The BlackBerry Torch (pictured left) is the latest release from BlackBerry looking to penetrate the fiercely competitive touchscreen smartphone market; a segment of the market which has grown exponentially in the last twelve months, so much so that it is now recognised as a market of its own.
This is not the first time that BlackBerry have attempted to enter this market however, two previous models in the form of the Storm and Storm 2 (pictured below) looked to try and grab a piece of the market albeit quite unsuccessfully, largely due to their unique and quite unusual piezo ‘clickable’ touchscreens which received very mixed reviews.
The Torch on the other hand, really distances itself from the Storm; it is BlackBerry’s first slider incorporating both a touchscreen and a physical QWERTY keyboard, essentially ‘the best of both worlds’. It is a concept that puts the Torch in quite a large bit of ‘middle ground’ sitting between the iPhones/HTC Desire HDs of this world and BlackBerry’s own Curve/Bold series. It creates an interesting debate as to whether the need for such a device exists, but if early sales figures and reviews are any reflection on the future, then it certainly looks as though the Torch will be lighting the way.
The reason for the encouraging reviews is quite clear when you look in a bit more detail at the specifications of this device; a 3.2 inch capacitive touchscreen capable of displaying 16 million colours at a resolution of 360 x 480 pixels, a full BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard, 4GB of internal storage, microSD support, microUSB port, HSDPA, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 5 megapixel camera and of course, the latest iteration of BlackBerry software – OS 6.0 which has been heavily optimised for touchscreen use.
Of course, as with any BlackBerry, the real attraction of the Torch is the exceptional push email services and BlackBerry Messenger; features which will essentially let you instantly message any other BlackBerry user, anywhere in the world. There is also access to third party applications thanks to BlackBerry Appworld, BlackBerry’s answer to the App Store in which you’ll find a huge selection of games and applications ranging from horoscopes to Sudoku and everything in between.
Aside from all of the features and specifications mentioned above, the Torch is quite possibly the best looking addition to the BlackBerry family with its compact looking design and sleek curves it really is a good looking phone from any angle and is a welcome break from the usual smartphone form factor adopted by the likes of HTC, Apple, Samsung et al.