Tech Review: Blackberry Torch 9850

When we heard the Research in Motion’s new Blackberry Torch 9850 with OS 7 did not have the standard Blackberry full QWERTY keyboard, we were anxious to see what this device was all about. We recently got our hands on the new Torch from US Cellular and overall I think it’s a big step forward for RIM.

Blackberry Torch 9850

Nearly the same size as the iPhone 4s, the Torch’s sleek design gives you the best of both worlds in regards to portability and screen size. As much as I am impressed by the mega-screen phones on the market right now, some are more like mini tablets instead of phones. The Torch gives you a sizable screen than you can still easily slip into your pocket. The Torch might be the black sheep of the family with its rectangular design instead of the traditional square, but I like this new direction RIM is going in.

Blackberries are definitely not known for their cameras, but I was pleasantly surprised by the picture quality of the Torch. Its five mega-pixel camera may not the best available for a smartphone, but it definitely doesn’t disappoint.

Looking at the keyboard on the screen, I was a little concerned that typing would be an issue and my text messages would be worthy of a spot on DamnYouAutocorrect.com. Again though, I was surprised how well the Torch picked up the right keys and corrected my mistakes. Blackberry loyalists who are apprehensive of the touch screen should not fear: It’s time to give up the keyboard.

The downside to the Torch, like many other RIM products, is the sometimes sluggish browser. If you want a smartphone that quickly streams videos or can switch back and forth between applications with a breeze, the Torch may not be for.

Though the browser may not be fastest, overall I like the new Torch and I see this phone as a step in the right direction for RIM. I’m definitely looking forward to their Blackberry X products later this year. If you’re interested in the Torch 9850, US Cellular is offering $100 instant savings on all smartphones and the Blackberry Torch is just $99 with a two-year contract.

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