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BlackBerry Torch 9810 hands-on

BlackBerry Torch 9810 hands-on

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The second half of RIM's one-two combo at today's Toronto launch event is the BlackBerry Torch 9810. It only takes one quick look to see that this is an ultra-minor update over the original Torch that it replaces -- it's a far more incremental shift than the 9850 and 60, that's for sure -- but it makes a few tweaks that specifically address some of the old model's pain points. Follow the break for some quick impressions!

We're told that the 9810's keyboard is a bit wider than the one it replaces, but I don't know anyone that had a huge beef with typing on the old Torch; regardless, this one's great (no surprise there). It's still a good deal narrower than the Bold 9900's, but I didn't notice it unless I used both one right after the other. The slide mechanism feels superb, and the new model's metal surfaces feel like a moderate upgrade -- in fact, I'd say that the 9810 feels more "premium" than the 9850 / 9860. (Of course, feeling premium is one thing -- looking premium is quite another. The Torch 9810 is fat and not particularly pretty, though you might totally disagree if you were a fan of the original's design.)

Interestingly, I experienced none of the touchscreen accuracy problems on the 9810 that I had on the 9850s that I tried, so that's a positive sign -- it made browsing and using the on-screen keyboard (when the slide's closed) a much more pleasant experience. Performance seemed roughly on-par with the 9850, which means smooth UI transitions throughout and what appears to be a surprisingly capable browser... I'll certainly be interested to put this through more thorough paces once the retail devices are available.