The Good Sturdy build quality; Bright capacitive touch screen; Qwerty sliding keyboard.
The Bad BlackBerry OS 7 still needs work; the camera has not been improved from 9800.
The Bottom Line BlackBerry Torch 9810 is a classic example of a company that is subtly upgrading an existing device. It offers many improvements over the 9800, but we don’t think it is too far off.
The BlackBerry Torch 9810 is the heir to last year’s 9800 and can improve the screen, faster processor and the latest BlackBerry OS 7 iteration.
You can pick up Torch 9810 for a two-year deal for about £ 25 per month. In addition, if you have just won the lottery, then you can pick up the block without a SIM card for £ 450.
Should I buy a BlackBerry Torch 9810?
Launched next to the keyboard Torch 9860 The 9810 should appeal to traditional BlackBerry fans, as it boasts a keyboard and touch screen interface.
However, this is not a unique proposition. In fact, it’s more of an update to last year’s Torch 9800, not a big leap forward. Sure, it’s faster, has a new operating system and can even shoot 720p video, but it seems too small, too soon.
However, if you looked with interest at Torch 9800 in 2010 but didn’t go down, this sequel might be for you.
Like the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Torch 9860, this handset rocks the BlackBerry OS 7, the latest and potentially largest release of the RIM mobile operating system. This is an upgrade to OS 6 that we saw on the Torch 9800, and it offers colorful menu icons that seem to have been inspired by the likes of iOS and Android.
Everything is laid out in touch-sensitive grids, and the home screen is divided into different touch-sensitive sections. At the top of the screen, the settings menu opens, and at the bottom, a space is processed by notifications. Your programs take up the most space.
You can swipe left and right to open categories such as the “most used applications” or those you download from BlackBerry App World. You can optionally cope with these categories.
Swiping up and down increases or decreases the app drawer, allowing you to fully open attractive phone wallpapers.
With all its friendly prowess, the Torch 9810 still relies on the traditional BlackBerry optical trackpad when it comes to choosing the right menu. Although OS 7 has made significant strides in the world of touchscreen mobile interfaces, there are clearly some elements of the past that RIM software engineers are reluctant to leave behind.
Unlike its close ratio, the Torch 9860 – which has a 3.7-inch display with a resolution of 480×800 pixels – the Torch 9810 has a 3.2-inch screen with a resolution of 480×640. Despite its smaller size, this TFT (thin-film transistor) display is not harsh and offers a crisp crisp image – although the colors look noticeably washed out compared to the 9860.
The other good news is that it is capacitive, meaning you can perform all those wonderful “grafting” gestures that iPhone and Android fans always knock on.
Probably at the heart of any true BlackBerry hardware (we ignore for a minute without the 9860 keyboard), the physical interface of the Torch 9810 consists of a sliding Qwerty arrangement – the same as what actually defined its direct predecessor.
Although applications such as Swype and SwiftKey X have introduced a touch screen, gaining new levels of speed, accuracy and prediction, you simply cannot overcome the sensation of real buttons at hand. Releasing an email, status update, or Facebook message on Torch 9810 is a joy, though we feel like the buttons are too close together for comfort.
We would also prefer if the numbers were in a separate line of keys rather than the “alt” commands on the existing letter buttons, although this would increase the size of the keyboard vertically, creating larger phones.
Although the Torch 9810 is similar in design to last year’s 9800, it has a personality of its own thanks to its refined chrome finish. The entire device is shiny silver, but it should be noted that only the edges of the front panel are metal – everything else – just covered in plastic.
The back of the phone has a mesh texture that promotes clutch, but we are not completely satisfied with this effect. It’s also unfortunate that the battery cover is not made of metal like the Torch 9860.
The Torch 9810 is almost annoying with the physical inputs. Like the optical touchpad mentioned above, there is a regular command bank at the bottom of the screen. Although these remnants are the same as the display and initially appear capacitive touch buttons, they are actually physical keys under a thin layer of plastic.
On the right side of the phone you will find a volume switch and a key. The latter can be used to snap photos while running the camera phone application, among others.
At the top of the handset, you’ll find a lock button on the left and a mute button on the right. The mute button cannot be used to force your phone into your silent profile, but it only seems to work when you receive a call (and want to silence a call) or listen to music or watch a movie and want to cut out the sound.
Processor Power and Internal Storage
One of the biggest problems that people have with the original Torch 9800 is that it was working with a deficient 624 MHz processor when the 1 GHz dual-core processors began to enter the market.
The good news is that RIM listened to the grunt of dissatisfaction and properly raised the Torch 9810 chip to 1.2 GHz. The bad news is that it’s still a straightforward affair. RIM strongly believes that dual-core circuits only benefit from large-screen devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Considering that Torch 9810 occasionally makes you wait for it to download an application, we are not quite sure it is true. However, the phone does feel rather capricious, especially if you’re a BlackBerry veteran who periodically mentions the sluggish performance of past RIM phones. Menu navigation is smooth, the screen is responsive, and 720p video playback is smooth.
With 8GB of internal storage, the Torch 9810 offers twice as much as its direct predecessor. You can also top up this amount with a microSD card that is easy to replace, meaning you don’t have to turn off your phone to change it. Unfortunately, there is no card in the phone.
Browsing the Internet on the Torch 9810 is a surprisingly quick experience. The lack of Adobe Flash support is a mystery, especially if you think RIM finds it necessary to squeeze it into your PlayBook tablet.
The pages are quick to display and look great on this 3.2-inch screen, though we noticed that the text usually looks a bit uneven when you zoom straight in. Text filling is also surprisingly common on some complex sites, but this problem usually occurs. most mobile web browsers.
Camera and video
Image capture – both static and moving variety – is carried out by a 5-megapixel camera of the phone. The shooting still stays the same with the Torch 9800, which is a bit disappointing. Having said that, image stabilization and the LED flash are pretty decent, and even ranking enthusiasts will be able to take a decent shot with this device.
After transferring VGA video to the Torch 9800, we are pleased to announce that 720p shooting has reduced this new phone. This is hardly revolutionary, given that top-ranked Android phones download 1080p video today, but that will be enough.
Connection and battery life
The Torch 9810 has an almost full deck in terms of connectivity options – no small feat considering that not too long ago RIM was still knocking out phones that lacked 3G data.
Whether it’s via Wi-Fi or 3G, we’ve noticed that this device has download speeds. It is unfortunate that support for NFC (which allows for wireless communication between two devices) was not considered, as was the Bold 9900 and Torch 9860. However, the dream of contactless payments is still a long way away, so few will probably complain about its omission.
Although it has a relatively modest 1,270mAh battery, the Torch 9810 offers the usual story when it comes to smartphone stability. If you are careful with your power consumption, it will allow you to last longer, but watching videos, playing music and getting into a playground will all drive the power plant at an alarming rate.
Unlike the Torch 9860 – which feels like a new destination for RIM and the BlackBerry line – the Torch 9810 is a slightly easier improvement on what came before.
It takes the basic Torch 9800 pattern and gives it a lick of paint, as well as some more powerful guts and slightly modified OS. With all these improvements, it does not seem like much of a leap was expected by many.
Standing close to the competition, the torch 9810 looks even less impressive. The 1.2GHz processor may be big news in BlackBerry circles, but before the year is over, it’s likely that we’ll see Android phones with 1.5GHz dual-core monsters beating in their hearts.
However, in the past, BlackBerry has enjoyed an amazing degree of success, updating its portfolio in small steps. If you are a persuasive traditionalist who doesn’t sell the idea of a 9860 keyboardless torch, then this fan might be just for you – assuming you don’t already own the 9800 torch and a year from receiving your contract upgrade, that is.