Product Type: Blackberry Smartphone
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Blackberry Torch 9800
Member Name: baby-cakes
Blackberry Torch 9800
Advantages: looks great, loads of features
Disadvantages: shuts down the odd time
When it came around to the time of upgrading my mobile phone I decided that I wanted to go for a decent phone as normally I just chose pretty basic ones as I am not technical at all! My brother was trying to convince me to get an iPhone like him but I struggle texting on a touch screen really so when my friend upgraded to a Blackberry Torch and let me have a play around on it I knew straight away that was the phone I wanted. My contract was really low as I have been with the same company for many years but if I was to have this phone it would make my bill jump up quite a bit but I thought it was well worth it!
The Blackberry Torch comes packaged in a surprisingly small black cardboard box which looks extremely stylish (if you can actually say that about a box!) and features the Blackberry logo on the front in silver so it stands out well against the black. Inside the box you will find the usual - phone, charger, battery, usb wire, headphones and instructions. I was quite surprised at how short the usb wire is, much shorter than any other I have ever had.
I was pleased that as soon as I inserted the sim card and battery that the phone came straight on so it comes partially charged up, no waiting for hours and hours to start playing around with it! The instructions that come with the phone are very simple to follow but in all honesty I didn't use them at all, I plodded along working my way through it (bugging my friend along the way as she had had her phone for a few weeks by this time!). When setting up the phone you are presented with a wizard to guide you through it - the usual things like date and time to the more advanced things such as email and facebook and the like.
The phone itself is a very stylish looking phone in my opinion, to look at it initially it looks purely like a touch screen phone with the screen filling up most of the phone! It is only when you slide the phone up and reveal the qwerty key pad that you realise why the phone is a little on the thick side but not so much so that it is too bulky. With the Torch being a slide phone, it means that you can use the touch screen or the keypad when making calls and texting/emailing. Underneath the screen you will see four icons and a raised button in the middle, you have the usual red and green phone icons for your calls, a curved arrow which is the "back" button and the Blackberry logo which is the button for your home screen and switching applications. On the side of the phone you will see volume buttons (which is also the zoom function on the camera) and the small slot for your charger.
Using the phone
The Blackberry Torch is a really fantastic phone and is packed with so many features (most of which are downloadable applications). First of all the basics, making calls is extremely simple and you can use the touch screen or keypad should you so wish. When I go to make a call I tend to just press the green phone icon on the front of the phone and it takes you to the phone screen which then gives you three options - to dial the number, call a number in your call history or go to contacts to choose the person you wish to call. One thing I notice when making calls is that sometimes when I am talking on the phone, if I lean a little on the phone (against my cheek) I have caught the speaker phone option and it comes so loud in my ear it scares me half to death ha! The sound quality on the phone is perfect and I have never had any problem other than network problem which is obviously not a phone issue.
The text function on the phone is also very simple to use, though it does take a little getting used to using a qwerty keypad when being used to a standard phone. On the main screen you have the text message application which you just click on and it gives you the option to compose a new message and then which contact (or number) you wish to send it to. I don't honestly use text messaging all that much now as I tend to talk to many of my contacts on BBM which is Blackberry's own messenger service.
I didn't actually think I would like BBM as much as I do in all honesty as I wasn't really into all the hype about it. However, it is safe to say that I am now a very regular user of this application as like I say, many of my friends have a Blackberry. The Blackberry messenger is very much like texting but it is kind of like msn messenger (for those who use that service). It is similar to texting but there are no limits on how many messages, pictures, video's and even voice notes you can send. There is usually a bolt on price for this service but in my opinion it is totally worth it. To add someone to your BBM list you will need their pin which is a unique combination of numbers and letters.
The camera on the Blackberry Torch is not bad, it is a 5.0 mega pixel one which isn't as good as my last phone but the picture quality is acceptable for what I use it for. I tend to take a reasonable amount of pictures on the phone and they come out fine when they are printed. There is also a video camera on the phone which I use to video my daughters little singing performances and they transfer to the computer really easily using the usb wire.
Facebook and Twitter are two applications that are automatically built in to the phone which is great if you are users of the social networking sites - I am guessing Jeremy Kyle would hate this!! Once you have linked up your phone to these sites you will receive any notifications on your home screen should you be contacted or tagged in posts etc. Even though the facebook application is good I don't really tend to use it as I prefer the actual web version which I have now bookmarked onto my home screen. I am reasonably new to Twitter but tend to click on it various times throughout the day and it updates regularly. I also have my email linked with my phone now so every email I get comes automatically to the phone and there is the option to delete from phone and/or internet so if you wish you can keep them on the phone or just delete from phone but keep on the computer.
Other features on the phone include two games, Word Mole and Brick breaker. I went through a phase of playing the word mole game and it is quite addictive but I haven't played either of them for quite some time now. There is also a music player on the phone so I have added loads of music from my computer so I can listen to my music on the phone if I am bored at work (something we're really not supposed to do!). In addition to those features you will find Google, YouTube, Maps, MySpace and others. You will find the usual applications such as calculator, alarm clock and note pad. I particularly like the alarm clock as you can set it either daily, weekdays or just one off so I set it up for weekdays and there's no risk of forgetting to do it at night anymore like I did on my previous phone! It is also good how you can have the alarm tone as anything, I currently have mine as a recording of my little girl singing somewhere over the rainbow which I recorded on the phone, too cute!
There is an application on the phone called App World where you can choose to downloads applications such as games, themes and applications. I have used this several times and have a Sky Sports Football Centre saved to my home screen which I use a lot. There are thousands of things to choose from so there really is something for everyone on there. There is a calendar feature on the phone which is something I use a lot as on your screen it always lists three calendar appointments, be it birthdays, work or even dates of upcoming football matches in my case! I didn't think I would use this as much as I do but it is a very useful feature that I am now used to and wouldn't be without it.
I must admit I was very worried about how I would get used to using a qwerty key pad as thats something I have never used before and that was before I even got started on the touch screen! My worry was totally unfounded as I was used to the keypad extremely quickly and now I can use the touch screen with ease too, even typing on there is simple whereas I still can't do it well on the iPhone!
I tend to charge up my phone every morning and night though there really isn't much need to do that as the battery life is really quite good. I do check facebook regularly throughout the day, its like an addicition, and making calls and sending messages but I have only ever gone down to half the battery so I could easily get a couple of days useo out of the phone before running the battery down.
Moving between applications if you have more than one is simple, press the Blackberry logo on the front of the phone and it brings up various choices for you such as browser (which takes you to the web page you were on), phone, BBM, texts or home screen. I think thats a handy feature as until my friend told me about that I was forever closing things down if I got a message and then had to reload things back up but this was is just so simple to switch to and from different things.
I love this phone, it is the best phone I have ever had and now can't see me ever having anything other than a Blackberry. One thing I like is that you can set a ring tone to each contact (if you so wish) and I have set ones for my closest friends and family so as soon as it starts to ring I know who it is without even having to look. My brother was highly amused when he heard I had set his to Johnny Cash "Ring Of Fire" which is his karaoke speciality! Another feature I like is the light that flashes at the top of the phone when I receive a message, it is quite discreet and means that I can have my phone on silent and see at a glance that I have a message waiting. Also, during the night if I receive a message the whole screen doesn't light up and wake me up which happened quite often with my previous phone.
The one downside I have with this phone, and it is the only negative I have is that sometimes it just shuts down and restarts all by itself which is a little frustrating at times. It does only happen every so often but usually when I am in the middle of something!!
There are various phone covers available so you can protect the Blackberry Torch and they vary from a leather pouch to a character hard case such as Hello Kitty (I am so waiting for an Elmo one to be made!). Screen protectors are available extremely cheap and I would definitely advise those as they do protect the screen well which is great as I have a scratch down the centre of the screen but luckily it is on the protector!
The Blackberry Torch is an expensive phone but really can you expect anything else for such a good phone? I have mine on contract and pay £30 per month but that gets me unlimited texts (not that I need them), Blackberry Messenger, internet and 600 minutes so its a really good deal. I really can't recommend this phone highly enough, I absolutely love it!
Thank you for reading my review (if you got to the end of it!)