Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Is the Blackberry Bold 9900 something to worry the Android domination?

The new Blackberry Bold 9900 is literally around the corner and has a street release date of less than a week with pre-orders expected to be delivered as early as August the 14th there is no wonder the phone is getting some attention. The hand set promises the be the best, the fastest and the most complete Blackberry to date. Powered by the 7th version of the Blackberry Operating system and promising a variety of new Blackberry services, how will this phone compete with the top of the range Android handsets?

As it's the top of the range Blackberry RIM's handset will be compared to the Samsung Galaxy S2 in as many fields as we can generally compare the two. Whilst they aren't exactly competing handsets in the most direct of senses customers that want the best phone maybe looking at deciding between these two.

First the type of phone. The Bold 9900 is a Candybar smartphone made by RIM (Research In Motion) with a 4-row qwerty keyboard whilst the Galaxy S2 lacks a qwerty keyboard this seems to be something that sways personal choice. The pay off in not having a keyboard sees the Samsung Galaxy S2 having a substantially larger screen (4.2" to the 2.8" screen of the Blackberry). Whilst the Galaxy S2 is 1cm "taller" it managed to get over 3cm of extra screen size by not using a qwerty keyboard making it a better option for things like iPlayer, Youtube and the such. Of course if you prefer keyboards over watching videos on your phone the Bold is the better option.

Inside the body of the phone we have the memory, the storage and the processors. To some shoppers these words are daunting and almost scary though are simple to understand. The memory is effectively how easily things can open and how swiftly you can change from application to application, something that with modern smartphones you will find yourself doing a fair bit of. The Blackberry has a fairly impressive 768MB of RAM which makes it one of, if not the, best Blackberry Phone on the market in terms of RAM. The Galaxy S2 however is a step up it's self with 1GB of RAM making it significantly quicker to flip and flop between applications and other such processes.
The storage is even easier to explain. The storage is how much can the phone hold (in terms of music, videos, photographs, applications, documents). For this we are going to look at just the inbuilt storage as both phones use the same expandable memory card. The Blackberry again has pretty solid numbers and has around 9GB of total storage with 8GB or so being available for media and a further 768MB put aside for applications. Compared against most Androids the Blackberry would win the storage test comfortably however against the Galaxy S2 it looks a little paltry. The Galaxy S2 boasts a massive 16GB of storage with 11.5GB for your media storage and well over 1GB set aside for applications. Again the Galaxy S2 dwarfs what are genuinely impressive numbers.
The processor speed determines how quickly things run and how responsive things really are. A slow processor for example will limit your ability to play the newest games, will make your phone feel laggy and slow and just, at times feel cumbersome. The Bold again puts up an impressive figure with a single core 1.2Ghz processor when it comes to the Galaxy S2 things are more complicated though it's a dual core 1.2Ghz processor which is slightly faster due to sharing operations. What you'll see here is that both are capable of incredibly feats of processing power, the Galaxy S2 again just nicks it but it's not a one sided battle.

When it comes to other features both phones boast impressive resum├ęs. The Blackberry comes with an industry standard 5MP still camera and the ability to record in 720p as well as having access to the exclusive and swift (if somewhat over-rated) BBM (BlackBerry Messenger). It also comes with a document editor, the ability to download a number of apps and all the familiar things you get with modern smartphones such as maps internet browsing and Wi-Fi connectivity. Whilst the camera on the Blackberry is good, it doesn't challenge the 8MP camera on the back of the Galaxy S2, it also doesn't have a front facing camera for video calls, or the ability to record in ultra clear 1080p HD. Again the Samsung wins the battle of extras despite not having BBM (though plenty of apps do offer similar experiences).

Whilst the battle is a little bit one side on the technical front RIM and their Blackberry brand do have a strong brand image and a good level of customer loyalty. To be totally honest the Bold 9900 is genuinely the best qwerty phone on the market in a technical sense. Whilst it doesn't compare well with the Galaxy S2 in a head to head manner, no phone really does at the moment, it's a fantastic stand alone handset. Which leads us to what could be a big issue, Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) v Blackberry 7.0. I don't imagine the system will compete favourably with Android but if it is optimised for the phone I don't think customers who are loyal to the Blackberry brand will be disappointed.

Whilst Android and Samsung have little to worry about, I kept help but think that Blackberry users are getting their chance to get their mitts on a very good qwerty handset.

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