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BlackBerry Torch 9800 Qwerty slider phone unveiled

BlackBerry OS 6 also revealed on touchscreen phone

BlackBerry Torch 9800

The latest BlackBerry smartphone has been unveiled by makers RIM (Research in Motion) at an event in New York. The BlackBerry Torch (9800) features both a capacitive touchscreen and a slide-out Qwerty keyboard.

Described at its launch as ‘the best BlackBerry device ever’ the BlackBerry Torch will undoubtedly be compared to Apple’s iPhone 4.

BlackBerry Torch specifications

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The BlackBerry Torch has a 5Mp camera with flash and continuous autofocus. It’s capable of recording VGA video. The Torch’s 3.2-inch touchscreen has a 480×360 pixel resolution.

The Torch is also known as the BlackBerry 9800, and is the first handset to run the new operating system, the BlackBerry OS 6.

Features of OS 6 include ‘universal search’ which can search all types of files stored on the handset, including emails contacts and music, plus remote content such as apps in BlackBerry App World.

BlackBerry OS 6

A universal inbox is another notable feature of OS 6, together with the ability for the web browser to auto-wrap text across line breaks.

BlackBerry OS 6 also features a redesigned home screen, where event notifications, such as new text messages or emails can be previewed on the homescreen without having to click through to apps. 

According to RIM, apps that run on previous versions of the BlackBerry operating system will also run on OS 6.

RIM also unveiled improvements to the way BlackBerrys handle photos, including a two-finger tap to edit feature, and a geolocation title for each picture to show the name of the city where it was taken. The automatically-named picture files can then be found easily in universal search.

BlackBerry App World

BlackBerry App World will be pre-loaded on the BlackBerry Torch. Apps can be purchased and paid for via users’ mobile phone bills. RIM has also added in-app advertising.

The BlackBerry Torch’s includes 512MB of built-in memory and a 4GB eMMC card, which is upgradeable to 32GB.

BlackBerry Torch price

The Torch has been launched in partnership with AT&T in the US, available to buy from 12 August for $199 on a 2-year contract. There is currently no information on a UK launch date, or pricing but Vodafone has confirmed that it will be selling the Torch, and customers can register for more launch information on Vodafone’s website.

BlackBerry mobile phones tend to perform well in our lab-based tests, although not all have been Best Buys.

Read Which? reviews of other BlackBerrys – the BlackBerry Storm 2 and the BlackBerry Bold 9700

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