Experts agree that the BlackBerry Torch 9810 is a solid phone and praise its price. TheVerge.com's Joanna Stern says she'd still be a BlackBerry user had this been RIM's original Torch from a year ago. However, critics also agree that it simply can't compete with Apple and Android. Design-wise, the Torch 9810 is almost identical to its predecessor, the 9800. One of the few differences is the new black plastic cover that CNET's Nicole Lee finds cheapening. Engadget.com's Brad Molen says "it feels like a solid enough phone" that's actually not made of solid parts, so he fears dropping it too often.
The display is 3.2 inches, like its predecessor, but reviewers say the 640-by-480-pixel screen is much sharper than the 9800's 480-by-360-pixel resolution. The touch screen is responsive thanks to BlackBerry OS 7's Liquid Graphics technology. GSMArena.com editors criticize the lack of haptic feedback, though. Reviewers generally praise the hardware keyboard, although some, like Stern, hate the touch-screen version.
When it comes to performance, most reviewers find the navigation zippy, but IntoMobile.com's Simon Sage notes "some occasional hourglassing." BlackBerry's OS 7 isn't very different from its predecessor -- it "feels like little more than a new veneer on an old system," Michael Oryl of MobileBurn.com says. The 9810's social network integration and messaging functionalities are widely praised, but the lack of compatible apps is a common complaint. Most experts find AT&T's fast data speeds coupled with OS 7's new, WebKit-based browser a joy to use. They do, however, find the lack of Flash support disappointing.
The Torch 9810 retains the 9800's 5-megapixel camera, and most reviewers find that it takes sharp photos, with Stern calling it "one of the most impressive parts of [the] handset." The lack of a front-facing camera, though, is not well-received. Call quality is lauded, but Segan says the phone has the tendency to over-report its signal strength, showing lit up bars when there's not enough signal in an area to even make a call. The phone's more efficient OS and faster, newer processor give it a longer battery life than the 9800, with PCMag's test clocking in at eight hours and three minutes of talk time.
CNET's review tackles the most important points of the device. Reviewers from several sites -- Engadget, Mobileburn, GSMArena, and Intomobile -- discuss every aspect of the 9810 and provide images as well as videos of the device. TheVerge.com's review, on the other hand, is chock-full of Joanna Stern's personal experience with the BlackBerry brand.
Nicole Lee says the 9810 won't wow newcomers, but with its price and improved specs, it will keep BlackBerry fans satisfied. She praises the phone's new features like the Liquid Graphics for a "snappier" touch screen, but believes the upgrade overall is merely incremental.
Review: BlackBerry Torch 9810 (Zinc Grey, AT&T), Nicole Lee, Aug. 16, 2011
The 9810 is the king of all BlackBerry phones, Sascha Segan says, but he notes that since the "Torch doesn't exist in a vacuum," it's a tough sell to mainstream customers. He says the phone offers a killer price for the specs it has to offer, and that it's a "step up for messaging phone users."
Review: RIM BlackBerry Torch 9810 (AT&T), Sascha Segan , Aug. 30, 2011
Joanna Stern, a former BlackBerry user, says the only way the Torch 9810 can win a design award is if RIM "pays off a judge somewhere." She does find the phone to be solid, though. What she does miss about BlackBerry devices since moving to Android smartphones is the long battery life.
Review: BlackBerry Torch 9810 Review, Joanna Stern, Aug. 25, 2011
Brad Molen says he is disappointed that the BlackBerry Torch 9810 looks nearly the same as its predecessor. Like the other experts, he finds that BlackBerry App World is falling "further and further behind its biggest competitors."
Review: BlackBerry Torch 9810 Review, Brad Molen, Aug. 16, 2011
This review lists a few quirks with the phone's software, such as having to reboot after installing certain apps. Reviewer Simon Sage also mentions the occasional lag in spite of the speedy processor and OS. He says the screen is good enough to "watch the odd YouTube video."
Review: BlackBerry Torch 9810 Review: Same Package, New Insides, BlackBerry Torch 9810 Review: Same Package, New Insides, Sept. 6, 2011
GSMArena.com provides a lengthy review of the Torch 9810, comparing it with others in the Torch product line. The editors find the phone bulky and criticize the lack of haptic feedback on the touch screen.
Review: BlackBerry Torch 9810 Review: Buttoned-up, Editors of GSMArena.com, Oct. 5, 2011
Editors at MobileBurn.com provide videos of the Torch 9810 in addition to a full review. Michael Oryl is impressed with the smartphone's improved web browser, but disappointed with some performance issues. He recommends waiting for the next batch of BlackBerry devices due out in 2012.
Review: Review of RIM's BlackBerry Torch 9810 (AT&T) QWERTY Slider Smartphone, Michael Oryl, Aug. 19, 2011