Operating system: The Torch 9800 is the first device to tout BlackBerry OS 6, the highly anticipated latest bake of BlackBerry's mobile operating system. OS 6 offers a number of enhancements over previous BlackBerry operating systems, including a dramatically improved desktop-like web browser, enhanced media interface, close integration with social networks, a revamped homescreen and more. The Samsung Captivate is powered by Google's Android operating system. The Android OS is characterized by a number of features including a tremendous number of applications and the ability to customize multiple homescreens with widgets. Certainly, there are many differences between the two powerful operating systems that are beyond the scope of this relatively succinct comparison. Of course, the decision between the two operating systems is one of personal preference — and perhaps a decision easily swayed by familiarity with one operating system or the other. Familiarity aside, both operating systems offer a great user experience and are easy to learn no matter what device you may have had in the past.
Power: Equipped with a 624 MHz processor and 512MB of RAM, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is the most powerful BlackBerry to date. Armed with a 1GHz processor in addition to 512MB of RAM, however, the Samsung Captivate is a more powerful, faster device. The power differential between the two devices won't be readily noticeable in most routine operations including email and text messaging, but power users may be swayed by the Captivate's superior horsepower.
Display: The BlackBerry Torch offers a crisp and mid-sized touchscreen display (3.2", 360 x 480 pixels). The Torch's display is responsive, and provides multitouch support for uses including pinch-to-zoom. The Samsung Captivate offers a large and vibrant 4-inch Super AMOLED display (480x800 pixels). While both displays are crisp and at the higher end of the smart phone spectrum, the Captivate's is larger, higher resolution, and more vibrant than that of the Torch.
Camera: Both the Torch and the Captivate offer impressive 5-megapixel on-board cameras with autofocus. The BlackBerry Torch, however, offers an LED flash for shots in low light while the Captivate is flash-less. Although both phones are capable of recording video, the Captivate offers significantly better video recording quality (HD; 720P) than that the Torch.
Keyboard: The Samsung Captivate offers a capable virtual (on-screen) QWERTY keyboard as well as pre-installed Swype technology for super-fast typing. The BlackBerry Torch, however, offers a fantastic physical slide-out QWERTY keyboard reminiscent of that found on the BlackBerry Bold 2. Users preferring a physical QWERTY keyboard will likely favor the Torch over the Captivate.
Storage space: Right out of the box, the BlackBerry Torch offers 8GB of total storage space for music, photos and videos (4GB on-board and pre-installed 2GB microSD card). With 16GB of on-board storage space, the captivate offers twice the storage space of the Torch. Both devices can support up to a 32GB microSD card.
Wirefly's cost: At the time of this comparison, the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is $99.99 with a new AT&T account and the same price for existing upgrade-eligible subscribers. The Samsung Captivate is $49.99 with a new AT&T account, and $99.99 for upgrading customers.
BlackBerry Torch 9800
Wirefly's Price (as of publish date)
BlackBerry OS 6
3.2", 360 x 480 Pixels
4", 480 x 800 Pixels, AMOLED
5-megapixel, LED flash and autofocus
Yes; Up to 640x480 pixels
Yes; HD up to 720P
BlackBerry App World
Adobe Flash Support
Adobe Flash Lite
4 GB on-board; 4 GB microSD card pre-installed (support for up to 32GB card)
16GB on board; support for up to 32GB card
Physical slide-out QWERTY & virtual QWERTY
Up to 5.5 hours talk time; up to 400 hours standby
Up to 5.83 hours talk time; up to 340 hours standby
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