Almost exactly a year ago, AT&T and RIM announced the BlackBerry Torch 9800, which we reviewed and found brought a much-needed new WebKit based browser and OS update, but still wasn't quite the BlackBerry we were looking for. Well, one year is up, and it's time for an update with the BlackBerry Torch 9810 (which really sould be called the Torch 2) to take its place in AT&T's BlackBerry lineup.

The Torch 9810 keeps the same slide-out form factor, but brings a number of hugely-needed improvements. Chief among those is inclusion of a much faster single core 1.2 GHz MSM8255 Snapdragon SoC, which will no doubt provide a noticeable boost in speed compared to the Torch 9800's underwhelming and outdated 624 MHz Marvell Tavor PXA930 SoC. The 5 MP camera can shoot 720p video this time around, no doubt thanks in part to having an actual modern SoC, and there's HSPA+ 14.4 connectivity. There's also a VGA 3.2" panel now, instead of the Torch's rather anemic 360x480.

But probably the biggest note is that the 9810 (and the other two devices I'll mention in a second) will launch running BlackBerry OS 7, which brings a host of performance improvements and modernizations. We look forward to getting some hands on with the Torch 9810 when it launches sometime this August. 

The next two devices are the BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860 which seem to resemble something of a storm reboot, with a 3.7" WVGA (800x480) display. It also includes a 1.2 GHz MSM8x55 SoC, 5 MP camera with flash and 720p video recording, and the usual fixings. Last but not least is the already well-understood and anticipated BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 update, which also gets the same list of SoC and display upgrades. That means a 2.8" VGA display, 1.2 GHz MSM8x55 SoC, 5 MP camera with 720p video recording, and NFC support. I'm also told that all three devices will get a welcome 768 MB of LPDDR2 RAM. Again, specifics and details are relatively scant right now, but we look forward to playing with these when the time comes. AT&T has announced that the Bold 9900 and Torch 9860 will be out by the end of the year.

Source: AT&T, RIM, RIM (specs)

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  • Pessimism - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    I gave up waiting for these vaporware phones to appear in reality, sold my curve and picked up a secondhand 3GS on the cheap. I feel dirty and showering doesn't help, but it isn't even funny anymore how late RIM is in getting these handsets into stores.
  • tipoo - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    ...Six months ago. A big upgrade, sure, but the rest of the smartphone world is moving on to dual core, so the situation is much like the Torch 1 launching into a world of 1GHz phones at near half the speed.
  • Pirks - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    "the rest of the smartphone world is moving on to <b>[battery draining]</b> dual core"

    Fixed it for you
  • tipoo - Friday, September 23, 2011 - link

    Except dual cores have been shown to be more power efficient on multiple occasions, not to mention die shrinks with newer SoC's.
  • sigmatau - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    Wow, they finaly got rid of their super horrible 2.5" screens. I guess they milked them enough over the past 7 years if not longer. BB owners are like people that refuse to upgrade from Windows XP. They seem to want to cling to their old technology because they are afraid of change.

    I have a BB Bold. Still the crapiest phones I've used yet. I can't believe they can't get the UI right where it doesn't lag when I hit a button. This is not my first BB. My other ones did the same. I guess it's like owning a laptop with a Celeron processor. If you are used to that kind of crap, you might not know how much better things can be.
  • RaistlinZ - Wednesday, August 3, 2011 - link

    These phones are already outdated the day they're released.
  • RussianSensation - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    They can put a Sandy Bridge 2600k processor with 16 GBs of ram and GTX590 in their phones - and it still won't matter. Blackberry is a business phone that projects an image of corporate executive or most often a corporate slave. The current trend is consumers who want "cool/fun" smartphones that exhibit the qualities of style, sophistication, while being thin and light to carry in your pocket, and still fully capable of servicing their purpose as a multimedia device.

    RIM is none of these things:

    - Their phones are generally unattractive (the design for the Torch and Bold haven't really changed since 2009)
    - Their phones are too thick (even Nokia E72 was thinner and that phone is very old by now)
    - Their phones still can't compete for multimedia with small screens, inferior viewing angles and poor resolutions
    - ~ 30,000 Apps vs. 200,000 for Android and almost 500,000 for iOS means there isn't a lot to do on the BlackBerry
    - "Boring" brand image that doesn't appeal to younger demographic

    Unless RIM creates a separate consumer line which targets the younger generation, it's only a matter of time (perhaps 5 years) until their phones are no longer relevant. Younger consumers will simply buy WP7, Andoid and iOS devices. Eventually RIM will no longer have its loyal customer base.

    Once Nokia launches their sexy new Windows 7 phones, Apple adopts BBM style chat, Samsung Galaxy S2 derivatives launch in the US, RIM will be in even worse shape. They pretty much have nothing competitive until Q1 2012 (at the earliest) when their QNX-based phones are projected to arrive.

    Personally, I foresee Android, Apple and WP7 dominating by 2015 with RIM almost completely relegated to the enterprise and corporate segments.
  • Pirks - Thursday, August 4, 2011 - link

    Your dumb bullshit about small screens and inferior viewing angles looks pretty funny in light of a gorgeous large high-resolution screen on Torch 9860. Keep posting this funny bullshit troll, I like a laugh or two in the morning :)))

    Yeah I heard ya about those 500,000 fart apps, you keep farting troll, whatever :))) I don't need my phone to fart too much, thank you.

    Yeah right, so BB Bold 9900 is like _HALF A MILLIMETER_ THICKER than E72, and this is too thick for you??? Are you brain damaged or what? How come 10mm thick smartphone is "too thick" for you? Even iPhone 4 is just 1mm thinner than Bold 9900, only because it misses the main advantage of Bold - super nice hardware keyboard.

    Anyway, you proved by the bullshitty lies above that you are just another dumb troll who is too lazy to research basic facts before posting his vomit online. Keep vomiting here, the main point is that you know shit about the products you're posting about, which makes your trollish excreta irrelevant for the people who prefer opinions supported by FACTS.
  • eanazag - Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - link

    I don't understand why people gets so upset. All these different phones have strengths and weaknesses. I have had both a BB 8330 Curve, which was old as dirt when I had it issued at a new job and now an iPhone and iPod. I also have a BB Playbook that I have been demoing. I like them all, but neither is perfect. I agree that RIM has made an uphill battle for themselves because of the slow product development cycles. After seeing the Playbook I think there is hope. They need to deliver on their promises. I have some kudos for the Playbook and gripes. Deliver the features customers are expecting on the Playbook, I update it every time an update is available and read what features were added. The most recent included zooming in video, which I haven't seen any other device do. But really? I think the feature is neat and could use some air time on TV, but still no email, contacts, and calendar 3 months post launch. Slow to market, poor collaboration with key developers/services, and poor marketing of what is great is keeping them from being relevant. The fetch email on all the other devices (active sync) is inferior to real time delivery on the Blackberry. My users have been jumping ship to mostly iPhones as we are heavy on Verizon. Mediocre web browsing is the biggest killer. For me, Netflix is a must and BB is dying there. Get an app or Silverlight support. The Storm and Storm 2 has left a sour taste in my users' mouths. For future products, avoid naming them after natural disasters. I have a lot of criticism for RIM, but I do like them still. I just want them to get their ___ together. and be competitive.
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