Enterprise Mobility: BlackBerry Torch 9800 Smartphone Bright Spots: Media, Video, Messaging

 
 
By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2010-08-03
 
 
 

BlackBerry Torch 9800 Smartphone Bright Spots: Media, Video, Messaging

by Nicholas Kolakowski

BlackBerry Torch 9800 Smartphone Bright Spots: Media, Video, Messaging

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Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO of AT&T's Mobility and Consumer Markets, told the audience that RIM and AT&T had worked closely together to develop the BlackBerry Torch 9800.

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Mike Lazaridis, co-CEO of RIM, detailed the BlackBerry Torch's sliding QWERTY keyboard and capacitive touch screen, among other features.

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Details such as the Torch's sliding keyboard and home screen are meant to be very reminiscent of past BlackBerry designs, but with some new features designed to help the device better compete with rivals such as the Apple iPhone and the Droid X.

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BlackBerry 6, the company's new mobile OS, was designed to be familiar to BlackBerry's traditional customer base, while approachable and easy-to-learn for new users.

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In a bid to appeal to consumers, RIM enhanced the BlackBerry's media options, with more robust photo-organizing tools, a podcast app and wireless syncing with the user's PC music catalog.

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The BlackBerry 6 user interface has been streamlined, with its icons and elements updated. The notifications bar at the top of the screen, if touched, reveals more information about the latest messages and calls.

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The BlackBerry Torch includes 512MB Flash memory, 4GB on-board memory and a microSD/SDHC memory-card slot with a 4GB card (cards up to 32GB are apparently supported).

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BlackBerry 6 features tight integration with YouTube and other video-sharing Websites.

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Hardware-wise, the phone feels solid but relatively lightweight in the hand. Closed, the Torch is 4.4 inches long; open, it extends to 5.8 inches. The touch-screen display measures 3.2 inches, with a 360 by 480 resolution.

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The 5.0-megapixel camera integrates flash, auto-focus, image stabilization and geo-tagging. The software uses geo-location to auto-name images by location; take some shots of Times Square, and the device will label them "New York 1," "New York 2," etc.

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Finger-swiping the home screen to the left takes you to a page of frequently used apps and features; swiping it to the right will land you on a page of favorite apps and features. The BlackBerry Torch will come with BlackBerry App World preinstalled.

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The BlackBerry Torch is scheduled to go on sale Aug. 12, for $199 with a two-year AT&T contract.

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