RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800
In the picture
Pre-recorded videos look good rather than brilliant on the large screen, which lacks the definition of its Apple and Samsung rivals. It's nice to see a couple of options to zoom in on videos so they fill the screen, though sometimes the drop in quality can be a bit too noticeable. It can handle MPEG4, H.263, H.264 and WMV3 files.
A versatile smartphone, but hardly a leading light
The music player can handle MP3, AMR-NB, AAC-LC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, WMV, Flac and Ogg Vorbis files and includes a 12-setting equaliser to help you get the sound how you like it – you'll probably want to activate one of the bass boost settings to counteract the tinniness of the supplied headphones.
The Torch 9800 comes with a 4GB microSD card and will support up to 32GB for media storage, though you're stuck with the 512MB of onboard memory for adding additional apps. Battery life, in keeping with much of RIM's BlackBerry stable, is a notch above average, and I got close to two days of fairly heavy use out of the Torch 9800.
Against its competitors – big-screen smart phones like the HTC Desire, Samsung Galaxy S and the Apple iPhone – the Torch 9800 falls behind in terms of display resolution and processing power. It's a premium price handset too, which doesn't really help it to stand out. Still, it is a BlackBerry, with excellent push e-mail facilities and corporate compatibility, which will certainly appeal to the faithful, but I'm not sure it's quite enough to win over many new users. Moreover, for how much longer can RIM’s offerings continue to be good enough for BlackBerry users? ®
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