The BlackBerry Torch sold surprisingly well given the lukewarm critical feedback it received, and showed the public still hankers after a decent touchscreen/physical keyboard combo.
So when we heard of a sequel, we were excited to see if this would deliver a decent experience to go with the popular form factor - and we've been presented with the BlackBerry Torch 9810.
The first thing you'll notice is, well, there's not much difference between it and the first iteration. We're talking the same 14.6mm depth 161g weight and the same 3.2-inch screen.
The screen is actually one of two main changes - the resolution has been upped to an acceptable 480x640 pixel count (although we're waiting on official confirmation that it's not actually WVGA 800x480) which is a big improvement over the old HVGA offering we were subjected to last year.
However, in reality it's hard to really notice a difference unless you've spent the last year being forced to use the lower-resolution offering - the new resolution merely brings the Torch 9810 up to speed with the rest of the market, and still puts it a step behind the likes of the iPhone and Galaxy S2 when it comes to picture quality.
The picture quality is definitely improved though when it comes to looking at websites or using the Torch 9810 for movie playback - it's just lacking the wow-factor we were so hoping to see.
The other big change is the 1.2GHz processor, which launches at the same time as BB OS 7 which needs the higher processing power. This is another step forward for RIM, but not much of one if we're honest.
It certainly addresses a big issue, namely the slowdown under the finger we intermittently encountered with the original Torch, which should improve the perception of the next-gen Torch for new users, but it's the least we expect from phones these days.
We were impressed with the upgraded notifications bar at the top of the phone - it takes cues from Android (and now Apple) to give you easy access to things you need to be alerted to, such as missed calls and new messages from all over.
If it seems we've been a little harsh on the new Torch 9810 so far, then it should be noted the core BlackBerry functions are all still present and better than ever - it's just the lack of evolution we're not happy with.
The new BlackBerry Messenger unfortunately wasn't set up for us to try out, which was annoying but we'll definitely give it a good going over in our full BlackBerry Torch 9810 review.
The keyboard on the Torch 9810 was as good as the original - in fact almost identical in our eyes. That's no bad thing at all, given the first was a great effort already, but it doesn't offer the same optimum key spacing as the Bold 9900.
The 5MP camera was of similar quality to the last iteration as well (are you sensing a 'very similar to the old hardware' theme here?) - we'll be looking for some more in-depth comparisons as soon as we get our hands on the new hardware - but the shutter speed did seem faster in our quick snaps, likely down to the improved amount of RAM on offer.
The interface, as we mentioned, seems very similar indeed to the original BB OS 6 - not too much of a step up on our initial look, although in many cases a move forward like this can often be hidden under the hood.
The icons are more aesthetically pleasing, giving the UI a more polished feel, and as we mentioned before, flicking through the screens was a swift experience thanks to the 'Liquid Graphics' RIM is touting as the next generation of graphical power in its phones.
Another point RIM's UK MD Stephen Bates was keen to ram home to TechRadar was the improved web browser on board - and it's definitely an improvement, making full use of the WebKit framework it gained from buying the Torch browser company a couple of years ago.
But while the speed was improved, we saw no sign of the 'class-leading' performance touted by the Canadian brand - it was merely adequate, and Flash-heavy sites definitely took longer to load than on an Android device, for instance.
Why RIM decided against Flash compatibility on its phones when it's making such a song and dance about it on the PlayBook tablet, we don't know - but Bates was noticeably evasive when faced with the question so we can only assume it's not a very positive reason the firm decided against popping the ability in there.
The integrated inbox was as decent as ever, with Twitter and Facebook and SMS and all other kinds of communication available in the same space - slick and swift as ever.
And the music player was another area where the improved graphical processing was apparent, as flicking through the album covers to change songs was nice and quick with no hint of slowdown - again, we were thwarted in our attempts to check out the sound quality fully, but rest assured such tests are imminent.
We don't like to kick a company when it's down, but we have to say we're really unimpressed with the new BlackBerry Torch 9810.
RIM so, so desperately needs a phone that completely changes the way consumers think about the company - and the Torch 9810 is definitely not that.
It's the same phone as last year with an improved screen, more grunt under the hood and a tweaked OS - which sounds a bit like the iPhone 3G to 3GS move, and that was the most underwhelming from Apple yet.
We were really hoping for a super-thin, gorgeously designed Torch 2, with a slimline keyboard and larger screen complete with an overhauled UI again - but it's more of the same here.
RIM is, laudably, catering for its core users first and foremost - if you're a BlackBerry fan there's a lot of synergy here with the older iterations of the phones.
We'll await our full BlackBerry Torch 9810 review before giving your our definitive verdict, but we don't think there's a lot here to get too excited about at the moment.