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)
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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Evapolar USB air conditioner review
- 2 LED Lenser P7R Professional Torch review
- 3 Aftershokz Wireless Trekz Titanium Bone Conduction Bluetooth Headphones review
- 4 Review: Periscope users rejoice with Feiyu’s G4 Plus 3-Axis Gimbal for Smartphone video
- 5 2016 Ford Mustang EcoBoost review
Latest News Articles
- Hands-on: Google Assistant's Allo chatbot outdoes Cortana, Siri as your digital pal
- HTC announces the Desire 10 Pro and Desire 10 Lifestyle smartphones
- Report: Samsung's overzealous efforts to beat Apple lead to battery woes
- The iPhone 7's sleeper hit feature is its display
- Settings in iOS 10: Every notable change you need to know
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.
- CCTechnical Architect/DesignerACT
- CCNetwork and Security EngineerNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst with change management experienceACT
- FTEMC Storage ConsultantWA
- CCService Desk analystSA
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- CCContract Systems Analyst (IT Security) 160928/JP/653Asia
- FTCertification and Accreditation Security ConsultantACT
- CCSenior Business Analyst -Change and SAP ProcurementNSW
- CCE-Commerce - Senior Web DeveloperNSW
- CCData Analyst | Data Feeds | Catalogue and MapNSW
- CCBusiness AnalystQLD
- CCFull Stack Application Developer - IoT projectsVIC
- CCSenior Project ManagerACT
- CCProgram Manager - Data InsightVIC
- CCSolutions ArchitectACT
- FTOutbound TelesalesVIC
- CCSoftware TesterACT
- CCNetwork Design Specialist - TelecommunicationsNSW
- CCSolution ArchitectQLD
- FTIT Pre-Sales EngineerSA
- CCInfrastructure Project Manager - DCR ProjectNSW
- FTTechnical Support Engineer | Cloud | Automation techsNSW
- CCVideo Conference Support Officer- VoIP, LAN, WAN, RemedyNSW
- FTScrum Master | High Profile FintechNSW