AT&T, along with RIM, held a press conference today to announce the new Blackberry 9800 Torch and to tell customers a little more about Blackberry OS 6.
First we’ll talk a little about the Torch. Keeping with the styling’s of the previous year, the 9800 sports the same keyboard as the 9700 Bold, however, that keyboard is hidden under the main display. That’s right, the new blackberry is a vertical slider.
The 9800 sports a 3.2-inch touch screen, but while 800×480 is quickly becoming standard resolution for most higher quality phones, the 9800’s screen is a mere 480×360. Having such a low resolution makes this blackberry feel a bit outdated (which is a very bad thing when it comes to a phone that hasn’t even released yet). The CPU in the 9800 (624MHz) along with the 512MB of flash and 512 MB of RAM make the 9800 slightly less amazing than most would have expected. The 9800 does have 802.11n WIFI, a 5MP camera w/ flash, and a funky rubber back. (You won’t be dropping this phone.)
Could it be that we need not look at the vessel which carries the secrets to salvation, but instead we need only to look at its contents? Well, if it’s Blackberry OS 6 that are the contents, then lets take a look shall we.
BB6 is a much better UI improvement than BB5 was to BB4 and that can truly make a difference. Little changes are things like the ability to press and hold the screen for a context menu, much like BB5 gave you when you pressed the Blackberry menu button, and an Android-ish pull up/down menu system. The big changes and cool features include: a UI overhaul that is “fresh, but familiar”, the new webkit browser which is said to be among the fastest on phones today, a lot of baked in social networking magic, and the ability to sync media over your WIFI network (hint hint Apple).
Overall I see the 9800 Torch and the first child of Blackberry 6…
It’s not the fastest, it’s not the most gorgeous, but it is the first child and you always baby it just a bit more. I do like the styling of the phone, but I am disappointed in some of it’s specs, mainly the screen resolution.
The Torch will be available from AT&T on August 12th for $199 with the usual two year blood oath.
What do all of you think? Is this the horse that will carry RIM triumphant into the sunset or are the specs (or lack there of) going to make it go the way of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?