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  • brianmc - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    When are you going to review this line of phones? Reply
  • StealthX32 - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    Agreed. Especially since your sister site Dailytech keeps touting them as the "fastest Android smartphone". Reply
  • Anand Lal Shimpi - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    I'm actually working on that right now :) I've had the Epic 4G for a little while now and I'm just in the middle of writing up the review :)

    Take care,
  • synaesthetic - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    Really interested in hearing your thoughts, Anand. I've been staring very hard at the Samsung Vibrant as my old myTouch 3G is just too slow!

    I haven't flashed it to Cyanogenmod 6 yet (will probably do that today or tomorrow) so I'm not sure what speed boosts I'll get there, but the Vibrant/Galaxy S's AMOLED is just stunning!
  • linccsdfd - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    is my love
    this is a very good !
  • FATCamaro - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    Yeah, I've been waiting patiently for something to push iphone4 off the top of all the charts. Maybe the Galaxy S will do it. Then it only needs a better display, camera, and apps to catch up. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    Since when has the iPhone4 been at the top? Reply
  • FATCamaro - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    Not at everything, but a lot of important factors like below.
    Performance isn't too bad either. e.g.
  • sammsiam - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    The Droid X comes with 8GB built in memory for OS & Apps and an additional 16GB microSDHC card. It supports upto 32GB cards for a total of 40GB possible.

    see this site:
  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    I had it down in my own table right, it just didn't get copied over somehow. Same for the EVO 4G. Fixed!

  • Kamen75 - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    Rim needs two different BB lines to meet the needs of the two different types of customers they are selling to. They should have a BlackBerry Professional version of there os for corporate clients and then a "fun" version to sell to the average consumer. These two os's only need differ on a few security points and each gets a different ui, one to look business like and one to look flashy and bright. Underneath they would be the same os and run the same apps. Their current middle of the road, one size fits all approach is turning all customers away.

    Add in some decent hardware and you would have a competitive BB again. Two year old hardware specs impress nobody.
  • Zensen - Thursday, September 02, 2010 - link

    that's what themes are for...

    RIM just needs to work on better tools for developers since what they've managed to do on the business level is second to none and I feel the overall improvement of OS 6 has done just enough to grab enough of the spotlight to be fresh yet familiar without being burdened by the lower specs that have dogged it since the its release.
    There are still quirks in the OS 6 model that needs addressing such as in the social feeds but nothing that can't be solved via updates and UI changes. OS 6 has thrown away utilitarian menus and brought it up to speed with the other Operating systems. It hasn't leaped over like a triple axel but it's more like a combination of moves that will culminate in a much more successful Blackberry phone in the eyes of the average consumer, hopefully dispelling some of the noise that RIM can't do a touchscreen phone to save themselves.

    I'm glad anandtech have finally covered this phone. Good or bad you can rely on these guys for great technical review without putting in ridiculous remarks or bias towards a product that reviews like engadget have seemingly perfected.
  • zorxd - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    I am disapointed that Acanac fell into the Apple marketing trap which is PPI. Who cares about PPI? Do you really think that it's better to have a 1" 320x480 display than a 4" 480x800? The first one have higher PPI.
    Apple started to talk about PPI (even before pixel count) when they realized that the competition was going with larger displays. Larger display, with the same resolution, means lower PPI, even if it's better.
    What looks sharp is not PPI. It's pixel count. Just hold your 4" 480x800 farther away if you think that pixels are too big. A 1x1 pixel 1000000000000 PPI display is useless.
    So please, stop making graphs about the useless metric which is PPI and start comparing what we actually care about: brightness, size, resolution, etc.
  • raulr - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    Have you actually looked at the iPhone 4 display. It really is quite fantastic. And especially since this review is about the Torch, your display size argument is pointless since the torch is both physically smaller and lower resolution. The point they were making is that the Torch display, while not bad, really doesn't stack up with the current generation of devices. Reply
  • zorxd - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    The iPhone 4 display is one of the best, I agree. Why? Because it has the highest resolution. The PPI have nothing to do with that. The iPhone display would be even better if it was larger, even if that would mean lower PPI.
    Of course, the phone would probably get larger too, which is a downside.
    What I mean is that the highest PPI is never, or at least should never be an priority for any consumer.
    The iPhone display would suck if it was 2" instead of 3.5".
  • MacTheSpoon - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    He is right, though -- nobody cared about PPI before Apple started their marketing. Now suddenly it's the standard by which screens are judged. Weird.

    I have looked at the iPhone4 screen and while it's nice, it's nowhere near as nice as all the marketing and buzz make it out to be. I cannot read all that sharp yet incredibly tiny web page text without a magnifying glass. I'd say it's about 20% as nice as all the hype. A large screen that lets you see more of your web pages in an actually readable way is certainly nice, too, probably a little bit nicer -- and yet for some reason the iPhone4 gets a pass on this readability issue from all the reviewers, just as Apple hoped. Honestly, having seen the iPhone4 screen, its main benefit is in browsing photos, which look really smooth, but who uses their phone mainly for browsing photos? Not that many people, I'm sure.

    I believe that the whole PPI thing came about because Steve Jobs realized his 320x480 screen was getting long in the tooth compared to other phones but a) didn't want to change the dimensions of the current iPhone and b) wanted to make the existing iPhone layout and apps easy to port by simply doubling the screen resolution. So he pushed the PPI angle hard and zombie reviewers got in line.
  • bplewis24 - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    Great post.

  • synaesthetic - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    Lots of people care about PPI, just not so much on smartphones.

    I hope Apple's obsession with PPI and the Retina Display pushes the trend into *laptops,* so I can finally stop seeing 15.6" laptops with 1366x768 horrible LCDs.
  • Jabroni444 - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    I'm confused by conflicting statements in this review. Half way through the conclusion he says, "I’ve described the Torch as anywhere from a quarter to a half generation behind - I think that’s the best way to describe performance." But, the last sentence is, "The Torch is what RIM should have launched years ago in their stead."

    Combined with the fact that the Torch both statistically and measured performance wise is no better than the iPhone 3GS or other last-gen phones I don't get the quarter to half generation behind comment.

    I'm not sure whether even hardcore RIM users are going to be able to accept weak attempt at getting up-to-date.
  • tech6 - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    A very balanced review. This device isn't for techno snobs or people who like to show off apps - it's still a business communication device. While anecdotal, I know a number of BB users which looked at Apple and Android but decided to go with the Torch instead. Without exception they are happy as it gives them the new functionality they wanted but without leaving the BB strengths and advantages behind. Reply
  • s44 - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    RIM's release of this at price parity with the much more advanced Samsung phone indicates that they're more interested in gouging their captive user base than advancing their platform. Reply
  • Sivan - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    I don't full agree with the dichotomy of business vs. consumer mapping onto keyboard vs. touch form factors.

    Even Brian notes how easy it is to use the keyboard and trackpad instead of the touchscreen. A lot of users value this ease of use especially for messaging or interacting with the device efficiently. Those are not necessarily business users. A touchscreen is not a requirement for a fun BlackBerry, I'd argue that just making BlackBerry 6 available on the venerable Bold line would make most BlackBerry users very happy.

    That form factor is also much more battery efficient, the smaller screen (no need for touch) as well as more internal space for a battery, and the immediately availability of the keyboard the trackpad are the small details that make the traditional BlackBerry appealing regardless of whether one is a business user or not.
  • jah1subs - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    What are the other devices promised for BB OS 6 upgrades? Reply
  • deputc26 - Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - link

    I believe the OS version should read 2.2 not 2.1 Reply
  • King Krapp - Thursday, September 02, 2010 - link

    I spy Hyperbole and a Half in the background... nice. Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, September 02, 2010 - link

    Suck it Trebek! Reply
  • Makaveli - Thursday, September 02, 2010 - link


    Why didn't you install the Youtube player off the app world.

    i'm on a 9700 Bold And I never open youtube links directly in the browser its all done by the app.

    Also it would be cool if you could do a browser test with Opera Mini since most people use this over the default browser.
  • ibex333 - Thursday, September 02, 2010 - link

    This new blackberry phone really doesnt sound like much of an improvement over older BB phones...
    With phones avaialble like the Droid G1 or the Droid X I dont understand why anyone would want to own a Blackberry unless security is the main concern. I got my Bold 9000 because back then, it was one of the very few phones that had such a nice keyboard and looked so professional and pleasing.

    Now, Droid phones are so much better in just about every way IMHO. The #1 reason for this, is hacks.... What can possibly beat playing GBA, SEGA, SNES and other older console games on your phone with perfect speed, sound and great controls via a full featured keyboard and WASD buttons? And if that's not enough, you can install thousand of other nifty apps, where the number of these apps will only increase becuase developing for Droid will in the near future be as easy as developing for Linux if it isnt that way already!

    Android is every geeks dream, and I cant see Apple or Blackberry RIM even touching this wonderful platform when it comes to sheer fun factor and the multitude of possiblities. Yes, I am an Android fanboy, and iPhone and Blackberry should just go in a quiet dark corner, curl up in a fetal position and just.....die....
  • wolrah - Thursday, September 02, 2010 - link

    You had a complaint about a lack of easy 2G/3G switch on the CDMA Android devices. I don't think this is a real issue due to how CDMA 3G works. It's the same radio in a similar operation mode, so it's not like GSM where there's an entire different radio being fired up when you use 3G. The battery savings are not likely to be notable. Reply
  • strikeback03 - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    In looking for ways to improve the battery life of my HTC Diamond, I found lots of people saying that the constant switching between 3G and 1x is what caused the excessive battery usage. Though in admittedly limited testing I didn't see a difference.

    I would imagine you can get a widget for Android to lock the device in 2G mode, should you need that functionality.
  • lewchenko74 - Thursday, September 02, 2010 - link

    Great Review. The best of the Torch reviews so far. I really wanted to love this phone, but I don't. It concerns me greatly that the tech under the hood seems to be a generation behind, even if the software experience is generally OK.

    To put it into perspective, it would be like buying a Palm Pre today - with a decent WebOS but ageing computing power so to speak. You just wouldnt do it.

    Im a current HTC Hero owner and cant wait to get rid of it. I was hoping the Torch may be enough, but its not.

    Im glad you informed us about BIS as well. I didnt realise it contributed so much to the performance degradation of surfing the web. There really ought to be an option to browse with BIS disabled. For me, that is one of the phone's biggest flaws. Plus in the UK you normally pay about £5 more to have Internet and BBM enabled on blackberries per month too.. paying more for less it would seem, especially as most contracts these days are unlimited texts, thus rendering BBM almost useless.
  • Zensen - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    I dont think you'll read this again but doesn't your plans in the UK also include extra data?

    Without BIS, you dont get the secure emails, the 'unlimited' internet and BBM. I dont ever notice the slowness when it comes to emails and BBM but i can understand the 'slower' response due to the encrypting and compressing of the data through RIM servers.

    Having said that, blackberry plans here also come with extra data that doesn't use the RIM servers and as such runs quite well using an alternative browser such as opera mini. I'm not sure if BIS can be turned off within the blackberry browser itself but I always assume when i change browsers im using my data plan and not BIS.
  • bwj - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    It doesn't seem right to me that you test all phones with 50% brightness setting, while acknowledging that some phones are much brighter than others. Wouldn't it make more sense to set every phone to the same absolute level of brightness? 200 nits would be convenient. Reply
  • dusteater - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    Well, I dumped RIM for one reason. The BB Tour. I have been using BB's for 6+ years and always loved them. Then came the Tour, which obviously had no quality control during manufacturing. The phone is so poor, I am on number 5. It has killed any confidence I had in RIM as a company able to produce a working phone. So, I will not buy the 9650 Bold like they want me to. I shouldn't have to buy the "fixed" version one year later.

    Off to WP7 for me.
  • spunlex - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    Just wondering if you will be adding a shoot of the light box using your D80 any time soon. Reply
  • djc208 - Friday, September 03, 2010 - link

    BB is the only company that was making non-camera smart phones. But even most of their newer devices, this one included don't seem to have non-camera versions.

    I've been seriously considering a smart phone but for the same price point I'd much rather have an Android device. But then I'd have to remove/destroy at least one camera (in many cases two) and void any warranties. This would have been a decent option if it was available as a non-camera version.
  • Zensen - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    What’s tricky here is that pressing the hangup button is often my way of getting out of applications and back to the launcher. In a call, when I wanted to look something up, I hit this and was disconnected - like what is supposed to happen.

    Is this a good or a bad point? it starts off like its about to be a negative then you finish it off by saying this is whats suppose to happen... ERR DUH!? lol

    I also use the disconnect button to get out of applications ASAP but i mean the point of the hang up button is to... you know... hang up calls lol. so I'm not sure why you stating this at all. it's pretty damn obvious

    Also i'm not quite sure if the speakerphone test is really as accurate as you try to make it but it is an interesting test nonetheless. It's nice to know the screen isn't as bad as people are making it out to be and as for the text messaging. im pretty sure threaded smses and the distinction of sms and mms has been around a lot longer than iphone and android. You make it sound like iphone and android created this approach.

    Good to see this blackberry excels as a phone with signal attenuation. Even as 'spartan' as the keyboard is to you, unless you trying to say its simple because thats what it is, nothing flash nor does it seem to come across as harsh and rough around the edges.

    I wonder if the clarity of the phone calls, volume etc have anything to do with how long you can speak on the phone otherwise its definitely not as long as the 9700 but again the battery is a lot smaller than the storm too which is surprising.

    You're right about the camera, without even using it i could see how having touch for autofocus would have been great here. the hd video doesn't worry me too much but RIM took forever to put a camera on their phones to begin with so to have LED flash and a higher megapixel camera with movie is pretty good :P Still the lack of it in these times is sorely missed.

    The pictures actually look quite decent on the torch, not heavily vivid as the iphone 4 looks nor as red as the nexus 1 or desaturated as the palm pre. The palm pre looks the worse when it comes to detail.
    I like the HTC evo as most i think it looks more natural though leans towards the warms.
    The droid 2 looks decent when it comes to blacks but its exposure is stronger and lacks a colour cast of sorts

    I wonder how accurate to the still life it really is when taken by these smartphone. is the yellows more greenish as the torch and the droid seem to lean towards (but then you see the dark warm yellow of the book below which seems normal) or is it a far warmer studio shot that the rest seem to lean towards?

    the strong vivid (saturated) shots of the iphone 4 will appeal to those who want it to be as eye popping as possible but its hardly realistic. the HTC evo 4, droid 2 and the torch probably rank as the ones i enjoy the most with the droid 2 and torch looking decidedly more sharper than the evo 4 which seems to have had some noise reduction applied to it.
    I think the torch photos were dragged down quite a bit by this review as i think its one of the better cameras of the ones reviewed here.

    great review though!
  • Disorganise - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    If only there could be an android version... I use blackberry for work and they're great at what they do - be even better if the corporate policy hadn't turned off the memory card so now you can't listen to mp3s :(

    I've been wanting a combo touch screen/physical keyboard phone for ages and want it to be android based. The droid 2 looks good but I'm not sure about having to flick the phone to landscape to use the keyboard - ditto the galaxy s pro; plus I live in Australia so it'll be 3 or 4 years before they hit our shores - if ever.

    I like this torch -it seems to have everything except the OS. Theoretically the OS shouldn't matter (it should be transparent) but reality is that it *has* to be more restrictive with the customisations you can make and the apps you can install, simply to keep it's high security perception.

    I agree with one of the previous posters - RIM could consider two distinct lines; the business phone that connects to BES etc, and a consumer phone that does not. The consumer phone could be android base and run on the same hardware - eg you have torch 9800 and torch android. this only works if RIM want to sell devices of course
  • Zensen - Saturday, September 04, 2010 - link

    sure if they want to make more sales, slap on a android os but again that is fragmenting their business and pulling unnecessary resources away from their primary business and OS. Also the QNX OS that they have acquired.

    other manufacturers do this for sure but look at the fragmentation that is happening with Android - that surely isn't a good sign.

    But yes, they would certainly sell more phones to consumers if they marketed it as a multimedia device and something not sorely for business users. But to take away BES makes it just another me-too android phone and how is that differentiating between their other phones. Will these android include BIS and thus BBM and push email?

    I can't see how they can't just make a multimedia device and a business device in one?

    Unless there's a need for a no frills business phone then yeah a higher priced multimedia device running OS 6 would be great. this was soo close, yet so far from competing in that realm. Sony tried valiantly to produce a walkman phone and a camera phone. nowadays they are just combined.

    One things for sure, they will open themselves up a lot more if they joined the android party. What's stopping them from taking advantage of the windows phone 7 operating system as well...
  • vision33r - Sunday, September 05, 2010 - link

    Android sucks for enterprise and iPhone also too. Nobody makes a better enterprise phone than Blackberry. Even Microsoft's own Windows Mobile isn't good enough as enterprise managed devices. Reply
  • tipoo - Sunday, November 28, 2010 - link

    Interesting to note that the Marvell Tavor PXA930 has a maximum reccommended clock speed of 800MHz, 200MHz higher than whats in the Torch/Bold. Odd that they aren't using it to capacity. Reply

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