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Hands On With the BlackBerry Torch 9800

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the rim-shot dept.

Cellphones 126

adeelarshad82 writes "Research in Motion announced the company's first slider-style BlackBerry, the Torch 9800, which is also the first BlackBerry with both a touch screen and hard keyboard, and the first device to run the new OS 6. The Torch feels and looks very much like a BlackBerry, with the proper BlackBerry Bold-style arrangements of plastic, metal, and glass; there are also BlackBerry fonts on the keys and the now-standard BlackBerry trackpad. The Torch's 3.2-inch, 360-by-480 screen is a standard capacitive LCD touch screen. The screen is bright and sharp, but it's obviously behind the competition in terms of resolution. The Torch has a 5-megapixel camera with VGA video recording, Bluetooth 2.1, 512 MB of program memory, 4 GB of built-in storage, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. The Torch has the same 624-MHz Marvell processor as the existing BlackBerry Bold. The new BlackBerry 6 OS adds touch to the interface mix. RIM appears to have totally rewritten its media apps. There's a new Desktop Manager coming with BlackBerry 6, and a Social Feeds app that combines Twitter, Facebook, and various instant messaging conversations."

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126 comments

Meh (0)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129286)

The hardware looks decent (except for that low-res screen...wtf?), but I'm not entirely sold on the new OS revision.

Disclosure: I've never been much a fan of Blackberry OS.

Re:Meh (2, Insightful)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129762)

Internals are a bit disappointing [boygeniusreport.com] . Why are they only putting a 624Mhz processor in their new flagship device? HTC, Apple, Moto & Samsung are all using 1ghz ARM variants in their flagship phones--with higher speeds and dual core phones on the near horizon.

Re:Meh (1)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130088)

I bet that's why a blackberry can last with heavy usage much better than the others.

Re:Meh (1)

atamido (1020905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33131480)

No, BB simply has a much more efficient push email system than ActiveSync, or polling every 15 minutes.

Re:Meh (3, Insightful)

PsychoSlashDot (207849) | more than 3 years ago | (#33133534)

Internals are a bit disappointing [boygeniusreport.com] . Why are they only putting a 624Mhz processor in their new flagship device? HTC, Apple, Moto & Samsung are all using 1ghz ARM variants in their flagship phones--with higher speeds and dual core phones on the near horizon.

Get this... if you don`t spend all your processing time making animated zooming window borders and other GUI frills, you don`t NEED an insane processor. What does a cell phone need to do?

Make calls... doesn`t need much processing power.
Look up contacts. Make appointments. Access memos... doesn`t need much processing power.
Take pictures. Display low-res video. Encode and decode music... doesn`t need much processing power.

If your phone seems slow, it`s because it`s full of glitzy crap. My Bold 9700 does everything I ask it to do, immediately. It doesn`t lag. It isn`t slow. It doesn`t - in a nutshell - need a faster processor.

Re:Meh (2, Insightful)

Low Ranked Craig (1327799) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129828)

Meh for the average user, true. Nice to see RiM focusing back on business users without trying to introduce an "iPhone killer".

Re:Meh (2, Insightful)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130198)

Meh for the average user, true. Nice to see RiM focusing back on business users without trying to introduce an "iPhone killer".

And how are they focusing on businesses moreso than they already do? It looks like they're missing the forest for the trees by rushing to include every new buzzword-laden technology (Social Feeds! Instant messaging! Facebook!) without actually understanding the underlying themes and trends. To me, that seems like the antithesis of "focusing on business users."

Also, why is it that businesses cannot benefit from the (considerably superior) graphical, processing, and multitouch capabilities of the current crop of Android and iOS devices?

Re:Meh (1)

Qwavel (733416) | more than 3 years ago | (#33132006)

> Also, why is it that businesses cannot benefit from the (considerably superior) graphical, processing, and multitouch capabilities of the current crop of Android and iOS devices?

Cost.

When you look at all the high-end phones being sold you sometimes get the idea that cost doesn't matter anymore. And for many consumers that is true, but businesses are less likely to want to pay for expensive capabilities that aren't needed.

Re:Meh (1)

victorhooi (830021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33132840)

heya,

Blackberry devices aren't that much cheaper.

For example, in my work here in Australia, I was told that our BB 9700 handsets were around $740, even after all the carrier discounts from Telstra (we're a very-large IB).

For that sort of money, you can nearly get a iPhone 4, or a Android phone.

For my personal phone, I have a Nexus One, and apart from the lack of a tactile keyboard, it's much nicer to the BB 9700 handset I use. The only drawback is the battery life, which is obviously lower, due to the large screen size. Still, for an office warrior, it's a small price to pay.

Also, RIM has a history of using annoying tricks to try and get you locked into their infrastructure. And simple things, which would normally work fine over say, Wifi, or a normal mobile plan are specifically locked out, simply to try to drive more sales of their other services. Even things like Gmail, Google Maps, MSN, Skype etc. are prevented from using Wifi (the phone has in-built Wifi), simple to drive more BIS/BES sales.

http://www.blackberryforums.com/wifi-hotzone/100809-will-google-maps-work-over-wifi.html [blackberryforums.com]

I think their devices are nifty, but their OS is still in the dark ages (6.0 doesn't look to change that), and they're not happy with just selling you very expensive smart-phones, they lock them down to force you to cough up more for "special" services (oftentimes just data through their circuits).

Cheers,
Victor

Re:Meh (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129880)

360x480 is lower than phones from 2+ years ago. I guess it's a start?

Bad Apple (5, Funny)

Spazntwich (208070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129304)

How you like RIM, Jobs?

Re:Bad Apple (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129438)

I once had a recruiter contact me about a position at Research in Motion. For the next 2-3 days as we corresponded back and forth, I kept receiving emails titled "re: Rim Job" "re: re: Rim Job" "re: re: re: Rim Job".

I suppose I'm lucky they weren't all immediately filtered as spam.

Re:Bad Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129574)

What the hell is a rimjob?

Re:Bad Apple (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129730)

A job at Research in Motion.

Re:Bad Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129844)

What the hell is a rimjob?

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=rim+job [urbandictionary.com]

Re:Bad Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33130272)

it's what you do on /.

Re:Bad Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129814)

Trust me, as an employee, the RIM job jokes never stop, and get old very quickly.

Re:Bad Apple (1)

damien_kane (519267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130012)

Trust me, as an employee, the RIM job jokes never stop, and get old very quickly.

Be thankful that you're on the receiving end.
It must be a million times worse for HR kids there, being the ones whose job is to literally give rim jobs to people.

Re:Bad Apple (3, Interesting)

Mr. DOS (1276020) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129974)

The best part? Their careers site is rim.jobs [rim.jobs] .

Re:Bad Apple (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129986)

Wow, you found that lickety split.

Groundbreaking [2007]! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129320)

Any reasons non business people would pick this over the current crop of Android devices or iPhones?

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129402)

Any reasons non business people would pick this over the current crop of Android devices or iPhones?

None, and vice-versa, too.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129796)

So there is no reason the current crop of Android devices or iPhones would pick the Blackberry Torch 9800 over a non business person?

I suppose that is a true statement, but kind of a weird thing to say.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129496)

I don't get this artificial distinction between "business" users and "non business" users.

I carry a blackberry for business. But I explicitly chose a model that has MP3, WiFi, camera, and GPS because those features made it a whole lot more useful to me as a personal device.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (4, Insightful)

copponex (13876) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129612)

I don't get this artificial distinction between "business" users and "non business" users.

Business user: I need fast push access to e-mail and critical documents wherever I go. I don't care about anything else.

Personal user: LOL i just want 2 play sum farmville and take sum pictures of my doggie and put it on fabo and omg twitter i liek dont care if it works all the time k just as long as its pretty pretty!!!!1111ONE00110001

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129792)

Business user: I need fast push access to e-mail and critical documents wherever I go. I don't care about anything else.

Personal user: LOL i just want 2 play sum farmville and take sum pictures of my doggie and put it on fabo and omg twitter i liek dont care if it works all the time k just as long as its pretty pretty!!!!1111ONE00110001

Youtube? Is that you?

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129824)

I protest to the irresponsible depiction of the personal user here! I doubt any personal user could spell 'pretty' correctly two times in a row.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129826)


Push email on my iPhone comes in just moments behind the Blackberry (have them both on my desk and just ran a few tests). I find the doc/pdf reader on the Apple device to be MUCH nicer than the crappy BB one.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

atamido (1020905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33131044)

My iPhone often rings the new email alert a second or two before Outlook does.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

DocSavage64109 (799754) | more than 3 years ago | (#33131258)

I was about to say the same as far as iPhone email, and I'm loving the multiple Exchange account ability. Just wish it was more obvious that you need to setup your gmail account via the Exchange settings if you want push gmail.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129622)

Well, there's the thing. You're carrying it for business, but if you didn't need it for that, would you get one?

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129662)

Regardless of whether I need it for business, I have to say I kind of like having one device in my pocket that functions as a photo album, web browser, mp3 player, digital camera, gps nav device, map book, pocket calculator, alarm clock, plus a few dozen other trivial things.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129860)

You're missing the point dude.

The point is that if you ONLY needed it to function "as a photo album, web browser, mp3 player, digital camera, gps nav device, map book, pocket calculator, alarm clock, plus a few dozen other trivial things." then there are probably much better options available to you to perform those tasks. In other words, if you didn't need a blackberry then you could get something decent.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130634)

You're missing my point. I don't feel that I'm missing out on anything. As far as I'm concerned my existing BB is "something decent" and I feel little compulsion to line up around the block at some store downtown in order to replace it with another device.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130722)

ive got an old curve 8330 and consider it a decent phone. itll do most everything a modern touch screen phone will do, its just a little slower and not as pretty about it. id like a modern smartphone because im a nerd who likes tech stuff like that, not because i need it.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130158)

Once you have a smart phone, they are damned hard to give up, aren't they?

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130120)

I'm also carrying a Blackberry (older Curve 83xx series) for work, and just about anything newer (especially if it had 3G, dear God EDGE is slow up here in the hinterlands!) would be preferable. But, having said that, would I choose another Blackberry for personal use?

Maybe.

I have little experience with any other phone, so I don't have much of a position from which to judge. I have an iPod Touch and typing on it is an exercise in living, screaming hell, so for that and several other reasons the iPhone is pretty much out. Big meaty paws, and a touchscreen like the iPod's do not mix. Resistive screens work OK for me (my wife's Nokia 5800 is pretty OK, but I can use a stylus for the fiddly bits on that one), but I really like an actual keyboard if I'm going to type a lot. I might not type as much on a "personal" phone as I do on my "business" one though.

I'd love a larger screen, but I've come to appreciate the advantages of a real keyboard, so all in all I wouldn't give up a hard keyboard to get a larger screen. I don't really like the idea of flip-out or slide-out phones because of the additional moving parts (I tend to break things with moving parts), but I'd probably consider something like that if the build quality was really, really good.

I know my Blackberry Curve has taken some significant abuse in the two years I've owned it, and has performed like a champ. There are very few reports of problems that I've heard in the 150 or so Blackberries (mixture of 88xx, 83xx Curves, and 81xx Pearls) we run here at the office. So the build quality is top notch, and the no-moving-parts form factor probably helps a lot. After two years, I still get more than a day of solid use on the original battery, and I like being able to charge it everywhere a standard mini-USB cable is available.

I don't like the "application memory" versus "storage memory" scheme of the Blackberry at all. Of course, my Curve only has 32MB of "application memory" so I have to be extremely careful how many applications I have installed, so it's a constant hassle for me. I suppose the newer ones with 512MB of app memory overcome that to a great extent, but I'd rather just have a shared memory pool (I'm sure that's tricky, though, for devices that can take removable memory, and I'd want to be able to add memory or have it come with a very large amount to start with).

I'd probably have to try out an Android, and the decision would most likely be Android versus Blackberry. I run Linux at home, so I like the idea of running Linux on my cell as well. But BlackberryOS has served me very well over the last couple of years, despite its shortcomings.

But I do carry it for work, so I'll probably be forced into another Blackberry if we ever do a hardware refresh. And as long as it performs as well as my Curve does (maybe a little quicker with a better camera and 3G), I'll probably be very happy with it.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33131248)

I agree it's a shame physical keyboards aren't more common. I love my 5800, but I would have liked something with an actual keyboard as well as touch (there weren't any that I could see on PAYG in the price range I was looking).

The interesting thing is, I've seen a few dirt cheap feature phones with slide out QWERTY keyboards - e.g., the LG 360 for a measly £40 [tesco.com] - so it doesn't seem to be something that should massively increase the costs.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

Dishevel (1105119) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129650)

Me as well. But to be fair if it wasn't for the business side I would already be Android. Now that I am stuck on sprint and RIM deciding that their good one can only be AT&T. I think....Maybe....I might....go with the evo. Rooted so I can wipe out the sprint crap. I will still be able to ssh to my servers. Can calendar everything through Gmail. With 4g and apps. I think I can slide myself off my crackberry and get some fun with my work.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129788)

Android as activesync support, which exchange and many exchange like email solutions use.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

urbanriot (924981) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130554)

As a solutions provider, I experience a definite distinction between "business users" and "home users" as different markets have different requirements and expectations of their smart 'phone.' Consider an enthusiast 16 year old kid who thinks he knows it all and enjoys wasting time hacking around with his android and doesn't care that it may occasionally bug up whereas a corporate user or small business owner wants his emails and he wants them now, with a reliable experience that never fails. The latter market typically cares less about playing music, watching shows or taking pictures of lolfriends.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | more than 3 years ago | (#33131132)

Personal user: I want a camera, chat, MP3 player, Twitter, facebook, etc.

Business user: The corporate security and audit teams says all of that stuff has to be turned off.

I used to work at a company that required that even the phone feature be disabled on all blackberries connected to the corporate Exchange servers...

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (2, Insightful)

qoncept (599709) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129508)

They think they know better than people who have used both.

Re:Groundbreaking [2007]! (3, Insightful)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130274)

Any reasons people would pick an Iphone over the current crop of Android devices or Blackberries?

Any reasons people would pick an Android device over the current crop of Iphones or Blackberries?

(You forgot Symbian btw - the number one platform, and as of Q2 2010 still increasing their lead over Blackberry and Apple, with their increase in sales second only to Android.)

And on a related note, I'm pleased that we manage to get coverage of the Blackberry without an obligatory astroturfing comparison to "the Iphone" as if it were number one, neither in the article nor the summary. Unfortunately the BBC are on their usual Apple spinning form, with the headline "RIM launches Blackberry Torch to challenge iPhone" [bbc.co.uk] . (Does any other kind of product get a reference to a less successful competitor when it's covered in the news? And why pick Apple rather than Android (who are growing faster) or Nokia (who are number one)?)

AT&T - No Thanks (1)

lightperson (1186737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129350)

Another cellphone company that want's to shove AT&T down my throat. No thanks.

Re:AT&T - No Thanks (2, Interesting)

cygnwolf (601176) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129688)

I agree. I happen to... mostly... Like my provider. Even though they don't always have the uber popular phones like the i-phone. And they completely seem to miss the point about 'rugged' phones (Nothing since the Moto W450? Really?). But I like the customer service I've gotten, I like my plan, I like my coverage... I just don't like the fact that the phone manufactures are trying to force me to pay full price for the phones I want (instead of changing to their exclusive service vendor, if you can call what AT&T and Verizon do 'service') and then go through the process of jailbreaking them to use them on the network that I like. Makes me feel like a second class citizen...

Re:AT&T - No Thanks (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129966)

Makes me feel like a second class citizen...

Big corporations are the first class citizens.

Re:AT&T - No Thanks (1)

darth dickinson (169021) | more than 3 years ago | (#33131642)

...if you can call what AT&T and Verizon do 'service'...

I dunno, from reading around here they seem to "service" [thefreedictionary.com] (definition 12) their customers quite well...

Re:AT&T - No Thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129930)

There is a reason why RIM is referred to as "RIMT&T" internally ... most of the executives come from AT&T (CIO, multiple VPs, directors, managers, consultants, peons).

Is it any wonder AT&T gets all the new products first?

Re:AT&T - No Thanks (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129950)

AT&T is hardly the only mobile carrier to offer BlackBerry handsets. Blame T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon for not outbidding AT&T to be first to carry this model.

According to Slashdot (4, Funny)

mark72005 (1233572) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129480)

According to Slashdot, this phone already outsold the iPhone in the last quarter :)

Open Source Bitching? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129516)

5. 4. 3. 2. 1. Okay, slashdot may now begin bitching about how godawful this phone is because it's not open-source. No doubt, it would be heralded as a low-cost alternative for the "common people" if it was open-source.

Blech (2, Interesting)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129546)


RIM is like Microsoft: not the best made stuff, but business adopted it so it's a standard of sorts.

I hate that my workplace will buy us Blackberries but won't go iPhone (or whatever). I end up swapping the SIM to my personal iPhone and all is well but it's still wear and tear on my own stuff.

.

Re:Blech (3, Insightful)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129820)

Where I work they recently started allowing employees to bring their own 3Gs/4 iPhones to the network with the caveat there would be no support whatsoever to those people. In the the few months that policy has been in place there have been numerous company wide mobile email outages to those iPhones. Of course many executives switched and you can't NOT support the execs. AT&T couldn't figure out what the problem was and neither could Apple. In the 4 years I've been here I can count on one hand the number of times the email on the Blackberries has gone down. I've been discouraging people from getting iPhones for work and now I can actually offer them an alternative. I welcome the Torch with open arms.

Re:Blech (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129948)

Interesting. We have a "You ain't supported" policy here, too. I don't recall mail to my iPhone (or anybody's) ever choking but I know I've had to pull the battery in my various Blackberries to reboot them many times. I liked my 8830(?) World Edition back in the day but RIM seems like they've been stuck in the past. The current 9700 I have is OK but it seems like little more than a dumb-phone with email. That's the one I swap SIMs with at work.

Re:Blech (1)

ArhcAngel (247594) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130270)

I will concede that point about the Curves (83xx). I loved my 8800 but it was stolen so I decided to get the newer Curve and as you mentioned it borks every so often requiring a hard reset. My 8800 never gave me problems like that and I wouldn't mind getting another 88xx series.

Re:Blech (2, Informative)

rabbit994 (686936) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130122)

We have had opposite experience. We do provide work iPhones and support them. iPhone users we never hear from again about Email. Blackberries on other hand are constantly loosing connection to BES, BES looses connection to mailbox, reset their BES account, clean out their Blackberry queue, it's never ending ticket queue.

Between most sysadmins I know, their dislike of BES is pretty universal and we wish they would embrace ActiveSync like everyone else.

Re:Blech (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33130336)

Blackberries on other hand are constantly loosing connection to BES, BES looses connection to mailbox

Why don't you tighten up your connection then?

Re:Blech (1)

atamido (1020905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130996)

Between most sysadmins I know, their dislike of BES is pretty universal and we wish they would embrace ActiveSync like everyone else.

Ditto. Once Exchange is set up to support ActiveSync, users can set up their own Windows Mobile or iPhones without any IT support. BES requires extra hardware and software licenses, plus the time from IT workers. And that's if the BES is working properly.

  Why people want to continue going down the BES route is a mystery.

Re:Blech (1)

Samalie (1016193) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130424)

We're small business, but have the same policy....no support to iPhones (although I'm the IT Manager here & have an iPhone over the Blackberry). In my 3 years working with BB devices, I ahve had numerous support tickets on BES/Blackberry related crap and people not getting their email. But I have NEVER had an email outage on my iPhone in 2 years of carrying a iP3g.

Re:Blech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33130980)

Funny, I've seen our blackberries go down almost constantly, it's a weekly occurrence. The users on iPhones have never reported a single issue.

Re:Blech (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130220)

I'm almost certain you cannot swap a SIM provisioned with BlackBerry data services into a non-BlackBerry phone and get data; certainly if your company has a BES. And if they're hardcore about security, they probably have BES.

What you could do is get a dual-SIM case for your iPhone. They tend to be clunky, though.

Re:Blech (1)

grub (11606) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130570)

I do swap, though. 3G 9700 -> iPhone 3GS on Rogers.

Re:Blech (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | more than 3 years ago | (#33131072)

That's bizarre. I'm a Rogers customer as well and I'm pretty sure that BIS/BES service SIMs won't work in a non-Blackberry device ever. I'll give this a try.

Re:Blech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33131902)

You're wrong, and grub called you on it and owned you.

EAT IT!!!! HOW DOES IT TASTE????

Re:Blech (1)

wulfhere (94308) | more than 3 years ago | (#33133224)

Well, we're not using BES, but I just swapped the SIM from my old BB Curve to a Samsung Vibrant. Worked fine.

Re:Blech (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33130732)

I end up swapping the SIM to my personal iPhone

If it helps, I know a number of RIM employees who do the same thing.

Re:Blech (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33131102)

RIM is like Microsoft: not the best made stuff, but business adopted it so it's a standard of sorts.

Well, that depends what you mean by "best".

The blackberry platform is the most secure, strongly encrypted mobile email/internet platform out there.

The blackberry platform has been audited from end-to-end [blackberry.com] & certified by the governments of Canada, USA, UK, Austria, New Zealand, Australia & Turkey, along with NATO and the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology in Germany.

Iphone has been audited by... nobody.

No other mobile email platform has the level of logging that blackberry offers, and some companies (particularly investment banks) need to track all communications with clients.

There is a reason the governments of Saudi Arabia & United Arab Emirates are thinking to ban the blackberry and not the iphone.

Not everyone is interested by or needs that kind of security. But some do need that, and no other mobile email platform comes close. Not iphone, not nokia, not android, not palm pre.

Re:Blech (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33131288)

If they're buying it for you, I'm not sure what the complaint is. I "hate" that my workplace doesn't buy me Blackberries, N97s or Desires...

Re:Blech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33131784)

Why would McDonalds buy you a phonier?

WebKit (3, Interesting)

IceFox (18179) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129548)

Surprised it isn't in the summary, but this phone is also the first Blackberry to have a WebKit based browser which is big news.

Re:WebKit (2, Informative)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129668)

No kidding. Have you ever tried developing for the BlackBerry browser, or the Widget API, which uses the same rendering engine? Netscape 4 is literally more capable and standards-compliant by comparison. It's virtually unusable to do anything beyond bare basics with JavaScript or CSS (and even then, behavior is often inconsistent and unreliable).

The Widget API is also perplexing in its own right. Although it supposedly uses the same rendering engine, its implementation of the DOM is slightly different from the Browser's. In short: a nightmare.

Re:WebKit (2, Interesting)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129784)

I think that is what distinguishes a Blackberry as a business phone. Only a large business with many wasted resources would want to develop for a Blackberry.

Re:WebKit (1)

insightfullofit (1862064) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129734)

It seems obvious this phone is meant to put an end to all the bitching about blackberries past shortcomings:

- touchscreen, trackpad, slide-out keyboard: stop bitching about input methods
- multi-touch, pinch-to-zoom, new webkit browser: stop bitching about web surfing
- new app world with carrier billing, new developer SDK: stop bitching about apps
- integrated youtube, facebook, twitter, myspace: stop bitching about being for corporate users only

Wether this will reduce steady flow of users converting to android/iphone is yet to be seen.

Re:WebKit (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129882)

-QNX: Stop bitching about our shitty OS

Re:WebKit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33129936)

BlackBerry STFU 9800 hardly rolls off the tongue.

Re:WebKit (1)

MonsterOfTheLake (880659) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130706)

BlackBerry QYB 9800?

Re:WebKit (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33131904)

Are people really converting en masse?

I know Blackberry is losing smartphone market share in a hurry, but how much of that is the changing focus of the smartphone market? There are lots more individuals jumping in and choosing consumer-friendly phones instead of business-friendly phones.

I kinda think Blackberry might stick around forever like IBM or Novell or whatever, boring (but profitable) companies making boring (but reliable) business products for boring (but wealthy) customers.

Re:WebKit (1)

Kenja (541830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130536)

Well yea, but the news is that the platform is so out of date that its just now getting a WebKit based browser. Like the commercials they're running these days, it smacks of a desperate attempt to be "cool".

Re:WebKit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33131494)

Surprised it isn't in the summary,

The article was posted by kdawson...

HTC + Android FTW (1)

Meskarune (988797) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129646)

I'd take a HTC smart phone over blackberry any day of the week.

Re:HTC + Android FTW (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129968)

Why?

From what I hear Blackberry does what it's designed to do very well and very securely. RIM also seem to make reliable phone with the exception of the original Storm.

My android phone doesn't even come close to handling work email as well as the Blackberry.

There is nothing wrong with picking the best phone that meets your purpose. Android is okay. The support isn't there, and it sure isn't as integrated as the Blackberry with enterprise email.

Look and feel (4, Interesting)

moosesocks (264553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129708)

The Torch feels and looks very much like a BlackBerry

Wait. Is that supposed to be a compliment? The only nice things to say about Blackberry relate to their keyboards and enterprise software.

when is the post mortum (1)

sgt scrub (869860) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129878)

Does anything other than WebKit on this phone not scream lock in? Unless I fell into a time loop, it requires either a slew of Microsoft only software and their own expensive proprietary daemon or administrators to do go through a bunch of bs to send internal information back out to some service to be functional.
So a blackberry with expensive server software or reduced security and pain for your admin vs. iPhone or any Android based phone.

I hope the death of RIM is nearing.

Re:when is the post mortum (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33130936)

You can use it without BES. It's call BIS. Integrates with your personal email.

Or you can use the free BES Express http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/business/server/express/

And if you like to use WiFi and save on cell costs you can use MVS http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/business/blackberry_mvs/

So about half will still break in the first 6mo (1)

tehtest (995812) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129906)

" Torch's 3.2-inch, 360-by-480 screen is a standard capacitive LCD touch screen. The screen is bright and sharp, but it's obviously behind the competition in terms of resolution. The Torch has a 5-megapixel camera with VGA video recording, Bluetooth 2.1, 512 MB of program memory, 4 GB of built-in storage, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. The Torch has the same 624-MHz Marvell processor as the existing BlackBerry Bold. The new BlackBerry 6 OS adds touch to the interface mix......... bla bla blah" So about half will still break in the first 6 months, right? I've had just about every BB since they first had phone capability, and they basically suck at everything except for writing emails (mostly). The newer they are the more easily they break.

Renamed for the UK market... (2, Funny)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 3 years ago | (#33129940)

The phone will be dubbed the "Blackberry Flashlight 9800" for UK owners

Re:Renamed for the UK market... (2, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130254)

Let's just hope they don't have any battery overheating problems, or the "Torch" name will turn into a bad pun really, REALLY fast.

How does it work in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33130374)

...Saudia Arabia and the UAE?

As an indie BB developer... (4, Interesting)

thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130412)

As an indie BB developer, I've mixed impressions here. The changes to OS6 look very promising (I'll be digging in more tonight since they released the SDK today, but so far they look good -- and this on top of a platform that was pretty solid to begin with, even if not the flashiest out there.) There are also some cool features - like gesture support on the trackpad, integrated search, etc - which I'm looking forward to playing with.

A lot of things I've had to manually code workarounds for are now part of the OS. This is a two-edged sword though: I still need to support older platforms (thus must keep my legacy code); yet also want to have the more efficient/integrated advantage that comes with using native APIs. It's not *too* painful as I've already determined handling for this scenario in previous OS versions (5.0, 4.7, 4.6, 4.5, 4.3...) ... but it is frustrating as some of these things really should have been there all along. (On the other hand: this isn't a problem specific to BB. -- it's a problem with developing against any platform that undergoes significant improvements over time.)

I was looking forward to the Torch hardware itself - since my first BB (8700c) I was thinking it would be really cool if they found a way to merge their keyboard with the Palm touchscreens. When I heard about it, I had geekgasms. Now that I'm seeing the specs... my reaction is mixed. I'm seeing a lot of feedback about the relatively slow processor (compared to other smartphones); but realistically I don't anticipate that to have much effect. My experience with BB has shown that Well written apps will run well; poorly written apps will run poorly; but the core OS will remain snappy. As long as that doesn't change, I'm not too concerned about the CPU speed. (the only exception was the 8800 - that thing was dog-slow... don't know what they were thinking.) Even the RAM doesn't bother me - though I am still h oping we'll see the ability to run apps off of SD card or at least on-board flash. Either of these would make RAM an absolute non-issue.

What disappoints me is the screen resolution: this device has the same resolution as my 9700-- which has a much smaller screen. I really expected this to get bumped up a notch in this release, and the fact that it hasn't has me debating whether i want to get the Torch, or wait for the Flaming Torch or whatever the next version of the hardware will be. Considering how long I've been wanting exactly this device, the idea of waiting for a next rev is irksome.

Overall: the OS looks good. The API improvements make a solid system even better. The new tools for web-based apps look very promising, and a vast improvement over their previous iteration. The hardware is "meh", but still a step up; I only wish the screen were better resolution. The fact that they're now including app store with the OS itself is also a huge improvement: too many people think that the crapware links that AT&T/whoever pushes to the phone are the extent of the BB app selection, and that's not the case. Hopefully this push (along with their planned marketing) will make both developers and consumers more aware that BB is a good platform for apps.

New OS (1)

doconnor (134648) | more than 3 years ago | (#33130538)

Sounds like, unlike Apple, Palm or Android, they wrote a multi-threaded OS capable of running WebKit from scratch, rather then being based on Linux or BSD.

Although it's not really that hard if only have to support limited hardware you've designed yourself and you have ready access graduates from one of the most respected Computer Science programs in the world (University of Waterloo).

Re:New OS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33131200)

Actually the RTOS inside the BlackBerry OS is AMX, from Kadak systems. The BlackBerry OS then has a layer on top of that for things like storage management, etc. Finally there is a JVM (yuck!) on top of that layer where the applications stack runs.

Sorry, it's not really all that homegrown -- not to put down UoW or anything....

They dropped the ball. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33130708)

Compared to their competitors: slower processor, less memory, lower-res smaller screen, and still no real app solution. Basically, anything that people can say about Blackberries over their competition is "Well, they do email really well."

It's kind of a shame. They appear to have nothing to prevent their demise.

2007 called, they want their smartphone back. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33130864)

RIM needs a new OS. This device is even worse than what I expected them to come out with.

Re:2007 called, they want their smartphone back. (1)

baka_toroi (1194359) | more than 3 years ago | (#33132952)

Uh, this phone sports a new OS :/

Thanks, brain! (1)

sootman (158191) | more than 3 years ago | (#33131042)

I read all the way to the end of one of TFAs before realizing it's "torch", not "touch."

BlackBerry Torch?!? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#33131208)

When did RIM start making flashlights? Are they selling it under that same name in the UK?

BlackBerry who uses this still? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33132102)

Seriously, we were a BB + BES shop for 7 years. We started out with the old datatac 857 units on skytel. Sure they were ahead of the curve at one time, but compared to iphone or android, there really is no comparison. We have 50-100 iphones configured with Active Sync (via VPN for security), and rarely receive user tickets. BlackBerry on the other hand is continually failing, BES lock ups, rendering by the browser and MDSCS server, is somewhat embarrassing, to the point where we have deployed netbooks (along with laptops) to execs who require web browsing. Hopefully they're looking to the future, but it sounds as though RIM may be the new Palm

Battery life (1)

Espectr0 (577637) | more than 3 years ago | (#33132450)

Battery life is about 20% lower (1500mAh down to 1300 or so), and now it has to power a bigger ,touch-capable screen. Doesn't look good for battery life.

YUO FAiL iT! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33132512)

and piss cocktail. Headi spinning they're gone Came
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