The Torch 9800 has replaced my iPhone 3G which had become next to unusable due to Apple's software upgrades. I had been looking into BlackBerries for a while and read loads of reviews on blogs and tech websites. Most of them criticised the fact that it wasn't much of a gadget and that the processor speed was "only" 624MHz where most current smart phones run at 1GHz speeds.
In my opinion these reviews are missing the point of this telephone. The Torch is not a HD video recorder/editor nor does it's OS offer a lot of eye candy. Video recording is basic and the camera is ok. It's adequate for a phone like this and not it's raison d'etre.
The Torch is great at the following:
Speed, efficiency and fluidity of the operating system are the best I have used on any phone. The phone is lightning fast, multi-tasking works great with no delay when switching between applications. The system wide search works brilliantly and it's results are instantaneous (when T9 is turned off). They even include the manual so if you don't know how to do something just start typing from the home screen and you will get the results.
Call quality and reception is miles ahead of my iPhone. I have never dropped a call in my house where the iPhone would constantly lose calls or fail to connect.
Messaging is miles ahead of my iPhone. You have to experience for yourself how well Email, texting, instant messaging etc are implemented on this phone. It's a joy to use. Blackberry messenger is fabulous too and a great way to stay in touch with your friends without paying extra for international texts etc.
Application support is good. Clearly nowhere near as extensive as on the iPhone but the app store features everything you would find useful.
On the downside scrolling through pictures on the Torch can be a bit stuttery. I also wish it integrated better with MobilMe. Synch on the Mac works ok but could be better. iCal and Address book work well as does iTunes but you need the latest version of iPhoto to synch pictures. Synching videos did not seem to work automatically. What's good though is that the phone just appears in the Finder when plugged in - nothing is hidden which makes the process of backing up or copying data a lot easier than having to go through iTunes. Furthermore memory is expandable so if you find yourself running out of it you can turn this phone from 16GB to 32GB in the time it takes to swap out a micro SD card.
One big advantage of a slower processor is that battery life is brilliant. I have managed to get through 3 days without charge on moderate use. So far I have not needed to use my AIO EXTENDED 1500 mAh BATTERY FOR BLACKBERRY TORCH 9800 which I had purchased just in case. I would recommend the BlackBerry Torch Leather Pocket Case (Black) and BlackBerry Torch 9800 Desktop Charging Pod
To sum it up the Torch strikes a different balance to the other smart phones in the market because it prioritises speed, efficiency and battery life over gadget functionality. It excels as a communication device which will help you get the job done.