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BlackBerry Torch: BlackBerry 9800, aka BlackBerry Slider, Announced by RIM

Move over Apple, HTC, Google, Nokia, Palm (man, this market is getting crowded): RIM is bringing a new BlackBerry to market.

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Research in Motion (RIM) announced the BlackBerry Torch–also known as the BlackBerry 9800 and BlackBerry’s first slider phone–at a press conference today.


Probably the biggest point with the Torch is its design. Photos depicting some Frankenstein-esque BlackBerry portrait slider with a touchscreen and QWERTY keypad leaked months ago, and those pics turned out to be dead-on. The Torch sports a 3.2-inch, 480-by-360 touchscreen. A keypad similar to the Bold’s slides out in portrait mode, making this thing a monster of a phone (when opened, it’s longer than a Droid X).

On the inside, the main talking point has to be BlackBerry 6, formerly called BlackBerry OS 6. RIM’s been teasing the hell out of this thing, and it makes its debut here on the Torch (the OS will later come to the most recent Bold iterations, as well as the new Pearl 3G). The OS sports a WebKit-based browser, universal search and other features that aim to catch up and pass by competition from iOS, Android and other mobile operating systems.

Other specs include a five-megapixel camera, 4 GB of onboard memory, 512 MB of RAM and ROM and a 4 GB microSD card for additional, swappable storage.

The Torch launches on AT&T on August 12 for $199.990 on a new two-year contract.

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