News & Rumors

Official OS 7.1.0.746 for the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and 9860

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Official OS 7.1.0.714 for BlackBerry Torch 9810 from Telecom Serbia

News & Rumors

Official OS 7.1.0.694 for the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and Torch 9860 from AT&T

News & Rumors

Official OS 7.1.0.658 for BlackBerry Torch 9810 from Orange Dominicana

News & Rumors

Official OS 7.1.0.569 for the BlackBerry Torch 9810 from VIVO

News & Rumors

Official OS 7.1.0.536 for the BlackBerry Torch 9810 from Redington India

BlackBerry Cases

Review: Seidio Spring-Clip Holster for BlackBerry Torch 9810

BlackBerry Themes

Keep on crackin' with a CB Appreciation Theme from drkapprenticeDESIGNS and Lucky45!

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Rogers releases OS 7.1.0.391 for the BlackBerry Torch 9810

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Leaked OS 7.1.0.402 for the BlackBerry Torch 9810

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Three UK release BlackBerry 7.1 for the BlackBerry 9900, 9360 and 9810

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Leaked OS 7.1.0.342 for the BlackBerry Torch 9810

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Bell BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Torch 9810 OS 7.1 updates now available

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T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Torch 9810 OS 7.1 updates now available

BlackBerry Cases

Quick Review: Seidio Innocase Active for BlackBerry Torch 9810 and 9800

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Leaked: OS 7.1.0.258 for the BlackBerry Torch 9810

General Accessories

Review: Powermat Wireless Charging System for the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and 9810

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Leaked: OS 7.1.0.205 for the BlackBerry Torch 9810

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Official OS 7.0.0.598 for the BlackBerry Torch 9860 and Torch 9810

News & Rumors

Leaked OS 7.1.0.190 for the BlackBerry Torch 9810

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BlackBerry Torch 9810 Review

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 proves it's what's on the inside that counts. It may look the same as the original Torch, but with a new 1.2GHz processor under the hood the 9810 is blazing fast!

BlackBerry Torch 9810
By Bla1ze on 15 Aug 2011 10:18 pm EDT
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After months of anticipation, we're now witnessing the largest global launch of BlackBerry Smartphones ever, with Research In Motion rolling out five models of BlackBerry 7 Smartphones to 225 carrier and distribution partners around the world. With the new phones all based off the same hardware and software platforms and delivering mainly similar features and performance, perhaps the most critical decision to be made by would be purchases is determining what design form factor to choose.

The Torch 9800's sliding form factor is for people who want that full touchscreen experience but don't want to give up a keyboard. Be sure to visit our BlackBerry Torch 9810 Pricing and Release Date post for carrier information relevant to you. 

The Good

The 1.2GHz processor and updated display serves the BlackBerry Torch 9810 well. Add 768MB of RAM to the mix with an updated browsing experience and BlackBerry 7 software and you have one solid, tried, tested and true BlackBerry device.

The Bad

The battery door is hideous, but luckily it can be swapped out. It's a rehashed device and current Torch owners looking to upgrade may feel ripped off from that new device feeling. Some issues found on the original BlackBerry Torch have the potential to arise here as well.

The Bottom line

If you're a slider fan but felt the original BlackBerry Torch to be underpowered, you owe it to yourself to at the very least, put this device in your hands and take it for a spin. It's a solid, faster Torch experience and as much as we hate to repeat ourselves, is what the original BlackBerry Torch should have been. First time Torch owners will love the power the device brings!

In This Review

More Torch 9810 Info

BlackBerry Torch 9810 Hardware Impressions

Side-by-side to the untrained eye, you might never notice the difference
 

With the release of the BlackBerry Torch 9810 many folks are wondering, is the update worth it? Not only for already existing Torch owners but those who are considering picking up a BlackBerry Torch for the first time. Truth is, I can't really answer that. I can only highlight the differences between the new version in relation to the old version and from my experience with the BlackBerry Torch 9810.

Overall, from an outward look, you'll not notice many hardware changes at all. Sure, you get some new brushed metal on there, a new battery door for better or worse and the screen is visibly better, but side-by-side many folks would be hard pressed to realize the difference between the two. It's only when you pick the device up do you start to notice that, hey ... this really is a different device. The internal changes here are what really matter and in that respect, it's certainly an upgrade.

When the BlackBerry Torch 9800 arrived on the scene it was a change for RIM, many people hated the slider design, but at the same time many people loved it and still do so today. For those already existing Torch fans, you'll love everything about the BlackBerry Torch 9810 in my opinion, but you'll be sacrificing the good feeling the comes along with the purchase of a brand new device.

BlackBerry Torch 9810 Specifications

Appearance, Form Factor, Build Quality

Couple the BlackBerry Torch 9810 with a PlayBook and you have a nice combo
 

Before sitting down to write this review, I did go back and take a look at Kevin's BlackBerry Torch 9800 review, which in it's own right was an epic feat. I was curious to see what exactly, after all this time, may still ring true for the BlackBerry Torch 9810 -- and given the fact that not a lot in regards to physical appearance has changed -- quite a bit of his review remains the same here, but one portion stuck out to me personally:

It's no easy task to describe the appearance of the BlackBerry Torch 9800. I wouldn't call the design industrial nor would I call it sleek or contemporary or even sexy. That's not to say it looks old or ugly, because it doesn't. The best single word I could come up with to describe the Torch 9800 is unpretentious. Sitting on the desk with the slider closed or slid open in the hand, the Torch exudes a sort of understated vibe. It's not trying to grab your attention via unnecessary bling, it's just there to be a reliable phone and get the job done.

In comparison to say, the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the BlackBerry Torch 9810 doesn't have any "bling" factor for me. It sticks out as one of those devices that has it's core audience of fans but only the minor few are picking this device up based on its looks.

When we put build quality into play here, I have to say that the BlackBerry Torch 9810 feels quite nice. One exception to that though is in the battery door. Why RIM decided to go with the silver finish battery door this time around, I'll never know. I assume it was to keep the device in line with the new color scheme they chose but realistically, the battery door just feels cheap. If, after you read this review, you plan on picking a Torch 9810 up -- do yourself a favor and score a different battery door. The Torch 9800 battery doors fit fine as kind, so finding one shouldn't be hard.


 

While the BlackBerry Torch 9800 took on a dark silver color, the Torch 9810 adopts a brushed aluminum look this time around. Other colors such as white are coming, but the brushed aluminum silver version is first out of the gates. While I was fond of the 9800's darker tone, I have to say the silver does the device justice even if it didn't appeal to me at first. Over time, the color scheme has now grown on me and it really does make the device look more quality.

RIM has maintained the exact same weight, and sizing for the BlackBerry Torch 9810 although holding both in your hand at the same time, the Torch 9810 does feel ever so slightly lighter. I don't have a digital scale to put them to the test to see if one is off moreso then the other but if it is -- it's not by much. The features and specifications information pegs them both at 5.68 oz / 161 g so we'll go with it.

Again, RIM has decided to forgo making a left side convenience key available to users. The reason for it does in fact still remain a mystery but at this point, most users are getting used to it. While I'm not a fan of the fact, I've learned to move beyond it and realistically BlackBerry developers like ShaoSoft have stepped in to fill that void with tools such as ExtraKeys. Hopefully, something that will continue to live on as we transition into the BlackBerry 7 software.

On the right is where you'll find the one convenience key RIM did leave on the device. You can adjust this key to whatever you need to do so of course which is nice. Nothing new but the fact it remains there is quite awesome. Also on the right, you have your standard 3.5mm headphone jack and to go along with it, your volume up and down rockers. The buttons here have the rubber coating on them that has become familiar on a lot of BlackBerry devices past and current. You'll have no issues with the buttons -- they're not too easy to press but not too hard either.

I did have some issues on my original Torch 9800 where the volume up button stopped working though after minimal use. Something to be mindful of but looking back at a couple of things, my original Torch was in fact a revision 1 build. I know this, due to the fact it was literally stamped on the device. Odd, I know -- but I've seen later revisions and this issue was seemingly addressed. I have no reason to believe RIM would repeat the same mistakes here.

One question I've noticed users asking about the BlackBerry Torch 9810 is whether or not the lock and silent buttons at the top have changed in any sort of way. Reason being is that some folks found the buttons entirely too easy to press often causing accidental locking, unlocking and some pocket usage. Let me just say, if you had issues in the past, you will be repeating the same issues on the BlackBerry Torch 9810. The buttons have in no way changed and they are 100% identical to that of the original Torch 9800.

BlackBerry Torch 9810

One thing I've come to realize about the the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and BlackBerry Torch 9800 series is you're either a fan of the all-in-one design it has going on or you're just simply not. The design of the device is unique, unassuming and can really be anything you want it to be.

Want it to be a touchscreen device? It can do it. Want it to be a work horse with a physical keyboard? It can do it. Want it to be a workhorse with a physical keyboard that also allows for touchscreen interaction? It can do it.

It may not do all those things perfectly but it pulls each and every one of them off and does so all while still feeling like a quality device.

Processor / Chipset / Performance

BlackBerry Bold 9900

All of the newly-announced BlackBerry 7 Smartphones, including the BlackBerry Torch, are running the Qualcomm Scorpion MSM 8655 processor clocked at 1.2GHz on the Snapdragon chipset. An Adreno 205 GPU (graphics processing unit) is also on-board, powering BlackBerry 7's hardware accelerated graphics, which RIM has dubbed "liquid graphics." At 1.2GHz, the processing power is roughly double the speed of previous generation BlackBerry Torch. In addition to more speed, this hardware platform upgrade addresses a lot of the other nagging wants we've had for a while now, including 3D graphics support (has been lacking to date on GSM BlackBerrys), HD video recording and more RAM. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 comes with 768MB of RAM.

So what the heck does all this mean for BlackBerry 7? Will an already existing BlackBerry Torch 9800 owner find the value here? In short, you're getting a really kick arse upgrade internally. Things that used to slow the BlackBerry OS down to a crawl no longer do. Deleting an application or even downloading multiple apps on previous BlackBerry devices is painful. It basically means you stop whatever you are doing for the next 5 minutes until your device decides what it is doing and even after that, you likely still have to wait for a reboot.

Well, no longer is it such a pain. I'm in no way saying your device will never again see the dreaded hour glass -- in fact, I promise it will. But, what I am saying is that in most cases when you do it see it -- you're seeing it because it's there to tell you that your device is doing something rather then before when it popped up to basically say "Sod off, I'm busy". You can, for the most part carry on doing things now. You can download 4 applications at once, all while composing an email and sending it off. The only time it will slow down is when it reaches the point of installation -- then you're stopped for a few seconds.

Keyboard / Typing


 

Physical Keyboard - Heading to one of BlackBerry smartphones best features -- the keyboard. We have some debate here when we compare the BlackBerry Torch 9810 to that of the BlackBerry Torch 9800. RIM says that the keyboard is minutely wider then that of the one found on the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and while I can't see or for that matter even feel the difference, I'm sure diehard Torch fans will notice it. To me though, it's the same keyboard. It has the same "clicky" keys that will eventually soften over time and become less noisy and is as responsive as anyone would expect a BlackBerry keyboard to be.

Virtual Keyboard - The virtual keyboard on the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and ultimately, BlackBerry 7 did get a makeover for the better. While I find I still dislike typing on a BlackBerry virtual keyboard due to the fact I'm a fan of RIM's physical keyboards, the new layout does justice to the devices. While it may only be a minor change in the placement of the keys, I found the layout to be more natural I guess you could say.

The pop up keys work quite nicely and I found myself navigating the layout easier on the 9810 more so then on the 9800. You really do need to be the type of individual who enjoys typing on a virtual keyboard to use it but the good thing here is, you're not forced to use it if you don't want to.

Personally, I still say the iPhone has the best virtual keyboard in the business. RIM doesn't meet that keyboard here or excel past it but when it comes down to it, in my opinion, it meets the keyboards found on any Android device running Android 2.3 Gingerbread. That statement of course doesn't take into account that you can install a multitude of different keyboards on an Android device but vs. stock Android -- RIM is on par here now.

To put the keyboard conversation to rest, let me just say that it is nice to have the combination of virtual and physical keyboards. On my original Torch 9800, I found I was using the physical keyboard more so then that of the virtual keyboard. With the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and it's new virtual keyboard layout, I found I was using a good mix of both finally -- which is the intended usage for the device. The thing about it though is that it could depend on quite a few variables. My mood, laziness or even the urgency of the matter at hand. If I need to bang something out quick, you bet I'm going physical. If I can take my time with it, chances are I'll go virtual and take my time.

Touchscreen Display

Touchscreen improvements.
 

While it's not noted any where in the specs, I'm sure RIM did improve upon the Touchscreen found on the BlackBerry Torch 9800. The real question is whether they came at the software level or hardware level. Either way, the screen does feel overall improved from that of the BlackBerry Torch 9800. Accuracy is the thing I noticed most. When touching the same items on both devices I found the Torch 9810 was the one coming out on top for accuracy. Again, software or hardware? I really don't know -- the best I can say is that the Touchscreen on the Torch 9810 works quite fine.

Memory

BlackBerry Torch 9810

Internal Storage: The BlackBerry Torch 9810 comes loaded up with 8GB of internal storage on the device. This does differ from that of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 were you got 4GB of internal storage and a 4GB SD Card to go along with it. What you do with the storage is entirely up to you. Music, videos, photos -- what not. You have plenty of room on board for it all and you can always extend that up to 32GB with an external SD Card. (whether or not a micro-SD card comes in the box will be carrier dependent - the Bell unit reviewed here did not ship with a micro SD card)

Application Storage: This information always causes some people to question what the heck RIM is doing. Why don't BlackBerry devices have a ton of room for applications? Well, fact of the matter is BlackBerry applications really don't require a lot of space -- not sure why everyone gets in an uproar about this. Out of the box, my BlackBerry Torch 9810 had 191.6MB of application storage available to it. Right now, currently -- it has 169.8MB available to it.

This is AFTER downloading every possible app I would use on my device. Twitter, Facebook, Socialscope, Wordpress, Flixster, Poynt, BlackBerry Travel, Evernote and more. If you're running out of room on your BlackBerry device then I really have to question how much of the stuff you have on your device you're actually using. There is more then enough room for applications you use with BlackBerry devices.

Now if you find yourself asking, "Well, what about the new games and such the use 3D content and are heavier?" and to that I say -- if developers are making their apps according to the guidelines RIM has set in place this shouldn't be an issue. Developers have an allotted limited to make their apps -- anything over and above that can be added to the app as a download when you first open the application.

The data will then be downloaded over WiFi and any content downloaded now has access to the SD Card for storage. No, you cannot store and run apps off the SD Card this way -- but, the additional content needed for apps can be stored there. Application storage for the new BlackBerry devices is quite sufficient when placed directly in comparison to the size of the applications available.

Battery Life

The battery for the Torch 9810 remains the same as the Torch 9800.
 

Battery life on the original Torch 9800 wasn't exactly the best -- it's pretty much fact at this point. However, that said; there was quite a few things that impacted this. Out of the gates, the battery optimization deep down in the OS just seemed to not really be there -- to go along with that, later OS releases were found to cause excessive battery drainage on the device. Sadly, a lot of people may have gone on this way for quite some time due to how RIM rolls OS updates out. An issue was found in the BlackBerry Torch 9800 OS' between OS 6.0.0.526 to 6.0.0.536 and unless you upgraded to a leaked OS you were stuck with pretty crappy battery life until your carrier rolled out a better OS.

With that information out of the way, it seems RIM was proactive in this area with the release of the BlackBerry Torch 9810. I'm assuming they used the knowledge gained from those issues to help optimize the BlackBerry Torch 9810 battery, even with it being based on a new 1.2GHz processor. While we're still looking at some current issues with the BlackBerry Bold 9900 battery, from my usage of the BlackBerry Torch 9810 I can say I'm quite pleased with it thus far and mainly because I've been spending and equal amount of time on both devices and the Torch 9810 is outlasting the battery of life of that in my BlackBerry Bold 9900.

Granted, it does have a bigger battery at 1270mAh vs. 1230mAh in the Bold 9900 but one wouldn't think that extra 40mAH would make all the much of a difference. Like all things battery related though, it depends on many variables such as coverage and usage so your mileage may vary. I've made it a general rule these days to purchase a spare battery for all my devices because let's face it -- we're not rocking RIM 950's here. One AA Energizer isn't going to keep these things going any more.

Here is how RIM lists the BlackBerry Torch 9810 Standards For Battery Life:

  • Talk time: Up to 6.5 hours (GSM), up to 5.9 hours (UMTS)
  • Standby time: Up to 12.8 days (GSM), up to 12.3 days (UMTS)
  • Music playback time: Up to 54 hours
  • Video playback time: Up to 7 hours

Phone and Audio

Randomly calling 611 is always fun.
 

Call quality and speaker phone quality is something often overlooked these days in reviews but, for some it remains a very important feature of a smartPHONE. When it comes to the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and RIM devices in particular, I saw heard no issues. Calls placed were loud enough for those on the other end to hear me with no noticeable distortion, no hollow sounds -- everything came out quality sounding.

To test it even further, I went to the mall to put myself in dreadful coverage zone and even at it's worst while riding EDGE the BlackBerry Torch 9810 performed well. In good coverage the speaker phone was great for those on the other end. I would have loved for it to be a little louder on my end but it worked quite alright and I'm guessing will be sufficient for most users. That said though, speakerphone in bad coverage is pretty bad. I gave up trying, not sure what would have caused it to be any different then holding the device, maybe the distance but either way it wasn't usable.

Cameras / Video Recording

Papa Smurf looks good.
 

Unlike the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and its use of EDOF (Extended Depth of Field) the BlackBerry Torch 9810 makes use of a 5MP auto focus camera that works quite well. Again, reaching back to Kevin's review of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 he noted:

While the 5 megapixel camera captures images with a resolution of up to 2592 x 1944 pixels, unfortunately the video camera recording caps out at only 640 x 480 resolution. I have a hunch the actual camera hardware is capable of recording in higher resolutions (I bet it can do HD), but again this is a limitation of the current chipset used in the Torch.

And as much as I hate to say it, he was right. The camera on the BlackBerry Torch 9810 now does do 720p HD video. Images can be snapped at 2560x1920 as a max now and video goes up to 720x1280. Probably the best addition in this area over the Torch 9800 and likely part of the BlackBerry 7 software as well, is the fact videos and images can be created in landscape or portrait. Yes, you could do that on the Torch 9800 but videos came out sideways and never looked right on Youtube. Now, you can capture video in landscape mode, upload to Youtube and they turn out looking normal.

Unfortunately, I realized that fact after having taken the above video in portrait mode. Which, comes out rather oblong due to the sizing of the BlackBerry Torch 9810's screen. Similar scenarios are found on the iPhone, Android devices as well -- if you really want to capture video, do so in landscape of deal with the dreaded oblong format. Either way, the BlackBerry Torch 9810 captures great video and images in my opinion. But keep in mind I'm also the type of person who believes no one should buying a smartphone to use as their main precious moments in life capturing tool. I also realized I'm a pretty shaky individual, and should lay off the energy drinks.

 

Other Internals - Bluetooth, GPS, Wi-Fi

Connecting device, even my MacBook had no issues.
 

Bluetooth: Pretty standard operations here. Headsets, my MacBook and even my PlayBook all connected fine through testing. None of the devices ever dropped the connection at any given point either. In the past, and especially on my Bold 9780 I had some issues with it being rather finicky on what, and for how long it wanted to stay connected to but none of that was witnessed here on the BlackBerry Torch 9810.

GPS: This is an area that a lot of people have been wondering about for the new BlackBerry 7 devices. With the inclusion of a digital compass, Magnetometer the real question is whether or not GPS performance has benefited in anyway. From testing the Torch 9810 and using my Bold 9900 I am totally convinced that GPS performance has improved. My BlackBerry Bold 9780 used to come close to my location within a few meters but the BlackBerry Torch 9810 can pinpoint the exact location of where I live. Even though it says it may be a few meters off, it's dead on.

WiFi: Another one of those areas where I have had no issues with the BlackBerry Torch 9810. WiFi connects fast on my ISP's Motorola WiFi modem and while out and about, I could easily attach to WiFi connections at locations like Starbucks and McDonalds. 802.11 b/g/n are all supported on the BlackBerry Torch 9810.

WiFi HotSpot / NFC: You'll find neither here. However, you MAY have some hope for seeing WiFi HotSpot in the future as well as UMA calling. The HotSpot feature may come as a software update at a later time according to some information but you shouldn't buy the device counting on it -- just like you shouldn't buy it counting on it getting an upgrade later to QNX.

As for NFC, I'll hold my personal comments on that feature and just say that the BlackBerry Torch does not have it on board. If you were looking for it to be included, you're better off looking elsewhere for it.

BlackBerry Torch 9810 Accessories

BlackBerry Torch 9810 Cases

For some, this alone might be reason enough to look at getting a BlackBerry Torch 9810. Where the device remains for the most part cosmetically unchanged from the BlackBerry Torch 9800, most accessories purchased will fit the BlackBerry Torch 9810. The only things that may not work is anything form fitted around that keyboard, however - I can't even recall seeing anything the would cover the keyboard and specifically over the keys. You can use some of the money saved on BlackBerry Torch 9810 accessories to grab your self something for your BlackBerry PlayBook or for that matter -- put it towards a PlayBook fund if you don't already have one.

BlackBerry Torch 9810

BlackBerry Torch 9810 Hardware Wrap-Up

Harder, better, faster, stronger.
 

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 has everything all-in-one that a lot of users can make use of. Touchscreen, physical keyboard and now, with the 1.2GHz Qualcomm processor and 640x480 display plus that 768MB of RAM it really does pack a punch. It's a fast device and one that can handle anything a BlackBerry users is going to throw at it. It still has that tool-like feeling of the original Torch, but time will tell.

Yes, the changes for the most part are internal, and the device is still using the same old easy to bump lock button and the slider mechanism here doesn't seem to be any different from the BlackBerry Torch 9800 but that's ok. If you're a fan of the original BlackBerry Torch but after time felt it underpowered, you owe it to yourself to at the very least, put this device in your hands and take it for a spin. It's a solid, faster device and as much as I hate to repeat myself -- is what the original BlackBerry Torch should have been.

BlackBerry 7 OS Impressions

BlackBerry 7

What started life as BlackBerry 6.1 has now transitioned into the new BlackBerry 7 OS. Code optimization, liquid graphics. Swiping, zooming and scrolling all while maintaining the same BlackBerry feel just in a faster, improved environment. That about sums up BlackBerry 7 from a RIM standpoint. But how does all that translate to a current BlackBerry user? Quite nicely in fact.

I'm not going to blow the RIM smoke and say that it's a totally transformative experience that'll change the way you look at the BlackBerry OS but I will say things do generally feel better on BlackBerry 7 vs. BlackBerry 6. With built-in features you can tell RIM is getting ready to transition into something bigger, being QNX. But the fact they took the time to clean up the useless code left over from when the BlackBerry OS first starting out shows they're still relying on BlackBerry 7 as we know it to get them through things.

BlackBerry 7 overall feels better then BlackBerry 6 all while maintaining the familiar BlackBerry feeling. Something that I'm sure some will say is a bad thing at this point, claiming RIM needs a complete overhaul to QNX on their smartphones but realistically - RIM will do fine with BlackBerry 7 for now. Coupled with the hardware improvements, even if liquid graphics is something they just made up; they've since turned it into something real by making the changes visible to the end user.

Add in the ability to manage panels, bake in BlackBerry Protect and BlackBerry ID and a browser that is on par with iOS, Android as well as vocal universal search and you add some value to the aging OS for users that is visual and there for all to see. When it comes down to it, RIM should have done this a while ago -- clean up dirty code, get hardware up to snuff and make things more stable but they didn't. We're getting it now, for some it maybe too late but at the same time -- not everyone wants a overnight overhaul into QNX and for those anyone who is fine waiting for RIM to do it right, BlackBerry 7 is a nice subtle change with some real deep down changes.

BlackBerry Torch 9810 Conclusions

Is the BlackBerry Torch 9810 enough?
 

If I had not used the original BlackBerry Torch 9800 and picked this device up, it would be a quick sale for whomever was close by to sell it to me provided they never showed me the BlackBerry Bold 9900. However; being a former BlackBerry Torch 9800 user, I can't envision me in store buying this device. Yes, the updates to it are great -- they really are. But purchasing a new device should give you the feeling the you are actually getting something new and despite all the awesome internal changes here it just feels more of the same. If you're an already existing Torch 9800 owner and are totally fine with knowing that you're just getting a faster version of what you already own then by all means -- get one.

If you're new to the BlackBerry Torch 9810 and have never previously owned a BlackBerry Torch 9800 then you'll have that new device joy, you'll be thoroughly pleased with how fast the device is and you'll certainly appreciate the deep down changes found in BlackBerry 7. The keyboard is great, the touchscreen is really responsive, the processor is fast and finally -- the browser rocks!

BlackBerry Torch 9810 Summary

Pros

  • Fast!
  • Web browsing is great
  • Display does the device justice
  • BlackBerry 7 is slick
  • 720p video recording rocks
  • Full physical keyboard is easy to type on
  • Improved touchscreen keyboard
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • Same old design
  • Battery door is lame

 

Reader comments

BlackBerry Torch 9810 Review

83 Comments
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yes it happends comparing the 9780 and 9800 even they having almost the same specs You can notice that the 9780 run faster and smoothier than 9800

Performance here isn't just the internals. We take into consideration things like speed, ease of use, keyboard, navigation etc. So its a bunch of stuff wrapped into one.

Call me picky/naive but why does the 9810 in white look like it has a front facing camera? Have a look at RIM's pics on theie website.
EDIT: Yes I'm naive its the proximity sensor.

Another thing I noticed after having both the 9900 and the 9810 is that the 9900 does 5Ghz WiFi and the 9810 does not. Not too sure why they did that.

I'm not sure why they do a lot of things. I appreciate the choice between a full physical QWERTY and a Touchscreen, but if they released an ultimate version of each I would buy either one. Happily. I don't care how much. And, why does the Curve still exist? Why devote resources to produce a cheaper BlackBerry option? Its not like these new devices are so impressive that we need to flood the market with watered down versions of them, too. Apple releases 1 phone at a time, and those who want one tend to get one. I could go on here, but its too depressing. I just want a 4G BlackBerry. Why is Android the only 4G platform? I've been waiting for LTE for sooo long, and now that its here, I get to upgrade my BlackBerry experience to the same 3G download speeds that iPhone and Android had 2 years ago...

not everyone could afford the more expensive blackberries, maybe RIM was not thinking about you when they designed the curve.

I totally agree with your post about wanting the 4G with BB... I am a Bold 9700 user and have been looking to get a 9810 or a 9900.... but have been holding out because I wanted 4G...

Here is a question - what is the closest Android phone to the BB? And is its speed/reliability ok with getting my work emails to make it worth it?

"Great job Blaze"?????Are you on drugs? This is one of the worst reviews of any phone that I've ever read!

I agree on the "newness" factor it's lacking as a Torch 9800 owner myself. Hence why I'm personally debating between this, a 9860, or a 9900. Regardless, should be a good phone and priced excellently on AT&T. Good writeup!

dilemna here.. I was totally sold on the 9900 and so stoked for it I sold my android 2 months ago and bought a 9700.. Then I discovered this torch. Which seems like an interesting idea that I like. Big touch screen and then awesome qwerty keyboard when needed.. Hmmmm now I am completely torn! I think I need to find a store around here with them..

I am a Torch 9810 user now, from the 9800 and essentially agree with every comment in this review. My contract had to change companies, I am getting a 9900 for work, so the 9810 seemed like a logical choice for my personal phone.

Only thing I would say IS different is the lock button, or at least its build quality from my 9800. I realize it is the exact same button, but there is no doubt that on my 9810 it is stiffer, and requires an actual push to unlock. My 9800 just did whatever it wanted, and that was right from the beginning. Probably just individual variation amongst the phones, though?

Can someone confirm the COMPACT QWERTY option?
I loved this feature on my Storm 9530. I was far superior in this mode than in standard QWERTY. I think BlackBerry does an AWESOME job with SureType technology in combination with COMPACT QWERTY. I have found no other software that can compete on Android.

Sweet, Thank you!
I find it to be much more accurate vs the standard vitural form.
Now I can't say how it stacks up to the Bold's keyboard, but I am sure its just user preference at the point.

Eh! Blah! Seems like we are all duped into thinking the next Blackberry is the best! But is it really? Or is it just better than the last model. Something to ponder.

BTW, Talked with a T-Mo customer rep and they did say that the Bold 9900 will be a "HOTSPOT" (connect up to 5 devices) with an OS update after it is released. (But then they also stated that it was on their website as "Coming Soon" which I checked and it is not posted anywhere. The Bold 9900 is looking to be the better of the phones and I guess I am going to have to just settle for it. Who knows how long the next series of Blackberry devices will take to be released.

Well, lets ponder.

The Torch2 has 1.2Ghz vs. iPhone 4. Torch wins

The Torch2 is a world phone vs. iPhone 4 is not.

The Torch2 has typing that is 20% faster than iPhone and if you add the shortcuts for diclaimers, etc. it is 50% faster.
The Torch2 does not cut your screen in half when typing on the real keyboard the iPhone does. Torch wins.

The Torch2 has way better e-mail and BBM than iPhone. Torch wins.

The Torch2 is a BB and therefore the standard for security. Torch wins.

The Torch2 does not drop your calls regardless of how you hold it. Hmmm. Torch wins.

The iPhone has more fart apps. iPhone wins.

O.K. I'm done pondering. Torch2 rocks. Thanks it was a nice exercise.

Come on Fan Boy, stop making a fool out of yourself! You know the Torch is not a better device than the iPhone 4 at what the iPhone does best - the touch screen experience.

Yes, typing is better on the Blackberry, that's their bread and butter.

Email is irrelevant if you have a GMail account, because of the ActiveSync available on iOS.

The browser is still superior on the iPhone - it was released over a year ago.

BBM is irrelevant, there's iMessage now.

The Torch on paper wins by 0.2Ghz. CONGRATULATIONS! iOS is an optimized operating system, so you won't notice the difference at all. In fact, in a lot of circumstances, the iPhone comes out on top.

Security is great on the iPhone, but unless you jailbreak your iPhone, iOS is equally as secured.

To your other foolish argument of "the iPhone screen gets taken over by the keyboard", well what do you want, no keyboard? Shutup.

Lastly, the iPhone hasn't had the antennagate issues since an OS patch was released only a few weeks after the phone's release.

The Torch is better at notifying you of a message/email/etc. and a better input communications method choice. The browser is competent, but still not there...yet.

I'm not hating on BB, been an owner for a long time and love typing on the trademarked keyboard, but the overall experience, especially with iOS 5 coming, is much more well-rounded and more complete on the iPhone, and you know it. The internet's better, the overall OS and transitioning is smoother, it's very simplified and easy to use, camera's better, app launching is quicker. Blackberry is starting to take the learning curve, but they're not there yet, soon maybe (hopefully with QNX), but not yet.

Oh and yes iPhone does have more fart apps, and over 400,000 more to go with those. Don't even get me started on the ridiculous App World.

While I agree that the previous comment on iToy4 vs Torch2 was pure fanboism, you get it wrong on a couple of points:
- Security: The iPhone 4 has some serious security flaws that make it fairly easy to hack and steal data from, even if you don't jailbreak it. The only things that are pretty safe atm are the emails, unless someone's already found a way to decrypt that as well.
- iOS is an optimized OS... Not really, unless you're talking about the UX. Memory management is terrible. Objective-C is outdated crap.
- Antenna issues: Still present with the latest updates. Maybe not as bad as at launch, but definitely still a problem.
- Proximity detection is terrible on the iToy. It doesn't work at all for some people.

So, yes, the iPhone 4 is a better media device, although it feels like a leased one due to the lack of customization features, but when it comes to phone basics... not there yet. Looking forward to seeing iOS5 in action though.

That's officially my favourorite 'unnoffical Torch 2 vs iPhone 4' review!! Well done guerllamo7 :)

On a side note, I am definitely upgrading to the 9810. I've been waiting for a long time for a Blackberry to out-do my Bold 9000, and until the 9900 came out, nothing seemed to grab my attention.

Now with the new Torch (9810), I get the very best of both worlds. New phone experience, great keyboard, class-leading push email tech, security, BBM and most IMs, upgraded touch-screen quality, HD-video recording..............

Welcome back into the fold RIM. The Torch line is back! This'll hold me perfectly till RIM releases a 4"+ screen Torch 3 (running QNX no doubt) in 2012!!

Now to start saving for the Playbook 2....... :)

I know there's a lot of debate about the wisdom of launching the 7.0 line now with so much anticipation for the 2012 QNX handset. I'm someone who will pounce as soon as QNX hits, but in the meantime. . . . .the 9810 will tide me over nicely. Since I see it as a bridge to the QNX handsets, the sameness, or lack of newness in the form factor doesn't bother me at all. The Torch does a very nice job of integrating the touchscreen, touchpad and keyboard. The problem with the Torch has always been the specs and the OS. The design and and the "triple threat" approach is better than the few cometing models with similar configurations. IMHO, clearly superior to landscape sliders, if only it had the muscle under the hood and a competent browser. If those things are as reviewed above, Torch II will be a winner, even if you want to stick with for the length of contract. Cost is always a factor, but I don't see the logic of passing on an upgraded device, and one that worked well even underpowered and hamstrung by an outdated OS, if those issues are addressed. I prefer the Torch to the 9900 because I use it for in-car GPS and the bigger screen makes a big difference.

I don't know if you have tried Waze navigation. I use it on my Torch because it gets the job done and it is free. Also, there is a new app that is not free but does not charge you data as it goes through the BB servers. Just FYI.

Totally agree with this review, I picked up a 9900 to replace a 9700, my girlfriend coming from a dumb phone bought a 9810 as she wanted the bigger screen.

The Bold is a 9 while the torch is an 8 in my opinion because the 9900 has:
-- A higher res screen in PPI, which makes everything amazingly crisp, ala the Apple "Retina display"
-- A WAY better physical keyboard, I spend most of my time typing on my phone
-- Is thinner, lighter, and sexier
-- Has NFC
-- Feels better in the hand and pocket

The 9810 wins in screen size and a better camera, but the 9900 is better for me. 9810 is very good, 9900 is Gretzky good :)

The 9900 screen may technically have a higher res in PPI because it is smaller, but there's the rub -- it is SMALLER. If you want a large screen experience, the 9810 blows the 9900 out of the water. BOBW!! (best of both worlds)

The three phones really come down to personal preference. I had a bold and now a torch. I'm going back to the bold but I can see how someone would enjoy the larger screen, which does not get cut in half when you start typing, which is nice.
However, I loved the bold 9000 and this keyboard is even better so I'm going to the Bold. Still, love the torch and I know my wife would like it better as well.

The torch 9860 promises to deliver well, and I'm sure it'll get an awesome review at least better than the 9810. They better review it well since they won't have previous phones to compare it to due to its new form factor ;p

Please release this phone soon !! I don't care if the carrier is all the way in iraq, I will go get it XD !!!

torch slider needs a redesign. ill be looking towards the next generation of it. but still a good phone

I am a current 9800 user. The only problem I have with the slider is that the sliding piece always becoes lose after a while. I do not use the physical keyboard; I only use it when I need to reboot (Alt + Shift + Delete).

When it come lose, it is annoying when you are walking (or a passenger in the car) and have in the hand because you start feeling the vibration. I have exchanged my phone three times since I got the original when they first came out.

The other problem I have is with the Wifi being on when the phone is connected to the car's Bluetooth receiver and is playing music through the radio speakers. After about 20 minutes of playing the music, it becomes choppy until I uncheck the wifi box under "Manage Connections." If I don't do this, the box starts checking and unchecking intermittently causing the choppiness in the music play.

The three phones have done this. Besides these two bugs, I have had no issues with the 9800.

Great review, spot on I think and as a current 9800 owner this really summarizes my feelings on the 9810. At today's announced contract price at AT&T of $49.99 it's a hell of a deal for people new to the Torch or current owners who just want what the 9800 should have been, but for people wanting that new "wow" factor along with a great phone I have a feeling they'll wait and see what else comes out this Fall.

Ok I like it. Can I transfer all my apps from my 9800? Will I have to download them again? I have an unsupported version of Slingplayer that works perfectly on my 9800 and i don't want to lose it. Also have Viper Smart Start. And I wish for Sirius radio app for 9810.

According to Engadget:

AT&T Confirms $49.99 price tag, August 21st launch date for '4G' BlackBerry Torch 9810

www.engadget. com/2011/08/15/atandt-confirms-49-99-price-tag-august-21st-launch-date-for-4g/

AT&T's got a 4G BlackBerry. Go figure. Verizon customers are 2nd class BlackBerry citizens again. *grumble*

NOTE: I added a space in the link between the "." and the "com" so the complete address would read in the text box.

I have a Storm 2 with OS 5. I actually love my phone but am really looking forward to the faster browser. I haven't seen talk about whether apps from older versions of BBs will work on OS 7. Will they?

My biggest disappointment is that they didn't upgrade the keyboard. The one on the 9780 isn't great but it gets the job done. The 9900 has too many #fails in my book (camera, battery) to make it a worthwhile upgrade, so the 9810 would have been perfect if it had been fitted with a good keyboard.

I'm still torn up about which of the two (9810 & 9900) to upgrade to. I'm a current 9800 user and I'm afraid upping to a 9900 might seem like I'm loosing precious screen reals estate... On the other hand, I'm thinking a playbook (with it's portability) would be a perfect complement for the 9900 for a larger screen (for browsing & stuff) if u need it... What are your thoughts on a better upgrade for a current 9800 user?

Hi @aj_007,

Alex from RIM here. The new Bold is our thinnest BlackBerry smartphone yet and the first to deliver NFC, a new technology that enables many exciting capabilities from pairing devices to reading SmartPoster tags – all with a simple tap of the smartphone. On the other hand, the Torch rocks a QWERTY keyboard and provides a larger screen. It all comes down to preference, but both the Torch 9810 and Bold 9900 would nicely compliment the portable BlackBerry PlayBook.

If you want to take a closer look, check out this recent post on our Inside BlackBerry Blog for some early reviews from #TeamBlackBerry on the Bold 9900 (http://bbry.lv/ooTnsv) and Torch 9810 (http://bbry.lv/rmB9OP).

Cheers,
Alex, RIM Social Media Team

Thanks for the review Blaze. As a current Palm Pre 2 owner. I might just leave the webOS team and become a full Crackberry fan. I have used Blackberries in the past and they do everything I really need. At least the GPS will work unlike my Pre 2. HP is waiting to long to release the Pre3, I am sick and tired of waiting.

I'm just bummed that AT&T got an exclusive with this as this is the form factor I really want (large screen with a physical keyboard). I’m not interested in the “Storm 3” or the new Bold as I’m tired of the small screen. I may have to go Android when it’s my time to upgrade this fall.

I like the 9810 but think I'll wait to see what the new QNX phones deliver next year.

Sure there will be teething troubles but maybe I can put up with that since I don't want to get stuck with a 2 year contract on an old OS based phone.

I agree but I really want to see some apps and email support before they hit the market! I bought a Playbook the week they were available but took it back. Love the device more than my iPad but with no apps, I couldn't do much with it except for bridge. I figure by the time the apps start coming, the Playbook 2 will be rolling out. Maybe a 10inch version this time RIM?

Open plea to RIM: Can we please get some CDMA love on this device? All the GSM carries suck for coverage in my area (At&t went down for over 2 months last year!). Why roll all of your new line up for both CDMA and GSM except this one. You're killing me.... You might sell some more hardware if you do!

i like the idea of a revised Torch, but unfortunetely I`m
staying with my old Torch, cause i love it that much...
Don`t know, which battery drainage problems you encountered with
your Torchs, but mine stays ON 2,5 days without a problem and with heavy usage.
(newest OS, Wifi-App)
I also wonder why you guys don`t like the design ...
Anyways, if i would have to buy a new BB,
the new Torch would be my choice for sure.

I found this to be a pretty decent review, though I can see that your experience with the initial Torch wasn't the best one. To me, the slider part of the Torch line is somewhat of an enigma.

I've never got to properly use one (being on T-Mobile sucks), but I've always wanted to get one. It seems to be the perfect fusion of a large touchscreen and the iconic BlackBerry keyboard. For my purposes at least, it seems like the perfect phone.

I doubt that I'll move to AT&T anytime soon, but if they do merge with T-Mobile, this phone would definitely be one that I'd consider...unless the QNX BlackBerrys are ready by that time.

Great review. Very thorough. I particularly liked that you didn't overlook call quality, bluetooth, GPS, and wifi. I hate reviews that just concentrate on how thin the phone is.

first of all great review informative
ran on curve for some time, had the first generation storm.
just recently purchased a playbook.
was planning to buy the torch, but that time the info came (on crackberry of course) that the torch 2 is on the way
now i want to have the perfect combo.... my playbook needs the 9810.

I've never had a BlackBerry before, but I really want the new torch. I think it looks good, and the new OS is better at multimedia.

Great stuff!! BlackBerry 7 is awesome!! I currently own a BlackBerry Torch 9800, and I will upgrade to the Torch 9810 as soon as Telcel (my Carrier in MEXICO) starts selling it.
Well done RIM!!!

I just purchased the Torch 9810 and love it, I previously had the Torch 9800, there is not much difference between the phones. I do like the brushed aluminum look and the difference in the screen, its much more crisp. The speed is the biggest difference. I have 3G where I live, it seems that the 3G is running faster, which probably is the new OS on the phone. I would definitely recommend this phone.

I want this Blackberry Torch 9810 because it's a touch phone at the same time a smart phone which is very useful for a medical field student like me.

This is one of the worst, inarticulate, indecisive reviews of any phone that I've ever read. I got about 2/3 of the way through this so called review and gave up. I can't tell if this reviewer is pro or con re this phone. As far as "not worth upgrading from Torch 9800," most of us reading this review have never had the 9800, so that comparison is absolutely worthless, unless the updated version corrected some of the flaws that were slammed in previous reviews of the earlier phone.

This reviewer forgot the cardinal rule of reviewing....you break out the MadDog 20/20 after writing the review, not before.

I come from a 9800, got my 9800 traded for a 9810, much faster, more responsive. a worthy upgrade

Has anyone noticed in the picture showing 9800 and 9810 close that 9800 seems bit thicker esp. on the bottom bit????? Mine shows it even without compare..://

hi there, very nice review i have wanted to see something like this since i have been able to have them in stock here from last monday but i havent had anything to send to customers when they say, how do i know if i should get one?

one thing though at the bottom of "Appearance, Form Factor, Build Quality" you wrote, the difference between the Blackberry Torch 9800 and the Blackberry Torch 9800 is...

T

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
RIM Platinum Partner : o2 Data Centre of Excellence

Business Communications Solution Provider
part of Mobile Telecoms Tech Team

I'm liking this phone.. I'm a teen and was taken away by the look of the Bold 9900. My contract on a not-so-smart samsung monte is running out in October so I've been looking for a phone that's capable of all of a teen's everyday needs (lots of messaging, document holding for school, facebook etc.) Obviously a QWERTY was on the must have and I travel up and down the country a bit to see friends so a good camera would be useful. Was looking at a droid but they just dont have enough QWERTY models so I had a look at BB. Slightly concerned about the appworld but hey there'll be more than enough for me :P
Anyway, loved the bold 9900 but the price isn't brilliant so was looking at the curve. inbetween is the torch price wise and BAM! It has the same features as the 9900 so think this is definately my number one choice.

Hi everyone,

I started to feel lousy... a month ago, my best friend got this blackberry for first time...I was so excited for him... then now he was saying things like he loved it but he felt limit to use blackberry due to not many apps which are available to blackberry os 7... Now he is transferred to iphone 4... he loves blackberry's keyboard.. but what bothers him.. the app sucks.

In some way, i am disappointed with RIM because App is a key to every device. 2012 is last chance to turnback and to make us happy again with many many apps.

Hello everyone,

My first Blackberry smartphone was the Blackberry Curve 8520 in late 2009, after many years in denial of RIM's products true potential and that I'm simply stubborn. No later than 24 hours with my new Curve I knew I was hooked for life with Blackberry smartphones. Not only the product's quality was amazing, just the smartphone I needed business wise and personally, a perfect match.
Today I own a BB Torch 9810, after a brief year with the BB Torch 9800. I say brief because the 9800 was a giant leap from all its predecessors and as soon the new 9810 was launched, I drove to a friends store that sells Blackberry smartphones, I compared both phones asn that was it for me, the new BB Torch 9810 is exactly like the late 9800 but on steroids!
The 1.2Ghz processor is a outstanding and the new BB OS 7 has great speed, impeccable image quality and the battery maybe the only part of the product that didn't improve like the rest of the product, but that is a problem that all mobile corporations and the world in general is trying to improve, a super long lasting battery.
I am a professional photographer and also a musician, so I have Apple computers over a decade ago, I've used the iphone 4, great quality, but in my personal opinion, my BB Torch 9810 is the correct mobile for my professional needs, iphones are a hightech mobile entertaining system, so yeah, not for me. I even sold my ipod cause I can keep all my music in my Torch which has a 8Gb that I purchased for it and I still have over 6Gb free, and trust me I have plenty of music and photos in my phone.
So yeah my friends, I hooked with Blackberry for life....please keep improving your technology but do launch new mobiles with both qwerty keyboards and touchscreen capabilities. If something I don't like and will never like is loosing a touchable keyboards, so please don't loose them, I bet half or even more than 60% of worldwide mobile owners prefer a real keyboard than a all touch screen mobile.

Keep up the great work!

Luis
www.lavvphotography.com

I think I like this one a lot more than I like the Bold 9900. No comments on the touch only Torch (seriously RIM?)
I feel this is my favorite of the BB7 lineup, but still rocking a 9780.
For Torch owners out there; does it break easy? I mean with the sliding up and down all the time....

Just found out today that T-Mobile has these. I remember when the 9800 came out I had kind of wanted to see it on TMo, so this would be my chance to own one. Thing is, I'm a 9780 user and quite satisfied with it. I think it's more a case of wanting a new phone than needing one. I've got to figure out whether the 9810 brings enough to the table to warrant buying one...unless TMo gives me a friendly enough price, in which case I'll probably buy it on the spot.

Anyone out there in comment-land care to weigh in on this dilemma?

the torch 2 has both autofocus camera and hd video. the bolds have either just autofocus or hd video. torch 2 really has the best of both worlds!

I use a 9810 and its really AWESOME! compared to my previous device, the curve 9300. WiFi Hotspot and NFC both come with OS 7.1 and not the default 7.0 that comes with the phone so an upgrade to the OS gives you that but unfortunately RIM doesn't provide an official upgrade, not at this time at least. There are leaked OS's out there so feel free to upgrade at your own risk. Thinking of trying it out but I got my fingers crossed.

I use a 9810 and its really AWESOME! compared to my previous device, the curve 9300. WiFi Hotspot and NFC both come with OS 7.1 and not the default 7.0 that comes with the phone so an upgrade to the OS gives you that but unfortunately RIM doesn't provide an official upgrade, not at this time at least. There are leaked OS's out there so feel free to upgrade at your own risk. Thinking of trying it out but I got my fingers crossed.

Does the 9810 lag? Cause I wanna buy it sometime this week, and I'm confused whether I should buy the Bold 9900, or the Torch 9810.
Can anyone help me out here by telling me the difference between both the phones?
Thank you.

Thank you for the review guys, after reading this & some other sites I went ahead & got a 9810 that I'm very happy with. The advice about swapping to a 9800 battery door only really works if you don't want to use RIM's leather pouch, I have both the silver & the black. With the black one fitted, almost ever time I remove the device from the pouch the battery door falls off! This doesn’t seem to happen with the silver.

Needed to upgrade my 9800, after 18 mo. the slider keyboard died on me leaving me with only the virtual keyboard. Had a decision to use my upgrade and go with a android galaxy SIII for the next 18mo. or use my Insurance and get an upgraded 9810 for the same cost (200.00) and save my upgrade for the spring and the BB10. I hope I made the right choice and just didn't blow 200.00 smackers. I'm sticking with BB, for now. Don't let us down RIM.