The Blacker the Berry, the hotter the Torch

For an individual who spends as much time using technology as I do, I’m really something of a closet Luddite. My Luddism, however, manifests in odd, inconsistent ways. (Inconsistent to a casual observer, that is — my often oblique approach to things makes perfect sense here in Swanworld.)

I resisted owning a cellular phone for years. Part of my resistance stemmed from the fact that, as those of you who know me in meatspace are well aware, I despise talking on the phone. I rarely use the phones in the house or office, I reasoned, so why would I want to tote one around? Another part was that, being something of a lone wolf, being constantly connected to the rest of the world by a mobile device rankled me more than a little.

At long last, as my family’s needs for contact evolved, I surrendered to the inevitable and purchased an inexpensive phone that could be loaded with usage minutes as I needed them. The device didn’t do anything except make and receive the occasional call or text message — and I’d owned it for years before I sent my first text — which suited me just fine.

With the most recent alterations in my life, however, I’ve rethought a lot of long-held practices. Among these: my cell phone. More and more frequently, I find myself in situations where an Internet-enabled mobile device would come in mighty handy. Plus, with The Daughter heading back to college in a week — and with our primary means of communication over that distance being text messaging — I wanted something with which I could generate a text more quickly (and less fumble-fingeredly) than I can on the numeric keypad of my Motorola handset.

In addition, as my career has changed focus, I’ve been paying an unseemly amount every month for a business phone line that I rarely use. (Everything is e-mail and file transfer these days.) Those funds could be redirected toward upgrading my mobile communications experience.

It was time to buy a smartphone.

Yesterday afternoon, with The Daughter along as my technical adviser, I ventured out into the harsh, unfeeling world of wireless merchandising and came home with this… the BlackBerry Torch 9800.

I'm picking BlackBerrys... who's with me?

We spent the better part of an hour fiddling with the floor models of the various smartphones affiliated with AT&T. (Before you AT&T Wireless haters wax all self-righteous on me, I had significant logistical reasons for going with that provider. Don’t shoot the messenger.) The Daughter liked the Apple iPhone 4, and with good reason — it’s a beautiful device which appeared, based on my limited exposure, to function like a dream. But the iPhone posed one serious hurdle for me — its thin frame and glass faceplate looked and felt fragile in my chubby fist. It’s also a bit too lengthy to fit comfortably in a pocket.

BlackBerry’s newest innovation, while lacking some of the dash and flash of the iPhone (though we all know how Steve Jobs really feels about Flash), had a thickness and heft that felt more solid — and less breakable — to clumsy me. Its grippy rubberized backplate clung to my palm as though tailored to fit it. I also was entranced with the Torch’s slide-out QWERTY keyboard, which elegantly alleviates my ineptitude with multitap texting. And, although the Torch’s touchscreen — a BlackBerry first — may lag somewhat in performance when compared with the zippy-slick iPhone, to my aging eyes it’s slightly less glare-inducing than the iPhone’s mirror finish, and the Torch’s plastic face simply feels more forgiving to my fingers than the iPhone’s glass.

I’m well aware that the techies are less than impressed these days with Research in Motion’s product line, including the somewhat tepidly reviewed Torch. But I’m not trying to impress anyone. I just want to be able to surf the ‘Net wherever I am at any hour of the day, swap text messages with my outbound offspring, keep up with my friends on the various social networks, check and respond to my e-mail, and maybe even call the local pizza joint with an order once in a while. Based on the last 24 hours’ exploration, my new BlackBerry torch will do all of that just fine.

Besides which, I have it on excellent authority that Facebooking from the porcelain throne is wicked cool.

I can hardly wait.

Explore posts in the same categories: Aimless Riffing, My Home Town, SwanStuff, That's Cool!, Weird Science, Wonderful World of Advertising

One Comment on “The Blacker the Berry, the hotter the Torch”

  1. Shelli Says:

    I love my Blackberry. It’s not a Torch, but I love it just the same. When I get a new something someday, it will likely be a Blackberry of one sort or another. Damn the iPhoners.

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