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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RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800
Headphones? Not in the US
In the US (at least through AT&T) the 9800 does not come with a headphone. It comes with a microfibre cloth, though...
Amazon offered (still offers?) the phone for $100 with a 2 year plan. But still using AT&T as the provider. Not sure if Amazon.co.uk will carry this phone.
And yeah, useful apps like Google Maps, Kindle for Blackberry, ScoreMobile, Yelp, Kayak, Weatherbug, Bloomberg Mobile, Radio Companion. Most of them downloaded through the App Store.
Not doing anything with the 'social media' stuff -- so simply hide it, or uninstall these from your phone altogether. Frees up space on the internal memory of the phone too.
I'm using the 9800 since the day of release, here in the US. Granted, quality of the release-day phones was a bit below par (slider wiggles, my speaker on the phone conked out after 1.5 months), but the phone itself is my business heaven.
All the inboxes i need, within one press of a key to monitor when getting off planes, or keeping up to speed right before boarding. Texting easier than ever before. Browser is amazing, finally up to par with current technologies.
The release-day firmware / rom contained a number of bugs. But thanks to sites the likes of crackberry, new roms were leaked and made public days after launch. It fixed most of the gripes, such as a tinny buzz over the earphones while speaking, volume level of the phone in general, and some other issues.
Battery life is excellent -- almost two days of intensive calling / browsing / emailing.
Of course, AT&T as the only provider for me is not a good thing. Being on the West Coast a lot does mean poor reception / data speeds. Dropped calls galore, close to Los Angeles.
Pry it from my dead cold hands, is all I have to say. And you know what else? No fart apps.
...way too frikkin' heavy!
Would be great
But in the US, RIM screwed up any chance of making this the next popular BlackBerry when they went with AT&T as the only carrier for this next paperweight.
Have had a quick fiddle with one of these and the web browser experience is in a different league from any previous BB device. Nice review.