RIM Blackberry Torch 9800 On Preorder For £479.99

The new Blackberry handset, the Torch 9800, has arrived on preorder at Play.com for £480 including delivery. The online retailer expects it to go on sale as early as the 18th of October 2010, roughly the same time frame when the Nokia N8 is expected.

Amazon however says that the Torch 9800 - which comes with a SRP of £499.99 - will be available from the 4th of October.

The phone is RIM's first touchscreen device with a proper QWERTY keyboard. Apart from the rather slow 624MHz ARM-based processor, it comes with 4.5GB onboard storage with a microSD card, a 3.2-inch 360x480 pixels capacitive touchscreen, an optical trackpad and a 5-megapixel camera with AF, flash and VGA recording.

Other features include Wi-Fi, GPS, a stereo headphones jack, Blackberry OS 6 and a 1300mAh battery that promises 348 minutes worth of talktime and up to 30 hours of audio playback.

The phone has already reached the top 20 smartphone list at Amazon where it comes ahead of the HTC Desire Z, the other much-awaited smartphone with a full QWERTY keyboard which costs a mere £430.

The latter comes with a bigger screen, a significantly more powerful processor and superior specifications as well but runs on Android OS 2.2 rather than BOS 6.0.