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By 4 August 2010 | Categories: news

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After some hands-on time with BlackBerry’s recently announced 9800 Torch we can confirm that Apple is facing some stiff competition. 

Already labelled as serious competition to Apple’s iPhone 4, BlackBerry’s recently announced 9800 Torch device is beginning to make serious waves online and within the technology community. 
 
Announced at a live partner event with AT&T yesterday, which we at TechSmart were witness to, Mike Lazaridis, president of BlackBerry holding company Research in Motion (RIM), lifted the lid on the details behind the rumoured slider smartphone. 
 
“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 Lazaridis. 
 
“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.”
 
Features
 
The Torch is the first of BlackBerry’s modern range to feature a slider interface. This means that the device operates using a 3.2” capacitive touch-screen display with a resolution of 360 x 480 as well as a full QWERTY backlit slide-out keyboard. 
 
In addition to this it also features 4 GB of onboard memory with MicroSD support for up to 32 GB, an impressive 5 Megapixel camera with flash, continuous auto-focus, image stabilization, scene modes, geo-tagging and zoom, as well as video recording at up to 640 x 480 resolution, GPS, Wi-Fi 802.11n and Bluetooth support and an impressive 624 MHz processor with 512 MB of flash memory. 
 
 
BlackBerry 6
 
The 9800 Torch will also be the first BlackBerry device to feature the company’s new BlackBerry 6 User Interface (UI). This incorporates a number of changes from the BlackBerry standard, including a redesigned interface with emphasis on social networking, a WebKit based browser - which is a first for the company and a Universal Search option which is accessible from the home screen. 
 
Blackberry 6 Universal Search
 
During the live streaming of the event we were given a chance to take a closer look at the Torch. Although some are labelling its early ‘iPhone killer’ title somewhat overboard we can certainly confirm that this is BlackBerry’s most serious attempt at the touch-based smartphone market. Overall the Torch is surprisingly fast and integrates extremely well with BlackBerry 6. In short, we can’t wait to get our hands on a review unit.

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