AT&T Reveals BlackBerry Torch 9800
The new BlackBerry 9800 has been long rumored to be RIM's attempt to make the BlackBerry line of smartphones relevant in a world dominated by iPhone and Android devices. The device has been unveiled today on AT&T's site as the BlackBerry Torch and confirmed by RIM in a joint press conference.
AT&T has images of the phone up on its site. The BlackBerry Torch is a touchscreen phone, much like the majority of smartphones today, but it retains the classic icon of BlackBerry phones: the physical keyboard. The Torch employs an uncommon feature for BlackBerry phones, though. The keyboard slides out from underneath the touchscreen.
The display itself isn't anything new. It's simply a 3.2-inch touchscreen with only 480 x 360 pixel resolution. The Torch also includes Wi-Fi, GPS, a microSD card slot to expand the 4GB internal storage and a 5 megapixel camera. One of the biggest new features is the BlackBerry 6 operating system , which is supposed to bring BlackBerry phones on par with iPhone and Android phone social and media features.
RIM also emphasized universal search within the device and the App World, which allows users to download apps. The truth is that BlackBerry apps are not yet on par (both in quantity and quality) with the apps found in the iPhone and Android app marketplaces. However, the new features in the BlackBerry Torch at least bring BlackBerry phones outside of the business-only market and make it more usable for consumer smartphone customers.