Your daily dose of technology

Torching The BB Torch 9860


After a long time, RIM has managed to cook up a few brand new devices running the ‘latest technology’. Sadly, for RIM, their technology isn’t going to match up to the likes of Samsung, Apple, Motorola, HTC etc.

Nevertheless, the fact mentioned above isn’t going to deter the fact that I’m still going to review it. 😛

The BlackBerry Torch 9860 is one of the ‘just finished’ pieces from the RIM factory. This time around, Mr. Jim Balsillie (RIM CEO) must’ve hired and fired a hell lot of engineers to get the new line of BBs out of the door. After the previous Storm push-screen and Torch slider debacle, I’m sure the new Torch 9860 has been well worked upon.

HARDWARE

The BlackBerry Torch 9860 is RIM’s first foray into a full touchscreen implementation of their devices. The new device has a 3.7 inches wide touchscreen, which is a Bold new move on RIM’s part (Yes, pun intended.). The device has a measly screen resolution of 480 X 800 pixels which showcases the new BB OS 7 in all its glory.

The new device is powered by a single-core 1.2 GHz processor. This was an extremely sad move on RIM’s part. With devices like the Samsung Galaxy S2, Motorola Droid Bionic and LG Optimus 2X launching with dual-core technology, this may be a severe shortcoming for this device. Though the device is quite fast, the speed and finesse of the above devices is simply absent from RIM’s latest.

The internal memory of this device is a mere 4 GB but, it can be expandable upto 32 GB via the micro-SD slot available.

The camera of this device is a standard 5-megapixel camera with an LED flash. It is also capable of taking HD videos of upto 720p. It has all the latest accoutrements like autofocus, portrait mode, landscape mode, night mode, sports mode etc. A welcome new addition is the Face Detection mode. So, now BB users can finally have non-embarrassing pictures. 😛
The pictures which are clicked are fairly good and are at par with previous BB devices.

The device weighs around 135 grams. Fairly light.
The BlackBerry Torch 9860 has a 1230 mAh battery which will last around a day or two, with some light usage. It has a talktime of 4.7 hours.
A major flaw which has been witnessed in the Curve series as well, is the absence of a FM radio. Why can’t RIM just understand that we Indians like to listen to Radio Mirchi & Fever 104, however atrocious they might be? 😡

SOFTWARE

The new BlackBerrys are loaded with the latest Operating System- OS 7. The new OS is not radically different. But, it sure is a welcome change for the users who are bored of the same old icons. The boring black icons have been replaced by colourful icons. The UI has certainly improved.

The homescreen is much like that of OS 6. The time, unread e-mails, unread messages, wifi connectivity, Bluetooth etc are all shown in the status bar. The glass dropdown notification bar is still present from OS 6. The app drawer can be accessed by touching the menu name at the bottom. Different apps on different pages. Same old BlackBerry funda. The Search function is still there and an added functionality is voice search.

A few foibles that many users have had with the new OS is the file system navigation. Fat Americans with fat fingers and Indian aunties with long nails are finding it tough to navigate the files of their new devices.

Another flaw which has been found is the AutoCorrect which keeps interfering while typing into the password field of any application. This screws up the password, as well as the asterisks. Not cool, RIM, not cool at all. If you look at RIM’s past track record with security, this is quite a serious flaw.

This device is also home to RIM’s new Liquid Graphics technology which takes full advantage of the Qualcomm chipset and the Adreno 205 GPU. The new GPU focuses on providing users with smooth and silky animations. This could also be one of the building blocks of RIM’s plans for some serious 3D and graphic-intensive gaming. The Liquid Graphics technology also makes the device faster, overall.

The App World is still a sad excuse. Most of the apps are either useless, plain pathetic or simply over-priced.

All in all, this device is only going to be bought by die-hard BB addicts or by someone who absolutely no common tech sense.
For the apps, I would recommend the iPhone 4 or maybe, even the upcoming iPhone 5.
For people who like to tinker with their devices all day long, the Samsung Galaxy S2, HTC Sensation are the way to go.
And, last but not the least,  Windows Phone 7 for the Microsoft fans. 😎

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4 responses

  1. Lol!! I feel bad for RIM these days, they are getting whopped on Playbook. (when i say whopped i mean whopped!!) I played around with the Blackberry Bold 4 little bit. Its impressive design and keyboard (one to die for) is fantastic. Anyway the hindrance again being the OS. I seriously hope QNX comes through for them. Though India is still feeling the BBM Fever, so it will take time until it dies down. Seen the new Curve?

    BTW Mango is here, and boy does it rock. I wouldn’t say that its only for Microsoft fans anymore.

    September 28, 2011 at 8:10 PM

    • They should’ve released QNX with the new BBs, I feel. Their audience has been asking for it since it had been announced!
      the BBM fever is here to stay, man. Even though it is a stupid trend, the number of teenagers buying BBs instead of QUALITY phones is ever-increasing. And, it’s annoying. 😐
      The Bold 4 is just a Bold 3 with a slightly bigger screen, faster processor & a more spacious keyboard. That’s it.

      Even though Mango is here, the amount of people adopting Windows Phones are miniscule, here in India.
      People have FINALLY realized the power Android phones wield against the other mobile Operating Systems.

      September 28, 2011 at 8:27 PM

      • I agree that the amount of Mango Users, especially in India are very less. But thats because of the less adoption by the companies themselves. Nokia and Microsoft partnership though will change things i think. And i know Android is getting the ‘love’, thats because of the range of phones. Which both iOS and Windows Phone lack.
        And lets not discuss the annoying BBM fans. (seriously lets not :-|)
        Lets see how things change.,

        September 28, 2011 at 8:40 PM

  2. Don Huffstetler

    This design is wicked! You most certainly know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Fantastic job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!

    October 19, 2011 at 10:14 AM

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