RIM has off late bombarded the smartphone market with a slew of BlackBerry devices. The good thing with the new launches is that all devices boast BlackBerry OS 7. The Blackberry Torch 9860 is also one of them but is definitely different from the conventional Blackberry phones.
For a layman it’s difficult to identify the models of Blackberry from the looks as almost all the phones have a similar form factor and the design. However, with the Torch 9860, RIM is trying to satisfy savvy buyer who wants to flaunt the device with the likes of Androids and iPhones.
Design and Build quality
The candy bar styled phone features a full capacitive 3.7-inch touch-screen with a resolution support of 480×800 pixels. The screen looks good and is visible in direct sunlight. Just below the screen are the four conventional buttons – Call receive, Menu, Back, the Call End button and the Optical trackpad.
The phone looks premium; however, the lack of capacitive buttons are a dampener to a large extent. Instead of the regular buttons, capacitive buttons would have added much more elegant look to the phone.
The top panel of the phone houses the screen lock/unlock button. The left panel of the phone features the micro USB port for charging or connecting it to the USB cable. The 3.5mm audio socket, volume buttons and a convenience key are present on the right panel of the phone. These keys are rubberized and we found them pretty hard to press. The convenience key, as the name suggests can be programmed to invoke the application of your choice.
The battery cover is made of metal with a matt finish to it. It also features the shining silver BlackBerry logo.
Hardware and Software
Torch 9860 runs on a single-core 1.2GHz processor with 2.5GB of internal storage with 768MB of RAM. The storage can be extended externally up to 32GB in the form of a microSD card. The back of Torch 9860 features the 5-megapixel camera with LED flash. The camera is nothing sort of a revolutionary but is not bad either. Camera has a decent colour reproduction and supports features like image and video stabilization, various shooting modes and capable of recording videos of 720p. The Torch’s camera quality we can say is at par with the Bold 9900. On the connectivity front, the phone features 3G, WLAN and Bluetooth. Like the Blackberry Bold 9900, the Torch 9860 features GPS with Blackberry Maps.
The Torch 9860 as we mentioned earlier is the full touch-screen phone. The on-screen keyboard is decent to use, however, not up to the mark of iPhone keyboard or an Android phones keyboard. In the landscape mode, the keyboard is comfortable to use. It will take some time to getting used to the onscreen keyboard, but once mastered it is a breeze.
On the multimedia front, the phone supports playback 720p HD video files in MPEG4 format.
The Blackberry OS 7 is better than the previous generations but there is not much to differentiate. A good inclusion is the universal search feature that searches for the keyword on the device, contacts and other online tools present in the phone. For instance, a search for the name “Anish” reveals the apps that feature the keyword as a contact or something related.
The phone at times lagged in performance during our tests and once freezed in the middle of the call. We had to remove the battery and give the phone a reboot to get going again. The battery is rated at 1230mAh that lasts for more than 24 hours with Blackberry services on EDGE connection and moderate calling and messages.
The Torch 9860 is priced at Rs. 28,250 which we consider is on a higher side as compared to other touch screen phones that feature larger screens and offer more features. To back this, we showed the device to a few Blackberry Curve 8250 users, 8250 being the entry level phone, we asked the users if they would like to upgrade to the phone at this price, the replies were – If this phone would retail for Rs.20,000 to Rs.22,000 we would surely buy it. However, if you are a Blackberry fan and want to compete with the Android or Apple gang, the Torch 9860 is a good upgrade or your next phone.