Research In Motion today launched the BlackBerry Torch 9800, which features a capacitive touch screen, slide-out QWERTY keyboard and the new BlackBerry (News - Alert) 6 operating system.
And with BlackBerry 6, which makes its debut on this device, RIM promises the graphical menus, intuitive navigation and universal search will make the BlackBerry user experience the most dynamic ever.
In the United States, the BlackBerry Torch will be available for AT&T (News - Alert) customers on August 12 in AT&T company owned retail stores, online at www.att.com/blackberrytorch, and at Best Buy, Wal-Mart and RadioShack stores. The smartphone will be available for $199.99 with two-year service agreement on a qualifying rate plan and data plan required.
Perhaps the most notable aspect of the new BlackBerry Torch is that it is the first BlackBerry smartphone to launch with BlackBerry 6, a new operating system that RIM contends “retains the familiar and trusted features that distinguish the BlackBerry brand while delivering a fresh, approachable and engaging experience that’s powerful and easy to use.”
BlackBerry 6 features a redesigned interface that seamlessly works with the touchscreen and trackpad, and includes expanded messaging capabilities with intuitive features to simplify the management of social networking and RSS feeds, according to RIM.
It also provides integrated access to the BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook (News - Alert), Twitter, MySpace and various instant messaging applications available on the BlackBerry Torch smartphone. Its enhanced multimedia experience rivals the best in the industry and includes a dedicated YouTube (News - Alert) app and Podcasts app.
BlackBerry 6 also integrates a new and rich WebKit-based browser on BlackBerry Torch that renders HTML web pages (as well as HTML e-mail) quickly and beautifully for a great browsing experience. It features tabs for accessing multiple sites simultaneously, pinch to zoom for easy navigation and an auto-wrap text zoom feature that can intelligently wrap text in a column while maintaining the placement of a page's key elements -- simply double-tap on the BlackBerry Torch).
In addition to the slide-out keyboard and vamped up operating system, key BlackBerry Torch features include:
* Context-sensitive pop-up menus for more relevant options;
* A new WebKit browser for faster and more robust performance;
* Integrated social feeds including the ability to update multiple social networks from a single screen;
* Universal Search to uncover results throughout your smartphone – from Contacts, Apps, data and the Web;
* Sleek design with a touch-sensitive trackpad located on the front face of the device
The first BlackBerry smartphone to include the new BlackBerry App World pre-installed, supporting carrier billing through AT&T, making it easier for customers to discover and purchase applications;
* Vivid 5.0MP camera with flash, auto focus, image stabilization and geo-tagging
Support for 3G networks (HSDPA);
* 512MB Flash memory, 4GB on-board memory, microSD/SDHC memory card slot (4GB card included, cards up to 32GB supported),
“This is one of the most significant launches in RIM’s history and we are proud to introduce the new BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6 together with AT&T,” said Mike Lazaridis, president and co-CEO, Research In Motion, in a press statement. “With a new user interface, new browser and new handset design, the highly anticipated BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6 deliver integrated and uncompromising capabilities for consumers and business professionals that preserve the industry-leading strengths of the BlackBerry platform while adding exciting new dimensions.”
Marisa Torrieri is a TMCnet Web editor, covering IP hardware and mobility, including IP phones, smartphones, fixed-mobile convergence and satellite technology. She also compiles and regularly contributes to TMCnet's gadgets and satellite e-Newsletters. To read more of Marisa's articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Marisa Torrieri