in the look, feel and usability of the device than the specs. I thought there would be a huge learning curve since these are my first smartphones, but they seem pretty intuitive to me. The Torch - it looks slick, feels slick and performs as I expected. In short, the Torch is hot. Didn't expect the iP4 to rate so low in that poll, but if you're like me - iTunes is a dealbreaker when it comes to choosing a phone and if I can get more versatility for less money then it's a no-brainer.

I'm probably a bit unique in that I have experience with several of the phones. As a very recent former employee of Sprint, I had the Evo well before it was launched to the public. It is a solid phone, and WiMax is nice. On my personal account I had an iPhone 3GS and upgraded to the iPhone 4 despite never getting over missing the BB platform after getting the first iPhone. It was quickly returned and exchanged for the Torch. Of the phones I've owned, the Torch is the best of the bunch. No, the bells and whistles don't all match up. But there's more to life than HD video, a 1GHz processor, or super high resolution on the screen. The BlackBerry platform has always excelled at what it was designed to do. With the new browser in place, there's no real necessary function that the Torch doesn't do as well as, or better than, the competition.

Now if the Twitter app would only handle multiple accounts I'd be fully content.

It’s great to get your perspective based on your experiences with not only the Torch, but another phone on the Laptop Best Smart Phone of 2010 list, as well. We work hard to offer high-quality smartphones that fit the needs of consumers and business users alike. And we’re very happy to hear you feel BlackBerry OS 6 stacks up well in providing a welcome browsing experience.
Keep an eye on the Inside BlackBerry Blog for all the latest news.
Alex from RIM

I just hope that T-Mobile will get the Torch one day!!!! I can see me giving up my 9700 (at least putting it away for a while) just to get my hands on one! Hopefully soon!!!!!

I have a Torch 9800 and it suits my needs excellent.As far as build.sturdiness,and push emails,as well as BBM,Touchscreen and a physical keyboard it's str8!!

But here's is what I want to see from RIM ,if they get to it,a sequel..TORCH 2(9880):TI OMAP 1gHz processor,brighter display definition,front facing camera for video chat,like Facetime or Fringe,video camera that can record hi def(720p)

Now for the app:PLEASE!!!!! Get that very cool Chase mobile app for BB w/Point.Shoot.Deposit.!!The one Chase has now just gives you a launcher with their ho hum(yawn)mobile web site.Give us the one like they got for Apple/Android.

If RIM follows up on that ,they'll be fine.So fellow Crackberry Nation members I'll start a petition to send to RIM if you prefer these specs for a Torch 2 hopefully next year.Let me know if you want to join this movement:

you all blackjunk fans, keep dreaming with this bullshit article, blackberry never is going to beat the drois or iphone..

RIM, don't care about you the loyal customers...

Con grads on the win the BlackBerry was out before the iphone and droid. Its a phone that held its reputation all the way. Thank goodness there's now the iphone and driod so people can argue away and have a discussion thou most of it is kindergarten cuss. You held up via it all and still again has proven that this device works and you equip business with trust and dedication.
There may not be something called best cause tomorrow another device will rise but one things for sure I don't have to worry about the argument anymore, you get the job done well for many years before the iphone and droid was ever around. Your the Grand Father of email and no device out there can compare, they too can now send emails and sms because of the love everyone has for you. They love you so much that they had to try to create clones to challenge you, they worked but not as well as you do, now today the motivation continues blackberry again because of you, you made even the pocket pc windows mobile change there ways, touch has bin around way before the iphone days so when they touch they are more referring to the second Grand dead grand father pocket pc. You were never into touching just getting thing to where they needed to go and to keep our companies and employees always updated. All the people here is because of you rim they all talk about there clones like its the clones who pioneer the communication oh no its you buddy who have re-born again and even thou they always talk and bash the blackberry there's a little bit of blackberry in ever phone to date.
Thanks rim for all the hard work, and I just can't wait to see what 2011 will bring, happy holidays all and a happy new years rim wouldn't of bin alive today if it wasn't because of your love. Like they say Hate is the new love, Cheers. Blackberry for life.

I have the Bold 9700 and I wouldn't trade it for the Torch. No way the Torch is better. I know people who own the Torch and they hate it. Main complaint is the keyboard.

Commander4, all you mentioned is ALREADY ON the EVO 4G from Sprint, lol. Again CrackBerry playing "LET'S CATCH UP TO WHAT'S OUT THERE."