BlackBerry Torch 9850/9860 All Touch hands-on

We don't want to say it, but the new All Touch is basically the Storm with a different name. BlackBerry have clearly been careful to ditch the Storm tag in order to distance themselves from the mistakes of the original. The handset definitely looks and feels much better, but a BlackBerry without a QWERTY feels like a Storm to us.

The phone is definitely nice to hold, being relatively compact at 120 x 62 x 11.5mm. The rubber backing is a bonus, feeling surprisingly high grade; so too is the graphite coloured wraparound that sits on the top and bottom of the handset.

The highlight, however, is the high-res 3.7-inch display, which is bright and very, very sharp. It makes a nice change to BlackBerry's often muddy-looking screens. Colours were particularly vivid and the viewing angles excellent.

Inside is 4GB of internal memory, which can go all the way up to 36GB with a MicroSD expansion slot. There is also a 1.2GHz processor and the same 768MB of RAM found in all of the BlackBerry 7 launch handsets.

This means the UI is snappy and responsive, but particularly nice to use on the All Touch thanks to the bigger screen.

On the back of the handset is a 5-megapixel HD camera, which includes image stabilisation and scene modes. Like the new Bold launched today, it is a surprisingly good snapper, although without seeing images on a bigger screen it is difficult to tell. 

Of the five handsets announced by RIM this morning the All Touch is the one which we are most interested in, but also the one which worries us the most. From our brief time with the handset it definitely has the power and capability to bring BlackBerry into the screen-only phone market but without time spent with BlackBerry 7, it is impossible to tell.