Research In Motion announced via its official Twitter account on Monday that AT&T will launch the BlackBerry Torch 9810 on August 21st. We recently had hands-on time with the Torch 9810, which is nearly identical to the Torch handset that came before it, but appreciated the first-class keyboard and updated BlackBerry OS 7 operating system. The Torch 9810 is also equipped with support for AT&T’s HSPA+ network and has a 640 x 480-pixel display, 8GB of storage, a 5-megapixel camera capable of recording 720p HD video, and a 1.2GHz processor. AT&T confirmed on its Facebook page that the Torch 9810 will cost $49.99 with a new two-year contract. More →
We already gave you rundowns of the all new BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BlackBerry Torch 9810 smartphones, and we also spent time with the BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860 tonight up in Toronto. We picked up this full-touchscreen device with the fear that it could be as miserable as the Storm was, but we were pleasantly surprised. The large screen is very responsive and the 1.2GHz processor has enough power to make every movement through BlackBerry OS 7 feel snappy. The web browser loaded pages quickly and the virtual keyboard was very easy to type on; it’s an absolute pleasure compared to RIM’s “award-winning” SurePress, and it definitely improves upon the Storm 2’s display as well. We were also very impressed at how thin and light the phone is, but it’s not so light that it feels cheap. BlackBerry OS 7 itself isn’t revolutionary, though, so hopefully we see some better apps for BlackBerry smartphones now that there’s some hardware muscle to back it all up. AT&T has already announced that it will be carrying the device later this year, so all we can do in the meantime is wait. For now, have a look at the rest of the photos in our hands-on gallery below.
In addition to getting some hands-on time with a retail version of the BlackBerry Bold 9900, we also got to spend some time with some other devices RIM just made official. The BlackBerry Torch 9810 packs the same form-factor as the original BlackBerry Torch, but updated specs help give it a nice boost compared to the first version. The Torch 9810 will launch on AT&T later this month with 4G HSPA+ connectivity, and it packs a 1.2GHz processor that was noticeably faster as we navigated around the BlackBerry 7 operating system. Rounding out the feature-set is 8GB of on-board storage and a somewhat disappointing 640 x 480-pixel display. Despite the display, we’re big fans of the faux metal finish on the back and the sharp metal accents around the whole phone. As far as the keyboard is concerned, it’s comparable with the original Torch, which wasn’t quite as easy to type on as a Bold or a Curve but definite;y got the job done. We wish RIM tweaked the design a bit — a high-end smartphone in this day and age should be a bit thinner — but we’re happy with it after some quick one-on-one time. Check out the rest of hands-on photos in the gallery below.
Ah, we see you again, BlackBerry Curve (Apollo). We’ve just scored some more hands-on time with RIM’s upcoming next-generation Curve, now named the BlackBerry Curve 9360. That’s what we’re being told is the final model number for this handset, though knowing RIM, there are sure to be some variations on that. This unit feels like a production unit to us, and with a final model number, it can’t be too long before they start infiltrating your local carrier’s store shelves. In the mean time, check out our hands-on gallery below!
P.S. We’ve heard that RIM won’t be using NFC for mobile payments for a “little while.” Instead, RIM will focus its initial NFC efforts on things like contact sharing and adding users to your BlackBerry Messenger list, etc.