With a brand new touchscreen operating system, formidable features and a full slide-out keyboard, the BlackBerry Torch is a pocket powerhouse.

- What Mobile , What Mobile 

Reviews summary

6.7/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 19 reviews

I have an emotional response whenever I write an overview of a new BlackBerry. Part of the reason is because I have been a loyal BlackBerry user for several years, and partly because I have watched as RIM has gone from "Trailblazing" status to playing catch-up to a new market with new benchmarks.

The BlackBerry Torch illustrates my point about playing catch-up because the Torch offers some fantastic features which, unlike the trailblazing days of "Push Email", are more akin to just getting even with what Apple and Android have been offering for some time.

Show more

There are four key features offered on the Torch that are excellent, and none of them are new to the market... just to BlackBerry. Here's a brief breakdown of those features:

1. Two-finger Tap: Allows you to select multiple things simultaneously, similar to holding down the "command" key on your home PC.

2. Comprehensive Universal Search: The Torch is able to expand searches to include contacts, apps, bookmarks, emails, etc, based on whatever search string you type.

3. Wireless Sync: This feature allows you to browse your home computer's music on your phone and download it, as long as you are on your home wireless network.

4. Photo Folders: Using geolocation, the Torch is able to sort your photos based on where you took them.

In keeping with the theme of "keeping up", the Torch now offers cover flow, which Apple has had for some time. The Torch has auto-wrapping (which reformats text to fit whatever level you zoom to), which Android already offers, and they offer fully integrated social media, which Microsoft has already done.

Add to all of this RIM's third attempt at a touch screen, this time on a vertical slider which you will either love or hate, and you end up with a fine effort from RIM to, well, bring to market a device that is decidedly "caught up".


Specs summary

Screen
3.2"

The BlackBerry Torch 9800's screen is 3.2 inches with 360 x 480 pixels resolution.

Processor
624MHz

There is a 624 MHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on the BlackBerry 6.0 operating system (OS).

Camera
5+ MP
You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 5+ megapixel camera. There's no secondary front camera.
Storage
512 MB

Internal memory is 512 MB. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 32 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1300mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1300 mAh battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are 18 days standby time, 330 minutes (2G), 348 minutes (3G).


Prices (Where to Buy)


Online Buying Options



Resources


Manuals / User Guides Helpful Links Carriers Who Offer This Phone

Bell, MTS, Rogers, SaskTel, Telus, Virgin Mobile Canada

Review Sources Have a question?

Visit the BlackBerry Torch 9800 Q&A Forum to ask the community a question or help others.


Compare this phone to:

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BlackBerry Priv

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BlackBerry Leap

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BlackBerry Classic

Reviews summary

6.7/10AVG.
RATING
Based on 19 reviews

I have an emotional response whenever I write an overview of a new BlackBerry. Part of the reason is because I have been a loyal BlackBerry user for several years, and partly because I have watched as RIM has gone from "Trailblazing" status to playing catch-up to a new market with new benchmarks.

The BlackBerry Torch illustrates my point about playing catch-up because the Torch offers some fantastic features which, unlike the trailblazing days of "Push Email", are more akin to just getting even with what Apple and Android have been offering for some time.

Show more

There are four key features offered on the Torch that are excellent, and none of them are new to the market... just to BlackBerry. Here's a brief breakdown of those features:

1. Two-finger Tap: Allows you to select multiple things simultaneously, similar to holding down the "command" key on your home PC.

2. Comprehensive Universal Search: The Torch is able to expand searches to include contacts, apps, bookmarks, emails, etc, based on whatever search string you type.

3. Wireless Sync: This feature allows you to browse your home computer's music on your phone and download it, as long as you are on your home wireless network.

4. Photo Folders: Using geolocation, the Torch is able to sort your photos based on where you took them.

In keeping with the theme of "keeping up", the Torch now offers cover flow, which Apple has had for some time. The Torch has auto-wrapping (which reformats text to fit whatever level you zoom to), which Android already offers, and they offer fully integrated social media, which Microsoft has already done.

Add to all of this RIM's third attempt at a touch screen, this time on a vertical slider which you will either love or hate, and you end up with a fine effort from RIM to, well, bring to market a device that is decidedly "caught up".

Own this phone?

Help inform others by sharing your experience with BlackBerry Torch 9800

Rate It:

Reviews (6.7/10 Avg. rating)


The BlackBerry Torch 9800 is ideal if social networking and fast internet are important to you

from Top Ten Reviews (4 years ago)

We wish the battery life were stronger on this multimedia cell phone, but with the features provided, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 turns business into entertainment. Even though this device doesn’t feature the strongest multimedia features, this is a good effort to turn a business-oriented device into... More

We wish the battery life were stronger on this multimedia cell phone, but with the features provided, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 turns business into entertainment. Even though this device doesn’t feature the strongest multimedia features, this is a good effort to turn a business-oriented device into something a little more.

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5/10

Innovative touchscreen, excellent messaging options, sturdy, heavy and reassuringly robust

from What Mobile (5 years ago)

With an innovative touchscreen interface and a raft of powerful features, the BlackBerry Torch can justifiably position itself at the top of the smartphone tree. The full slide-out keyboard adds a bit of weight and bulk, but the bonus of extra usability means it’s well worth it. The new BlackB... More

With an innovative touchscreen interface and a raft of powerful features, the BlackBerry Torch can justifiably position itself at the top of the smartphone tree. The full slide-out keyboard adds a bit of weight and bulk, but the bonus of extra usability means it’s well worth it. The new BlackBerry 6 operating system has proved itself to be an excellent advancement with some handy new features, yet the essence of RIM’s trusted original menu system is still in place, as are the excellent messaging options. It adds up to a winning combination that’s sure to please regular users.

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10/10

Beyond the software, the Torch 9800 itself isn't a home run

from Phone Scoop (5 years ago)

The BlackBerry 9800 Torch with BlackBerry OS 6 and the new WebKit browser on board together make for the best BlackBerry yet. BlackBerry OS 6, in particular, pushes the Blackberry platform back into the fray with Apple and Google. But I'm not sure BlackBerry OS 6 has much of a fighting chance.... More

The BlackBerry 9800 Torch with BlackBerry OS 6 and the new WebKit browser on board together make for the best BlackBerry yet. BlackBerry OS 6, in particular, pushes the Blackberry platform back into the fray with Apple and Google. But I'm not sure BlackBerry OS 6 has much of a fighting chance.

RIM is historically slow to upgrade its hardware and services, as it can't alienate its business user base. That is evident in its "fresh but familiar" pitch of BlackBerry 6. RIM changed *just enough* about the user interface to make it a more competitive product, but didn't go with a clean-sheet design and start anew.

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There's still a number of areas that put the Torch 9800 behind some of the competition running other, more modern operating systems

from MobileBurn (5 years ago)

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 offers a few firsts for RIM and AT&T. The Torch is RIM's first attempt at a BlackBerry that sports both a full QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen. It's also the first commercially available BlackBerry that runs the new Blackberry 6 operating system, which offers a ho... More

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 offers a few firsts for RIM and AT&T. The Torch is RIM's first attempt at a BlackBerry that sports both a full QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen. It's also the first commercially available BlackBerry that runs the new Blackberry 6 operating system, which offers a host of new features that include a pull-down notification curtain, universal search, and new virtual QWERTY keyboards.

While the device is largely an improvement over other BlackBerry models, there's still a number of areas that put the Torch 9800 behind some of the competition running other, more modern operating systems. Its battery life could use some work, too, but overall it's a device that BlackBerry fans will want to consider when purchasing their next smartphone.

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7.4/10

The Torch 9800 is a worthy device to continue RIM's legacy as it easily maintains all the aspects about BlackBerry with a dash of some new features

from PhoneArena (5 years ago)

First things first, traditional BlackBerry users will find the Torch 9800 as a worthy device to continue RIM's legacy as it easily maintains all the aspects about BlackBerry with a dash of some new features. RIM's attempt in attracting new users might prove difficult despite boasting a prized fo... More

First things first, traditional BlackBerry users will find the Torch 9800 as a worthy device to continue RIM's legacy as it easily maintains all the aspects about BlackBerry with a dash of some new features. RIM's attempt in attracting new users might prove difficult despite boasting a prized form factor and revamped platform that play to the strengths of the everyday consumer. When comparing the Torch 9800 to some of the big guns in the mobile world right now, such as the HTC EVO 4G, iPhone 4, Motorola DROID 2, it is difficult to fathom for someone to jump with the Torch – even more when all are priced accordingly at $199.99 on-contract. From a hardware perspective, it painfully cringes in the presence of some high-powered devices sporting 1GHz processors, high-resolution displays, and industrial designs that exhibit quality form. But digging around deeper into BlackBerry OS 6 also doesn't boast a level of confidence in attracting non-BlackBerry users since opposing platforms substantially place a lot of emphasis on presentation and integration. Sure there is finally social networking integration with the platform, but it's only getting into that space right now. In closing, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is able to keep that fire going for RIM, but until they get serious about getting the platform into the same league as its competitors, that fire might someday become extinguished.

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8/10

While the BlackBerry Torch isn’t a complete screw-up, it’s far from the Apple-killing, Android-slaying device RIM thought it would be

from BGR (5 years ago)

In a world where things are supposed to get simpler and easier to use, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 unfortunately complicates things. Is it the “best BlackBerry yet”? It’s certainly possible. Though it’s most definitely not the easiest to use, and even RIM’s best product a... More

In a world where things are supposed to get simpler and easier to use, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 unfortunately complicates things. Is it the “best BlackBerry yet”? It’s certainly possible. Though it’s most definitely not the easiest to use, and even RIM’s best product at this point in time seems so far off from being competitive in the smartphone market landscape. Our first photo in the review sort of says it all — it’s a nice phone that is easily overshadowed by something newer, leaner, and much sexier. We’re not sure we’d recommend the 9800 to any new cell phone buyer unless they had a specific need for a BlackBerry. Even then, there’s a good chance we’d recommend the Bold 9700 (or Bold 9700 refresh device) with OS 6 on it.

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A smart fusion of utilitarian form and BlackBerry function

from Wired (5 years ago)

Rubberized battery door and volume rockers ensure a solid grip. Great clarity and call quality. Features du jour are in attendance: GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Sports an impressive set of EQ options for music playback. The definitive upgrade for hardcore BlackBerry users. Not quite on the same lev... More

Rubberized battery door and volume rockers ensure a solid grip. Great clarity and call quality. Features du jour are in attendance: GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Sports an impressive set of EQ options for music playback. The definitive upgrade for hardcore BlackBerry users.

Not quite on the same level as an iPhone or Droid X. Ships with a paltry 4-GB memory card. 5-MP camera is behind the pack with washed out photos and 640 x 480 video. Not really a chatterbox at just over five hours of talk time. Next-gen face with a last-gen ticker.

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7/10

To call the Torch the "best BlackBerry ever" wouldn't be an understatement

from Engadget (5 years ago)

It's tough to feel really excited about the BlackBerry Torch and OS 6 after heavy testing. We had high hopes coming into this review that the new operating system would be more than a fresh coat of paint on an aging user experience -- that we were going to see substantial changes in the attitude... More

It's tough to feel really excited about the BlackBerry Torch and OS 6 after heavy testing. We had high hopes coming into this review that the new operating system would be more than a fresh coat of paint on an aging user experience -- that we were going to see substantial changes in the attitude and direction of the company. While there are notable improvements here and much that is laudable, what we're ultimately left with is, at its core, more of the same. For all the improvements in the browser, the more upscale fit-and-finish of the UI, and the thoughtful changes in basic functionality, we still feel like this device is a generation behind the market. Instead of meeting the rising stars of the smartphone world (Apple and Google) head-on, RIM has taken something more like baby steps toward innovation. The company seems convinced that it's got a better idea about what its customers want and how a smartphone should act in 2010, but we can't say we agree. 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.

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6/10

The most exceedingly common observation about the Torch is that it's very much still a BlackBerry

from Gizmodo (5 years ago)

People who love BlackBerry exactly the way it is will like the Torch and BlackBerry 6, because it's pretty much the same. It offers a lot of marginal improvements in a lot of places—like the browser—even if it makes a mess of some things. That said, in a few months, they might like it a... More

People who love BlackBerry exactly the way it is will like the Torch and BlackBerry 6, because it's pretty much the same. It offers a lot of marginal improvements in a lot of places—like the browser—even if it makes a mess of some things. That said, in a few months, they might like it a lot less. Nielsen numbers show that half of BlackBerry users are thinking about switching. This won't change their mind. And even with all of those corporate accounts locked down tight, it's hard to say that's not a problem.

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Junk

(4 years ago)

I have only had this phone for six months and it has already been in for repair three times. DON"T waste your time!!!

I have only had this phone for six months and it has already been in for repair three times. DON"T waste your time!!!

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1/10

Awesome

(5 years ago)

the blackberry torch is so awesome its the best phone i have ever had i wouldn't trade it for anything. Pros slick design good grip nice touchscreen Cons touch lock is sensitive making it sometimes to easy to lock the typing input can be a bit slow at times sometimes opens the wrong app the main... More

the blackberry torch is so awesome its the best phone i have ever had i wouldn't trade it for anything. Pros slick design good grip nice touchscreen Cons touch lock is sensitive making it sometimes to easy to lock the typing input can be a bit slow at times sometimes opens the wrong app the main buttons on the front can sometimes not work altogether its a good phone with it doing amazing 9/10 times

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9/10

Don't Believe the Bad Reviews

(5 years ago)

I originally purchased the Nexus S due to the excellent reviews, spend 10 days trying to keep it connected to Wifi or 3g, and was blown away in a webpage loading test with my friends BB Curve. I replaced it with the BB Torch and haven't looked back. Maybe it doesn't have all the bells and whistles t... More

I originally purchased the Nexus S due to the excellent reviews, spend 10 days trying to keep it connected to Wifi or 3g, and was blown away in a webpage loading test with my friends BB Curve. I replaced it with the BB Torch and haven't looked back. Maybe it doesn't have all the bells and whistles that the Android system has, but at least it connects and stays connected. And yes, you can actually use it as a phone ! The phone is solidly built and there are apps available for anything you need, unless you use it as a toy ! If your wish is to waste many hours trying to knock down walls with birds and a slingshot, get something else. If you want a good dependable phone with a great browser and excellent antenna , get the Torch !

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9/10

I hate this device.

(5 years ago)

I'm an experienced computer user. However, this darn Blackberry Torch did not come with any type of manual except with some very fine print that I couldn't read with a magnifer. One would think that the software that came with it would at least have the manual. As a man with full sized fingers, I... More

I'm an experienced computer user. However, this darn Blackberry Torch did not come with any type of manual except with some very fine print that I couldn't read with a magnifer. One would think that the software that came with it would at least have the manual. As a man with full sized fingers, I had to devise a tool to operate the keyboard. If I had tried out this device before I signed a contract I would not have purchased it.

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1/10

A true smartphone

(5 years ago)

After experiencing HTC Diamond Windows based, and Android Motorola Droid and Desire Z, I have to say I should have switched to Blackberry Torch 9800 earlier. Well constructed, solid platform coupled with excellent call clarity makes it the best smartphone I have ever dealt with. My only complaint i... More

After experiencing HTC Diamond Windows based, and Android Motorola Droid and Desire Z, I have to say I should have switched to Blackberry Torch 9800 earlier. Well constructed, solid platform coupled with excellent call clarity makes it the best smartphone I have ever dealt with. My only complaint is BIS truncating attachments larger than 5MB. Come on RIM, I want to see a video of my kids or send/receive a large PDF file to/from customers. I look forward to buying the RIM Playbook. The two will catapult users to new levels.as I will not need a separate data plan for the RIM Playbook tablet I personally recommend for work/play. Rogers should include the holster though. Rogers Telenav works very well and it is more cost efective than the application I had for HTC phones. I had stayed away from it after reading the professional reviews. I am so disappointed by their views and content. They are clueless.

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9/10

Pass on this phone

(5 years ago)

As a former iPhone and Blackberry user, I can say that this phone is not worth the effort. The touch screen is finicky, sometime 3 touches to get the right letter, many apps are not compatible with OS6, there are very few ring tones, some apps and games force you to use the touchscreen because the... More

As a former iPhone and Blackberry user, I can say that this phone is not worth the effort. The touch screen is finicky, sometime 3 touches to get the right letter, many apps are not compatible with OS6, there are very few ring tones, some apps and games force you to use the touchscreen because the track pad isn't active for them. It's also very heavy, large, and awkward. I actually went back to the 9700 rather than keep this thing.

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1/10

Really, Really Happy So Far

(5 years ago)

I wanted to wait until I had been using the BB Torch 9800 for a couple weeks before I came on and gave my honest review of it. I've had it for 2 weeks now so here is the review. This is the first BB that I have owned and I have used friends' Bolds and Curves in the past so I did have some idea of w... More

I wanted to wait until I had been using the BB Torch 9800 for a couple weeks before I came on and gave my honest review of it. I've had it for 2 weeks now so here is the review. This is the first BB that I have owned and I have used friends' Bolds and Curves in the past so I did have some idea of what a BB brings to the table. I decided to go the Torch route b/c I was lucky enough to not be in a contract and could buy it, along with a 3 yr contract for only $180. I'm glad I did. Initially I was a little underwhelmed by App World's offerings and some of the Apps compatibility with the Torch. It's not nearly as wide ranging as Apple but I have what I need on my Ipod Touch. I immediately downloaded Google Maps, Google Sync, Dropbox and a couple other good apps for sports, travel and weather. All and all I'm happy with the Apps I have and I definitely won't be overloading my phone with unneeded stuff, so I guess you can call it a blessing in disguise. My Gmail and GCal integrated nicely out of the box but required my Wifi to be enabled for syncing. Google Sync cured this and once Wifi is disabled the battery life is significantly longer. Battery Life was about a day at first and I would attribute that mainly to 1) heavy email and messaging use and 2) unknowingly multi-tasking by not closing out program (Hang up button instead of Back). Once usage normalized and I turned off things like Wifi (who needs it when you have 3G and unlimited data?) the battery life improved noticeably. The touch screen is very responsive even with a screen cover and the push up keyboard puts this ahead of a Iphone imho. All in all, very impressed and happy with the Torch.

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9/10

This phone is the best thing since bread!

(5 years ago)

I had a lot of different phones but went from the pearl flip 8230 to the curve 2 the 8530 and had use the iphone for about 2 weeks to see how i liked it now i am the owner of the torch and i LOVE it

I had a lot of different phones but went from the pearl flip 8230 to the curve 2 the 8530 and had use the iphone for about 2 weeks to see how i liked it now i am the owner of the torch and i LOVE it

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10/10

I love this phone

(5 years ago)

this phone is nothing conpared to the curve 2 . the 8530 this torch is a amazing phone its the new blackberry iphone im in love

this phone is nothing conpared to the curve 2 . the 8530 this torch is a amazing phone its the new blackberry iphone im in love

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10/10

User UN-Friendly

from Phonedog (5 years ago)

Pro: Small, light and compact Con: Too many to list! Very small QWERTY keyboard; control of tracking very difficult even when you lower sensitivity; Using experience: 14 days I had this phone for two weeks, and it was extremely difficult to use. Blackberry attempted to compete with the iphone bu... More

Pro: Small, light and compact Con: Too many to list! Very small QWERTY keyboard; control of tracking very difficult even when you lower sensitivity; Using experience: 14 days I had this phone for two weeks, and it was extremely difficult to use. Blackberry attempted to compete with the iphone but missed the mark completely. When you began to use the phone, you never knew what app was going to appear on the screen. Going from one screen (app) to another was a crapshoot to say the least. I traded it in for an iphone and I'm glad I did.

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5.2/10