RIM BlackBerry Torch 9860 review

RIM takes another stab at a touchscreen-only smartphone, but has the Torch 9860 caught up with the competition or has it already fallen behind the pack? Julian Prokaza finds out in our review.

The rear of the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9860.

Battery capacity is the same as the Bold 9900 (1230mAh) and RIM states near-identical figures for the Torch 9860's battery life. As with the Bold 9900 though, we couldn't match the claimed figure of "up to 44 hours" of music playback we only managed 23 hours with an MP3 playing on a loop, with the screen and all wireless turned off.

The Torch 9860 is a strong attempt by RIM to offer an iPhone-like experience on a BlackBerry and there's enough here to sate those users who are tied to the platform. However, Apple has since moved on with the iPhone 4S and iOS 5 making the Torch less attractive to those who aren't tied to the Blackberry platform.

Unlocked SIM-free pricing is reasonable though. At 299 ex VAT, the 4GB Torch 9860 compares favourably with the 343 ex VAT 8GB iPhone 4.

So what's our verdict?

Verdict

The lack of a physical keyboard may limit the appeal of the Torch 9860 to some existing BlackBerry users, but RIM has done a reasonably good job at copying what the iPhone has to offer, even if it is now effectively a generation behind Apple with both its hardware and software.

Connectivity: GSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/1700/2100 Display: 480 x 800 pixels, 3.7 inches OS: Blackberry OS 7 Camera: five megapixels rear facing GPS: A-GPS Processor: 1.2GHz Qualcomm Scorpion MSM 8655 Bluetooth: 2.1+EDR Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g/n Storage: 4GB internal RAM: 768MB Dimensions: 120 x 62 x 12 mm Weight: 135g Battery: Lithium Ion 1230 mAh

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