Reviews

Geek Chic! Blackberry Torch 9800

I have always been a Blackberry fan, but my faithful old Bold was starting to feel like old news, and a little bit of a poorer cousin to all my friends brand new smart-phones. It was a great phone when I first got it, but now..my eyes were set on another. It was bye bye Bold and welcome Torch!

I had seen few previews online and then got an email saying that Torch is now available in the UK. I quickly logged on to www.phones4u.co.uk, as I do think they have the best selection of phones and have always got a great deal on the handset that I was salivating after. I search though the newest phones and BAM. There it is, all shiny and new.

I don’t even bother reading through any details, although I cast my eye over the camera spec and was pleasantly surprised with the 5 megapixels and LED flash. Sorted. I chose a price plan, ticked few boxes and hit “order”.

I needed that phone and I needed it now! GIMME!

After an agonizing 18hr wait, it arrived. Hello Lover!

First impressions:
I take a little moment to appreciate the beauty of the new kit in my hands. The box is tiny, half the size they used to be (and I should know I have at least 4). I hurry to get the damn thing open like a deprived child at Christmas and there it is. All shiny and new. It looks like a mirror (I quickly readjust my quiff). The box has all the pieces you would expect it to and this time the software CD is a mini one, too cute. The charger still has different attachments for US, UK and Europe (this pleases me) and headphone’s are there too. Unfortunately not the same ones I got with my old Bold, they were fab.

I take the phone out of the box and plug it into my laptop to transfer everything across from my old phone. It takes few quick minutes then BAM…All systems go!

Game on:

The phone switches on and I am shaking with excitement. This is it, new mobile, hurrah. Maybe I will be part of the cool kids again? Just maybe. The screen is crystal clear and the sound seems to fill the room. The Torch screen runs me through the usual set-up and once that’s all done, I can actually start looking around. The first thing that impresses me is how great the touch screen is. Truthfully, I have hardly had to use the hidden QWERTY keyboard. The new OS6 software is strangely new, yet very familiar. It looks like the old software, but with added features. I realise that the menu has a few new options – for example you can either view “all”, “favorites”, “frequent”, “downloads” or “media”. This makes finding things quick and very easy. You can edit your favorites as you wish for quicker access. PLUS you can click to a website and then add that to your home screen, which is a great little feature. Another thing I gasped over was a little feature under “contacts”.You simply click into a contact and scroll down it shows you most recent activity, be it calls, email, facebook etc. Not quite sure how useful this feature is, but looks great!

Web browsing:
It’s an entirely new experience. I wasn’t expecting much as Blackberry have not historically been known for their web browsing abilities. I could have not been more wrong. Finally they have realized that this needed updating. The browser open pages almost as quickly as the iphone and has similar features, you can add bookmarks etc. Sites come up like they are supposed to and you can zoom in just like you can with the Apple counterpart. Very excited about this. Now I can browse the net while on the go and not get annoyed by the constant waiting. Even watching Youtube videos now works like a charm, thanks to the pre-installed Youtube application.

Keyboard:
Like I said previously, this phone is controlled by its touch screen and the QWERTY keyboard is hidden under the slide mechanism. I thought this may make the phone feel little too much like a toy, and was also worried that I would be relying on the keyboard a lot as I’m not used to touch screens quite yet. I shouldn’t have worried. The menu is easy to use, you simply slide your finger across the screen. Moving up and down, left or right causes no problems and the not once has the phone accidentally “selected” and item while I have been looking around. The typing has taken a little getting used to, but that’s just me I think. I type like speedy Gonzales and sometimes a little too fast for the poor phone. Once I stop rushing it works wonders. Predictive writing is of course there, which usually annoyed me as I tend to write in two languages, but even this doesn’t create a problem. You write as you would and if you are happy with what you spell, you just click “space” and it takes what you wrote and not the suggested words. Total win. The hidden QWERTY keyboard is on the small side, but totally usable.

Media:
The phone does the “usual” stuff. You can add music from your itunes, they even give you a 4GB media card to fill. The camera is much improved from the previous models. 5 megapixels and a LED flash and auto focus all add to a great clicking. The picture to the right here, of one of my gorgeous pups was taken with the phone and I was truly impressed. Finally they have also included different picture settings, such as night time, party, sports and more. I’m loving it. Geotagging comes easy and recently taken pictures save as thumbnails in the bottom left corner for easy access. The video recorder works great too. Pretty pleasant experience all and all using the camera on the Torch. Also, music sounds clear and you can of course set up your own preferences regarding your taste. As per usual the phone has a 3.5mm audio jack, so you can use your “normal” headphones. I am rocking my Urbanears, naturally.

Social Networking:
From Blackberry Applications you can of course download all the apps you like, but the best thing is that you can get all your social networking under one app, called Social Feeds. It is bloody brilliant. Facebook updates, Twitter, Yahoo Messenger, its all in one spot. Truly never missing a beat.

WIN:
That sums up the phone with one word. If you are looking for a smart phone that does it all and then some, the Blackberry Torch is the only way forward. 3G, Wi-Fi, 5 hours of talk time and a great camera, touch screen AND full QWERTY keyboard should keep you happy for a long time. I have had mine for two weeks now and truly impressed. I would strongly advice you all to direct your browser to www.phones4u.co.uk and get your own. You heard it here first, I heart my Torch.

Totally Torched

Msalonen

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