Before the official event starts I’m to be honest with all the readers who check out Technobuffalo. I am an Apple user and strong proponent of Apple products. I own a Macbook Pro, iMac and iPhone, the first two more for editing capabilities then anything. Now you may say to yourself what does this guy know about Blackberry he just admitted he’s an apple fan boy? The world of technology is just too big to be closed minded to the fact that there are great products out there that don’t have an Apple brand name. All electronics have issues and we all go through the good and the bad with our devices. Today I am excited to be able to attend my first “Reveal” thanks to Jon and Sean here at Technobuffalo.

BlackBerry Torch EventRight now I’m sitting on the Amtrak Acela train at 8:55AM heading to New York to attend the well-publicized event. According to the rumor sites Blackberry/RIM has gotten approval for a mysterious device. Now being referred to as the 9800 Torch. Will it be the new device that is announced today possibly with a new OS? Ever since the new OS was leaked I have been very intrigued with what else RIM has to offer. I do have coworkers that strictly use Blackberry and the Email client is amazing. As far as the other features, which I won’t bore you with, are both good and bad just like any other OS. The hardware in the past always seems to look the same, as it’s previous generation. The staple in the design is the full QWERTY keyboard with the standard screen. A few designs that did break the trend were the Storm and Pearl design. The pearl looked similar but was a much smaller with the looks to be geared towards the casual user. The storm broke the mold completely and brought the full screen with touch screen. Blackberry actually ditched the keyboard all together. Many tried it and were really satisfied but still missed that physical keyboard. What is in store for the event today? We shall see.

After a nice walk through the streets of New York City, which I love to do, I am currently sitting in the conference room with a large number of people and the music is going. This being my first event I asked a few people their impressions of the crowd and I did learn this is probably the largest crowd Blackberry has ever had. As the event started the crowd gave a pleasant applause but nothing like
the “other events” seems to get. Not being there I can’t honestly tell you the difference, but most of the people here very quiet and reserved. Only the bloggers seemed to be interested in seeing the device when it was introduced. No wild applause or screams. A much more subdued dare I saw business like group? Needless to say the device looks nice, it’s just like the pictures leaked a while ago on the interwebs.

The main focus of the event was how Blackberry/RIM and AT&T teamed up to bring you a totally different experience from the standard OS. I must say I am surprised with how nice the over all OS and hardware look. I was lucky enough to be sitting next to a gentleman that leaned over to me about 1/2 way through and whispered… “Would you like to just start trying it out now?” To my surprised this nameless gentleman handed me the new phone. I politely whispered thank you and asked if I could take pictures and try to break it? He shook his head and off I went.

At this point how could I even bother listen to what they were saying? I had what I came here for right in my hands. My first impressions were how light the phone was how good it felt in the hands. The phone is actually heavier then the iPhone by 30 Grams coming in at 161 grams. The slider at first was something to be desired since it felt weird to place my thumb on the screen to slide it back down, with one hand of course. I was easily about to scroll through the device and look at the apps.

BlackBerry Torch Vs iPhone 4

The main page shows one line of apps, but you have the option to pull an arrow up on the bottom of the screen to reveal the full menu? It immediately reminded me of the Android slip up menu and that is something I feel makes the phone look too cluttered and too many places to go to find apps along with moving the menu to the left and right.

Many of new apps that will complete with popular apps today include an App World, Music player, and an App to update your social network sites all at once, along with many other features. I took a few pictures of the phone next to the phone and it is smaller closed. However, I did notice the iPhone screen blew it away as the Torch is only a 3.2” 480×360 pixel color display. I’m not sure what happened here, I would have expected something a lot more advanced to compete wit the super displays of today.

After the event was over I did speak with a couple AT&T reps and a little off topic but it was really nice to hear how much they respect Jon. It was really comforting knowing that the people you work with in the industry are so well respected.

Overall the event was pretty successful in my opinion. I feel the Blackberry faithful will enjoy this new device, however I’m not sure if any other customers will be switching over to this phone based on some of the specs of the phone. You won’t have to wait too long the phone is available on August 12th for $199 with a 2 year contract and data plan with AT&T. Much more on this device soon and hopefully some comparisons, if Jon gets the phone to review so we can see the differences.

I really enjoyed this experience and I hope I did a good enough job that all the readers were able to get an idea of how the event was. I want to thank Jon for the opportunity and Sean for helping me out over the past few days to get ready for the event. Thanks for stopping by and stick around for more on this story. C-YA!!

Michael Panetta has been doing YouTube reviews for about 2 years now. He also works with David Ciccone on doing a podcast.  He has started a channel itsmemoprhious called TheTechQuorum.  He’ll be graduating college this year with a BBA in marketing.  He has been an avid tech enthusiast for many years.

BlackBerry Torch Profile