Blackberry Torch 9810 vs. Apple iPhone 4 – Review

by Jerry D on August 5, 2011

RIM has taken its Torch handset back into the garage, pimped its proverbial ride and rolled it back out to do battle against the leading smartphones. The Blackberry Torch 9810 is certainly an improvement. But could it defeat the iPhone 4 in a Fast and the Furious-style street race? Gentlemen, start your engines…

XXXX versus graphic Blackberry Torch 9810 vs. Apple iPhone 4   Review XXXX

Round #1 – Connectivity:
The spec sheet of the much-improved Blackberry Torch 9810 lists 3G/HSDPA (14.4Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP as the core connectivity options.

As for the iPhone 4, the Apple device has 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi as standard. Not much of a difference between the two. Yes, the Torch also comes with NFC connectivity, but so far it’s a technology without a purpose.

Score: +1 to both phones (1-1)

Round #2 – Size & Weight:
According to the specs, the iPhone 4 is the slimmer of the two phones with a depth of 9.3mm. The Blackberry Torch 9810 is wider, measuring 61.9mm to the iPhone 4′s 58.6mm. The Blackberry Torch 9810 carries more weight than the iPhone 4. Lots more. Compare the two and RIM’s phone is 161g while Apple’s handset is 137g. Advantage iPhone.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4 (1-2)

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Round #3 – Camera:
RIM has built a 5.0 Megapixel lens into the Blackberry Torch 9810 together with features such as continuous autofocus, an LED flash, geo-tagging, image stabilization, face detection, a 4x digital zoom and HD video recording at 720p. Oh and there’s also a camera on the front for making video calls.

The Apple iPhone 4 matches its opponent with a 5.0 Megapixel camera of its own, as well as autofocus/tap to focus, an LED flash, geo-tagging, plus VGA and HD video recording (720p). A second camera located on the front is designed for FaceTime, but you’ll probably use it more for Skype.

Score: +1 to both phones (2-3)

Round #4 – Screen/keyboard:
Display size is key and the Blackberry Torch 9810 features a decent 3.2-inch (480 x 640) touch-sensitive LCD. The resulting pixel density of this handset is 250.0 pixels per inch. RIM has paired the Blackberry Torch 9810′s screen with a classic QWERTY keypad, giving you the option to type virtually or physically.

rez comparison1 Blackberry Torch 9810 vs. Apple iPhone 4   Review

The iPhone 4′s touch-sensitive Retina display is bigger at 3.5 inches and boasts a superb resolution of 640x 960 pixels, which easily beats the VGA spec of the Torch 2. The pixel density of 329.714 here beats the 250.0 rating given to RIM’s handset.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4 (2-4)

Round #5 – Processor:
As far as performance goes, the RIM Blackberry Torch 9810 has been constructed around a Qualcomm chip with an Adreno 205 co-processor, clocked at 1.2GHz. It should give it a turn of speed that can outpace the 1GHz Apple A4 chip that ticks along silently inside the iPhone 4.

Score: +1 to Blackberry Torch 9810 (3-4)

Round #6 – Software:
Blackberry OS 7 takes a bow in the Blackberry Torch 9810, promising various speed improvements, voice-activated searching and a better web browsing experience (with support for HTML5). Good as the BB OS is, it still lags behind the almost effortless functionality of the iPhone 4, which runs iOS4.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4 (3-5)

Round #7 – Applications:
Which OS is the most popular with developers? Taking the numbers below into account, the Blackberry Torch 9810 is soundly beaten by the iPhone 4. See the latest app store stats below.

Score: +1 to iPhone 4 (3-6)

Round #8 – Storage:
The top-end iPhone 4 incorporates 32GB of storage versus the 8GB capacity of the Blackberry Torch 9810. That said, the Blackberry Torch 9810 also features a microSD slot to boost the storage to a roomier 40GB. The iPhone 4 is missing an expansion slot (why Apple? Why?) and so the phone is restricted to its 32GB of storage.

Score: +1 to Blackberry Torch 9810 (4-6)

Round #9 – Battery life:
Juiced up to full capacity, RIM’s spec sheet lists 6.5 hours of talktime for its phone, compared to 7.0 hours for the Apple iPhone 4. As for standby time, the phones can last for 307 hours and 300 hours respectively. The points are shared in this penultimate round.

Score: +1 to both phones (5-7)

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Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.

Round #10 – Extras:
The Blackberry Torch 9810 also includes GPS/A-GPS, a digital compass and NFC support. In comparison, the iPhone 4 features GPS/A-GPS, a digital compass and a 3-axis gyroscope. Another tied round but it doesn’t change the overall result.

Score: +1 to both phones (6-8)

BPF Verdict: The Apple iPhone 4 wins!

See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…

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