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The "4G" BlackBerry Torch 9810

The "4G" BlackBerry Bold 9900  (Source: Engadget)
"4G"-ready Torch is the first model to be revealed

According to Canalys Principal Analyst Chris Jones, Canadian phonemaker Research In Motion Ltd. (TSE:RIM) desperately needs to "continue to innovative and recapture lost momentum."  Today RIM made the first step towards that goal, but the question will inevitably whether it will be enough to right the ship. 

RIM's partner carrier AT&T, Inc. (T) today pulled the wraps [press release] over RIM's next generation BlackBerry 7 OS series, to launch this August.  The first model revealed might look a bit familiar -- it's the BlackBerry Torch with a slight hardware refresh.

The previous Torch -- the BlackBerry Torch 9800 -- came out approximately a year ago, in Aug. 2010 and was the first BlackBerry 6 OS device to launch.  Despite falling a bit short of expectations, the Torch saw decent sales and placed sixth in IBTimes's 2010 list of top smart phones.

The new Torch -- the "4G" BlackBerry Torch 9810 -- adds a 3.5G HSPA+ modem (which AT&T rebrands as "4G"), for faster data traffic.  It also significantly bumps the processor trading the slow 624 MHz Marvell Tavor PXA940 for an 1.2 GHz model from Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM).  The NAND flash memory capacity is doubled from 4 GB to 8 GB.  

The camera sticks at 5 MP, but it appears to have some sort of improvements as it can now take 720p video, versus the previous model which could only record at up to 480p.  The display looks identical to the previous model at 3.2-inches.

AT&T describes RIM's new BlackBerry 7 OS, writing:
BlackBerry 7 OS delivers speed, efficiency and UI enhancements and enables new hardware capabilities, including HD video recording, more fluid and responsive graphics, digital compass, and augmented reality. Browsing with the new BlackBerry 7 based smartphones is up to 40% faster than BlackBerry® 6 based smartphones and up to 100% faster than BlackBerry® 5 based smartphones.
Intriguing, AT&T also announces a coming Torch-branded smart phone that's all touch screen.  Hopefully RIM can pull this one off and deliver a solid all-touch phone this time around.  Its only full-touch effort to date has been the problem-plagued Storm, which became the bunt of many a joke, even among RIM supporters. (To be fair, the second generation Storm did offer some modest improvements.)  The new phone is branded the "4G" BlackBerry Torch 9860.

AT&T also announced a coming refresh of the popular "Bold" series.  The new model will be branded the "4G'" BlackBerry Bold 9900.  AT&T did not reveal any hardware details about the Bold 9900 or Torch 9860.

According to a preview in Engadget, the Bold 9900 will feature very similar specs to the new Torch, with a larger 2.8-inch display, a 1.2 GHz processor, a 720p-ready 5 MP camera, and a 10.5 mm thin case (on par with the iPhone 4).


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RE: *crickets chirping*
By 91TTZ on 8/3/2011 9:35:44 AM , Rating: 2
Why dual LED flash instead of 1 brighter LED? Cameras usually don't have dual flashes, they just have 1 bright one.


RE: *crickets chirping*
By quiksilvr on 8/3/2011 11:35:47 AM , Rating: 2
Cameras usually have Xenon flash, but are more tube shaped instead of circular. Smartphone nowadays are getting dual LED flash to simulate that tube like flash (makes sense since you are mostly taking landscape photos and need a wider flash instead of just one dot.


RE: *crickets chirping*
By Samus on 8/3/2011 3:06:52 PM , Rating: 1
I have dozens of clients who will never give up their Blackberry. RIM did it right by making a simple phone that does one thing really well: Email. It's a complicated system they put together that is surprisingly reliable, easy to configure and most people understand.

They understand it because Blackberry OS is simple. Unfortunately that simplicity results in lacking modern touches and features. They can't make the OS too modern or they'll risk alienating their client base, which if it isn't obvious, is made up of mostly non-tech-savvy users.

Current Blackberry users don't want a new, modern phone OS that is going to be different. New potential Blackberry users are only going to get a new Blackberry if the OS has much of the same functionality as Android, WinMo and iOS.

Blackberry hardware is still undeniably the best in the industry. The only company that came close to scratching the quality RIM has was Nokia, who amazingly had an even MORE outdated OS: Symbian.

RIM BBOS6 was a step in the right direction, introducing new features and software, but making the touch functionality optional and still allowing legacy shortcuts and prompts. They must keep the trackpad. They must not change their keyboard (look how the Storm turned out...)


RE: *crickets chirping*
By Dean364 on 8/4/2011 8:09:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a tech guy, and I won't give up my Blackberry. I've had an iPhone, which I loved, but I cannot stand the touchscreen keyboard. I used a Driod 3 yesterday and I could not believe how COMPLICATED it was to send a picture via email.

I don't understand what people like about Droids. IMO they're pieces of junk.


RE: *crickets chirping*
By FreeTard on 8/5/2011 12:05:04 AM , Rating: 2
Complicated?

1. Take picture
2. Choose Share
3. Choose email

It is actually so easy I had to pull out my phone to double check where you were going wrong. Do you have a niece or grandkid that can help you out?

I guess it get's more complicated if you have to go into the gallery. Then it would probably be:

1. Choose Gallery app
2. Choose picture
3. Choose Share
4. Choose Gmail.

That's on the Evo and Asus Transformer.


"Nowadays, security guys break the Mac every single day. Every single day, they come out with a total exploit, your machine can be taken over totally. I dare anybody to do that once a month on the Windows machine." -- Bill Gates














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