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HolidayBuyer's Guide

BlackBerry Torch 9810

Keyboard and display

Left side

Right side

Slider

Camera

Browser

Wikitude

BBM + augmented reality

The BlackBerry Torch 9810 is expected to be available from AT&T in August. Though it looks very much like the original Torch, the smartphone does offer some improvements underneath the hood like a faster 1.2GHz processor, BlackBerry OS 7, and support for AT&T's HSPA+ network. Pricing was not announced at this time.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
The Torch 9810's QWERTY keyboard is slightly wider than the original Torch. Generally speaking, it's pretty easy to use, but those with larger thumbs might need to make some adjustments. The 3.2-inch touch screen is quite nice. RIM did not disclose the exact resolution, but it looks to be an improvement over its predecessor.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
On the left spine, you'll find a Micro-USB port.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
Meanwhile, the right spine features a volume rocker and a camera key.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
The BlackBerry Torch 9810's slider mechanism is smooth, and the screen locks securely into place when open. The phone doesn't feel too top-heavy either when open.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
The smartphone is equipped with a 5-megapixel camera and flash and can capture 720p HD video. The textured surface on back prevents the phone from feeling too slick when held in the hand.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
With BlackBerry OS 7, RIM claims that the browser is now 40 percent faster than BlackBerry OS 6 and 100 percent faster than BlackBerry OS 5. There were network connectivity issues during the event, so we didn't experience the fastest data speeds. That said, we did notice that pages loaded faster and general navigation was smoother, which is encouraging.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
Wikitude is a augmented reality app that comes preloaded on the new BlackBerrys. It uses the phone's magnetic compass and works with other apps, including BBM, to give you information about your surroundings, alert you to friends nearby, and more. (See next photo for an example.)
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
Here's an example of using Wikitude and augmented reality to see which of your BBM friends are nearby. The little icons onscreen indicate your buddies and if a contact has a personal avatar, it will also appear on the display.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
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