RIM BlackBerry Torch 9860 smartphone

BlackBerry Torch 9860 review: A touchscreen-only BlackBerry? Only for casual users

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  • User Reviews (8)
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Research In Motion BlackBerry Torch 9860
  • Research In Motion BlackBerry Torch 9860
  • Research In Motion BlackBerry Torch 9860
  • Research In Motion BlackBerry Torch 9860
  • Expert Rating

    3.25 / 5
  • User Rating

    4.00 / 5 (of 8 Reviews)


  • Well built, great screen
  • Excellent Web browsing and interface


  • Touchscreen typing is imperfect
  • Hidden volume buttons

Bottom Line

The BlackBerry Torch 9860 is a touchscreen-only smartphone like the iPhone or any generic Android. Given that the BlackBerry calling card has always been excellent physical keyboards (and excellent mail) we’re a bit confused as to the Torch’s purpose. The phone itself is built to a high standard and is powerful, but its imperfect touchscreen keyboard makes the Torch inferior to its tactile counterparts.

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The BlackBerry Torch 9860 is a BlackBerry, but it doesn’t have a physical keyboard. It’s a BlackBerry for the iPhone and Android generation, but we think the BlackBerry faithful will prefer the real thing. The Torch’s best chance is with casual BlackBerry users that like the interface and ecosystem, but aren’t going to spend all day on email or BlackBerry Messenger.

BlackBerry Torch 9860: Design

The BlackBerry Torch 9860 is, like most touchscreen smartphones these days, almost entirely screen. There are five tactile function keys arranged along the screen’s lower edge — Send, Menu, Escape and Power — but that’s almost it. We say almost because there are volume and play/pause buttons on the phone’s right side, but they’re surprisingly small and quite hard to press — unless you were looking for them, we don’t think you’d notice they were there.

Between the four buttons on the Torch 9860’s front is an excellent optical trackpad. It’s quite small, at around 7mm square, but is highly responsive and works very effectively for browsing the Web. It feels much easier to use than BlackBerry’s superseded trackball design, and the default sensitivity is excellent.

The screen of the BlackBerry Torch 9860 is a 3.7in LCD display with a 800x480pixel resolution, giving it a pixel density of 253ppi — not as high as the iPhone 4’s 960x640pixel 326ppi, but still detailed and smooth-looking. It’s very bright and colourful and suits the vibrant BlackBerry OS 7. The screen size is a bit bigger than the 3.5in-display Phone 4 it competes with, and this makes the Torch 9860 superior for Web browsing and reading long emails.

BlackBerry Torch 9860: Specifications and performance

The BlackBerry Torch 9860 is, as smartphones go, reasonably powerful. It’s got a 1.2GHz processor and 768MB of RAM, which makes general operation almost instantaneous and more intensive tasks like Web browsing still impressively fast.

The combination of fast processor and plenty of RAM works well in tandem with the Torch 9860’s Liquid Graphics GPU to handle 3D graphics — gaming is surprisingly good-looking on the Torch 9860, with only a few short instances of jittery gameplay when we tested out some 3D apps.

HD video recording through the phone’s camera is also supported — the 5MP rear camera has an LED flash and handles 720p video recording with ease. You’ll need to purchase a microSD card if you want to use more than the 4GB of internal memory in the BlackBerry Torch 9860 — thankfully flash memory is cheap as chips these days (pardon the pun).

The overall impression we got of the BlackBerry Torch 9860’s hardware was that it was excellent, easily equalling the vast majority of its Android smartphone competitors. We didn’t encounter any long pauses or freezes at all when we used the phone’s basic functions &38212; this is a testament to both the phone’s power and the refinement of the latest BlackBerry OS version.

Next page: Typing and conclusion

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A by-no-means exhaustive list of resources follows. Please send us your favorites.

Celiac Disease Foundation, based in Studio City. Information, seminars and product shows, children's summer camp.

Mayo Clinic. Information on health and gluten-free products.

The William K. Warren Medical Research Center for Celiac Disease, UC San Diego. Information, lectures online and referrals.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The federal agency has proposed a definition of gluten-free that should assure consumers about what's in products. The limit is likely to be at 20 parts per million of gluten. Several sources said the final rule could be issued any time. Currently there are private certifying agencies whose seals appear on many products to designate them as gluten-free.


There are many books available, and many websites and blogs that offer recipes. A few of them:

"Real Life With Celiac Disease," written by more than 50 experts who share patients' stories and discuss treatments and lifestyle changes for people with gluten-related disorders.

"Gluten-Free Girl Every Day," by Shauna James Ahern. She also has a popular blog,
"Gluten-Free Recipes for the Conscious Cook," by Leslie Cerier

"Weeknight Gluten Free" by Kristine Kidd

Other stuff

Toast-It-Bags. Many of the gluten-free breads taste better toasted, and in some homes that requires two toasters on the counter. But people can also slip a slice of gluten-free bread into the bag and put it in the toaster to prevent cross-contamination from other products in the toaster. About $7 from online sources, including .

The Addiction Bistro, 408 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. With an owner and chef who eat gluten-free, this is a popular restaurant for gluten-free dieters. Burgers, sausages, chili, pasta and ice cream all made in-house. Hot sauces, ketchups and mustards are made by chef Johnny Kovin.
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• • •

I am Blackberry phone user for past few years. I got my BlackBerry Torch 9860 just 4 months ago and having problems with it on regular basis. I gave it for repairs and got new one and it has exact the same problems ( freezing scream, unlock bottom doesn't respond for nearly min ).
Unfortunately very disappointed.
Trying to get a new phone and this time Iphone. :(

Honnest Opinion



• • •

Worst phone ive even bought. The touch screen never works and if it does then it takes 5 mins for it to respond the lock button doesnt do anything. ive had four new black berrys in 3 months ! and they all do the same and you never get service!




Not much
• • •

I was a dedicated iPhone user, that is until my work made me use the new torch through their BES server and WOW I prefer it big time. My iPhone is now gathering dust, and that's something I never thought I would say out loud.
It's fast, it's intuitive, and it really works well, browsing is fast, and great battery life.
I guess its personal preference - but I know where mine is now!!

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