Fired Up: Meet RIM's New BlackBerry Torch 9800

Light The Torch

Research In Motion (RIM) and AT&T officially launched the BlackBerry Torch 9800 Tuesday at a media event in New York. The phone represents a number of firsts for both RIM and BlackBerry, including the first time a BlackBerry has a slide-out physical keyboard and also the first Blackberry to include version 6.0 of the BlackBerry OS. Here's a rundown of key features for the Torch 9800, as RIM and AT&T prepare to do battle in the hyper-competitive and very crowded smartphone marketplace.

Jumping The Gun

While RIM was scheduled to announce the Torch just after an 11 a.m. ET press conference began, it was actually AT&T that let the cat out of the bag a bit early. A product page advertising the Torch -- full specs included and explained -- went up about a half an hour before the official launch, touting the Torch as "everything you want with the one thing you need."


Ah, yes, the specs: the Torch has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and an optical trackpad. It offers a 3.2-inch, 480x360 touch screen display, a 5-megapixel camera, 4 GB of memory, 512 MB of RAM and a 4-GB micro SD card.

Also Under The Hood

According to RIM, the Torch offers 5.5 hours of talk time with a 1300 mAh lithium battery. The Torch is enabled for 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi, 3G and Bluetooth 2.1. Wireless radio inside includes UMTS and GSM/GPRS/EDGE.

More OS Juice

One of the most important additions to the Torch is BlackBerry's long-awaited BlackBerry 6.0 OS, which will be exclusive to the Torch at launch but according to RIM will later be available as an update for both the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Bold 9650 models, as well as the BlackBerry Pearl 3G.

Big Six

First teased at RIM's WES 2010 Conference this past spring, RIM has been offering peeks at 6.0 throughout the past few months. Among the major changes are a redesigned home screen, universal search options, and an updated Web browser that according to RIM is powered by Webkit and can maintain back-forward lists, collect history of visited pages, search, bookmark, pinch-zoom and tab Web pages. It also has a text magnifier.


BlackBerry Torch will retail for $199.99 with a two-year service agreement, and will be available starting Aug. 12 exclusively through AT&T. AT&T will also offer two different data plans, one at $15 a month for 200 MB of data, and one at $25 a month for 2 GB of data.