RIM has announced the Torch, its first handset that retains the traditional physical QWERTY keyboard and adds a touchscreen. It combines a large touchscreen, slide-out keyboard and BlackBerry OS 6 – making this the first device to ship with the all-new operating system.
There is a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with flash, HSPA high-speed 3G data and wireless-N support (802.11n).
Despite the redesigned home screen and notification previews, RIM has ensured a high degree of familiarity with the older OS versions. Previous applications will also be compatible with OS 6.
Another key addition of OS 6 is the new browser which is fully standards compliant, including support for HTML 5. There will also be a more unified inbox for various different social networking services, as well as the ability to post content on multiple services.
Launched today, the Torch will be available on AT&T in the US shortly, followed by Vodafone in the UK in the coming weeks. Orange has also stated its intention to sell the phone, but without any dates – suggesting Vodafone may lead with an exclusive period.
RIM also confirmed that the current Bold 9700 will also receive an update to OS 6 later this year, along with the new Pearl 3G 9105.
- QWERTY keyboard and large touchscreen display (capacitive, 360×480 pixels, 3.2-inches)
- HSPA (3.6Mbps)
- Wi-Fi (802.11b/g/n)
- 5-megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash, with face recognition
- 624MHz processor
- 512MB Flash RAM, 4GB integrated storage + microSDHC slot (upto 32GB)
- BlackBerry OS 6: New visuals, icons, graphics and animations + WebKit based browser, Multitouch (pinch to zoom) + Graphical context sensitive menus
- Redesigned core applications, new multimedia UI, new apps for downloading podcasts, YouTube and RSS feeds