The BlackBerry Torch 9810 can be considered and is the successor to last year’s 9800, boasting an improved screen, faster processor and the updated BlackBerry OS, version 7.
Launched alongside the keyboard-less Torch 9860 and to an extent, Bold Touch 9900, the 9810 should appeal to traditional BlackBerry fans as it boasts a keyboard as well as a large touchscreen interface. As mentioned earlier, this is not much of a new design or idea but rather, it’s more of an update of last year’s Torch 9800. The Torch 9800’s sliding form factor is for people who want that large full touchscreen experience but don’t want to give up a keyboard.
Here’s some specifications at a glance:
Dimensions: 111 x 62 x 14.6 mm
Weight: 161 g
Screen: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 480 x 640 pixels, 3.2 inches, Multitouch
Memory: 8 GB storage, 768 MB RAM, hot-swappable MicroSD
Camera: 5 MP, 2592х1944 pixels, autofocus
Processor: 1.2 GHz
Power: Standard battery, Li-Ion 1270 mAh, F-S1
What’s in the box (same small box like the Torch 9800, Curve 9300)?
- The BlackBerry Torch 9810 device
- Battery, F-S1
- USB Wall Charger
- The MicroUSB cable for charging and syncing
- Stereo earphones
- Manuals, cleaning cloth (some)
Overall, from an outward look, you probably won’t not notice many hardware changes, if any. There’s some new brushed metal on it, with a new battery door and a visibly better screen, but place it side-by-side, many people would be able to realize the difference between the two. In fact, with the identical weight, holding it would not help to distinguish the two as well. For this device, the internal changes here are what really matters and in that aspect, it’s certainly an upgrade.
Unlike the Torch 9860; which sports a 3.7-inch, 480×360 pixel resolution display, the Torch 9810 has a 3.2 inch screen, but with a resolution of 640×480. Despite the smaller size, this display is no slouch and offers a clean, crisp picture. Compared to the older 9800, sporting the 3.2-inch screen, and resolution of 360 x 480 pixels, the Torch 9810 also has visibly better performance in crispness and clarity.
Considering the same capacitive screen, these gestures such as pinch to zoom which both iphone and android users alike tout so much, will also be available and the accessories to accompany the screen (stylus) will be aplenty.
Just like most modern BlackBerry’s, the familiar twin call buttons, BlackBerry menu and the always important back button is present just below the screen which any BlackBerry user will find it familiar, surrounding the track pad.
Arguably the main attraction of most BlackBerry handsets is the keyboard. For the Torch 9810, its physical interface consists of a slide-out Qwerty arrangement, identical to its predecessor Torch 9800.
Typing on the 9810 keyboard, however, one will realize that the keyboard has vast differences compared to the 9800. Firstly, the keyboard is much more tactile (click response) and has a stiffer side to it as opposed to the 9800. A plus for some, others may hate it. The buttons are still as small as ever, which may pose as a problem for those with larger hands.
Although the Torch 9810 more or less identical to 9800 in terms of design, it has its own uniqueness with its silver chrome finish. The entire device is painted in shining silver, like its silver armor. True to that, over the 2 weeks its been with me, the device has little nicks or scratches unlike the Torch 9800 where plenty of scratched was evident.
The back of the phone introduces the silver back cover, much to our dislike. But it has a grid-like texture which we think was meant to improve grip, but we find that the original 9800 battery door offered a much better grip and design as well. With its metal-like finish, it came as a disappointment that the battery cover isn’t made of metal, like the one on the Torch 9860. However, this meant that the weight was reduced from its already heavy device.
Another familiar plus on the Torch 9810 is the lock and mute button located at the top of the phone. Surprisingly missing from the other OS 7 devices, the Torch 9810 retains it. Compared directly to the Torch 9800 or even the other models with this feature (such as the likes of Bold 9780), the Torch 9810’s buttons are indeed very much more sensitive, and for me, much nicer to click it.
The slider, makes the phone look so big and vulnerable when it fully slided open.
One of the biggest issues we had with the original Torch 9800 is that it was running an underpowered 624MHz processor, especially at a time when 1GHz dual-core CPUs were starting to hit the market. The original Torch 9800 was sluggish i admit, until there was an improvement in software (starting from .5xx). For the new Torch 9810, it seems like this no longer is an issue, with the processor being bumped directly up to 1.2Ghz. While it still is a single core device, it seems to power the device pretty well. hardly any lags from our usage. Menu navigation is smooth, the screen is pretty responsive and 720p video playback runs without a hitch. Running multiple apps in the background did not stutter the device either.
With a total of 8GB for internal storage, the Torch 9810 is offering double what the Torch 9800 offered. The phone comes with a microsd slot directly below the battery door, and the very good news is that it is hot-swappable just like the Curve 9360, meaning you’re not required to power down the phone to change it. This means that the Torch 9810 is able to power up to a whooping 40GB of total memory at any one time.
The Torch 9810 come equipped with the 5-megapixel camera. Together with the auto-focus (unlike the Curve or Bold 9900), one can expect to capture decent photos. After that disappointing VGA resolution video recording on the Torch 9800, it is pleasing to know that 720p capture has made its way onto this new handset. Still, not as many pixels as the competition, but, its more than decent for today’s screens (TV).
By some means, take this with a pinch of salt, as it varies from conditions to conditions, here is how the Torch 9810 camera fares against the Torch 9800 and Bold 9780.
The internet speed, whether via Wi-Fi or 3G, on this device, the speed seems pretty good. It’s just a shame that NFC support (which allows short-range wireless connection between two devices) is not included in this device, as the Curve 9360, Torch 9860 and Bold 9900 feature it. Even though, the dream of contactless payments is still some time away, having the NFC would have been a good addition, though it meant a reduced compatibility of the Torch 9800’s battery door with this Torch 9810.
Despite possessing a similar and relatively humble 1,270mAh battery, the Torch 9810 offers the usual story when it comes to the battery life. Battery life on the original Torch 9800 wasn’t exactly the best, however, if you’re careful with your power consumption then you’ll get it to lasting a little longer than a day. It seems RIM was proactive in this area with the release of the BlackBerry Torch 9810. I’m assuming they have made the best of the knowledge gained from these battery issues in the original Torch 9800 to help optimize the BlackBerry Torch 9810 battery, even with it being based on a new 1.2GHz processor (which is almost twice as powerful). From our usage of the BlackBerry Torch 9810 over the 2 weeks, I can safely conclude that I’m quite pleased with it thus far, lasting close to 2 days on a full charge.
Call quality and the speaker wise seemed to have improved by a small notch over the Torch 9800 with a better mid-tone, but as a confession, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 provides a much more superior sound and call quality.
The standard and identical 3 buttons on the right side of the phone is still there, volume up/down and the right convenience key whilst the left convenience key is still missing, leaving the left side with just the lone microusb port which handles the data transfers and charging.
For both new and existing users, I believe that you will really enjoy at how fast the device is and appreciate the changes found in BlackBerry 7. The presence of the full QWERTY keyboard, the responsive touchscreen, the processor is fast and the auto focus for both pictures and videos, it would definitely be a great device. However, its weight and slider is something to watch out for together with its cramped keyboard (generally for man). However, if you appreciate its larger screen, with a on board keyboard, this would definitely be something to consider.