Motorola DROID 2 vs RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800
Despite packing a 624MHz processor, which might look on paper as quaint versus the 1GHz chip found inside of the DROID 2, the Torch actually does a good job in terms of performance. Actually, both handsets provide for a smooth and responsive platform experience that will suffice almost anyone out there – especially when there is barely any wait when launching apps. And it's obvious that they both showcase the latest version of their respective platforms; BlackBerry OS 6 and Android 2.2 Froyo. You can gauge that RIM is trying to attract an audience outside of its bread and butter category of business users with the platform's focus on being touch and social networking friendly. Still, Android 2.2 on the DROID 2 definitely has the advantage in terms of personalization since you can utilize live wallpapers, add different widgets, and its tight integration of social networking. Although BlackBerry OS 6 is still in its infancy, there are still additional refinements needed for the platform to catapult it enough to attract new users.
Seeing that social networking plays an essential role with almost everyone, it's easy to see how the DROID 2 does a better job in keeping you in the loop with your friends. Not only will you have widgets that will display tweets and Facebook statuses in rotation, but the official applications for Facebook and Twitter are more refined than the ones seen on the Torch. However, you can tell that RIM has finally adopted the importance of this growing trend with their “social feeds” app which aggregates all of your accounts in one centralized hub. As for the official social networking apps for BlackBerry OS 6, they offer some of the essential basics, but sometimes require more trips to launching the web browser for other functions.
Setting up email is definitely a breeze with the Torch, as it should seeing it's a BlackBerry, since it automatically sets up all of our accounts with simply requiring only an email address and password. The DROID 2 also makes email setup a breeze with the usual process, but unlike the Torch, it requires additional pieces of information to fully set up a custom email account. However, there's no arguing that the Android powered DROID 2 presents the most satisfying Gmail experience as it's able to accomplish a host of functions you typically see on a desktop. But to tell you the truth, email handling on both handsets is more than satisfactory.
Thanks to the extra real estate that the DROID 2 exhibits, it makes for an easier typing experience when using the on-screen keyboards. We just find the multi-touch enabled keyboards on both to replicate that true keyboard feel, but the Swype keyboard option on the DROID 2 also works fantastically after some practice. It's not to say that the Torch's on-screen keyboard is bad, but you can easily gauge that it's a bit more cramped due to its smaller screen. However, they're both equally responsive when typing away very quickly – so you won't ever miss a beat.
One thing that may be holding back the Torch from attracting more users is the lack of BlackBerry OS 6 support for some applications that are otherwise found on the older build of the platform. However, we'll eventually start to see more and more apps hit the App World storefront which should hopefully get users back in tune with some of their favorite and most widely used apps. When it comes down to Android, there is no denying the rapid rise in app availability since its inception and continues to deliver some top notch offerings to its arsenal. The nice feature we find with the Android Market is that it'll allow you to reinstall previously purchased apps to a newer device. As it stands right now, there is an aggressive development of apps that can be seen with Android – which should continually rise with the latest build of the platform.
Internet and Connectivity:
RIM finally decided to take the plunge with a WebKit based browser for the Torch, but it still pales in comparison to the refined stock Android web browser on the DROID 2. Of course, you're treated to common features like multi-touch support, double tap to zoom in/out, the ability to open multiple windows, and of course some smooth scrolling rates. However, the DROID 2 does a lot better job in pretty much all categories as there is some spotty evidence with the Torch's rendering times – it just doesn't do it as instantaneously as the DROID 2. Although they're both still more than usable, the Motorola DROID 2 easily takes the cake in this category due to the fact that it has support for Flash 10.1 – giving it that true-to-life desktop feel. It's a nice first attempt for RIM on the Torch, but the innovation and depth of Android's web browser can clearly be felt on the DROID 2.
Since the BlackBerry Torch offers quad-band GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) and UMTS (850/900/1900/2100 MHz) connectivity, it is easily the choice for global travelers. On the flip side, the DROID 2 packs a dual-band (800/1900 MHz) CDMA radio with 3G speeds courtesy of EV-DO revision A, so you'll be limited to using it domestically. As for other wireless options, both feature Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, the latter of which can be seen as beneficial to the DROID 2 which would allow data connectivity abroad. Additionally, the DROID 2 has support for Mobile HotSpot which enables it to share its 3G connection with other connected devices via Wi-Fi.
The Motorola DROID 2 includes an 8GB microSD card with its packaging, while the BlackBerry Torch 9800 has a paltry 4GB of microSD card. Luckily, both can accepts cards up to 32GB in capacity to satisfy the needs of media heavy users.
1. mbabasmrtphnz (unregistered)
i liked this a lot. great review. id love to see the palm pre plus (gsm version) vs. the torch see that they have a similar form factor. that would be interesting.
2. Joshing4fun (Posts: 1138; Member since: 13 Aug 2010)
The palm is so old now but would still probably win especially cuz of the price tag it has: free!
3. testman22 (Posts: 337; Member since: 03 Nov 2009)
Its nice to see phone arena is picking clear winners in these battles
4. DroidCLH (unregistered)
I'll save you the trouble, Droid 2 Wins because the torch is using a screen from 2005 and processor from 2008.
5. Sniggly (Posts: 7291; Member since: 05 Dec 2009)
So while the Torch's response time, when up and running, is all well and good, I'm curious: does it still take ten minutes to power up like every other Blackberry phone in the history of ever?
9. RT @jimmyontheradio (unregistered)
I have a Torch and that was a worry, but it powers up very quickly, unlike past BBs.
6. Concerned (unregistered)
Great Phone! However, can you be completely sure that Motorola won't leave you with an obsolete phone by denying you an OS upgrade in no time?
7. cc16177 (Posts: 312; Member since: 09 May 2010)
They just updated the Droid 1 to 2.2 and that phone came out almost a year ago...
8. phonebunny (unregistered)
Seriously the best review I've seen in a very long time. No bias, clear and clean categories and definite conclusion. Nice job!!!
10. RT @jimmyontheradio (unregistered)
I kinda figured I knew where this review was headed, but I like that both sides are heard out. I've been fortunate enough to use both the Torch and the Droid 2 and I would say I am a little torn, myself. I wish RIM would put something out with the memory and processing speed of any Droid. I love RIM's OSes - they're just so crisp with little to no flaws. Everything makes sense after you play with it enough, plus the Torch keyboard is just the best I've ever used. I don't like the apps running in the background of the Droid. That is and will be my main gripe about the Droid until there's a permanent solution. You'll be happier with either phone, but if you aren't in a huge city, go with Verizon since they have coverage everywhere. AT&T lacks in you aren't in NYC or San Fran.