Research In Motion and AT&T have partnered to launch the new Blackberry Torch 9800 in North America and, while the rest of us, at least in Africa, don’t work with AT&T, hopefully we’ll get the Torch before end of the year.

9800Torch

The first Blackberry Smartphone to feature the new Blackberry 6 OS, the Torch combines full touch screen with the Blackberry keyboard and trackpad, giving the user options in terms of navigation. You can “choose to type out messages on the capacitive touch screen or easy-to-use BlackBerry keyboard, browse the Internet using pinch to zoom or fluidly navigate with the optical trackpad, the BlackBerry Torch allows them to communicate any way they want.”

The US model will come with pre-loaded icons which allow the user “to download and immediately begin using a variety of rich entertainment and social networking applications to access Bloomberg, ESPN, The Weather Channel and Slacker Radio content in addition to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and more. Also available is AT&T’s Web Video Search, a unique new app that searches video content from over 70 major Internet video websites.”

9800 Torch

BlackBerry Torch Smartphone Features

  • Elegant styling, measuring approx. 4.4″ (5.8″ open) x 2.4″ x .57″ and weighing 5.68 ounces
  • 3.2″ 360×480 capacitive touch screen display
  • 35 key full QWERTY backlit slide-out keyboard, designed to feel optimally balanced when opened for typing
  • Optical trackpad that makes navigation fast and smooth
  • Powerful 624 Mhz processor with 512 MB Flash memory
  • 4 GB built-in memory storage plus a microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB cards; a 4 GB card is included giving users 8 GB of storage out-of-the-box
  • 5 MP camera with flash, continuous auto focus, image stabilization, scene modes, geo-tagging and zoom, as well as video recording at up to 640×480 resolution
  • Built-in GPS for location-based applications and geo-tagging
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n); qualifying smartphone customers can enjoy seamless connectivity to over 20,000 AT&T Wi-Fi hotspots at no additional cost
  • 3.5mm stereo headset jack
  • Premium phone features, including voice activated dialing, speakerphone and Bluetooth (2.1) with support for hands-free headsets, stereo headsets, car kits (including systems that support the Bluetooth Message Access Profile standard) and other Bluetooth accessories

Blackberry 9800 Torch

Some of the features are tied specifically to the RIM and AT&T relationship. In South Africa, we still don’t have access to some of the Apps in the App World but, overall, Blackberry seems to be stretching itself. It has always been a great device for email but is gradually making its presence felt from a multimedia perspective. I would love to hear from someone who has actually touched and played with the Torch.

Source: RIM Press Release

6 Comments

  1. Ishshah Basheh

    How much is it currently priced for in N. America?

  2. Kojo Baffoe

    Ishshah, only info I have on pricing relates to AT&T contracts: The BlackBerry Torch 9800 will be available for $199.99 with 2-year service agreement on a qualifying rate plan and smartphone data plan required. New smartphone customers may choose from two AT&T monthly data plan options, $15 for 200 MB of wireless data or $25 for 2 GB. Enterprise and small business customers should contact their account representative for pricing details.”

  3. Kojo Baffoe

    Ishshah, only info I have on pricing relates to AT&T contracts: The BlackBerry Torch 9800 will be available for $199.99 with 2-year service agreement on a qualifying rate plan and smartphone data plan required. New smartphone customers may choose from two AT&T monthly data plan options, $15 for 200 MB of wireless data or $25 for 2 GB. Enterprise and small business customers should contact their account representative for pricing details.”

  4. Nicky

    when will the Blackberry torch 9800 be available in south africa?

  5. Kojo Baffoe

    I’m not sure. Will post as soon as I hear something.

  6. Kwadwo Asumaning

    Kojo, Telkom SA has a strategic alliance with AT&T for Africa. With Telkom rolling out Mobile Phones Network soon, perhaps they can facilitate entry of this backberry to SA with AT&T sooner.

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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