BlackBerry Torch 9860 hands-on video, shows iPhone-like keyboard

By Posted 27 Jul 2011, 19:21

Recently, RIM has been the loudest voice in the smartphone world with their ever growing range of new BlackBerry handsets. Yesterday RIM revealed that new BlackBerry 7 OS devices were to be announced today, and today we find ourselves with no news concerning the new handsets, in fact all we have come across is this brand new video of the BlackBerry Torch 9860 showing virtual typing, and video playback.

We’ve got to say, we are really quite impressed with how zippy the new Storm, erm, Torch looks from the video. The virtual keyboard looks responsive and switching from landscape to portrait mode seems to act just as quick as you would like it to. You can see it in action by scrolling down to the end of this post.

After playing around with the menu’s that also seem to work impressively, the video gives us a glimpse into video performance and playback. The video seamlessly switches from portrait and landscape too, with no lag to speak of. Maybe this could be down to having no other software, pictures, video or music stored on the phone, but it is still quite satisfying for BlackBerry users nonetheless.

You have got to admit, the looks and design on the BlackBerry Torch 9860 are something to be admired too. It finally feels like RIM has fallen into the popular form-factor that most handsets use in today’s world, such as Apple, HTC, and Samsung branded smartphones. Could this potentially be the start of a major uprising from RIM? Can they crawl back up the ranks? We still believe that they have got a long way to go, but it is a step in the right direction, we are just a little confused about RIM’s choice of name for this device, so are the guys over at Crackberry.

According to some, RIM is using the Torch name to be-rid of the Storm franchise which has not gone down too well in BlackBerry history. As we know, Torch’s are traditionally built with physical keyboards, but for some reason, the Torch 9860 is more like a Storm device, previously the Storm and Storm 2 were RIM’s only devices on the market not to house a physical keyboard. As far as we understand it, there is going to be 2 models of BlackBerry Bold and a BlackBerry Bold Torch, the latter will come in two forms, one with a keyboard and one without. Confusing eh?

As for carriers that will get this device first, there are no obvious choices. Saying that, there has been reports of a BlackBerry Torch 9860 showing off an AT&T background, although none of the hardware is branded by AT&T famous logo.

The future of this device is a little cloudy. We all know that the Torch 9860 comes with a 1.2GHz processor and high resolution 3.7″ WVGA display, but pricing, carriers and release date information is currently unknown.

Could Verizon still release this device under the Storm branding? Will the Torch 9860 appeal to more than your average BlackBerry user? Only time will tell.

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