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HolidayBuyer's Guide

RIM BlackBerry Torch (AT&T)

Design

Right side

Top view

Keyboard

Camera

Picture quality

Outdoor shot

Action shots

Nighttime photo

The RIM BlackBerry Torch will be available from AT&T starting August 12 for $199.99 with a two-year contract. The Torch is the first device to ship running BlackBerry OS 6, which brings such improvements as a better browser, enhanced multimedia experience, and a more user-friendly interface.

Though RIM wouldn't name specific markets, the company did say that the Torch will ship to other carriers outside the U.S. in the coming months.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The BlackBerry Torch is the first slider phone for RIM. In its closed state, the Torch measures 4.4 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick and weighs 5.7 ounces. It's a solid-feeling handset and is still compact enough to slip into a pants pocket.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Like previous BlackBerrys, the right side of the Torch features a 3.5mm headphone jack, a volume rocker, and a customizable side key.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
On top, you'll find the lock and mute buttons.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
In addition to portrait and landscape virtual keyboards, the BlackBerry Torch has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It's similar to the one found on the BlackBerry Bold, but doesn't feel quite as solid. The buttons are a decent size and there's a good amount of space between the top row of keys and the bottom of the screen, so your thumbs don't mash up against the edge.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The BlackBerry Torch features a 5-megapixel camera with continuous autofocus, 2x digital zoom, and LED flash. BlackBerry OS 6 also brings some new camera options, such as additional scene modes, but unfortunately, it only records VGA-quality video.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
We switched the camera's scene mode to "Party" to shoot our standard indoor shot, and we were happy with the lighting and colors but the image looked soft overall.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
For this outdoor shot, we used the Landscape mode and were quite happy with the end result.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
The Torch has Sports mode to capture fast-moving subjects. We used it here to snap a shot of a moving subway.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
Here's an example of a photo taken in Night mode. The picture has some weird horizontal lines going through it.
Caption by / Photo by Bonnie Cha/CNET
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