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RIM launches BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone with new BlackBerry OS 6

Snapshot by Todd Haselton on Tuesday August 03, 2010.

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Today AT&T and Research in Motion announced the BlackBerry Torch 9800 smartphone, a device with a slide-out full QWERTY keyboard as well as a touchscreen that supports multitouch pinch-to-zoom functionality. "This is one of the most significant launches in RIM's history and we are proud to introduce the new BlackBerry Torch and BlackBerry 6 together with AT&T," RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis said.

The BlackBerry Torch sports a 3.2-inch 480 x 360 capacitive touchscreen(INFO) display, measures 4.4 x 2.4 x .5in, and weighs 5.68 ounces. The phone comes with 4GB of built-in storage as well as a 4GB microSD card that's included with the phone. The microSD card slot supports up to 32GB cards. Other features include a 3.5mm headphone jack, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, voice activated dialing, and Bluetooth 2.1. A 5 megapixel camera is on-board for photos, and the phone's 1,300mAh battery is rated for up to 5.8 hours of talk time on 3G networks. The phone works with BlackBerry Desktop Software 6, which provides integrated media sync - even over Wi-Fi.

BlackBerry 6 is RIM's latest operating system. It works both with the touchscreen and the trackpad, and includes more robust messaging capabilities, as well as easy management of social networking and RSS feeds. There's also integrated access to BlackBerry Messenger, Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace, along with messaging applications. Perhaps the biggest highlight of BlackBerry 6 is its WebKit-based browser that renders HTML websites much better than the previous browser that RIM offered on its BlackBerry devices, which has long been a topic of complaint among reviewers. The new browser even supports the modern HTML5 specification.

RIM's new text messaging app allows users to reply-all to as many as ten people at once, and AT&T's messaging platform includes a Locations feature for finding points of interest, your own location, and more, without leaving the messaging application.

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 will be available to AT&T customers on August 12 in AT&T stores and online, as well as in Best Buy, Wal-Mart, and Radio Shack. It will retail for $199.99 with a 2-year service agreement.

Specifications for the RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800
Operating System BlackBerry 6
Band GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS 2100/1900/850/800 MHz
Size 111mm x 62mm x 14.6mm (4.37in x 2.4in x 0.57in)
Weight 161g (5.68oz)
Battery Life Up to 5.5 hours talk time, 18 days of standby (GSM)
Main Display 3.2-inch HVGA+ touchscreen (480x360 pixels)
Camera 5 megapixel w/ auto-focus, digital zoom
Video VGA record/playback
Messaging SMS/MMS/IM
Email IMAP/POP/Exchange
Bluetooth Yes, stereo
Memory 4GB onboard, microSD (up to 32GB)
Processor 1300mAh
Other Optical trackpad, full QWERTY keyboard, instant messaging, web browser, 3.5mm headset jack, BlackBerry Maps, music player, aGPS
Availability August 2010

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About the author

Todd Haselton
Todd is a senior editor at MobileBurn and works out of his home in New York City. He covers news for us and also writes reviews. You can follow him on Twitter at @RoboTodd

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