BlackBerry Bold 9900 vs Samsung Galaxy S2

Vs Paul Briden 17:22, 6 May 2011

We send the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 out to fight the Samsung Galaxy S2

We take a look at RIM’s latest and greatest BlackBerry handset, the BlackBerry Bold 9900, to see how it stacks up against the mighty Samsung Galaxy S2.

Form:

Samsung Galaxy S2 – 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm, 116 g

BlackBerry Bold 9900 – 115 x 66 x 10.5 mm, 130 g

The Samsung’s looks are modern, sleek and nicely proportioned with angular corners and long lines. It’s also razor thin and weighs barely anything.

Contrast that with the Bold which looks squashed, rounded and frankly unattractive, the proportions do not compliment it well and it’s pretty heavy in the hand.

The Qwerty keyboard is nice to have but when it takes up so much room and shoves the touchscreen up into the top quarter of the device it does not make a pretty picture.

The Galaxy S2’s build quality might have been sacrificed slightly over its predecessor in favour of a thinner and more lightweight plastic body but it’s so much better looking than the BlackBerry this is easy to forgive.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S2

Display:

Samsung has fitted the Galaxy S2 with its own Super Amoled Plus capacitive touchscreens, the Galaxy S2 uses a 4.3-inch screen at 480 x 800 pixels at 218 dots-per-inch (dpi), while the display is made from reinforced ‘Gorilla Glass’ to keep it free from scratches and cracks.

The Galaxy S2 comes preloaded with the TouchWiz 4.0 user interface (UI) and features multi-touch input plus accelerometer and gyro sensors.

The BlackBerry’s screen is quite minute by comparison at 2.3-inches, it’s a TFT ‘Liquid Graphics’ capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels at 287dpi.

The Bold comes with an optical track pad and features an accelerometer sensor.

Both screens have excellent picture quality, the screen size of the Samsung is much more satisfactory and the resolution is higher which are both major plus points.

Although the dpi of the BlackBerry ranks up better and does indeed provide excellent clarity and sharpness, it doesn’t exceed the Samsung greatly thanks to the enhancements of the Super Amoled Plus technology, which gives great colour depth and brightness as well as better power efficiency.

Overall in this category we favour the Samsung.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S2

Storage:

Memory on the Bold is ample with a whole 8 GB to play with while the processor is backed up by 768 MB of RAM. Micro SD cards are of course supported up to 32 GB.

However, as good as the BlackBerry is on storage it pales in comparison to the Samsung with options for 16 or 32 GB internal storage capacity and
More is better and the Samsung delivers on storage in both key areas.

Winner – Samsung Galaxy S2

Operating System:

We actually quite like what we’ve seen so far of BlackBerry OS 7, it might not be our first choice but we can’t find anything too huge to fault it on.

The basic presentation and interface is much the same as version 6.0 but that’s really where the similarities end, responsiveness and performance are improved, particularly with the Bold’s beefy power plant churning away at it.

The web browser has been updated and is a much quicker animal, now with pinch zooming controls too, it also features a new voice-activated search which is all very Star Trek, but we don’t know how useful or, indeed, usable this will be in reality for us normal people.

More importantly, there’s now a BlackBerry tailored JavaScript compiler with HTML5 support as well as overall improved Flash support – all great news.

Integrated support for both NFC remote payment technology and HD video capture are two new features which we find to be ‘meh’ and welcome additions respectively.

Meanwhile, a new BlackBerry Balance suite is included and is designed to help you separate stored data into distinct and handy ‘personal’ and ‘business’ spheres.

The Samsung uses good old Android Gingerbread 2.3, the most up-to-date Android system for smartphones.

We like Gingerbread because it makes what was previously quite a frustrating operating system much, much easier to use.

For a start the updated touch keyboard runs like a dream, it’s much smoother and far more responsive than previous versions meaning browsing and texting can be undertaken without any howling and gnashing of teeth.

Overall the interface has been streamlined and performance enhanced, making it much quicker and more satisfying to navigate around.

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