August 21, 2014

BlackBerry Torch: The Best of Both Worlds!

To BlackBerry or not to BlackBerry, that was the question, I mean on one hand you are connected to the internet all the time for no extra charges, while on the other hand you have your work with you all the time, which is not good at all times, specially if you are the addictive type. However, after trying the new Torch, I think I can say things have changed and I started to understand why people can’t take their hands off it.

BlackBerry is known for its signature design that includes a full keyboard, perhaps that’s one of the main reasons that made it very practical, but since touch screens became the trend in smart phones, BlackBerry has enforced its touch screen offering with the launch of the Torch, which offers full touch screen capability in addition to the classical Blackberry keyboard.

Having the two keyboards made the Torch a little bit thicker and heavier than other phones, when you compare it to the iPhone 4 and Nokia N8 for example you will notice that it’s slightly above the range, it weights 161g compared to 137g with the iPhone 4 and 135g with the N8, while the depth 14.6mm compared to 9.3mm in the iPhone and 12.9mm in the N8, the difference is not really high but it could make a difference for some people.

One of the really cool things about the Torch is the menu, sliding the screen reveals the main menu that hosts all apps and functions the phone has to offer, in addition, you can browse the menu through different tabs that contain the most frequent apps you’ve been using, your media, your downloads and favorites.

The menu design is really neat and clean, you can still see the desktop background while you browse through the menu, and what adds to the neatness of the menu is the white edges of the icons, it looks like a light beam surrounding these icons.

Adding an email account couldn’t be easier, I was really surprised when I add my jazarah email to the Torch, all I had to do is to enter the email address and password, and the phone did everything. I host my email account on Google Apps, and it’s not easy to add my email to any device, it tends to get a bit complicated, but not with the Torch. Now I can read my emails and reply to any message, and my reply will be reflected on the web, same if I deleted any message from my device, I can also delete from the webmail or just from the device.

In this day and age you need your social networks on the go, in addition to facebook, twitter and YouTube apps, the Torch includes a cool feature which is the Social Feeds, a hub that reads live feeds from your social media and chatting services like Gtalk and BB Messenger, this feature keeps you updated and enables you to reach out to updates from your contacts where you can retweet and comment on their posts. For some reason, LinkedIn wasn’t integrated in the Torch, this phone is aimed at business professionals, and this social network is very popular among this target audience, however you can download an application for the LinkedIn, and it enables you to do most of the functions you usually do on the web, and gently notifies you with any updates directly on the home screen of your Torch.

I love the fact that I get notifications on the screen from twitter and facebook whenever I’ve been mentioned in a tweet or tagged in a photo, or any random notification from my social network, what I like also is how events and birthdays on facebook are integrated in my calendar, even my contacts on my phone are decorated with their facebook profile photos, it’s pretty cool!

The Torch comes with a 5 megapixel camera, fair enough for the internet world, the camera is equipped with flash, auto focus, face detection, image stabilization, scene modes, 2X zoom and video recording, which enables the camera to shoot in a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels.

Some random photos I got for the BlackBerry Torch by Burj Khalifa in Dubai:

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