Blackberry Torch 9800 vs. Samsung Wave S8500 – Review

by Jerry D on August 20, 2010

The Blackberry Torch has faced several big-name phones now and the results haven’t been encouraging.

If there’s a criticism here, it’s that RIM hasn’t been daring enough with its technology choices to make the Torch shine.

The Samsung Wave has been a top performer and the latest Blackberry should be pushing it hard. Time for another big phone fight…


Let’s start, as ever, with the connectivity options. The guts of the Blackberry Torch 9800 come packed with 3G, 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP. As for the Wave, Samsung has specified 3G/HSDPA (7.2 Mbps), Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi as standard. Both feature triple-band wireless, but the Wave grabs the point with a shinier version of Bluetooth. (0-1)

Size & Weight:

As far as pocketability is concerned, the Blackberry Torch and the Wave are 111.0 x 62.0 x 14.6mm and 118.0 x 56.0 x 10.9mm respectively. Overall the Wave is the slimmer phone. The Blackberry is distinctly tubbier than the Wave too, weighing in at an unhealthy 161g. In comparison, the Wave is a whopping 43g lighter at 118g. (0-2)



First, let’s examine the Torch 9800, which packs a 5.0 Megapixel camera and a jamboree bag of extras that include: auto-focus, image stabilization, LED flash, 2x digital zoom and VGA video capture.

The Wave also sports a 5.0 Megapixel camera (with autofocus, an LED flash, geo-tagging, face/smile/blink detection, image stablilization and, wait for it… HD video recording). So there’s no real difference in camera quality, the HD functionality is a round-winner. A second camera on the front can be used for video calling. (0-3)


Display size is a key and the Blackberry Torch 9800 features a 3.2-inch (360 x 480) touch-sensitive LCD screen. As for the keyboard, it’s a compact, familiar QWERTY layout that slides out neatly from the chassis. Measuring 3.3 inches, the Wave’s touch-sensitive AMOLED screen is bigger and it boasts a higher resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. No points again for the Torch in this round. Ho. Hum. (0-4)


As for the processors and operating systems, the Blackberry Torch 9800′s humble processor is a 624MHz Marvell chip, while the Wave uses a ARM Cortex A8, rated at a speedy 1GHz. The Blackberry Torch 9800 is based on Blackberry OS 6.0, the Wave uses Samsung’s own Bada OS. (0-5)


At last! A round where the Blackberry can prove its worth. The 8GB of memory in the 9800 beats the 2GB standard capacity of the Wave. Of course, the Blackberry Torch 9800 also features a microSD memory card slot to boost the overall storage to a roomier 36GB. The Wave’s capacity can be increased to 32GB via its microSD memory card slot. (1-5)

Battery life:

With an overnight charge, RIM says that its Blackberry Torch 9800 can deliver 5.8 hours of talktime, while the Wave is rated at 8.5 hours. Standby time is quoted as 336 hours and 450 hours respectively The Wave wins the round this time. (1-6)



The Blackberry Torch 9800 also includes GPS/A-GPS, geo-tagging and Blackberry Maps. The Wave shoehorns in a stereo FM radio (with RDS and FM radio recording), GPS/A-GPS sat-nav (with Samsung Mobile Navigator software) and a digital compass. Another point to the Wave. (1-7)

The Samsung Wave wins!

samsung wave s8500 Blackberry Torch 9800 vs. Samsung Wave S8500   ReviewThe Wave emerges as the winner of this fight with an emphatic victory (1-7). Where do we begin? It’s the thinnest phone, the lightest phone, it’s the fastest phone. It also has a far better display and the bigger of the two screens (although not by much). The OS fight is a little trickier to call. Samsung’s Bada software is new and relatively untested, while RIM’s software is solid but unspectacular. In pure tech terms the Wave is the superior phone. But Blackberry addicts love their handsets regardless.

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

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