I’ve used a BB 8320 for over 2-years for work. It was a great phone, but for several months had been giving me a lot of problems. It would restart automatically, all the time – ANYTIME. I would be in the middle of a call with my boss, with customers, with Sales VP, our General Counsel – whomever and it would restart. I couldn’t open e-mails no matter what, the hourglass would display on the screen and within 30 minutes the battery would be dead so it always seemed to be charging.
I don’t know what the 8320 was doing.
It was restored several times by our IT team but no luck. It was dead.
A new BlackBerry Torch was ordered for me, and I finally received it about a month ago. I was pretty excited about it, but mind you I had been comparing what I was going to get to the Apple iPhone (and it’s less endowed cousin, the iPod Touch). So my hopes were pretty high for a slick interface, highly responsive touch screen, awesome virtual keyboard and RIMs version of the App Store.
IT came into my office and plunked the box down.
I opened it up.
Shiny. Smells like a new phone. Shiny.
First thing, the Torch is a slider. I wasn’t fazed by it, I don’t mind sliders. It is also heavier than the 8320, when I first picked it up you could feel the difference. The 8320 felt like a cheap calculator whereas the Torch had “meat” behind it! I’m used to the Torch now, so the weight isn’t an issue any longer.
The Torch has a 5.0 MP camera which is actually pretty nice. I’ve taken quite a few pictures with it, then downloaded it to my PC and the quality is not bad. I don’t take many movies with it. To supplement the 4gb onboard memory, RIM has included a 4gb memory card so images can be stored on the card which makes it easy to transfer to a PC.
Sound quality is the same as any other phone.
Beep-beep-beep – my first e-mail.
Lets see how good (or bad) the touch screen really is… it’s not very well suited to big fingers, but I don’t hold that against RIM because even the iPhone isn’t. Bring up the e-mail, and hit REPLY and start typing with the virtual keyboard.
The virtual keyboard sucks.
Hitting letters dead on seemed to hit the letter beside it. So I’d press A and S would show up. I would have to hit the letters slightly to the left for it to pick up the correct letter. I figured that this could be fixed by performing a screen calibration but could not locate such an option! Apparently I’m not the only one with this issue as there is a thread on the BlackBerry support forums with several people making the same complaint of there not being a screen calibration option.
Here is one of the complaints about the virtual keyboard which relates to the screen calibration:
Having the exact same problem, device only a week old and didn’t do anything bad to it. Texting is the worst, press 1 key and 2 light up, when I press backspace to correct, the A-key lights up. Also issues in other apps as well. Touch screen is messed big time. Battery pulls and reload OS did nothing, still acting wonky. Called Rogers and they are mailing me a new Torch, so fingers crossed.
Other than this annoyance which means I don’t and can’t use the virtual keyboard the phone is nice.
It is NOT an iPhone and perhaps had I never played with an iPhone or iPod Touch my expectations would not be as high for any touch screen device. While a lot of people complain about the closed system Apple is with respect to their products, their touch UI is really nice.
Overall I’m pretty happy with the BlackBerry Torch, I know that I will get several years of good solid use from it and combined with my iPad (see my previous post Internet Stick & Laptop or iPad with 3G).