Samsung Galaxy S2 vs BlackBerry Torch 9800

Vs Tony Crammond 14:37, 10 May 2011

Samsung's latest smartphone, the Galaxy S2, has been making the headlines for all the right reasons but how does this new, super-smart device fare against BlackBerry's ever-popular touchscreen messenger, the Torch 9800?

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 was RIM's first real effort to engage touchscreen smartphone fans, and the device has done a pretty good job of showing the public that BlackBerry's are more than just a business tool.

But the market is a fluid and ever evolving beast, as the recent release of Samsung's new Android behemoth, the Galaxy S2 has proven, and we thought we'd put the two devices through their paces to see if the Torch 9800 could hold its own as ably against the new breed of devices.

Display
Samsung's Galaxy S2 boasts a 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display which operates at a resolution of 480x800 pixels and offers more sub-pixels than anything else on the market, which makes for an amazingly clear and sharp viewing experience, but that's not all it has to offer.

The Super AMOLED Plus also uses 18 percent less power than the first-generation AMOLED displays (which were more efficient than LCD screens themselves) and also offer greatly improved viewing angles and improved sunlight legibility.

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 offers a nice, if not slightly simplistic 3.2-inch capacitive TFT screen which displays 360 x 480. Though it won't win any contests, the display on the BlackBerry Torch is good, and perfectly responsive for the job its intended.

Winner - Samsung Galaxy S2

Power
RIM's BlackBerry Torch 9800 offers up a fair slice of power in the form of a 624MHz CPU and 512MB RAM, which chew through tasks on the BlackBerry OS pretty speedily, though the odd bit of lag and slowdown has been reported by Torch users.

Conversely, the Samsung Galaxy S2 comes packed with more power than your average netbook, weighing-in with a dual-core 1.2GHz CPU, dedicated Mali-400MP GPU and 1GB RAM, making the device fly along at breakneck speed. Slowdown, lag and stutter are words that don't feature in the Galaxy S2's lexicon, so if you're an impatient user who demands everything 'NOW!' you'll be well catered for.

Winner - Samsung Galaxy S2

Optics
The Samsung Galaxy S2 boasts an 8-megapixel primary camera with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, touch-focus, image stabilisation and face and smile detection, capable of capturing video at 1080P. Performance-wise the Galaxy S2 is quite impressive and while it won't stand-up to devices like Nokia's N8 in the camera-stakes, it does hold its own ably.

If you're in need of a device for video-calling the Galaxy S2 has that covered too, in the form of a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, which you can also use for still images (or doing your mascara).

The BlackBerry Torch 9800 comes fitted with a 5-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash, geo-tagging, continuous auto-focus and image stabilisation which is streets ahead of most other offerings by the Canadian company.

In fact, the Torch performs pretty well in good light and should be more than enough for more casual snappers, but on pixel count and features alone it loses out to the Samsung.

Winner - Samsung Galaxy S2

Software
RIM's BlackBerry Torch 9800 runs on version 6.0 of the company's popular BlackBerry OS, which includes a fair few nice features, such as Universal Search, social feeds and the improved webkit browser with tabs. You can also download apps for the device from the BlackBerry  App World.

The Galaxy S2 runs on the ever popular Android OS, version 2.3.4 to be precise, and the platform runs super-smoothly on the powerful device. You've got access to the Android Market for all your app needs and the software is also overlaid with Samsung's own TouchWiz 4.0 UI, for those that like a little bit of custom eye-candy.

While both operating systems are nice, the Galaxy S2 and its Android platform represent the most modern, user-friendly experience and the wealth of free apps available in the Android Market make it a shoo-in for this round.

Winner - Samsung Galaxy S2

Build
BlackBerry Torch 9800 - 111 x 62 x 14.6 mm, 161g
Samsung Galaxy S2 - 125.3 x 66.1 x 8.5 mm, 116g
Samsung's Galaxy S2 is a great looking device. It's light, sleek and implausibly thin but the lack of metal or premium materials may put some users off.

We love the light weight but, again, the lack of something more substantial in the pocket may make some people feel uncomfortable, so whether this device appeals is a very personal thing. That aside, the device is well constructed and feels solid, with no creaks emanating from the rather flimsy back-panel.

The Torch 9800 is a typical BlackBerry. The device is solid, durable and feels premium. The sliding mechanism that reveals the top quality hardware QWERTY is smooth and the weight of the device is reassuring without being too heavy.

This round may be chalked down to personal opinion but the BlackBerry walks it in our view.

Winner - BlackBerry Torch 9800

Samsung's Galaxy S2 has proven its credentials once again, with a convincing victory over the BlackBerry Torch 9800.

It may not have been a terribly fair comparison though, as there isn't another device on the market that can hold its own against the Galaxy S2 at the moment.

But all that may change with the impending release of the HTC Sensation. But that's a whole different comparison for another day!

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