BlackBerry touchscreen evolution: Comparing the Torch 9810, 9850 / 9860 to the Torch 9800 and Storm 2

By Kevin Michaluk on 5 Aug 2011 09:21 am EDT

After recording up our BlackBerry Bold comparison video at BlackBerry 7 Fan Night, RIM's Jeff Gadway and I did up a final video for the night, this time taking a look at the evolution of the full touchscreen experience on BlackBerry Smartphones (thanks again to CrackBerry member the brother for doing the filming!).

With the BlackBerry Bold line representing the best of the traditional BlackBerry form factor and experience, the Torch brand now represents the best of the full touchscreen experience. So the Storm name is officially dead, and that's why you're now seeing two form factors of Torches -- both the slider 9800/9810 and full touchscreen 9850/9860 -- under the Torch brand. Thus the Curve brand for RIM represents entry level BlackBerry Smartphones, which will cover both styles of form factor (and yes, new Curves are definitely on the way soon).

We cover a lot of things in this video, so it's definitely one to watch. We start off with a comparison of the BlackBerry Storm 2 to the new full touchscreen BlackBerry Torch 9850 / 9860, and from there we do a comparison of the Torch 9800 to the BlackBerry Torch 9810, including a web browser head to head. The new Torch is said to be 40% faster at web browsing than BlackBerry 6 (and I think a 100% faster than OS 5), and we definitely saw every percent of that improvement in our initial tests. I can't wait to get some BlackBerry 7 devices to call my own so I can really put them through my standard CrackBerry tests. Maybe it's time for another BBM Stress Test?!!  Enjoy the video!

Reader comments

BlackBerry touchscreen evolution: Comparing the Torch 9810, 9850 / 9860 to the Torch 9800 and Storm 2


I curse my Storm 2 nearly every time I attempt a long email/text, I'm REALLY hoping Verizon carries the torch 9850/60 so I can get rid of the Storm.

Per our Verizon rep: "This will be one of the new Blackberries that will be launching with us in the next several weeks. We do not have a specific launch date as of yet, but we are told they are coming soon.. I will let you know when I receive more information on a launch date."

Crackberry > RIM PR - how embarrassing, sounds like a car enthusiast at the Canadian Auto Show...RIM needs to hire Kevin and a bunch more staff (but then the beloved site might expire)

IMO RIM needs to focus more on the Torch 9810.
Thinner + Lighter + evolve the feel of the keyboard of the Bold = FULL OF WIN, parade down Philip St

I would honestly go to the point in saying the Bold could be retired because of this, leaving behind the old Blackberry in favor of the evolution led by the Torch.

You're right, lots of your opinion there. Now its my turn...
IMO: the Bold.... IS.... BlackBerry, and most of us blackberry addicts can't wait for its beloved release... Touch screens are great... Sliders are great... But most of us just want a new blackberry (traditional bold)... Just my opinion ;)

It's true, you can't totally retire the Bold. I had 3 Bolds and an iPhone. Two completely different worlds, but the harmony of the Torch is what I have grown to love. Not sold on the new Bold Touch screen, still too small for relaxing with in the palm of your hand.

Unfortunately Torch 9810 is like I said 1) Too thick 2) too heavy

The only thing I liked about my iPhone was that it slid into jean pocket without a noticeable bulge. Bold Touch great! Torch 9850 yes! Torch 9810 looks like I'm trying to compensate or something. This is something that should have been addressed with the 9810, but wasn't...only new power which is nice...

Um...yeah, Kevin your kind of a zealot here. Your ebullient 'enthusiasm' gives the impression that RIM products achieve some sort of heavenly state of perfection. I like my BlackBerry but you've got to be kidding me with this crap. "I don't think RIM gets enough credit!" you tell us -- LOL, no kidding. Luckily they have you addicted to their Kool Aid to dispel all criticism of their actions or products.

the BBM6 on BB7 stress test will be fricken epic. can't wait! i hope i make it to the first 2,000 or so ppl who get added lol. don't envy u having to click the "Accept" thru all those invites, haha!

great videos, thanks again for letting me be part of it! CrackBerry meet up in Toronto SOON, yeah? lemme know, we will try and get the SwagBerry guys to make an appearance!!!!!!!!!!!


I waited for 2 year for the release of the new storm and got tired of the wait. A month ago at the contract renewal, since my strom 2 was dying went and got a HTC SEnsation and still waited for RIM to release the new storm. Now it comes with the name torch and as i can see still more of the same. No frontal camera no new significant improvements to the software, as I see is more of the same. Rim Is an excellent company but insist in staying in the past, behind in the same old fashioned style. We the customers deserve better but rim is not realising that we have a choice. Is too sad that i cant make comparisons between my new Sensation From HTC and The new torch cause in terms of technology the new torch is still a dinosaur compared to the dual core HTC Sensation.. Is very sad for me to say this because i was even a beta tester for blackberry. So as I see Rim decided to stay bhind in the technology world and for me is time to moe with the future and leave them behind. It was a great experience, but as many others is time to move on in the power line. Thanks for the good times and now i can say good bye blackberry, but much humbled for the service.

To each his own I suppose...

I feel RIM has stepped up their game significantly with these new phones, and I am very optimistic in the well being of the company, with or without your support.

It has become rather bothersome when individuals such as yourself come onto this site and use the argument that they have not changed their style since the inception of BlackBerrys... What do you think they should make next that would satisfy the masses? Full touch screen? Done. Flip phone? Done. Candy bar style? Done. Slider? Done. Small pocketable form factor? Done. High end luxury line? Done. Starter line? Done. What's left?

The Bold is iconic, they would be stupid not to introduce a new updated version... not to mention touch seems to be all the rage these days, so why not throw a few of those our way?

RIM has thought especially hard on these new BlackBerry phones, ensuring that they are snappy in performance while still (hopefully) holding true to their roots as the workhorse, and leader in energy efficiency. Whether you would like to accept the truth or not, dual core processors are hogs in comparison to RIM's new 1.2GHz processor. Other than that, I cannot understand how you classify your HTC as being technologically superior. It, sure as hell, isn't the pinhole front facing camera which you may or may not use on a daily basis... if you do, then all I have to say to that is your grandma thinks your ugly and would like you to stop video chatting with her... I kid, I kid... but you get my point, hopefully.

I challenge you to find another phone manufacturer who appeals to more markets than RIM's BlackBerry; and just in case you are American, yes, people live across the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and they count as markets too...

P.S. Don't make it sound like being a beta tester is some kind of exclusive club... Everyone and their dog has that membership card...

Big ups here to you my friend. Very very well put. And as for me? I've tried all the rave devices out there. Still I come back to the BB because of the diversity in their products as you well put. Good points all around.

I was at the event as well (one of the 40 winners off twitter). Spoke with the Product manager for the 9860 for a good 15-20 minutes. I told her, the device would be perfect in my opinion, if they had a keyboard as a landscape slider.

It's funny, I went into the event leaning towards the Torch touch or maybe the Torch 2, and ended up choosing the Bold 9900.

My hands were not made for on screen keyboards!

Wow! the browsing test on this video proves that I made a good decision of sticking with RIM despite the perceived advantage that users of other platforms have claimed. I personally don't care much about the bells and whistles that the other platforms offer. Give me a well rounded "PHYSICAL" keyboard, push e-mail and great battery life and I am all for it, RIM does it best in those categories.

At 9:56 he plays an embedded YouTube video on the Crackberry site on the 9810. Can this be done without flash support or does this mean the device supports flash?

lol, they should have done a take2 on that memory part. It was a simple mistake, but it could have been avoided. Maybe he forgot to look at the spec flyer that was not in view to the camera? lol

I hate to say it but as soon as this fellows Boss sees the way he looked with his tie loose and looking all disheveled he will be looking for a new job! Then again who knows now a days I personally think he looks horrible especially for a launch of new devices.

WHAT ABOUT THE VIRTUAL KEYBOARD EXPERIENCE ON THE 9850/9860!? That's all that I want to see in action right now to help me determine on which phone to pick up..

The 9810 is the only phone that would persuade me to switch to ATT. I currently have sprint and with a family of four, I can't beat the price and coverage in my area. I'm very happy that sprint is getting the 9930. I use to have a Pre and loved the combination of large screen and physical keyboard. Most BB users need/want a physical keyboard. How long will ATT have the exclusivity on the slider torch? It will be interesting to see how the 9850 does.

Awww crap!!! Stuck in China, YouTube doesn't work in China... friggin' blocked. Would love to view this video comparison, as I'm still using the Storm 2. Looking forward to the 9850/9860 coming out just as I return to US of A. When I will also finally pick up a Playbook as well (came out six days after I left the US :'( , haven't been back since).

Simply put, the Torch 2 blows the Torch 1 out of the water. You could almost say that *puts sunglasses on* the Torch 2 torches the Torch.

I don't mean to sound negative here, really. But were still seeing signs of checkerboaring with browser use? That's really disheartening this far along in the game. Hopefully that will not transpire with the 9900's, considering that is the handset I will purchase and also because it has more memory.

Still.... :(

Considering that it was the actual CB site (not the mobile one) which has lots of videos and pictures to load,it did great! He is also on 3G, when you're in a (3.5G) HSPA+ zone it will render a bit quicker.

On the checkerboarding...CB was still loading & checkerboading wasn't an issue once fully loaded. I love the speed & video in browser (no buffering). Wonder if they were connected WI-Fi or 3G.

If you look closely the 9800 says "Rogers" 3G and the 9810 says "Bell" 3G, No Wi-Fi connection. If you notice the 9850 us running on H+ (aka HSPA+) That one was rendering at higher speeds due to the connection. I am still impressed with the boost in speeds shown in this video (9800 vs 9810).

I have got to say I've been pleased with my Torch Browser until watching that video!
I still am 99% sure I'm going with the 9900, but the 9810 really is impressive, I might actually have to wait to use both and play with the keyboards, just because I want to do the side by side myself now!

They both annihilated my OS5 8900 on EDGE.

So I certainly won't be complaining once I upgrade.

I am definitely excited about these new phones. I've read the articles about the "leaked" info. I just hope they are somewhat true. I have my eyes on that 9900. I just hope I don't have to compromise my pockets and buy it unlocked.

*shakes fist at RIM* too many awesome phones! I'm now torn between the 3 after seeing all the videos posted here. I want them all...moar MOAR!

You do a good interview Kevin, nice vid, awesome phones!

Still going for 9900, but the 9860 is looking very nice.

Wow ..... that is faster then my desktop that runs DSL.

Now .... I thought that I was going to get the 9900, but this tourch thing has got me thinking .......hummmmm ..... Kevin, need your help.
I'm leaning towards the 9900, because with my work, I am texting every 5 minutes.
Then again ..... should I try the all touch screen...

You did a good job on this one Kevin ...... good write up.

Kevin for Board of Director leader !

I'm truly blown the hell away! I was so sold on the new Bold touch....but giving the Torch a whirl when it first came out...I fell in love with it. Now to see this upgrade? Man I'm having a tough time. ;) GOOD FRIGGEN JOB!!! :)