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How Does the BlackBerry Torch Compare to Other BlackBerry Models?

written by: Shawn Drew•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/18/2011

The BlackBerry Torch is an amazing new BlackBerry device, but just how different form the earlier models is it? This article compares the Torch and several other lines of BlackBerry smartphones, to see how it stacks up.

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    Comparison of the BlackBerry Torch vs the Bold, Storm and Curve

    The BlackBerry Torch is the latest BlackBerry device to hit the shelves, and if you are thinking about running out and upgrading you device, then this guide might be helpful. The BlackBerry Torch is the most impressive device RIM has released, but how does it compare in the area that you consider important. We’ve put the Storm up against three of the most popular BlackBerry devices currently available, the Bold 9650, the Curve 8530 and the Storm 2 9550, to see how it compares.

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    Design

    Torch Storm 2 Bold 

    The BlackBerry Torch 9800 introduces a completely new design for BlackBerry devices. The Torch is slightly longer and wider than the Curve, and just a hair smaller then the Storm and the Bold. The Torch is also the heaviest of the BlackBerry smartphones, coming in at 5.68 ounces which is much higher than the Curve’s 3.7 ounces or the Bold’s 4.8 ounces. This may, in fact, be a good thing, since the weight makes the device feel solid in your hand, and 5.6 ounces isn’t so heavy that you can’t carry it around.

    The Torch is the first BlackBerry to have both a touchscreen and a slide-out physical keyboard. This allows the Torch to have a capacitive touchscreen almost as large as the Storm, but also have a physical keyboard like the other BlackBerry models. It seems like RIM is trying to put the best of both worlds into this device, and for the most part it’s successful, although the phone looks very large in your hand when the physical keyboard is exposed.

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    Specs

    The Torch has the best hardware that is available on a RIM device, but it’s nothing that will blow you away. The 624MHz processor and 512 MB of onboard memory are nice, and an upgrade from the Curve and the Storm, but the Bold has the same specs.

    The Torch has the same 480 x 360 display as the Bold and the Storm, and even though the Torch display is larger than the Bold, I prefer the way that items look on the Bold screen. The images on the Torch screen don’t look bad, but it is a little disappointing that the screen wasn’t a higher resolution, to keep up with the other smartphones on the market.

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    Performance

    Despite having all the best hardware, the Torch doesn’t really make itself stand out in the performance department. There are still occasional delays when moving between random applications, and sometimes just random delays for no reason at all. This is pretty standard for a BlackBerry device, and I guess I’ll have to wait for a BlackBerry with a 1GHz processor, to see if that takes care of it.

    The battery life on the Torch is excellent, and while it is rated the same as the Storm battery, I found the Torch lasting longer than I recall any BlackBerry battery lasting for me.

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    Operating System

    The BlackBerry Torch is the first device to ship with OS 6, RIM’s new BlackBerry operating system. The Bold 9650 will eventually be able to upgrade to the new OS, but the Curve and Storm lines will have to wait for future models with better hardware to run the new software.

    The new operating system is aimed at making it easier for new customers to understand and use the phone. Gone are the weird menu placements and large list of applications, and in their place are an intuitive menu system and a more structured home page experience, with different applications grouped together so you can find them.

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    Features

    Torch One of the biggest selling points for the Torch is that at the moment it is the only BlackBerry with the new WebKit browser that comes with OS 6. This is an incredible thing for anyone who has ever had to suffer through a browsing experience on the old BlackBerry browser. The current Bold models will eventually be getting this as well, but for the time being the Torch is the only BlackBerry I want to browse the web on.

    The Torch has the best BlackBerry camera to date, at 5.0 megapixels. The pictures look excellent and the entire camera application has been simplified, making for an improved overall camera experience.

    Not only does the Torch come with built-in social networking apps like Facebook, Twitter and Myspace, but it also comes with a new Social Feeds app. The Social Feeds app provides one location where you can view all of your social networking messages, and send messages across the networks. This app makes the Torch the best BlackBerry device for keeping up on your entire social network.

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    Final Word on the BlackBerry Torch vs the Bold, Storm and Curve

    Torch AT&T The Torch is the best smartphone that RIM has released, so if you don’t currently have a BlackBerry, it would be the one to get. However, it isn’t so much better than the other current models that you need to rush out and pay full price for the phone if you already have a BlackBerry. The only truly unique thing about the Torch, as far as RIM devices go, is the fact that it has a touchscreen and a sliding physical keyboard. OS 6 is a great step forward, but it is not exclusive to the Torch, and will soon be the de facto OS for all new BlackBerry devices.

    In the end, the Torch has a lot to offer, and it does have slightly better specs that the other current BlackBerry models, but it really isn’t as revolutionary as RIM would like you to think it is.