BlackBerry Torch: The Initial Verdicts

By  |  Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 11:15 pm

The first real reviews of RIM’s BlackBerry Torch are in. They make for an interesting contrast, because in many ways the point-by-point conclusions are similar–but there’s no consensus about whether the glass is half full or half empty.

As usual, the last paragraphs of the reviews are concise summaries of the bottom lines in question…

Walt Mossberg of The Wall Street Journal isn’t a raving fan, but he’s pretty upbeat:

Overall, the Torch and the BlackBerry 6 operating system are good products that improve the BlackBerry experience considerably and bring the device closer to its newer rivals.

Joshua Topolsky of Engadget is disappointed:

The Torch seems sluggish, underpowered, and dated from a hardware design standpoint, and BlackBerry 6, despite its new features and polish, still feels woefully behind the curve. To call the Torch the “best BlackBerry ever” wouldn’t be an understatement, but unfortunately for RIM and the faithful, their best isn’t nearly good enough.

Matt Buchanan of Gizmodo is even less impressed:

Maybe RIM’s too big, too entrenched to build the kind of phone that’ll make people want a BlackBerry again. But they could’ve at least given the damn thing a better screen.

But Sascha Segan of says the phone has its place:

The state of the art in Android and Apple phones has vaulted into super-high-res screens, 4G radios, tens of thousands of apps, and glorious 3D games. The BlackBerry Torch doesn’t live in that world: it’s for people who live on e-mail, IM, Facebook and Twitter, for whom typing updates and messages is their number-one priority. For them, the Torch will be a shining light.

Nobody thinks the phone is transcendent–but come to think of it, I’m not sure if there’s ever been a smartphone based on a venerable existing platform that’s been greeted as a great leap forward. At least I can’t think of a Windows Mobile, Symbian, or Palm OS one that changed everything…


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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Mike Cerm Says:

    It's a shame that they couldn't have released this thing 12 months ago, when it would have seemed like a modern competitor. However, despite no one in the tech world liking this thing, it's really not all that bad for "normal" people. I mean, RIM is selling TONS of Bolds (everyone I know with a corporate-provided phone has one), and is still selling Curves (for free, with a contract). The people who are buying those phones don't seem to mind not having a 1GHz processor, high-res screens, or functional browsers. To those people, the Torch will seem like a big step-up.

  2. Jindo Fox Says:

    The tech press needs to get over itself. Not every product iteration needs to explode the world. The Torch doesn't "doom RIM" or any such hyperbole. It's just another Blackberry.

  3. Gadget News Says:

    Will Blackberry Torch 9800 be worth for $200.

  4. N8nnc Says:

    But I think that's exactly the point. We are witnessing a sea change, some vendors will jump the widening chasm and others won't. Those that do will thrive, those that don't will wither (and some will die). Being "just another blackberry" leaves rimm on the wrong side.