BlackBerry Torch for AT&T Sports BlackBerry 6 OS with Revamped UI, Social Feeds, Better Browser

AT&T and RIM have just taken the wraps off the next-generation BlackBerry Torch, a slick slider that runs the new BlackBerry 6 operating system. Will this device be able to compete against the iPhone 4 and Samsung Captivate? Is is the best BlackBerry ever? Let’s walk through the features and specs. As most were expecting, the Torch has a new WebKit-based browser that supports tabbed browsing and pinch to zoom capability. The device sports a relatively small 3.2-inch display (480 x 360 pixels), a full keyboard and trackball, a 5-MP camera with flash, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.

Update: Check out our first hands-on impressions of the BlackBerry Torch.

The Torch goes on sale August 12th for $199. Read on for more details and specs, including the revamped interface and new social feeds app. We especially like that you can now charge apps to your AT&T bill. 

New BlackBerry 6 features include group messaging for up to 10 people, a social networking feed app that aggregates Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace, and a universal inbox that makes it easy to keep on top of multiple accounts. If you see a Facebook update in the feed, clicking on it launches the Facebook app. This reader also supports RSS feeds.

The BlackBerry 6 OS has a redesigned home screen with notification previews. It looks a little cleaner than Android but still somewhat busy. You can also view your favorite apps and people with a swipe to the right. You also get univseral search from the home screen, whether you’re looking for a person or for settings. Universal search searches all content on your device, as well as the Web. It’s also extensible to third parties. These include Slacker and YouTube.

The new media experience lets you view pictures by folder or by date, as well as sect multiple pictures at once. Also on the media front, the Torch comes pre-loaded with the PrimeTime2Go application for downloading TV shows, as well as a Media Sync app for getting your music, photos, and videos on the phone. There’s also a new podcast app and Wi-Fi Music Sync.

So what about apps? Well, for starters, you no longer have to use PayPal to purchase apps; there’s now an option for adding them to your AT&T bill. Apps take advantage of universal search. For example, you can search for an artist and then jump right into Slacker. RIM is also helping developers roll out ad-supported apps, which should help make BlackBerry App World more robust.

We’ll be bringing you our impressions of the Torch shortly, espeically its user interface, but in the meantime check out the full specs below.

BlackBerry Torch Specs

Touchscreen: 3.2″ High Resolution 480×360 pixel color display with slide-out QWERTY keyboard and optical trackpad
Web Browser: Full HTML tabbed browser for “PC-like” Web browsing with tabbed browsing for access to multiple web pages at the same time and pinch-to-zoom capability
Email and IM: BlackBerry Enterprise Servicer for corporate email, BlackBerry Internet Service for personal email, and Mobile Instant Messaging
Messaging: Next-generation messaging including group messaging for up to 10 people and locations
Social Networking: One view of all your favorite sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace
Operating System: BlackBerry 6 OS with integrated search and new UI
Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP Stereo
Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g/n and AT&T Hot Spots for Wi-Fi access at over 20,000 locations
3G: Broadband data speeds on the nation’s fastest 3G network
Camera: 5 MP autofocus flash camera with video and scenes
Music and Video: AT&T Music, AT&T Video Share, PrimeTime2Go video-on-demand application, YouTube podcast, video capture, playback and streaming, 3.5 mm headset jack
Media Sync: iTunes, Windows Media Player DRM-Free music, photos and videos on the go from your computer to your BlackBerry. Sync from your home computer music library to your BlackBerry wirelessly over Wi-Fi
Wireless Technology: UMTS: 2100/1900/850/800 MHz (Bands 1,2,5/6) GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850/900/1800/1900MHz
Memory: 512 MB RAM + 512 MB Flash + 4 GB Flash + 4 GB MicroSD
Dimensions / Weight: 161.1 g. (H X W X D) 111 x 62 x 14.6 mm
Battery: 1300 mAHr Lithium cell
Talk Time: GSM: 5.5 hrs UMTS: 5.8 hrs
Standby time: GSM: 17 days UMTS: 13 days

Mark Spoonauer
Mark Spoonauer
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.
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