RIM has officially launched the BlackBerry Torch 9800 (previously referred to as the BlackBerry Bold 9800), their very first smartphone slider.

BlackBerry Torch 9800

This baby sports a 3.2-inch 320x480 capacitive touhscreen, 5-megapixel AF camera with flash, WiFi (b/g/n), Bluetooth 2.1, GPS, tri-band HSDPA/quad-band EDGE, optical trackpad, 4GB internal memory with a microSD card slot for additional storage (up to 32GB, bundled with 4GB microSD card), 3.5mm jack, and runs on a 624MHz processor complemented by 512MB Flash memory. The BlackBerry Torch also debuts RIM new BlackBerry 6 platform. True to previous reports, the Torch 9800 will be available on AT&T in the US priced at $199.99 on a 2-year contract with a qualified rate and smartphone data plan. You can read the full press release here.

Here's a hands-on video of the BlackBerry Torch 9800 courtesy of Engadget:

As for Canada, Telus, Rogers, Virgin Mobile, and Bell have all reportedly expressed their intent on offering the BlackBerry Torch 9800 soon though they didn’t go as far as to mention a specific launch date.

With regards to the new BlackBerry 6 operating system, RIM announced that, pending carrier certification, an appropriate update will be made available for the BlackBerry Bold 9700, Bold 9650, and BlackBerry Pearl 3G in the coming months. We’ve already touched on its new webKit browser in a previous post, and now, we've also learned that it comes with social network aggregation, universal search, and WiFi media syncing capabilities as well. Here's a teaser video of BlackBerry 6 to whet your appetite:

So, is it now at par with Android and other modern mobile operating systems? We’re certainly hoping so, but I guess only time will tell if they’ve managed to successfully overhaul their aging BlackBerry OS to present day standards.