The BlackBerry Torch 9800 carries too many expectations on its shoulders. It’s been clear that BlackBerry needed to come up with something that could match the iPhone and Android invasion.
Expectations from the Torch 9800 — the first slider from BlackBerry to have a touchscreen, an optical trackpad, a QWERTY keypad, the BlackBerry 6 OS, the highest-rated camera on any BlackBerry device — were high. The price tag of Rs 35,000, too, only seemed fair.
But in terms of touchscreen, the iPhone still rules. The onscreen keypad is quite rubbish. The optical trackpad is brilliant and so is the slide-out QWERTY keypad.
The home screen has application icon views that can be scrolled vertically, with horizontal scrolling for categories.
From the home screen the smartphone throws up answers to your queries across apps, folders, the Web, and email. In terms of connectivity, the Torch 9800 is 3G enabled, and features Bluetooth v2.1 + EDR with A2DP. Another major shortcoming is the absence of BlackBerry maps for India, which means you'll still have to depend on Google Maps.
But the battery life is what left me absolutely flummoxed. On a full charge, I got half-a-day’s worth of battery life without using voice or media features. And that, for me, is a deal breaker.
What we like
Good audio quality
Comfortable QWERTY keypad
What we don’t
Poor battery life
At Rs 35,000, it’s pricey for what's on offer. There’s a lot that’s good about the smartphone, but it doesn't live up to the hype. In a line, the Torch 9800 is no iPhone killer and Android slayer. Wait for Torch 2, a la Storm 2.