Blackberry Torch 9800 vs. HTC Wildfire – Review

by Jerry D on August 17, 2010

If the Blackberry Torch doesn’t trouble the big boys in the smartphone market, then how does it fare against smaller, cut-down, mid-range handsets like the HTC Wildfire? Good question and one that will be answered below when RIM’s 9800 model steps into the ring with HTC’s mini Desire…

blackberry torch vs wildfire Blackberry Torch 9800 vs. HTC Wildfire   Review

Connectivity:

The Blackberry Torch 9800 is a 3G phone with added 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP. HTC has stuffed the Wildfire with 3G/HSDPA (7.2 Mbps), two flavours of 802.11 (b and g), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP. The Torch and its superior wireless coverage takes the early point. (1-0)

Size & Weight:

The Torch measures 111.0 x 62.0 x 14.6mm, while the HTC Wildfire is 106.8 x 60.4 x 12.0mm. RIM’s phone is the lengthier of the two by a margin of 4.2mm. Weighing 118g, the Wildfire is a whopping 43g lighter than the Torch, which weighs a pocket-bulging 161g. (1-1)

dyerware


Camera:

What about imaging and video? The Blackberry Torch 9800′s 5.0 MP lens features an array of goodies such as: auto-focus, image stabilization, an LED flash, 2x digital zoom and VGA video capture. The HTC Wildfire matches its opponent with a 5.0 Megapixel camera of its own, as well as autofocus, LED flash, smile detection, geo-tagging and video recording. (1-1)

Screen/keyboard:

The design of RIM’s newest Blackberry features a decent 3.2-inch touch-sensitive LCD screen, with a resolution of 360 by 480 pixels. RIM has paired this screen with a good, extremely usable QWERTY keyboard that slides out from the chassis. The Wildfire’s touch-sensitive LCD screen matches its opponent for size. Unfortunately, it boasts a lower resolution (only 240 x 320 pixels) than the Blackberry. (2-1)

Performance:

As for the processors and UIs, the Wildfire packs a 528MHz Qualcomm MSM 7225 processor, while the Blackberry Torch has an ageing Marvell chip (the same one that powers the Blackberry Bold), rated at 624MHz. The Blackberry Torch 9800 runs Blackberry OS 6.0, the Wildfire uses Android 2.1 (Eclair) with HTC Sense UI. The Torch gets a point for speed, the Wildfire scores for a superior OS. (3-2)

Downloadable apps

Storage:

Onto storage and this fight is still a close one. The Torch 9800 incorporates 8GB versus the 384MB capacity of the Wildfire. The Blackberry Torch 9800 also has a microSD interface, which can extend the overall capacity to 36GB. A microSD slot on the Wildfire further boosts the overall memory on HTC’s phone to 32GB. (4-2)

Battery life:

With a full charge, the Blackberry Torch 9800 weighs in with 5.8 hours of talktime; the Wildfire in comparison boasts a much more impressive 8.0 hours. In terms of standby times, RIM’s phone can last 336 hours, while HTC’s model boasts 690 hours. That’s a smackdown for the Wildfire. (4-3)

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Extras:

The Torch also includes GPS/A-GPS, geo-tagging and Blackberry Maps. The Wildfire features a stereo FM radio with RDS, GPS/A-GPS and a digital compass (4-4)

It’s a tie!

So the Blackberry Torch can’t even beat the HTC Wildfire (4-4). Sigh. It’s further proof that RIM aimed too low with the 9800 and it’s a handset that stands a safe distance back from the ‘cutting edge’. It’s a shame. While the Blackberry will have legions of admirers amongst business users addicted to its everywhere email access, RIM isn’t making any ground on manufacturers like Apple, Samsung and HTC.

Do you agree with the outcome of this fight? Leave us a comment below now…

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