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Having had this phone for just over a year, I can safely say that I'm counting down the days until I can end the Blackberry Torch torture and move on. Having had a blackberry curve before, which I enjoyed, found very easy to use and navigate, I chose to remain with them instead of jump ship to iPhone (oh how i regret that little move). My friends were still with Blackberry then and for BBM messenger (a students best friend) I remained a Blackberry loyalist.
The phone itself is not very strong. A gentle drop to onto my sofa and the back can come shooting off. A friend who had this phone also had the same problem (she is now onto a Samsung Galaxy something arother. Jealous moi?).
The screen has also been a problem from the beginning, freezing when it feels like it, which was also a problem my friend encountered. Recently it has also had a habit of turning itself on, even when I have locked it, and calling whomever it likes. This might be something that has come with age, but really, it isn't that old.
It's most redeeming feature is its camera, which is excellent quality and it shoots quickly. Unlike my digital camera which has a very annoying delay. Something that makes me want to run back to film cameras, but that's another story.
All in all, it is a phone which has, by the sounds of it, faults that are embedded in the phone, not mine specifically, having known people with the phone and having the same problems.
If I were you, I would not get this phone, unless your a camera obsessive. Even then, the camera on the two big weights, the iPhone and Samsung, are just as good. So my advice? Sail that ship, because Blackberry are sinking fast, unless they do something about making their phones as accessible and useable as their rivals.
i have recently just brought this phone after having the blackberry 8520 this phone is great i did find it hard to use at first because of touch screen but after a while i get used to it it is fast especially when browsing and downloading on app world great phone , everything is available at the touch of a button
***Why did I want this phone?***
I have stuck with Blackberry's for years now, I have worked my way through 8310, Curve 3G 9300, Bold 9790 and now Torch 9860, which was released September 2011.
I have always loved the design of Blackberry's and how they function in terms of software. The main reason through why I stuck with Blackberry for so long is because I find it is perfect for me, my life and with my business. After all Blackberry was once a primarily a business phone.
Although Torch 9860 some would say is a downgrade from Bold 9790, the main reason why I wanted this phone is due to the size of the screen. I like to read my Kindle books that are downloaded onto my phone and laptop. Trying to read a book on Bold 9790 proved to be difficult at times and I am always turning the page and actually losing concentration. The same with browsing the Internet, I hated the small screen. I am short sighted as well so a small screen or long periods of viewing did not do me any favours.
***What are the main features of 9860?***
* Wi-Fi, 2G and 3G
* 5MP, 2592Ñ, 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face detection, image stabilisation
* Video formats in 720p
* Battery: Li-Ion 1230 mAh battery
* Standby time: Up to 330 hours (2G) / Up to 320 hours (3G)
* Talk time: Up to 4 hours 40 min (2G) / Up to 6 hours 50 min (3G)
* Music playback: Up to 44 hours
* Messaging: SMS, MMS, Email, Push Email, IM, BBM 6
* GPS: A-GPS support
* Memory, Card Slot: microSD, up to 32 GB. Internal: 4 GB storage, 768 MB RAM
* Bluetooth: v2.1 with A2DP
* Display: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors. Size: 480 x 800 pixels, 3.7 inches (~252 ppi pixel density)
* Dimensions: 120 x 62 x 11.5 mm (4.72 x 2.44 x 0.45 in)
* Weight: 135 g (4.76 oz
***What is the design like on 9860?***
I personally think all Blackberry's are nice sleek mobile phones that mean business.
The Blackberry itself is black in colour with no chromm finishes like some other Blackberry models.
The top of the device sees Blackberry logo in silver with Blackberry written to the side. The perfect screen fits underneath with enough plastic at the bottom to fit all five buttons.
Top right hand corner sees a little circle that flashes red when you have an SMS, BBM, Email etc.
The full QWERTY keypad, which when needed either pops up automatically when typing in your password to unlock or by pressing inside a email message or in other applications you will see a keyboard key when pressed the keyboard pops up.
If you are writing a message in portrait the keys are a little smaller and large fingers will find typing difficult. However landscape means the keys are spread out across the screen more giving you more room to type but less room to see the screen.
***What are all the buttons on this phone?***
To the left hand side you will see a USB port, in which to charge the phone up and the microphone is located at the bottom.
Top of the phone sees a lock picture, this is where you lock and unlock your device. You have the trackpad bottom middle of the phone, Send key with a phone handset upside down to the left and in-between Send key and Trackpad sees the Menu Key. To the right sees Escape Key that moves back from the previous screen and End/Power Key. Holding this button down allows the phone to switch off, you can end a call and return to the home screen in one easy movement.
Right side of the phone sees headset jack, volume up and down, mute and a convenience key that lets you take a picture but you can customise this key to anything you want for quick access.
The backup and restore process can be done using a media card or the BlackBerry Device Software. Both options are available from the Device Switch option in the Setup application.
***Setting up my Blackberry***
Removing the back casing by pressing the small button to the back bottom of the phone, releases the case to be removed.
Inserting your SIM card is also easy; simply slide your SIM card into the allocated slot that is marked on the phone as an outline of a SIM card with an arrow pointing upwards.
There is also a slot to insert a media card; this is allocated just above the SIM card.
The battery fits snug into the battery compartment and is easy to lift out when needed. ***What is new to this Blackberry compared to other models?***
* There is now Wi-Fi calling, which means if your wireless provider supports Wi-Fi you can connect to this service. You can make and receive calls over this service.
* Parental Controls, which I have to say I honestly did not know a phone had them. This allows you to have more control on how your Blackberry is used. You can block content, turn features on and off and decide what communications are available for use.
* Public Warning Messages such as weather warnings, amber alert messages etc but again this is only if your wireless provider supports Public Warnings Systems.
* Blackberry ID is an email and password system that lets you connect to Blackberry products and services. You can manage apps that you download from Blackberry App World.
* Voice Enabled Search, this is a good tool that I use often when wanting to search for something particular without searching your entire phone. This saves a lot of time.
* Home Screen Customise, again this is a smart feature that you can customise the home screen into the folders or applications you use the most for example, emails, messages and internet. The ones you hardly use these can be hidden.
* Compass Application, I do not know if a lot of people would need to use this feature but I have personally found it useful when on bike rides.
* Touch Free Calling when you are using a hands free Bluetooth handset.
* Bluetooth Enhancements, Video enhancements and Picture enhancements.
***What does the different LED lights mean?***
Green, indicates you are in a wireless coverage area.
Blue, indicates your phone is connected to Bluetooth.
Red, indicates you have received a new message, phone call, notification etc and
Amber, indicates battery level is low. This colour changes to solid green when fully charged.
Shows you your battery level, you can change your ring tone levels by clicking on the little speaker, notification viewer where you can see what is in your calendar and or emails. Wireless connection, search tool and navigation bar at the bottom.
***Setting up my emails***
Setting up emails is easy once your connected with your service provider, mine is Orange and a provider I am finding to be really good.
On first set up you can use the Setup Wizard icon, which takes you to two options including: I want to create or add an email address or I want to use a work email. As my Blackberry is for personal and business use I used the first option. I can use this option for existing email accounts with email address such as Hotmail and Yahoo.
My service provider Orange have said in the past emails may take up to 24 hours to come through due to new set up, personally I have found this to be a matter of hours and in my first case an hour, which I receive an SMS to say all is complete. As soon as I receive this message I start to receive emails straight away.
You can set up to ten different email addresses at the same time, which is think is fabulous especially if you're running your own business.
***Connecting to the Internet for free***
Who doesn't like to keep in contact with the world while out and about? Depending on your mobile provider and what extras you receive you can use you're built in Wi-Fi connection to view the internet for free. To set up Wi-Fi is very simple; the Home Screen has an icon called Manage Connections. Here you can scan for available networks; if you're in a free Wi-Fi connection or you can manually add a connection to use.
I have used this feature many of times and find it easy and a joy to use.
With a great feature of 3G, which can now be seen on many mobile handsets I find internet loading to be quick and painless even when on the move. ***Other features***
Blackberry Messenger is often used by me for free with friends and my husband who all have a Blackberry devices. This means we can all message each other for free 24/7. All you need is their personal PIN code and you can message away to one another. All Blackberry users can use this feature to another Blackberry user for free, Blackberry also update their software regularly, which you can download for free with new features attached.
* SMS I find has dramatically changed since my older model, how I have the ability to view all pervious and sent messages from receiver and me in on easy SMS, I find this is perfect for reminding you of your conversation without going back and forth between messages.
* Calendar, I use this feature so much and more so I can download all my activities from Outlook to my Blackberry calendar within seconds via the cable provided.
* You can view your calendar in week, month or year and more importantly, which I think is a fantastic feature you can view all the calendars from your different email addresses in the Select Calendar. I have reminder alerts like all mobiles.
* Adding a new appointment is easy with all the information you could ever need including if this appointment is new or re-occurring so you don't have to input it again. You can mark it as private and add notes for further reference.
* Address book is basically the same as my old device, upon entering the address book you can see all your contacts in any view you wish, personally I have mine on first and late name but you can have the opposite if you prefer or sort by company. You can filter your contacts to personal and business for easier finding.
* With each contact you have the option to find their address via Google Maps if you have their address stored in your contact list, which I think, is a brilliant and unique feature. You have the ability to add a new contact with all the information you could ever need about them and even download their Facebook profile, which automatically updates a picture of them.
* Media allows you to view and listen to your downloaded music, watch videos you have recorded yourself, view pictures or downloaded pictures by you, activate the video camera and look into the Podcats.
* Maps allow you via GPS to view where you are right now and will follow you as you move.
* Clock allows you to have the time at your finger tips and to allow when charging as a screen saver.
* Blackberry App World, this is a perfect device that I have found very useful over the time I have had this phone. A world of apps at your finger tips.
* Applications folder is an interesting folder, here if you have downloaded Facebook or Twitter Application this is where it is stored, along with your memo pad, tasks, calculator, word and excel to go, slideshow to go, files, which you can see all files sorted on your device, voice dialling, password keeper, saved messages, which can be emails or SMS messages. Ring tone and alerts, voice notes recorder and much more.
* Games folder is where all games either pre-installed or downloaded can be moved into here but originally all downloaded files get stored into Downloads folder, which can be moved later.
Then you have your usual setup icons, sounds, password lock and turn phone off.
***Tell me about the screen and resolution***
The screen is one of the things I love the most about this phone. With sizes 480 x 800 pixels and 3.7 inches. I am pleased to say it is clear, crisp, sharp quality. It is also a magnificent light sensing screen, which cleverly auto adjusts the screens brightness depending on the amount of light on the screen. This is a fantastic battery saving technique and all Blackberry's have.
Whether I have downloaded or looking at pre-loaded pictures I am amazed at the detail I can see, all colours are true with sharp detail with no blurring.
If you have taken a picture on your usual camera and downloaded it to Blackberry, although the picture has been automatically resized there is no loss in picture quality and looks just as good when placed as my wallpaper.
***What is call quality like?***
Call quality is great but I would say magnificent, yet it is clear and precise without having to shout as you cannot hear the recipient or they cannot hear you. You have an adjustable volume button on the side to suit your volume needs. I have used loudspeaker a fair few times and again sound is very clear and sharp unlike other mobile phones I have used in the past while using loudspeaker.
***Tell me about the camera***
5MP, which is good enough for me and my needs. On screen the picture is clear and precise and not to bad when printed out onto paper, it is not the best but on a phone I cannot complain.
The other thing I love having back is the flash; this was not provided on 9300.
The camera does a good job at auto focusing on an object and focuses on the natural light surrounding it at the time. Zoom starts off at 1.0x and can quickly take you up to 50.x, which keeps it in good quality although there can be a little blurry.
Before taking a picture you can see a outline of a green box, this shows you where the middle of the screen is so you can take the perfect picture. The green changes into grey when it is not focused properly.
Once a picture has been took you have the options to delete, save, set picture as or send the photo via email, SMS or MMS, upload to Facebook or send to someone in your BBM contact list.
***Tell me about video recording***
Video recording is sharp and moves in real time with you with no stuttering in sight. You can zoom in and out the same as camera but again once zoomed all the way in the camera resolution is compromised, and I quickly realised you can't zoom in while recording!
***How easy is synchronising files from phone to PC and vice versa?***
Synchronising phone to PC is easy; you can download an app onto your computer that is quick and painless, which connects via USB. (My husband did this part for me). You can copy across your email box(s), calendar and contacts. This doesn't take long to do, a little under or over 30 seconds depending how much you have updated on your computer before hand.
***What is it like reading a book?***
Downloading the Kindle app onto 9860 was easy from Amazon.co.uk. Synchronising purchased kindle books wirelessly transfers onto my phone within minutes. Firing up the Kindle app I can see all the books I purchased that are ready to be read. On a typical book there are 23 lines.
***What is the price and availability of 9860?***
You can purchase this phone from a number of different places, play.com £139.99. eBay sell a range of this model and Amazon for various prices.
***What networks are available?***
When I purchased this phone where was a good range of networks to choose from including Orange, O2, T-Mobile, Vodafone and 3.
***What is my overall opinion***
I am overjoyed with this model, more so with the bigger screen.
I find the quality of this Blackberry very good and can with hold a lot of knocks, especially when in the hands of my excited daughter. Even though you do not receive a case with it, once you have a case once the phone slips inside it locks automatically when in its holder, which happens via a magnet hidden in the case, if you want this to happen you have to tell the handset to do this.
Charging the phone is quick and easy, a fully drained phone takes about 45 minutes, if that, which I think is brilliant. A full battery can last me up to 2/3 days but I use it a lot and more until it goes to red, which is one bar. However, if I am not using it often a battery can last me around 5 days.
I have no problems at all with this model so have no complaints. Considering I now have my eye on their newsiest creation, Z10 I will stick with this one until the price drops lower.