BlackBerry Torch 9810 Review



Here is the FoneArena review of the BlackBerry Torch 2 9810. This is the successor of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 that was launched last year. The BlackBerry Torch 2 was launched in India this August. Both the Torch and torch 2 has similar design including the dimensions, but there are improvements in the display resolution and hardware. It has 8 GB onboard memory that is expandable up to 32GB with MicroSD and 768 MB RAM which is better than the Torch. It is 14.6 mm thick and weighs  161 g. This has Magnetometer (Compass) in addition to the Accelerometer, Proximity, Light sensor.

Hardware


The phone has 3.2 inch (480 x 640 pixels) 16M colors capacitive touch screen display with 253 ppi. There is a LED indicator on the top right next to the large ear piece. Below the display there are keys for call and end on either sides, menu and and back buttons are on the either side of the optical track-pad. Since there is a Light sensor it has auto brightness option that automatically adjusts the brightness based on the surroundings.

There is a slide-out keyboard that is comfortable to type with back lighting. The surface on the top, bottom and on the sides are of metal.

The Micro USB port is on the right side.

The camera key is on the bottom on the left side and the volume rocker is above it.

The 3.5mm audio jack in on the top.

The Mute key and the Lock / Unlock key is on the top. Since the lock / unlock key is on top, if you keep the phone facing down in your pocket it might get unlocked with a simple touch and it may accidentally dial a number or get into twitter since it is a touch screen.

The 5MP auto focus camera is on the back with a bright LED flash. There is a BlackBerry logo on top of the plastic back cover.

When you open the back cover you can see 1270 mAh battery. You need to remove the battery insert the SIM card. There is a MicroSD card slot outside that supports up to 32GB MicroSD cards.

Camera

The 5MP auto focus camera has continuous auto focus mode and single shot mode and it records 720p HD videos. The Camera UI is simple with Geo tagging, Camera, flash and image mode. There are several image modes such as Auto, Face detection, Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Party, Close-Up ,Snow, Beach, Night and Text. There is image stabilization in both image and video mode.

The image quality looks good in day light but you need to use the flash in low lighting conditions. The flash is too bright when shooting close-ups. Otherwise the image quality is fine.

Here are some camera samples

There is no front video calling camera which is disappointing. The 720p HD video recording is a plus in the phone that too with the image stabilization.

Check out the sample images and 720p video sample below.

BlackBerry OS 7


The BlackBerry Torch 9810 comes with the all new BlackBerry OS 7 that is much smoother than the OS 6. The home screen is similar to the OS 6 with the different screens for the entire apps, frequent, favorites and media. On the top there is a battery indicator, time and signal bar.

There is a profile switcher below that and the notification bar is in the middle and the search box lets you search for things quickly even inside an email. The search is voice activated unlike the OS 6. Just tap the Microphone and speak to search perform a voice search.

Apps

There are lots of pre-installed apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Social Feeds, Maps, YouTube and Games like BrickBreaker and Word Mole. There are Instant Messaging apps such as Windows Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and Google Talk. Other Apps include, Wikitude 3D browser, MemoPad, Tasks, Calculator, Documents To Go, File Manager, Compass, Voice Notes, Voice Notes Recorder, Password Keeper.

The BlackBerry Protect protects your data even if your phone is stolen. You can locate your phone, lock it remotely and also wipe the data from your device if it’s stolen. You can also switch the data such as contacts, calendar, bookmarks, text messages, passwords, and more from the other device to a new BlackBerry phone. The data would automatically get backed-up once you setup BlackBerry Protect.

You can always download apps from the BlackBerry App World that has new look with a separate Games and Apps section.

e-mail and BBM

Like other BlackBerry phones, the e-mail is delivered faster since it is gets delivered from their server. The e-mails are stored in the handset even if it is deleted from your Mailbox (Gmail, Yahoo Mail etc). You can also delete both on the handheld and from the Mailbox. You can Sync your contacts and calendar when you setup your mail. You can choose Internet Mail Account or Enterprise Account while you setup. However the Enterprise Account needs a separate server for your office and the monthly charges might differ. You can also configure e-mail preferences such as Display actions, Filters nd Account Settings separately for each account.

BBM is one of the popular Instant Messaging platform, and the latest version includes file sharing option that lets you share any type of file to other BBM contacts. The BlackBerry OS has new BBM 6 that has connected Apps option that has intergration with some of the Apps. This would let you share the apps with other BBM contacts, Chat with other directly from the app and also let others view your apps and download them from you BBM profile.

Music and Media Player

The Music Player supports several audio formats (mp4, .m4a, .3gp, .asf, .wma, .mp3, .flac, .ogg, .aac, .amr, .wav and .mid). It also has an equalizer with different presets. Other options include, Audio Boost, Use Mute and Volume keys to Play /Pause or Skip songs and different styles.

The Media Player supports several video formats (.mp4, .m4a, .3gp, .m4v, .avi, .asf and .wmv) and it plays 720p videos fine. There’s an podcast app in the media that lets you download podcasts from the RSS feed.

Browser and Keyboard


The browser is faster with pinch zooming and has HTML5 video support but there is no Flash support which is a downer. It also has several options like tabbed browsing, pop-up blocking and geo location support.

The BlackBerry 9810 also supports on-screen keyboard with option to open the keyboard when slider is closed. You can also select the layout, keyboard type, currency key etc.

Connectivity

The Connectivity options include 3G, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS and Bluetooth. The service status indicates whether you are connected to BIS and BES or not, and shows the Wi-Fi network. You can turn off the data services and switch between the network mode (2G/ 3G or Both) from the network and connections. The Bluetooth has A2DP option so that you can connect it to your Bluetooth headset to listen to music apart from attending calls over it. There is no NFC support and the Wi-Fi hotspot feature.

Verdict

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 has good hardware and all new BlackBerry OS 7 with hardware accelerated Liquid Graphics. The design seems old with same dimensions like the previous torch. The 720p video recording in the new torch compared to the 480p in the old torch is a plus. The  Batter y life is pretty good with 2 days on EDGE with push e-mail, Twitter and Facebook notifications, which is good for business users. Still, the apps in the BlackBerry App World is not sufficient. Even thought there is an hardware upgrade, the lack of front video calling camera is disappointing.

Pros 

  • Comfortable Keyboard
  • Good Battery life
  • 720p video recording

Cons

  • No front facing camera

Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram