BlackBerry OS 6 and the New Torch - The UpStream

BlackBerry OS 6 and the New Torch

posted Sunday Aug 8, 2010 by Scott Ertz

BlackBerry OS 6 and the New Torch

BlackBerry, as expected, fully revealed the newest version of their operating system, BlackBerry OS 6, and it has given the OS a much-needed overhaul. They have removed the traditional home screen and sprawling applications list with a simple, clean home screen and categorized application menus.

They also announced a new device to go with the launch of OS 6, the Torch 9800. The Torch will be available on AT&T starting August 12 and many have called it BlackBerry's first possible iPhone killer. While I would prefer that term to die (and it might now that Android has officially killed it), this might be BlackBerry's best chance to continue that trend.

For details on the new device, hit the break.

The Torch sports a 3.2" capacitive touchscreen, as opposed to the pressure screens that the Storm series has used. It also has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard that reminds me very much of the Palm Pre in size, shape and material. The general look, in fact, appears to have borrowed many design elements from Palm.

A pretty nice cameras has been included, measuring at 5MP. The device also supports video recording, but somehow with the sensor the camera has, the video only records at VGA-resolution, far below standards in the industry. Another standard that seem to have been missed is the processor. It only has 624MHz powering it, which is just above the HTC Hero and far behind the HTC Evo, the Samsung Galaxy S series or the iPhone 4.

In addition to design elements, the OS seems to have been Palm-inspired as well. The new app menus feel a lot like the screens of WebOS, except these have category titles and the WebOS ones are kind of whatever wherever. The media player has been incredibly improved, with the addition of a coverflow-type interface for music and presumably video also.

Will the BlackBerry Torch 9800 and BlackBerry OS 6 be enough to keep BlackBerry at the top of the smartphone market or is this too little too late? Let us know in the comments below.

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