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March 25, 2012

BlackBerry Torch 9810 Review

RIM has released a set of handset last year for their 9800 series line-up. Apart from the all-screen Torch 9860 that we’ve seen last month, another handset from that roster is the BlackBerry Torch 9810. Read our full review after the break.

If you didn’t like the idea of not having a QWERTY keyboard on your BlackBerry but didn’t want the conventional uni-body form factor of the Bold Touch then this might be the right BB for you. Just in case you have not read our previous review of the Torch 9860, you can check it here.

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 comes with the bare essentials: a 1300mAh battery, headset, USB cable, wall charger with removal plug and user manuals.

Design and Form Factor

This handset sports a sliding form factor that conceals a QWERTY keyboard tucked under a 3.2” capacitive touch screen. Because of its design, the Torch 9810 is bulkier and heavier than its siblings. It’s 14.6mm thick and weighs a hefty 161g.

The 4 standard BlackBerry keys along with the optical trackpad are also present and sit below the screen. Two buttons can be found at the top of the unit, Lock key on the left and Mute key on the other. Not much of an action is going-on on the left side of the phone where the MicroUSB port can be seen. Same cannot be said on the right side though. It is where the two button of the volume rocker can be located along with the Convenience Key and the 3.5mm port. The back of the phone is texturized to add grip and houses the 5MP shooter with a single LED flash and 1300mAh battery underneath it.

The screen has 480×640 resolution with 250ppi pixel density of this device seems like the standard for the 9000 series released last year. What sets this handset apart from the competition is the use of Liquid Graphics technology that uses the power of the 1.2GHz processor and GPU to provide a clear and enhanced viewing experience. This feature is not exclusive to the Torch 9810 as it is a feature of the BlackBerry OS 7. The screen is responsive but too small for my liking. I just feel like my chubby fingers are not meant for a screen this small. More on that later as we go along.

Keyboard

The Torch 9810, as mentioned earlier, combines the touch and type functionality in a rare sliding form factor. The standard QWERTY keyboard is just what you’d normally expect from RIM handsets. However, I find the keys of this handset too compressed compared to its siblings. This might be attributed to the design of the phone that doesn’t have the luxury of a big real estate to squeeze in all the keys unlike the Bold 9900. But for a seasoned QWERTY typist, I don’t think that 9810’s keyboard should present that much of a challenge.

Much like the physical keyboard, I also find the virtual keyboard struggling for space between each other. Again, it is due to how the phone is designed. In my opinion, the virtual keyboard on portrait mode closely resembles the one on iPhones with only a few alterations. There are also other options for the virtual keyboard just like in Torch 9860; the Sure-Type and Reduced Keyboard. The lack of haptic feedback of the virtual keyboard makes the experience all the more unsatisfactory.

BlackBerry OS

Just like the other recent 9000 series handsets, the Torch 9810 also comes pre-installed with the latest BlackBerry OS 7. Apart from the Liquid Graphics technology, the new OS also features faster browsing through BB Browser, NFC support, HD Video Recording and Voice-Activated search. Much like the phone itself, the OS 7 doesn’t offer much of a difference from OS 6 in terms of looks and functionality.

Camera

The Good

In comparison to other 5MP shooters in the market, the Torch 9810 refuses to give up without a fight. The camera shoots pretty decent stills which are at par or even more superior than other 5MP devices. Different scene modes are available for users to choose from to optimize the camera’s shooting capabilities in different lighting conditions. There are also two different options for the Auto-Focus feature, Continuous and Single Shot. For users with shaky hands, there’s an Image Stabilization feature that they can enable to capture crisper photos. Here are some sample pictures taken with the Torch 9810:

The Bad

Settings like ISO, White Balance, Exposure Compensation and the like are not present from the settings. If you’re not too technical with your pictures, the lack of these options shouldn’t be any problem. The Face detection feature was included on the scene mode as opposed to it being a separate option. No secondary camera for video calling.

Video

Besides shooting decent stills, the 5MP camera of the Torch 9810 is also capable of shooting 720p HD videos at 30fps. Clips taken with the handset are quite good. The contrast and colors are almost spot-on and with only minimal level of noise. Here’s a sample video that we took using the handset.

Battery

It’s quite surprising why RIM decided to put 1300mAh battery, which has the same capacity as the battery of older BB handsets, on the BlackBerry Torch 9810 which has almost double the processor speed. What’s even more surprising is that the battery life was not, in any sense, compromised by the difference. I wasn’t expecting this much juice from 1300mAh battery powering a 1.2GHz processor. In Moderate to Heavy usage (BBM, sent few SMS, made and answered couple of voice calls, a bit of browsing, shooting a couple of pictures, a bit of browsing, listening to a couple of songs and few minutes of gaming) I was able to get to 16 hours with the battery still rocking at 9%. I just imagined how much better it would have been if the battery had been 1500mAh or higher.

Hardware Specifications

BlackBerry Torch 9810
1.2GHz processor
3.2″ capacitive touch screen @ 480×640 pixels
Optical trackpad
Full Qwerty keyboard
8GB internal storage
768MB RAM
up to 32GB via microSD card
HSDPA 14.4Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1 w/ A2DP
GPS w/ aGPS support
5MP camera with autofocus and LED flash
Li-Ion 1300 mAh
BlackBerry OS 7

Summary

Last year, in an attempt to catch up with other smart phone manufacturers, RIM has come up with a set of handsets with almost identical specs only in different forms. This is nothing new. In fact we’re so used to seeing a bunch of handsets that really doesn’t differ much from their other devices besides its OS and form factor. In all honesty, in spite of all its features, I still think that the Torch 9810 will have a hard time acquiring switchers in our market. This is mainly due to its hefty price tag. BlackBerries doesn’t come cheap and there are definitely other devices, in the same price range, that offers far more superior specs than the Torch 9810.

So why purchase the Torch 9810? One of the few reasons why people still opt to buy BlackBerries than other smartphones is because of its QWERTY keypad and how it redefined messaging. But let’s face it, touching/swiping the screen to toggle from different sections of your phone is more convenient than scrolling use the track pad/trackball. The Torch 9810 (and its predecessor Torch 9800) gives consumers the convenience of typing with a physical keyboard and usability of a bigger and better (than Torch 9800) touch screen.

In my opinion, this will definitely be a worthy upgrade, especially if you currently own a BlackBerry running on OS 5 or older. If anything, I think that the OS 7 is very promising and BlackBerry users will certainly enjoy the slight modifications and some new features of the OS that they have been itching to see on their BlackBerry device for a very long time. And with OS 7.1 just around the corner, we can expect more things to come for this slider in the future.

The Torch 9810 has a suggested retailed at Php28,590 and has been selling in local stores since January this year.


29 Responses to “BlackBerry Torch 9810 Review”

  1. Mak says:

    Meron kayang current plan for Globe nito?

  2. Enya says:

    I never liked BB’s. They’re so heavy, thick & overpriced! Software and specs are so way behind competition!

  3. Greg
    Twitter: Gregory
    says:

    Switched from Iphone to Blackberry last year and I love the Blackberry more.

  4. Orange says:

    @Enya – nothing is more overpriced than an iphone and the rest of the apple products.

    Seriously, to appreciate a BB you have to use it within the context of work. It’s not a fashion accessory like Iphone. It’s more stable and secure than android phones. A 100% touchscreen phone is impossible for people like me who need to write long and sensible emails for work. And I have yet to come across a qwerty phone better than the qwertys of BBs. A purely touchscreen phone is good for social media but not for real work. People who call BBs ancient and bulky just don’t understand how important BBs are for people who actually use them properly and beyond porma. BBs are not for the trendy.

  5. PAK
    Twitter: zvpsix
    says:

    Nice one orange.

  6. Enya says:

    @Orange
    Very well said! Thats why I dont like BBs. And, sorry for hurting your ego.

  7. simplynice93
    Twitter: simplynice93
    says:

    People compare BB to Android phones and iPhones as if they are in the same league. Android phones and iPhones are like “pop” music because they become “in” fast and then “old” just in a span of months. BB are like “classical” music because it’s a “nerd” smartphone and it takes more IQ to use…

  8. rocketlog says:

    @simplynice93: I love BB phones. I am actually a BB fan because I love messaging and typing long text messages and I always try to avoid text-speak. But to say that it “takes more IQ to use” is a bit off.

    Most BB users would go nuts if they’re asked to “root” or hack into a mobile phone. This being said, I think IQ has got nothing to do with the phone that you’re using. any bimbo can own a BB phone, an Android phone, or an iPhone. all it takes is cash (or credit, for that matter). I know a physics professor who owns a Nokia 100. Try telling him his IQ is low because he’s not using a BB phone. LOL!

    If I have to choose the OS that “takes more IQ to use” it would probably be Android. All that rooting and hacking and customizing needs some brains to get done. As opposed to most (corporate) BB users who would just give it to their IT guy and complain that they’re not receiving their emails.

    @post: I actually think BB 9810 is the best in BBs currently available phones. 9900 has a crappy camera. 9860 is…pure touch and beats the essence of BBs being a good messenger on its core (pero it does make sense on a market perspective).

  9. Mark Pablo says:

    How is it versus the original Torch 9800?

  10. transporterFD says:

    @orange: well said. i am planning to sell my htc sensation xe which i got last december. was using BB curve 8520 back then. I cant agree more. messaging and all the features of the blackberry is just brilliant.

  11. showbiz says:

    Plus 1 to you orange.

  12. flod says:

    Got one for 20K from Kimstore last year. It’s been working great so far. Had multiple OS upgrades already. Installed OS 7.1 for the mobile hotspot option but em not sure if this will incur add’l charges even if your on an unli data plan. Can someone please help validate? Thanks in advance.

  13. Turonbulaong
    Twitter: TuronBulaong
    says:

    @Orange, @rocketlog, @simplynice93 – Wow! I love your feedback! I couldn’t agree on you guys more about what you said. I think that BBs are on its own league and should not be compared with other names in the industry. Thanks for your comments guys. :)

  14. Denove says:

    Most people just use their overpriced Blackberry for Social hence you see them posting nonsensical crap on their Facebook and Twitter every 30 minutes just so they can justify the BB Social subscription.

  15. rover says:

    Only here would you find pretentious and self important people who think using a Blackberry is for the smart and implies a high IQ.

  16. Enya says:

    Basta ayoko talaga ng Blacberry kasi mabigat, makapal, at panget! Pang matatanda! Ang 28k mo pag binili mo ng iPhone, di lang dual-core, 8megapixels pa! Me instagram na, me Temple Run pa!

    • onyok says:

      e kung gusto mo pala ng iphone bakit nandito ka sa blackberry topic.umaasa ka bang magbabago ang blackberry para lumevel sa iphone.may sari sarili silang “market”.for gaming better get an iphone or even an android in that proper pero kung messaging or social feeds that’s for blackberry.kaya hindi umuunlad ang Pinas kasi may mga katulad mo…pupunta ng ganitong forum tapos iba ibibida,ano kaya yun.ok na yung sabihin kung lag,malaki or whatever hindi yung magaadvertise pa, for me kasi hindi constructive yung ganung critisism…

  17. Jonas says:

    Psst. Pambata lang daw yung iPhone and para sa mga mature, sophisticated and matalino ang Blackberry.

  18. amelita a. revilla says:

    mas gusto ko parin ung iphone….

  19. Enya says:

    Same here!

  20. simplynice93
    Twitter: simplynice93
    says:

    @rocketlog: Your reasoning of a physics professor should have a BB because he has high IQ is not right. That physics professor might be in a very tight budget (paying bills, children’s tuition, etc.) or thinks he cannot maximize BB’s potential or any reason whatsoever. You dont buy a BB because you deserve it but BB deserves u…

  21. yugatorch2 says:

    Hi, anyone doing internet tethering with their blackberry devices with os7.1 or using third party apps? Wanted to activate my 9810’s mobile hotspot option but unsure if this would mean additional charges? Hope to hear from you guys. Thanks.

  22. Orange says:

    @Enya – no worries, you didn’t hurt my ego. It was my common sense that your sweeping generalization annoyed.

    Moving forward, I think it’s great that we have so many options right now when it comes to mobile phones. Fantards who love to diss one class of smartphone in favor of another just because they think the other phone is “pangit” and “makapal” – and then just stop there without providing anything substantial to back up their sweeping generalizations – annoy the hell out of me though.

  23. Enya says:

    So much for this nonsense! To each his own. Better wait for iPhone 5.

    • onyok says:

      you started this kind of nonsense…your comments always involve iphone…so you’re a fan of that…is that the reason why you’re attacking BB…so annoying how iphone fans do that…

      immature yung mga ganung comments.

      it is not that im a BB fan. no matter what brand i’m searching for there is always someone who would give that kind of nonsense comment

    • Enya says:

      gosh ang tagal na neto! nakita ko lang ulet sa inbox ko just now while deleting thrash…BB is dying…not even samsung is interested! In no time at all your love affair with BB will be nonexistent! Im no “fanboy”; I have a Note! I just love stuffs that are smart, sexy, and beautiful! as much as i avoid stuffs that are stupid, stout, and ugly!

    • soulkeeper says:

      lol @enya, ayusin mo naman english mo. There’s no such word as “stuffs”

  24. moooody says:

    Pin:28710664 wilcome

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This article was written by Ronnie Bulaong, a special features contributor and correspondent for YugaTech. Follow him on Twitter @turonbulaong.

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