I have to say, a couple of years ago I’d be updating my site with Blackberry news every second week, a new device here, a new something there. But the last year has been very light on.
The Pearl 3G is a nice device, but it’s nothing revolutionary. It’s the Original pearl with 3G (Finally) and the trackpad (also good!), and it’s a sleek device – great stuff.
The Bold 9700 was a standout – a real joy for the lineup, the 9000 Bold was (and still is) quite dated.
But other than that – what has there been?
Rumours of a ‘slider’ device have circulated for some time, and the first ‘spy’ shots I saw were not great, looked like a cobbled together concept device.
Finally though, it’s a reality. AT&T in America and Blackberry today launched the Torch 9800 Blackberry Smartphone.
Research in Motion (RIM) have already announced that it will hit Australia “in the coming months” on Optus, Telstra and Vodafone.
Ross Fielding, Executive Director, Telstra Mobility Products said:
We’re excited to confirm that Telstra will bring the new BlackBerry Torch 9800 to our Next G Network customers later this year.
The Torch elegantly solves the dilemma many of our customers tell us they face — choosing between a touch screen and a physical keyboard on a smartphone. By combining both a full touch screen for easy web browsing with a slide-out QWERTY keypad, the Torch is set to be popular with people who love to email and surf the web. We’ve already sampled the Torch’s web browsing experience on our Next G network and we think our customers will be impressed — it really flies.
It is, as anticipated a slider device, more than a Boldon many fronts – the Camera is improved to 5Mp and continuous Auto Focus which is a welcome addition, WiFi ‘n’ is included which is fantastic, double the onboard memory and double capacity SD card included (4GB). This is all great.
There are some real catch up features here, the camera, the universal search among possibly others, are catch up features to the iPhone 4, strange, given the criticism of Apple for always leaving features out (more on that another time).
The device LOOKS huge, it looks bulky but I guess only a hands on test will confirm or deny that.
The 9800 Torch is the first Blackberry to run the new Blackberry 6 Operating System which should be a vast improvement, however, once again, we’ll have to wait and see on that. No judging this book by it’s cover. However, the WebKit browser should give one of the best web browsing experiences – something Blackberry has long long been behind the 8 ball on.
Even if it is a catch-up device, it’s about time!
I just wish sometimes RIM would stick to it’s core, and release a touch screen 9700 – That alone would make the device experience better. But, that’s just my opinion:)