Motorola DROID 2 vs RIM BlackBerry Torch 9800
BlackBerry Torch 9800 and Motorola DROID 2 decided to have an old fashion showdown at the O.K. Corral. The date was August 12, 2010 and the timing couldn't have been any better since both handsets were sporting the latest version of their respective platforms – and thus bringing the long summer to a closing. Since both handsets were sharing an identical launch date, it was only natural to pit these two QWERTY packing smartphones against one another in a ceremonious gunfight battle where only one device can be claimed as the victor. In the end, which handset will be left standing once the gun smoke has cleared from the battlefield?
With their combined offerings of a touchscreen and physical keyboard, the Motorola DROID 2 and BlackBerry Torch 9800 will easily attract a wide array of customers due to the conveniences they boast over other handsets. However, the similarities pretty much end there as the DROID 2 opts to stick with its tried & true landscape sliding form factor while the Torch traverses the unique route with its portrait sliding one. It's blatant that neither provide an original design since the DROID 2 is slightly a refreshed look over its predecessor, while the Torch borrows some elements found on the Bold 9700. Material-wise though, we prefer the metal like exterior of the DROID 2 which simply overshadows the somewhat plastic nature of the Torch – even despite chrome plates adorning both handsets. Even though a quick inspection will make you believe that both handsets are equal in size, the DROID 2 is longer with the Torch being wider – but the DROID 2 tallies in at an impressive 0.54” thick versus the Torch's 0.57” figure. Regardless of those measurements, they're normal sized which won't be too much of a burden in the pockets – albeit, the DROID 2 is heavier (5.96 oz).
Still to this day, RIM's handsets don't necessarily blur the fine line when it comes down to larger sized display panels – which the Torch follows in similar fashion with its 3.2” HVGA+ (360 x 480) LCD touchscreen. Even though it proves to be sufficient for the handset, some would argue that the DROID 2's 3.7” TFT display (480 x 854) is more suitable for today's top tiered smartphones. Between the two, the display on the DROID 2 proved to be more appealing due to its better color representation, sharp looking text, and its sturdy glass-like feel. With the Torch, it almost seems as though its display is rather washed out looking versus the rich colors produced by the DROID 2 – however, its sheer luminance easily radiates much more strongly.
We've said it once, but we'll say it again – the touch sensitive buttons found on the DROID 2 are placed very close to the bottom of the touchscreen; so there is an occasional accidental press. Conversely, the look and layout of the Torch 9800's buttons may surprise you since they might look like touch sensitive ones – but they're in fact physical ones with solid feedback. As with other BlackBerry devices, the Torch relies on an optical track-pad which does well in navigating around the platform, but DROID 2 users will be also happy to find 4-way directional buttons on the keyboard. Nonetheless, the touchscreens on both handsets still provide for the best navigational experience.
The placement of buttons clinging to the sides of both handsets are almost identical seeing that the volume rocker and shutter key are found on the right edge – but we prefer the distinct and responsive buttons with the Torch 9800. Other identical amenities include a 3.5mm headset jack, microUSB port for charging/data connection to a computer, and a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera – with the DROID 2 offering a dual-LED flash as opposed to the Torch's single one. There is a small cutout located on the top edge of the Torch which is for the speakerphone, while the DROID 2 has a grill on its rear that encompasses the width of the handset for its speakerphone. Removing the rear cover of both phones is a natural process that will present you access to the battery and microSD card slot, which we found to be more convenient with the Torch since you don't have to remove the battery to access it.
Now this is a tough call since the keyboards are presented in two different orientations, so it'll basically come down to personal preference. We like how the Torch's keyboard retains the same style and layout in use with the Bold 9700 which can be seen as cramped for those with larger fingers, but requires less travel for your thumbs. On the other hand, the spacious layout of the DROID 2 will easily accommodate fingers of any size – plus it's much more improved over its predecessor since buttons are larger and bubbled to provide some distinction. We found ourselves getting adjusted very easily between the two because buttons offered a tactile response when pressed down.