The BlackBerry Torch 9850 is a beautiful phone that speaks of top European design. In fact, it looks like it could have been a high end Nokia smartphone, were it not for the signature RIM chrome accents. The Torch 9850 is perhaps the most interesting among RIM's 3 new BlackBerry 7 OS phones, with a full touch screen, extreme styling and plenty of speed.
The Torch 9850 has a 3.7", 800 x 480 pixel display. Finally, a resolution and size that can compete with high end Android phones. Though we would have preferred a 3.8" or 4" display for larger text, 3.7" does the job. Like the BlackBerry Bold 9930 on Verizon Wireless and BlackBerry Torch 9810 on AT&T, the Torch 9850 has a 1.2GHz CPU, 768 megs of RAM, a 5 megapixel camera, WiFi, Bluetooth and a GPS. Thoroughly modern specs. It has 4 gigs of internal storage and comes with a 4 gig microSD card as well.
As a BlackBerry Storm 2 replacement, it's light years ahead in terms of design and touch-friendliness. Though BlackBerry 7 still isn't what we'd call a modern OS (we'll have to wait for QNX phones in 2012), the experience, industrial design and capacitive display are much improved.
Sprint will sell the Torch 9850 on Aug. 21 for $149 with contract, which is a nice price and is certainly more affordable than the $249 Bold 9930 if you can forego the hardware keyboard.
Here's our BlackBerry Torch 9850 video review. Our full written review will follow in a few days.