I’ve been a die hard BlackBerry user for about the last 7 years or so. I’ve been writing about BlackBerry devices almost daily right here on RIMarkable for about 6 of those seven years. In all of that time I’ve owned well over a dozen different BlackBerry devices, and, I’ve never returned one simply because I didn’t like it.
I guess there is a first time for everything… Shortly after I finish writing this post I am returning my BlackBerry Torch 9800.
10 Reasons Why I am Returning my BlackBerry Torch
- The BlackBerry Torch is underpowered — The Torch only has a 624 MHz processor, and, when compared to the 1GHz Snapdragons and Hummingbirds found in the latest Android devices as well as the Apple A4 found in the iPhone 4, the BlackBerry Torch is lacking.
- Lack of third party application support — The BlackBerry Torch is RIM’s new flagship device and the first device to run BlackBerry 6, RIM’s new BlackBerry operating system. The Torch has been out for almost a month and we still really don’t have any new BlackBerry applications showcasing what BlackBerry 6 can do.
- WebKit BlackBerry Browser not on par with iPhone or Android — A little over a year ago RIM stated that the new Webkit BlackBerry Browser would on par with the iPhone by this summer. To make a long story short… It isn’t. It is light years beyond the old BlackBerry Browser and you can effectively browse just about any website. It just isn’t as smooth as Android, the iPhone, or even webOS, for that matter.
- The screen on the Torch is too small — I am not sure if the resolution is just to low or if the screen is actually just too small, but, when compared to the screen on my Droid Incredible… Well, it just doesn’t compare.
- AT&T — I here that a lot of people swear by AT&T. I, however, clearly am not one of them, nor can I think of anyone that lives near me who does. I’ve dropped more calls using my BlackBerry Torch on AT&T over the last 28 days than I have on Verizon in the last year or two.
- No Wi-Fi Tethering — Having the ability to use your device as a Wi-Fi hotspot today is kind of like having Bluetooth 4 or 5 years ago. Smartphones should have this ability.
- The BlackBerry Torch is too utilitarian — After the newness wore off, I used the BlackBerry Torch for nothing more than email, BBM, and Twitter.
- The Torch didn’t allow me to drop down to one device — Until this year, I’ve carried only one smartphone, a BlackBerry, for the past 5 years. Earlier this year a tested a Palm Pre which didn’t offer enough beyond what my BlackBerry could do to warrant carrying multiple devices. I, however, tried out the Droid Incredible shortly after the Pre, and, I know carrier two devices. The Torch simply isn’t a good enough device to get me back down to just one device.
- Wasn’t that annoyed when I left my BlackBerry Torch at home — I went on a business trip and left my Torch in my car parked at the airport. Other than not having BBM, I really didn’t miss it that much.
- The BlackBerry Torch, overall, is just underwhelming — It has been a long time since RIM has produced a BlackBerry that made me just feel like it was a must have device. I thought that the BlackBerry Torch was going to be that device which is the only reason I was even willing to give AT&T a shot. At the end of the day, the BlackBerry Torch isn’t a bad device, however, there is nothing about the device that will keep potential BlackBerry defectors from defecting nor will it entice new consumers that didn’t already want a BlackBerry…
I gotta say I’d agree with you that RIM didnt make the jump to push the Torch “around the curve” of other deviecs, but not being anoyed by leaving your device at home? Or needing to carry 2 devices? For what reason!?
I understand exactly where you’re coming from, but I think that a bit more patience would cut that list in half. If RIM held off on releasing the Torch and OS6 for the sake of software refinement and app development, the initial impression of the phone and the software would be much better. I’m completely satisfied with the browser though, I’m not sure what else you were looking for in it…
But RIM knew people were jumping ship and I guess this may be a reason why they felt the need to push it out before it was as solid as it should have been.
Why continue to be patient. Isn’t that what BlackBerry users have been for the last couple of years ever since RIM released the BlackBerry Storm which was supposed to be all that and a bag of chips.
I think point 10 hits the nail right on the head. The BlackBerry Torch is underwhelming. BlackBerry 6 is just came out and already seems old compared to IOS and Android. I am done being patient September 25th when my contract is up. That Samsung Galaxy is looking awfully attractive right now…
I still recommend BlackBerry…to other folks just getting into the smartphone game.
BUT I can say with some confidence (even inclucding the Torch) that I have outgrown BlackBerry’s technology and I am ready to move on.
Why would you recommend something that you yourself are ready to move on from? You have the right idea in that hashtag…
Well, I will give you one reason why I gladly traded in my iPhone 4 for the BlackBerry Torch and haven’t looked back. They keyboard rocks. I hated having to choose between a touch screen and a keyboard. Now I have both and couldn’t be happier…
you must have pins for fingers. I’ll take the ipod screen keyboard anyday over the worthless keyboard on the torch.
The BB Torch’s screen is indeed worthless. I couldn’t have said it better. It is slow to react, and yes BBM lover’s I have toyed around w/ the speed and sensitivity. It is a sorry excuse for a touch screen phone when you compare it to the iphone 3G!!!! Yes, it’s touch screen is garbage compared to the 1st generation iphone.
RIM: go back to the drawing board, and stay away from touch screens until you can get it right! Also, the manual keys are WAAAAAAAY too small and the design of each key is compared to the other BBs. If I could do it again, I’d go BB Bold, or iphone 4.
Such garbage… I’m on my 2nd torch and going to get my 3rd tomorrow. Garbage… slow… terrible battery life… etc etc. Proximity sensor hiccups! Ugh!
As a former Storm owner and Blackberry user, I pretty much agree with all of this. I moved on from Blackberry in July after the Droid X came out. I was hesitant at first, since every single Blackberry blog out there was talking about the new line-up of upcoming devices, like the Torch. Already having a Blackberry, I didn’t want to have to learn a new OS and lose all of my BBM friends. However, once I saw what Android was offering in the Droid Incredible, Droid X, EVO 4G, etc. there was just no reason to stay any more. The technology was leaving Blackberry behind. I truly did hope that the Torch would rival these devices, but once it was unveiled, I was left more than underwhelmed by its specs and capabilities. That it was on AT&T killed it for me, I mean, if I’m gonna have to switch from VZW to AT&T, I may as well get either the iPhone or its version of the Samsung Galaxy S, both of which leave the Torch in the dust.
I have to say, since the switch, even my laptop has not seen as much use. The device is just that complete. Sure, I’m still waiting for the Droid X Android 2.2 update, but that should land any day now. In the mean time, I am content to use Skyfire for the few tv shows I watch online.
After 7 storm 1 exchanges I would say most BB users have been patient. I tried the torch and find it better for a new berry owner. I was waiting for awesome with the Torch and did not find it,went back to Storm. I know Driod owners as well as IPhone owners that feel as if they are missing something so I will not compare but will say RIM needs to produce a phone that will blow “berry addicts” away or they will continue to lose them. RELEASE OS6 ALREADY..
After upgrading to .225 I think its the best BB I have used. For a business user, its awesome.
Blackberry did rush it to market without refining the OS, however the .225 update mentioned by Stinsonddog makes it a real pleasure to use. It is the Blackberry i was hoping for. You guys should try it before criticizing.
I’ve had my fair share of BB devices and I’ve loved them from the moment I picked up my BB Pearl to my current BB Storm 2. My smartphone ownership can be traced fairly uneventfully from BB device to BB device. I had a brief affair with a HTC WinMo phone (*cough* crap) and came rushing back to BB then I had another mis-step with a HTC Hero (oh the lag). I finally swore off anything that isn’t BB and finally ended up with a Tour. Everything was fine and dandy until the release of the Droid X. Wow, the sheer power and speed of it was just too much to ignore. I promptly abandoned my Tour for the X. Big mistake! Two Droid X’s later and lots of face time with the local authorized dealer (avoid them like the plague) I have settled cozily with my new Storm 2.
I’m a BB lifer.
Switched to Droid Incredible from the Tour a couple months ago and have never looked back. All the functionality (save for the proprietary BBM…NOT that great, RIM.) I was apprehensive about the keyboard mostly, but was typing on the touchscreen fairly well after a few days and fairly speedy after a few weeks. Then Swype came out and I can blow all of the RIM keyboardists at the office away (and I was, if not the fastest, then damn close to the fastest BB keyboard typer at the office.) All of the other spec’s are well known, but when Android 2.2 came out, it was as if someone poured nitrous into my smartphone. I could run 30-50 apps/services simultaneously previous to 2.2, but now there is no lag whatsoever. So here’s a few other items:
I currently have 350 app’s installed. Do I use them all everyday? Nah…but a good many I do and the rest are there for when I need them. More importantly, I still have *plenty* of room and with 2.2 I can now run apps of my SD card as well.
Boot up time: A pathetic 5 – 15 minutes on Blackberry. On my Incredible? 30 – 45 seconds. As a power BB user I’d have to reboot several times a week, especially if I was using the ‘Super Apps’ (aka resource hogs) that RIM has been heavily pimping. I’ll *occasionally* reboot my Dinc now…once every couple of weeks. It’s not an issue when it’s a 30 second reboot…hell, I could reboot daily now and not care… 😉
For the BB diehards, and there are many, I do hope for your sake that RIM drops the eleventeen device styles, focuses on 2 – 4 and equips them with processors and memory to todays, neh, tomorrow’s standards…but don’t hold your breath. The number one indicator of future performance? Past performance.
Why in the world would you need 350 apps. I highly doubt you can run 30-50 apps at once on a droid phone without any consequence. I have a android phone(Samsung Captivate with a 1ghz processor) and running 10 in the background the battery starts to die. So either your grossly exaggerating or you have some super battery and proccessor that the rest of us dont.
Well then, upgrade to the Dinc or learn to plug your phone into a charger when at work like me… 😉
Again, I don’t need 350 apps any more than either of us need a smartphone…or a phone at all for that matter. Pretty sure if the asteroid hit tomorrow the few remaining would figure out how to make it without all of the perks. (And the rest? Well they’d become mulch for the rest of us….or a tasty snack if in a pinch.)
The point wasn’t that I needed 350 apps installed or that 30-50 running in background, but that I can if want to and I’m not constrained by $hit hardware like RIM puts out. (If you’re going to call someone a liar…and ‘grossly exaggerating’ is doing that by the way, do it to their face in real life…not on a forum where you come off looking like a chick$hit. Alternatively, I could call you a knuckle-dragging moron for not knowing how to properly manage battery life or a poor idiot for not being able to afford an extra battery, but I choose not to.)
90% of my time I can leave my phone on a charger so battery life is never an issue with me. But when I do have to go an extended period I bring a backup battery (they’re cheap) and do manage battery life by limiting location, wifi, etc services unless needed. It’s really not that hard to manage battery life and there are any numbers of free apps that do an excellent job of it….I should know…I’ve got 300 of them installed…. (READ: that was a *joke*)
Now lighten up…or I’ll have my Snapdragon bite your Hummingbird’s head off…. :p
Um…if Blackberry is such “$hit”, why do you hang on on a site that’s called “The Unofficial BlackBerry Weblog”? Blackberry fans could really care less about your Android fanboyism.
Yes, why aren’t you on an android site?
I agree. RIM disappoints once again. I am done with all this dissappointment. Get enough of that at work and don’t want it also at home on my free time with my smartphone. I too think it is time to move on. The search starts today to find a new device and OS. What will it be….?
The Torch is the BlackBerry RIM should have released two years ago. Its obsolete in ALL aspects of the hardware. Crappy low res small screen, ponderous CPU, annoyingly pitiful amount of RAM, how RIM releases this in 2010 and thinks it is even close to a superphone just shows how out of touch RIM is with the market. It will sell decent numbers for folks who’ve wanted a Storm all along but could deal with Verizon or the lack of physical keyboard, and corporate types locked to ATT and BES really have no other viable option. But I think it is clear that those who vote with their own money are clearly voting Android and iPhone.
So Robb, when are you going to change this site? Its barely about BlackBerry any more, let alone fitting of a name like “unofficial BlackBerry web log”.
This is true of everyone device RIM makes. If this is the best RIM can do, then they are done in less then 3 years.
I hear everything you are saying above. I think the sun is setting on BlackBerry as a dominant device. On the podcast you said you own the HTC Incredible, just give up on RIM and use the Incredible. Get over BBM put the device down and make a change.
I had 100 or so BBM friends and while it initially hurt the switch was the best thing I have done. The funny thing is 25% of my BBM friends are using iPhone, webOS, or Android now.
Listening to BB users cry about how RIM puts out crappy devices we continue to purchase is as bad as listening to cry baby Apple users complain about antenna issues, app approval, or censorship. Vote with your wallet and stop buying subpar crap
Get over it…grow a set…and switch. You already know it is the right thing to do, hence why you purchased the Incredible. I guess that mean you need another blog…what is the URL
All the best Robb have enjoyed RIMarkable for 5+ years now.
My new work pays for my phone, but I have to use a BlackBerry so I got this. It is actually pretty good for work stuff. The only thing that I don’t like is that I can’t use it as a hotspot to get my iPod Touch online like I could with my Palm Pre.
you are shorting RIMM that says everything
VESTED INTERESTS ???
The BB is primarily a business phone and is not really made to compete with other phones. BB users, just be thankful that RIM is attempting to make their product better. If anything just compare BB with the other business phones; not the entertainment types…..
Another reason is the “tinny” sound when speaking. Drove me nuts. I did like the keyboard and concept/idea, however it’s about two years behind…it’s very 2008. HW needs to step up, but I understand where RIM is coming from. Toss those snapdragon processors in these devices and watch battery life disappear real fast. My Incredible gets 1-2 charges per day.
I will, however, purchase the Pearl when it comes out on AT&T (Oct. 3). Something about that damn device that keeps me attached.
I agree as well. I bought the Torch on day 2 of the release. I figured their would be a new mind set for the Torch. 1 month later I hated it. It’s slow, unresponsive and a H U G E let down. Worst of all, too late to return to AT&T by days. I had to revert to my previous phone (BOLD) and fell back in love with it. If they had a faster processor equal or better to what the new market dictates, they might have had potential with device. And now I’m screwed $$$$$.
P.s. When I went to return it, not one kid working at the AT&T store had one on his hip and they get discounts as an employees. I asked a kid why he didn’t have one, he whispered “It sucks ASS!!” . Too funny!!
now i hate my blackberry, and here’s why
for years I have recommended and used Blackberry phones – but no longer.
last week I spent 2.5 hours in support updating software to .186, and reconfiguring everything
this week i don’t have java to read web material – and so now
verizonwireless wants me to spend more hours downgrading to .175 and then re-dating to .186, in order to get java
are you kidding me
do you think i have lots of free time to manage their unprofessional and disjointed upgrades
no wonder all my colleagues are using other phones and other carriers
my advice to all blackberry users – get out while you can
the upgrades for blackberry are b-a-d. not useful. take WAY too long to download. and they never work the first time
fire your software engineers!
I would like to say something about Blackberry 🙂 firstly RIM has excelled in holding up a potential market for corporates by launching BB..
The interface for emails is just amazing when compared to other phones in market.
Yes, the response time is too much and the device is a little slower when compared to iphone or droid. But the positive side is BB phones have got outstanding battery backup.
Upgrading the processor would obvoiusly affect the battery usage and considering this RIM has launched torch with 624 Mhz processor.
I don’t intend to favor BB since m using it, but BB is truly a business phone, and when it comes to business, u don’t need a large number of apps to be loaded onto your phone..
So its left to an individual’s choice.. Opt iphone or droid if you are a multimedia freak, but for the rest BB is the best choice 🙂
Hope this post helps..
I, too, returned my Torch and went back to my Bold 9700. I thought the Torch was too heavy, and I didn’t like the keyboard. The keys in the bottom left corner were impossible to get to easily. And as someone who is constantly typing in passwords, it was a pain in the butt. I was also under-whelmed at the screen and at the speed of the device. I went back to my 9700, and even installed the leaked OS 6 which made it lighting fast. And you can’t beat the keyboard on the 9700.
However, as for tethering, I did not have a problem setting mine up. I”m an AT&T customer, but I did not have a problem setting up free device tethering. It worked pretty much the same as when I set up the Bold 9700. So I’m not sure what issues you had. I don’t use Desktop Manager for tethering, but if you do, you just have to edit the “ipconfiguration.xml” file to make one minor change and you’d be all set.
Well I must say I arrived at the same decision and dropped ATT and Blackberry after 7 years of BB devices starting with the small text pager in 2003 all the way through the Bold 9000. I now use the MyTouch from TMobile, as I need simultaneous voice/data. The larger screen, color and resolution is a whole opened a whole new world.
THere are times I do miss some of the Enterprise integration features, but to tell the truth with Touchdown for Android, i get about 95% of the functionality I had with my Bold. (I do miss its speaker though!)
My biggest reasons for not even considering the Torch were; small screen, OS 6 was primitive compared to Android, lack of compelling third party apps, and the keyboard was too dinky compared to my old Bold 9000.
Hello there, to all. I have to agree that all blackberry’s that I have owned where slow. But this Torch does boot up faster than the 9700 for I have both. One is the wife’s and the torch is mine. I set back and compared them. I do admit the keyboard is better with the bold, than the torch, but I happen to like the screen. It’s the right size, and as they say it’s a business, corporate style phone and not an entertainment unit. But it does do that and I have had a few movies play really well. This phone isn’t as fast as the Iphone 4, or Sony Erricson Xperia 10… but I moved from the xperia 10 to the Iphone 4 and the both of them with the problem of moving to a crawl within 4 – 7 days easly. I have had this one and only had to reload it from factory because of a program that I bought…(Battery manager) and it drained my battery from full status at 10am to dead by 5pm and I wasn’t runing anything except it would push mail to it. But once I did the reload hadn’t had that problem since then. So I have to say I am impressed with it compaired to the Iphone 4 and Xperia 10 it is getting there, but just not at the high speed. But then again… why do you want it to be rushed and it would become a flop… look at “Windows Vista” and now they finally got Windows 7 and it’s great compaired to it. And that was supposed to be one that they would have called perfect… Well I appreciate all the you people reading this, just had to express my feeling. I still like the bold 9700, but the torch is growing on me, especially after the last few updates for the OS. It has better response and less responses. 🙂
The only reason i have a BB Torch is the keypad along with the touch screen and BBM! I hate typing on touchscreen but it’s better for gaming. But i text more then i play games. As soon as I-phone adds a keypad to their phones I’m sure everyone will be transferring. Don’t know why they’ve not done so already. Preferably a side slide like X1, N95. I’m sure apple have got the technology to make a keypad without thickening the phone. Especially with the keyboards they have with their computers. Get onto it apple, that’s all I’m waiting for. I’m sure the lack of a keypad is keeping the people that haven’t got an i-phone from getting 1.
I’m a developer who builds apps for bb devices. After 2years w/iPhone I got a torch so I could get more familiar w/the platform in hopes of improving the apps I’m writing. I’ve had mine a week and here are three reasons why I’m probably going to return it. 1) the Internet connection just disappears for no reason at random times on 3G and wifi. 2) strangely I liked mail on the iPhone much better. Gmail and outlook web access (owa) don’t keep read status and deleted messages in sync between the phone and server. And worst of all the exchange account on the phone pulls in all messages from all folders instead of just what’s in my inbox on my pc. This causes the message indicator count to be too high. Even tried the gmail app for blackberry but iPhone was still better. 3) either there just aren’t as many good game apps or the on phone app world is just bad at showing them too me. 4) bonus reason. Browsing the web on iPhone is just a better experience.
All in all I’d hoped this phone would have worked for me but as a developer dealing with the flaky network connectivity’s bad enough so I certainly don’t want o be dealing with it as a consumer too. The great keyboard just doesn’t make up for these issues so I’ll be going back to iPhone or trying the a droid.
I had the iPhone for 2 years and just couldn’t take it anymore. I switched to a blackberry curve 8900 (hand me down) and have never been happier. The iPhone is remarkable no doubt but I think entertainment and communication do not necessarily have to be squeezed together into an oversize touch screen device . The blackberry is first and foremost a communication tool. The fact that innovations in media and entertainment have been made is a bonus. It’s light, compact reliable and gets the job done. Also the touch screen keyboard thing just doesn’t work for me. Fast processors and large touch screens don’t imply that these devices are leaps and bounds ahead in technology. They are going in a different direction.
Torch is the worst BB that I have owned and I have had them since the early 90’s. Have taken one back to ATT to be replaced, new one has problems with the the operating system, losing contacts on laptop when sync. Drops calls regulary. You will hit the mute button on calls if your ear accidently hits it. Many others that have them have similar issues. I believe they jumped the gun on this model and will never catch up to the competitors models that are out there. I stand by the older BB’s as good solid machines but not the torch. they should be torched…
Many interesting comments about the Torch, I guess we all have our own opinions and expectations from a device. I have just bought my first BB, a Torch. I have always shied away from devices such as the iPhone and Torch etc, as I felt that they did not offer everything that I use my laptop for on a day to day basis. Having bought and spent a couple of weeks with my Torch I have to say that I am now fully converted! Yes the app’s available are somewhat lacking, but as previous posters have highlighted, the BB is aimed towards the business user and from what I have experienced so far it performs very well. The device may well be lacking all the bells and whistles that the likes of the iPhone app store has to offer, but what a fantastic little unit, small, reliable, deals well with MS exchange (if you set it up right) and even with a day’s heavy use, my Torch is still seeing me through the day without being tethered to a power outlet. Yes it could have offered more, but what it does offer, it seems to do well, again if set up right. I am guessing the this is very much like the MS vs MAC battle that has been ongoing for years or the newer XBox vs PS3. I think that to sum up, a user must think very clearly about what they expect from a device and do a little research before committing to such a purchase. Oh and in regards to the touch screen keyboard, I found it a complete nightmare for around a week or so, now however my one handed typing is on a par with my PC keyboard speed thanks to my torch learning as I go! As ever, different strokes for different folks I guess!!!
“The blackberry is first and foremost a communication tool.”
Did you or did you not read the part where she said she’s dropped multiple calls? A phone that drops multiple calls.
As for myself, I own a BB Torch 9800 & it started acting weird less than 3 months after I “upgraded” from a Curve. And you’re right (the poster of this blog) : I DID feel underwhelmed when this Torch was revealed to me at the AT&T store. The screen didn’t impress me, it looked low-rent for 2011 smartphone. But I dismissed my sensation. Long story short, the memory on my Torch seems to be shrinking, even though I constantly clear the memory, keep bookmarks to little or almost none, and close tabs. The phone struggles to have 2 pages open at once & keeps telling me the memory is low.
Web browsing is pretty lackluster. My Torch has been struggling even to play youtube videos (which I am TIRED of watching, btw. I want to stream movies like a regular smartphone owner in 2011). I wasn’t impressed with the apps I saw, and ironically the apps the salesperson showed me to impress me were free-shit apps I scoured the net & stumbled upon back when I had my Curve and was desperate to listen to some music or try to watch a movie. The apps were Slacker Radio & Pandora (I think). Free shit you find on the net that BB used to try to make thei app store look better. It was an upgrade so I took the Torch even though I saw the Android just next to it & wanted that but it was $149 & BB was $49. Next time I’ll pay the $ and get the better phone!
So I’m stuck with a BB torch for the next 2 years- stuck with a phone that was already outdated the day it was released. Meanwhile in the next 2 years Android & iPhone will be releasing new model after new model and Torch will be about 6 years behind in everything.
Also, the stupid keyboard people keep going on about can be reproduced by ANY of BB’s competitors at ANY time. Something as simple as a KEYBOARD? It can be replicated too easily if that’s one of BB’s main strengths. When I get the $ I’m getting a 2nd phone- an Android, let my contract expire then dump BB FOREVER. PEACE OUT BB!
I would send it back if only I could…
A change of corporate policy forced me to hand back an iPhone 4 and start using a new Torch. It has been three weeks, and I still feel like someone cut off one of my arms. Lockups occur about every other day, and it has frequent episodes of completely draining the battery in 90 minutes without being used.Screen lock does not lock the hard keys, so I hang up on several callers every day, just by pulling the phone out of my pocket. I also hit the mute key on the screen with my ear (which takes a number of key presses to recover from).
When a call comes in, I get a 4 second delay between pressing the answer key and getting a connection.
The bluetooth support is incomprehensible. Whether or not calls will be routed to the bluetooth (inbound our outbound) is just a crap shoot. No settings…
Like other posters, I find the Torch to be an under-powered, clumsy, ill-conceived imitation of a smartphone.
All of this is not to mention that things that used to be free (e.g. navigation and visual voicemail) now carry a monthly charge, and hence are not available.
So, to all of you cost-conscious CFOs out there, I have a question. Is it really worth $300/yr to stick employees with a business tool that they will cuss at 15 times a day???