Mobile & Wireless Slideshow: BlackBerry Torch: 10 Fast Facts for CIOs

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 08-12-2010

BlackBerry Torch: 10 Fast Facts for CIOs

Go SocialA new social feature in BlackBerry OS 6 allows users to view all their social networks in one place. Users can update those networks from the smartphone. Considering the potential security issues surrounding social networks, like phishing scams and hack attempts, you might want to think twice about the Torch if the right safeguards aren't in place.

BlackBerry Torch: 10 Fast Facts for CIOs

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Enhanced BrowsingThanks to its acquisition of Torch Mobile, RIM has vastly improved its browser. The software allows for tabbed browsing and improved page views. If your employees rely on smartphone Web access each day, the Torch's browser could be a major selling point.

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Improved SearchThe universal search feature of BlackBerry OS 6 lets users hunt for everything, including e-mail, the Web, or documents, from the software's home page. The feature is already available in Apple's iOS, so it's nice to see it finally come to RIM's OS. Most users save all kinds of information on their BlackBerry devices, and trying to find specific documents in BlackBerry OS 5 can be difficult, to say the least.

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A Sort of Different LookRIM attempts to make its user interface aesthetic more iPhone-like without sacrificing the familiar BlackBerry quality of service. The UI is something you'll want to test before you allow your employees to use it. The last thing you need is for productivity to slip.

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Same Old, Same OldNeed a device that is more user friendly than previous versions of RIM's mobile operating system? Then it might be time to switch to iOS or Android OS. BlackBerry OS 6 provides the same basic functionality of its predecessor. If you like that idea, then the Torch is for you.

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What's New? Not So MuchThere isn't much new to the BlackBerry Torch's device design. It comes with a slide-out keyboard, but other than that, it's a BlackBerry with a touchscreen. If you're hoping for something more iPhone-like, move along.

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It's Only On AT&TIf your mobile workforce is dispersed among several carriers, this is a hurdle. Plus, AT&T already offers the BlackBerry Bold and the iPhone. Add to this the allegation among some reviewers that AT&T has sub-par service, and you may want to wait until a version of Torch is offered by another carrier.

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IT Will Feel At HomeYour IT staff should feel right at home using the BlackBerry Torch. RIM spent considerable time making sure that its updated hardware and software would offer the same level of usability to IT staff as preceding products. If you're worried about control and how well your IT staff will be able to use the Torch, put your mind at ease -- it's the same old BlackBerry your team knows all too well.

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Competitive PricingObviously feeling pressure from the iPhone and the Droid X, RIM is delivering the Torch for just $199. It's a price point that puts the BlackBerry on an even playing field with the iPhone and other major smartphones. Depending on how invested your company is in RIM's services, including BlackBerry Enterprise Server, price could be a deciding factor for you.

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Specs Are SuspectOverall, the specs in the BlackBerry Torch leave much to be desired. The device boasts a 624MHz processor -- much slower than the 1Ghz version available in the Droid X -- as well as a small, 3.2-inch, 480 x 360 display. Those who don't mind small screens and slow speeds will be fine with the Torch, but if you want your employees to have a robust experience, the Torch isn't your best option.

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