IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

RIM BlackBerry Torch 9860 review

RIM takes another stab at a touchscreen-only smartphone, but has the Torch 9860 caught up with the competition or has it already fallen behind the pack? Julian Prokaza finds out in our review.

Price
£299

The Torch 9860 is the second of RIM's new smartphones to feature its new BlackBerry OS 7 operating system, but it's a very different beast to the previously reviewed Bold 9900. Whereas the Bold 9900 was an elegant refinement of RIM's traditional Qwerty keyboard design, the Torch 9860 is an all-touchscreen smartphone that's obviously intended to compete against the iPhone.

RIM BlackBerry Torch 9860

The Torch 9860 isn't the first BlackBerry to do away with a physical keyboard. RIM first tried it with the Storm in 2008, but its awkward haptic display wasn't very good, to say the least. The subsequent switch to a capacitive multi-touch display for the Storm 2 did little to improve things either, though its failings were largely due to the inadequacies of the then-current BlackBerry OS5.

RIM didn't abandon large multi-touch screens completely though, and earlier Torch devices were also so equipped, albeit with the safety net of a Qwerty keyboard hidden inside their slider designs. All this makes the Torch 9860 RIM's first solid attempt to go head-to-head with the iPhone since 2009 and this time it has the touchscreen-friendly BlackBerry OS 7 operating system to back it up.

The size and shape of the Torch 9860 are reminscient of the iPhone 3GS, with a similar squared-off appearance, but then there are only so many ways to design a touchscreen smartphone, after all. The design is essentially that of a BlackBerry Curve though, with the same bevelled top and bottom edges, plus the wide silver band that runs around the case's perimeter; the only real difference is that there's no physical Qwerty keyboard.

Featured Resources

Meeting the future of education with confidence

How the switch to digital learning has created an opportunity to meet the needs of every student, always

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ of IBM Cloud Pak® for Watson AIOps with Instana

Cost savings and business benefits

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

Technology reimagined

Why PCaaS is perfect for modern schools

Free Download

Recommended

Norfolk Council hits Apple with class action lawsuit
Business strategy

Norfolk Council hits Apple with class action lawsuit

16 Feb 2022
How to turn off battery throttling on an iPhone
battery life

How to turn off battery throttling on an iPhone

10 Feb 2022
Apple will let businesses accept payments on iPhones without the need for extra hardware
Mobile Phones

Apple will let businesses accept payments on iPhones without the need for extra hardware

27 Jan 2022
Apple iPhone 13 review: A video powerhouse
iOS

Apple iPhone 13 review: A video powerhouse

3 Nov 2021

Most Popular

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

7 Jun 2022
Swift exit: How the world cut off Russian banks
finance

Swift exit: How the world cut off Russian banks

24 Jun 2022
The top programming languages you need to learn for 2022
Careers & training

The top programming languages you need to learn for 2022

23 Jun 2022