RIM BlackBerry Torch 9860 smartphone
BlackBerry Torch 9860 review: A touchscreen-only BlackBerry? Only for casual users
- Well built, great screen
- Excellent Web browsing and interface
- Touchscreen typing is imperfect
- Hidden volume buttons
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.
Price$ 799.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
- BlackBerry Torch 9860 Grain Plated Aluminium Ha... 14.95
BlackBerry Torch 9860: Keyboard and typing
We realise that the Torch 9860 is a BlackBerry aimed at touchscreen ‘enthusiasts’, for want of a better word, but it’s still a BlackBerry and should sell itself on the excellence of its text input (among other things, of course). The keyboard of the Torch 9860 is not bad by any stretch — it’s better than the ones we’ve used on most Android smartphones — but it doesn’t have the same slickness and pin-point accuracy we’re used to on the iPhone 4 and Samsung Galaxy S II.
We wish the phone was a bit wider with square-shaped on-screen keys — currently they’re slightly too thin and can be hard to hit accurately 100 per cent of the time. The large screen comes to the BlackBerry Torch 9860’s aid for landscape touchscreen typing though, where the keys are larger and are arranged across almost the entire screen. The trackpad makes scrolling through typing (and therefore correcting your possible errors) thankfully easy.
We are talking from the perspective of a long-time iPhone user, so perhaps that is a factor. Anyone using the Torch 9860 as their first touchscreen smartphone should be happy with the key response and should quickly get used to the key spacing. The fact remains that for a user already familiar with touchscreen smartphones, the keyboard isn’t perfect and a better experience can be found on a different device. If we were buying a BlackBerry with a lot of typing in mind we’d almost certainly opt for the BlackBerry Bold 9900.
BlackBerry Torch 9860: Conclusion
The BlackBerry Torch 9860 is a well designed, well constructed and well specced-up touchscreen smartphone. Its keyboard is our main pain point — and given that it’s a BlackBerry, made for heavy typists, we advise you to cautiously try before you buy.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Kogan Agora 4G Pro review: the final word on Kogan's best smartphone
- 2 Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE) review: The tablet of choice for anyone on Android
- 3 Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker review
- 4 Apple MacBook Air 2015 review: Only better with time
- 5 Lenovo ThinkPad T550 laptop
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Is the smartphone market saturated?
- Not all Lumia smartphones will get an upgrade to Windows 10
- Motorola's revamped Moto range is coming to Australia
- OnePlus 2 goes official from $329
- Most Android phones can be hacked with a simple MMS message or multimedia file
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- FTBusiness Development Manager & Account ManagerVIC
- FTSenior Network EngineerNSW
- CCLead Generator - Software SolutionsNSW
- CCMarketing Coordinator - World's largest search engine!NSW
- FTDevOps Consultant - Microsoft Experience - Digital ConsultancyVIC
- CCAccount Strategist | Sales Executive | Global Search EngineNSW
- FTField EngineerNSW
- FTDesktop Engineering ManagerNSW
- FTTechnical Sales Support Representative - The Worlds largest Search Engine!NSW