BlackBerry Torch 9800 slider launches

Purists, look away now. RIM has just launched a brand-new BlackBerry with both a touch-screen and its trademark BlackBerry full QWERTY.


The Torch 9800 sounds like the best of both worlds of course - an undoubtedly perfect springy keyboard for typing those missives, with a 3.2-inch capacitive touch-screen for swipe-friendly web browsing and phone navigation.


It's also the first device to launch with the new, media-friendly BlackBerry OS 6, which features a new, fast WebKit browser - a la Palm Pre/Plus - that should quell those browser complaints abotu previous 'Berrys. The new OS also features customisable homescreens, supports multi-touch and has crisper visuals with new-look icons and graphics.


Onboard memory clocks in at 4GB, expandable via a microSD slot, with 512MB of RAM for multitasking. The processor is a respectable 624Mhz.


There's Wi-Fi, HSDPA and A-GPS support like the rest of the high-end BlackBerrys, but the five-megapixel camera is the best yet, with flash, auto-focus, and face recognition. Apparently there is no shutter lag, though that's something we'll certainly test when we get our hands on one.


No word on when the device will launch in the UK, but Vodafone has already announced plans to carry it.

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