There's plenty of room for a 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen and the full Qwerty keyboard BlackBerry is famous for. But this is no sleek, rounded Palm Pre, which was also a touchscreen slider with a Qwerty keyboard. The Torch's keyboard welcomes big-fingered users with enough space to tempt you into writing long emails, texts and status updates.
The Torch also sports an optical trackpad on the front, which duplicates the touchscreen's navigation ability, but could come in handy for moving through Web links and text.
Thankfully, the BlackBerry OS has been updated to take advantage of the touchscreen, so you won't have to flip around the tiny menus of text that suited previous berries. Large, finger-friendly icons and loads of shortcuts are the theme, although BlackBerry was wary of scaring off loyal customers with wildly innovative changes.
The big case also packs in major connectivity, including support for the latest 802.11n Wi-Fi standard, Bluetooth, wireless syncing with your computer, and easy tethering to share your 3G connection with your laptop. GPS is included too, as well as your choice of Google Maps and BlackBerry's own map software, which includes turn-by-turn navigation.
A new version of BlackBerry's desktop software should help get you connected and add your music library to the phone's 4GB of on-board memory -- although we haven't had a chance to test the latest version yet.
To truly appreciate the magnitude of this slider, take a look at our hands-on photos as we take a walk through some of the new features of BlackBerry OS 6. And for more about the Torch, click through to our full preview.