Carving their niche out as the “Business Model” of smart phones, the Blackberry brand has been a constant in the market since their premier in 2003. Famously becoming the first “Presidential Smart Phone” through President Obama’s constant endorsements, the brand has recently come under some major criticism due to a worldwide blackout of servers last October and the pressure of the leaps and bounds made by rival companies such as Google and Apple. Blackberry however is looking to show that they can still compete in the market with a new line of 4G phones, including the new Blackberry Torch 9810 (the 9800’s successor). Blast was recently able to test out the 9810 before its November 9 T-Mobile release date and see what the new model has to offer.
Boasting a great deal more power and storage space than its predecessor, the 9810 comes with a 1.2 GHz processor chip (compared to the 624 MHz of the 9800) with 768 MB internal Ram (512 MB internal RAM on the 9800). The memory has also doubled from 4 GB to 8, with cards allowing for up to to 32.
While the still image camera remains the same 5 Megapixels resolution as the 9800, the video camera has been upgraded from 420p to 702p making it the first Blackberry phone to record in HD. The display screen has also upgraded its resolution from the earlier model’s 480x360px to 640x480px.
The battery is extremely resilient; lasting around 28 hours under heavy strain (phone calls, texts, music, social apps, ect.) with a posted 6.8 hours of talk time. The phone however will begin to lock out functions as the battery dies, which can lead to some frustration near the end of the charge.
An extremely streamlined layout, the 9810 divides its apps from the main screen into five different categories. All: a general view of the app; Favorites: a personalized section for users to save their favorite apps; Media: the music, pictures, and videos of the phone as well as the camera and video camera; Downloads: the extra apps from the initially installed ones; and Frequent: where your most used apps are placed for easy access.
The media applications are extremely simplified, with the music system a carbon I-Tunes copy and the picture system divided into camera and downloaded pictures. Attached to the phone from the start is AT&T music, Live T.V., Slacker’s Radio, and Youtube for access to online media.
It should be mentioned as a negative point that the web browser does not run a Flash Player and the web browser tends to be all together nonfunctional compared to the competition. Anything that is made especially for the phone however (Twitter, Facebook, Okcupid, etc.) work very well.
The notification system is thinned out into a single section, with updates on your email, text messages, and social sites all condensed into a drop down menu from the main screen. There is also a Social Feeds app that comes standard with the phone that condenses all your social network feeds into one screen (organized by the time they were posted) allowing a quick look at all your social media updates.
There are still flaws within the social network apps. The Blackberry Facebook app for example lacks a way to check your events list. There is also the standing problem of Blackberry phones not including a free GPS app as most of their competition do.
The Black Berry Torch 9810 is a great improvement on the 9800 in many ways. It is a straight forward 4G phone with the same simple features that Blackberry fans enjoy. However, many of the complaints that are made about Blackberry phones are still present and it is the least powerful of the newest line from the major distributors, with both new Droid Bionic and iPhone 4S having significantly better resolution, higher quality cameras, free GPS, and more comparable Internet browsers. It does however come in at almost one hundred dollars cheaper with activation than the other two on average, making the power difference less of a hit.
Anyone who is a fan of Blackberry would be well off upgrading to the Torch 9810. Also anyone looking to make a leap to a 4G phone without paying the Droid and I-Phone prices may also find The Torch 9810 worth checking out.
The Blackberry Torch 9810 is available November 9.