The first previews of the Blackberry Torch have landed and, as expected, present a mixed picture with a sense of déjà-vu blended with a feeling of could-have-been-better.
Fortune's Seth Weintraub goes for the jugular saying by saying that the phone "is an evolution of the Blackberry in a revolutionary smartphone era", in other words, that it is not evolving fast enough in a fast-changing environment. He points to the list of new features that AT&T and RIM have announced before asking which of them is something new OR exciting. He ended by saying that although the phone will sell very well, it won't capture any new consumers and merely "solidifies BlackBerry's decline from the top of the US smartphone heap".
Meanwhile, Boygeniusreport, which was the first one to uncover the AT&T Torch page, applauds RIM for having a very solid piece of kit with a top notch sliding mechanism. BGR however criticises the fact that features seem to have been added to Blackberry OS 6.0 without much thought about the potential ramifications and impact on performance.
Computerworld's Barbara Krasnoff is a tad more optimist saying that the Torch 9800 could be the ideal smartphone for business users who want something lightweight and practical but which brings in more multimedia and apps elements. She believes that the Torch will "offer enough flexibility and ease-of-use to keep most BlackBerry users from leaving the fold".