RIM have released a new Blackberry model geared up to launch an assault on the ever popular iPhone and Android models currently dominating the market. The Torch not only looks a great phone, but thanks to a combination of touchscreen and qwerty keypad it boasts dual functionality sadly lacking on many competitors models.
Despite once being the phone of choice for the business user, Blackberrys have found themselves becoming increasingly popular with the typical smartphone consumer thanks to the excellent messaging facilities and great connectivity options. The new Blackberry Torch certainly does not disappoint here. The ever poular Blackberry Instant Messenger is included on the phone, meaning you can chat with other blackberry users easily and without charge. Another reason the phones are so good for such features is the excellent physical keypads that they are famous for sporting. This model boasts a 35 key affair which is located behind the display on a slide mechanism. As on previous models, the keypad is as good as you will find anywhere, feeling both wll made and responsive. Where the Torch is a different animal is thanks to the incorporation of a capacitive touchscreen in addition to the keypad, making certain tasks easier, for example composing a brief SMS without activating the keypad. The screen measures 3.2″ and displays a resolution of 360 x 480 pixels. Although not quite in the same league as the Samsung Galaxy S and the iPhone 4, it is worth remembering that Blackberrys are normally purchased for their messaging facilities, for which the screen is perfect.
The Blackberry Torch features the latest version 6 operating system from the manufacturer. Despite improvements in how the phone operates, it is nice to see that the interface is still very familiar. The phone features a main menu, as well as four homescreens. Their is a fully customisable favourites screen where you can place you favourite apps and widgets. The media screen is self explanitory, and includes links to the camera and audio playback facilities. A handy option is the “Frequent” screen, where your most used applications are all listed and finally there is a downloads section. although this takes a little getting used to if you are an Android or iPhone user, once you do it is a very simple system to navigate.
The Blackberry Torch is a very functional handset which scores highly in the style department. Blackberry lovers will appreciate the traditional features, but a new band of consumers will be attracted thanks to the new operating system and large, capacitive touchscreen.
The Blackberry Torch and the HTC 7 Trophy are available now.