The BlackBerry 7 operating system's UI may lack the polish of iOS or the adaptability of Android but it still does the job. Drag the bottom menu bar up and you can can access all your apps and even reorder them. Swipe left or right and you can navigate to five other trays so you can group apps together for convenience.
Screen customisation and BlackBerry Maps
The problem is that when the apps tray is collapsed the screen is empty. Imagine Android without widgets or homescreen shortcuts and you get the idea. You can advance the apps tray to show either one, two, three or four lines of icons but a selection of background widgets would make BB7 look a lot more funky.
Tap the status bar at the top of the screen and you can instantly access all your connectivity settings while notifications appear in the bar below. The notifications bar also lets you access the sound control panel and search engine.
Messaging and touchscreen typing
Being a BlackBerry, the Torch 9860 naturally comes loaded with all the usual goodies like BB Messenger and BB Maps or if you are Daily Mail reader: Riot Assist and Riot Finder. It also has a very good messaging inbox that lets you send and receive all the types of electronic communication known to man from the one place. And if you want to get down to business, included is a full instal of Documents to Go.
The WebKit browser is satisfyingly fast and I can’t get too bent out of shape about the lack of text reflow and Flash support because you don’t get either with iOS 5 or WinPho 7.5. Another annoyance shared with iOS is a virtual keyboard that doesn’t show lower case graphics on the keys, but otherwise it's a good exemplar of the breed.
Web browsing and social networking sources
With a fast chip and plenty of RAM BB7 zips along at a very brisk pace and is quite a match for the best Android phones and even the iPhone. By using a fast and up-to-date, albeit single-core CPU with plenty of memory, RIM has finally cooked up a handset that works and feels like a modern smartphone.
Next page: Media takeout
BB Missing The Point?
I'm sure I'm not the only one who thinks this, but aren't RIM missing their USP here? They make good handsets with good keyboards and that's what differentiates them - only the Nokia qwerty range ever seemed to come close to the BB keyboards.
They lose the keyboard and go touchscreen....what do they have? My Android (and my old iPhone) all do email just as well (for consumers, anyway) as BB ever did. They have a wider range of (cheaper and better) apps, and with things like MSN and LiveProfile, who really needs BBM now (except kids who want it to work when they have run out of credit).
BB cannot catch-up with iOS/Android in the app market, so they must concentrate on what they do better than anyone else. And that ISN'T making touchscreen phones with no redeeming qualities.
"The large screen does have an impact on battery life but a full charge should still see you through two full days, which is more than you will get from many an Android handset"
"I can’t get too bent out of shape about the lack of text reflow and Flash support"
"because you don’t get either with iOS 5 or WinPho 7.5"
And you do on Android and Symbian. What are we aiming for here, the lowest common denominator?
Nice phone poor battery life
I have had one of these phones for the past weeek.
The phone itself is very nice to use and it is very responsive and the call quality is excellent. Having the big screen is brilliant it makes looking at the internet much easier.
The down sides I found were:
1. The signal strength is nowhere near as good as my 9700, in places where the 9700 would get a low signal but still connect ok this phone was losing the network or just not connecting at all, I took the initial phone I got back and got a replacement and a replacement sim card thinking it was faulty but it made no difference. In the end I had to get the Vodafone Sure Signal box to get a reliable connection at home.
2. The battery life. With the 9700 I can get 2 maybe 3 days if I needed too, but I recharge every night anyway so as long as I get at least 1 day then I wouldnt have been a problem. The best I got with this phone was 7 - 8 hours and that was been very very careful not to use it too much and I installed an app to switch off anything (such as wifi) off when I am not using it, prior to installing this app I got a lot less than this.
This morning I returned the phone and I have gone back to the 9700.
If battery life isnt an issue and you use the phone in areas with a good signal then this phone is excellent, unfortunatly for me it is an issue. I also realise that all big screen phones use up the battery faster than the smaller screens, but I also have an HTC wildfire and that can give me battery life into the 2 -3 days range so I think they need to think about putting a bigger battery into any future large screen phones they release and if they do then I would be very interested in trying it but as it stands having a nice phone that you cant use incase the battery goes flat is no good to me.
What's up with that browser screen?
Why are the GUI elements so big? Why on the social screen do you only see what looks like half the post in that huge ugly font?
Swing and a miss RIM... swing and a miss...