The BlackBerry Torch 9810 looks very similar to the existing AT&T Torch, but has many upgrades under the hood, including the new BlackBerry 7 OS. The Torch 9850/9860 for AT&T, Sprint, and US Cellular, meanwhile, is RIM's latest attempt at a touchscreen-only model after ditching the BlackBerry Storm moniker.About when will we see this new phone come out?
Of the two new devices, the 9850/9860 is fresher and more daring. RIM has tried to do full-touchscreen phones before, in Verizon Wireless's BlackBerry Storm and Storm2. But the original Storm was buggy, and the Storm2 was criticized for having a difficult user interface.
The new touch Torch (say that five times fast) has a 3.7-inch, 800-by-480 touch screen and a 5-megapixel camera on the back with 720p HD video recording. The processor is a 1.2-Ghz, single-core Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8655, and the phone has 768MB of RAM and 4GB of storage.
The touch Torch has a curved front which RIM calls the "waterfall." The company says it makes the screen appear bigger; it certainly prevents the device from looking boxy.
The big question around the touch Torch is whether the new BlackBerry 7 OS will provide a much better touch experience than consumers found on the Storm. Superficially, BlackBerry 7 looks a lot like BlackBerry 6—similar icons, the same app tray, and the traditional BlackBerry pop-up menus. But RIM has said that it includes many core features, such as hardware graphics acceleration, which will make the experience smoother and simpler.
AT&T said the 9810 will come out in August and the 9860 will appear sometime before the end of the year. Also this year, AT&T will launch the BlackBerry Bold 9900, with which we had some hands-on time back in May. (See the slideshow below for more details.) That's a sped-up BlackBerry Bold, without a touch screen.I've had my eye on the Bold 9900, but hey the time will come when I will make up my mind what I want to get as far as a phone goes.