We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900;UMTS 2100), internationally quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) BlackBerry Torch 9850 in San Francisco roaming on U.S. Cellular. Even though we were on a roaming network, call quality was very impressive. Callers' voices had great volume and sounded clear and natural. There was hardly any static or distortion.
Callers didn't report any problems on their end either. They said our voice sounded loud and clear, and as natural as on a landline call. They did detect the occasional background noise, but it wasn't distracting. Speakerphone calls were similarly good, though callers did report a more pronounced echo effect at times.
RIM BlackBerry Torch 9850 (U.S. Cellular) call quality sample
The Torch 9850's battery has a rated talk time of up to 6.8 hours and a rated standby time of up to 13.4 days. According to FCC radiation tests, the Torch 9850 has a digital SAR of 0.9 watts per kilogram.
U.S. Cellular customers who want a taste of the BlackBerry 7 OS will definitely get that with the BlackBerry Torch 9850. It has a sleek and svelte design, and we're glad that it has new technology like 720p HD video capture and a fast 1.2GHz processor. We're not sure it'll entice Android fans away just yet, which is why we wish its $199.99 price with a two-year contract were just a little lower for a midrange phone like this. Yet, for smartphone enthusiasts who want an alternative to Android on U.S. Cellular, the Torch 9850 could be a great fit.