Comparison: New BlackBerry WebKit Browser vs. the Competition (iPhone 4 and Samsung Captivate)

By Kevin Michaluk on 4 Aug 2010 09:00 pm EDT

If there's one feature BlackBerry users have wanted to see improve on their devices more than anything else, it's the BlackBerry web browser. With BlackBerry 6 that wish can finally be crossed off the list, as the new web browser with WebKit rendering finally makes browsing the web on a BlackBerry an enjoyable experience. Compared to the old browser, it's a night and day difference.

But how does the new BlackBerry web browser stack up to the latest and greatest devices from the competition? I wanted to know the answer to that myself, so with some help from Dieter we cleared the cache on the BlackBerry Torch 9800, Apple iPhone 4 and new Android-based Samsung Captivate and put the devices head to head to head in a one take, no messing around web browser shootout. We tested the browsers both over 3G and WiFi (note - towards the end of the video where I jokingly say the BlackBerry browsing is being 3x more efficient, keep in mind that only applies to browsing over 3G - when browsing over WiFi the data is pulled straight in to the device vs. over 3G when it goes through RIM's servers which optimize and compress the data over the air). Read on for the results.

The results? Well... it's a good news bads new thing. The bad news: in our little test the BlackBerry Torch 9800 couldn't pull off even one victory against the iPhone 4 and Captivate. The good news is it held in there pretty darn well - close enough that I don't think you'll feel hard done. It's a matter of a few seconds, which is a massive step forward from our old native BlackBerry web browser. Reflecting on the results post shootout, Dieter and I both agreed this is probably an area where the Torch's 624MHz processor could be the culprit more than the web browser itself. If you put the same 624MHz into the iPhone 4 or Captivate the Torch would probably Torch them. Conversely, if you upped the processing power in the Torch it could probably match or better the competition as well. Final conclusion: it's a massive upgrade to the BlackBerry web browser and it paves the way for even more speed and performance as we see RIM move up to their next generation of hardware. In the meantime, as long as you're not doing head to head shootouts, you'll now enjoy browsing on your BlackBerry a lot.

Reader comments

Comparison: New BlackBerry WebKit Browser vs. the Competition (iPhone 4 and Samsung Captivate)


Torch got TORCHED! hahaha i know that was lame BUT the scrolling smoothness or lack there of put me off. IP4 and Samsung have excellent browsers(especially the captivate). Good test, now we know where the Torch stands in terms of browsing. But the whole page load time is attributed to the OTA data compression thru RIM servers. I was really excited about this device but I think I will try to hold off until RIM's next offering because this was just a sacrificial lamb. and i'm the fannest of blackberry fan boys. We need/deserve more!!!

when you use old outdated hardware to try to keep up with the demands of todays technology. This thing would scream if it was running on an acceptable processor.

No kidding. I'm so disappointed, although I shouldn't be because I told myself this would happen when the mysterious slider was announced. Why, oh why does RIM continue to think they can compete with Apple and Android when they push out specs that are years behind what the competition is putting out? It's basically mandatory now that when an Android phone comes out, it comes packed with a 1ghz Snapdragon or (now) OMAP processors. Some rumored devices for the future and we're looking at 2ghz. In Jan 2011 Rim will just now (MAYBE) be putting a 1ghz processor in a blackberry, while all the competition will slay RIM with their 2ghz and other equally-awesome specs.

Why do people always complain about how good the competition is? Okay The BB has not a 1Ghz Snapdragon processor... So what??? Did you already browse 1 hour on a HTC Desire? The handheld reaches temperatures over 37 degrees Celsius!!! That's what those huge processors are about! Okay it goes smoother, but after one hour of intens usage; you can put the handheld aside to let it cool down! Is that so much better??? And the batterylife of a HTC Desire for example with a bit more usage than average (3,5 hours) is complete empty!

Don't think that the engineers of RIM are fools when they design a new handheld! A BlackBerry is for using all day long and that means they have to give up a few things that the competition don't want to.

I had a HTC Desire for 3 weeks and I wasn't satisfied. Okay it has a great display and it's fast. But I was spending more time refilling the battery than using the device. So no thank you!!!

And what about the iPhone? It's a great display, but it's so much batteryconsuming... And for the other specs... please! Multitasking they call it??? We have to pay 700 Dollars vor the iPhone4 32 Gb and it's simply not worth the money.

So think better before complaining about the handhelds of BlackBerry!

It will be somewhat refreshing for the those unlucky enough to be stuck on a BES. I know I'd sure take it over the Tour. BUT... How was it so predictable that it would it fall sooo far below par in comparison to the market? And on the other side of the fence were looking at browsers that support real live flash. Too bad for us RIM fans. I was looking forward to this. Guess Droid X wasn't a bad choice.

no excuse. Never even fully loaded the CB site. Ohh well, its almost as fast as the devices released a year or two ago that now cost 1/2 the price. OK.

And love that responsiveness. You think we didn't catch you unable to scroll or zoom in or out for a few seconds there? We saw it.

PS. - my son's Incredible was just as fast as the IP4.

the blackberry bold 9780 os 6 beat the iphone and android in a acid3 test which means it is a lot faster so the torch is just not as fast as those phones not the blackberry browser

Hey guys. Thanks very much for the vid!
Nice to see that it's totally unbiased and not choosing sites that suit one phone more than the other.

Clearly, the Torch is not the winner here, BUT, it's restoring my faith in Blackberry. As a Berry user for 7 or 8 years now, and currently on my 9700, which was dumped too early from the vid :( , the Torch shows real promise and shows that Blackberry are now coming back into the game.

I have branched into Android this year and I also use a HTC Desire & Samsung Galaxy S, which is the same as the Captivate more or less, and both of these phones have impressive specs and the Torch is right up there beside them. Really looking forward to what RIM can bring out in the near future!

@thefonedoc, I totally agree with part of your comments.. OS6 look like more promise and shows that BB OS6 is now coming back into the game with APPLE's iOS 4 and Google's AOS 2. But BB OS need some improve and some friendly for touchscreen like IP4 and ADroid do.. ;o)

I was doing the same test with my old Bpld 9000 and it wasnt too far behind Torch. Honestly...I think its pathetic.

Thanks for the video, very helpful info. I see RIM is coming up with a good idea, however, ITS WAY BEHIND! They should have had this OS6 last year. Now I have to really think about this when my contract comes up in 6 months.

Hell yes. This was the nail in the coffin for me. In todays day and time no one likes to wait and people should not have to. You slow you blow and we all saw that was sloooooow. One of the pages didn't even load all the way.. [ahem] NEXT!!!!!!!!!!!

I am partially with eskimones.....

I am not ditching rim. I just have no real desire for this phone. I love my Bold 9650. I just am not a big fan of the slider form factor. Then, seeing the Torch get torched in the web comparison.....yup, no rush to even consider this phone.

yes when considering rim's usually torrid pace in producing camparable hardware to the competition. so many things i love about my Storm2, obselete case in point, but i can't see spending my money on something all past owners chuckle at when i pull it out of my pocket...

I don't want to make excuses for the Blackberry but, in all all fairness, the hardware in the Torch is pretty inferior to the iPhone 4 and the Captivate. Not saying that it would push the Torch past the other 2, but it is worth noting.

The purpose was for them to release a product that will compete with thee other smartphones. But they didn't focus on the hardware as much as they did on the software. OS 6 seems to be good software, but they released it on harvester that is under powered. The same problem Palm had with the Pre.

I've been such a Blackberry fan and lover and got all my friends to switch to Blackberry's. I'll tell them go Android from here on out. I'm so sad Blackberry!!! Data compression or not, I think RIM is far behind. :(

Kevin, your a fan boy...jk, 8900 was only 3 sec's behind the others on wifi, that's good enough for me("fan boy!" scream the BB hater)and like y'all said, it's a huge upgrade form the last browser, AND, it was a 600(not sure the exact number) vs two 1Ghz phones, but still held it's own imo. Besides, the only people who are abandoning BB are Verizon user with Storms anyway(and they only bought that cause they couldn't get an iPhone...sad but true)(and if you say I'm full of it, look around and count how many "I'm leaving RIM for Droid/Droid X/Droid2/Droid Incredible vs Iphone and I bet Droid would be times more) That is all :)

I agree it got beat but its a huge improvement over the old browser. The few seconds aren't that huge of a deal to me but, RIM not updating the processor or resolution I dont get. I'm not saying we need 1 ghz but 800 mhz would be more than enough.

I agree, or 999 mhz(jk), but I really think they're testing to see how the OS will do, and if it's a succuess, THEN I think Rim will improve on the hardware, I'll give it a year. We can at least call it "The Palm Pre Killer",lol. Since these hardware are "outdated", it shouldn't coast RIM much to build these phone, so they'll have more money to make more improvement on the hardware next time, . I think that's the same ideal Palm had, but they already knew it was a 50/50 chance, but we all know RIM isn't going anywere, so test OS first, and if success, then deck out the hardware.imo

I agree it got beat but its a huge improvement over the old browser. The few seconds aren't that huge of a deal to me but, RIM not updating the processor or resolution I dont get. I'm not saying we need 1 ghz but 800 mhz would be more than enough.

Sure, it's a better browser than what we have had. But at this point, we should be "far exceeding" what we have had in the past.

I mean, even when Kevin said as the Torch was getting totally torched trying to load the Shop Crackberry site "'s just a better overall browsing experience..."

..he sounded so defeated about it.

I read his tone as "Oh man, this sucks that the Torch is so slow compared to what I was hoping for, but OH WELL, it still is a new and improved browsing experience".

It's like having a certain model car which you wish had better performance and instead of upgrading to a car that really performs well, you put a fresh coat of paint on it and say, it looks really nice.

I honestly think the combination of what we all seem to say is an underpowered device (by today's standards) combined with the new OS....I think that is killing this. I would really have liked to see this comparison with the Torch having more horsepower.

And you can't really blame AT&T's network as all the phones in the comparison were AT&T phones.

why is it behind on hardware when it came out after these phones. Ghz processors have been out for a while now.

Capitvate and iPhone put that Torch out. Releasing slow hardware isn't good for RIM. And did you hear Kevin? He was happy to be coming in last. Lol....not a good look. If RIM is happy with finishing last then cool.

I heavily considered returning my captivate this week to wait for the torch. This is making me rethink that decision

Yea, RIM didn't invent the wheel here by no stretch of the imagination but they've incorporated up-to-date features and functions. Not for nothing but Apple and the iPhone JUST came out with MMS for the iPhone, what? last year? and the 3GS added video when my gold 8320 on TMo was doing it like 3 years ago. OS6 is very promising. Yea, I would LOVE to see HD on a BB but is it make a break? No. Oh and lets not talk about iPhone 4's reception issue....yes, it DOES exist and I have a fanboy at work b*tch about it all the time ("waaahhh i want my 3Gs back wwaaahhhh")....I contemplated going Droid but after spending time in verizon, BB just pulled through on top. I'll take my 9650 before I take an iPhone or Droid X personally and Im sure there are many people who would as well.

Huge blackberry fan, have to say I was a little disappointed to see the sites load up slow. I tried my BOLT browser(9700) compared to the Torch on wifi( To my surprise BOLT beat out the Webkit browser. Hope there are some updates.

I did the same thing on my S2 and Bolt browser beat the Torch on both and

I am also a huge blackberry fan and I'm loving the torch. Even though it was last place in all the tests its a huge improvement over their old browser. I'll take that. I'm rooting for blackberry to get back in the game. Rim is like Nintendo they just want to maximize profits and use old cheap hardware.
For a communication device that's a damn good browser. If only the torch would've come to T-Mobile before the Samsung vibrant came out I would've probably stayed with Blackberry.

I know it didn't win out of the three but as a long time BlackBerry user the browser is a huge improvement and I've used the iPhone and android and the winner for ME personally is BB.

BB torch is no longer iphone killer as they publicly say that because processor is still too low to competition with iphone and android.

you have to remember this is a first version of the os and browser. put it up against a 3G iphone and the os and browser weren't polished like the IP4.

a few seconds isn't going to make me switch a phone that not even the government can crack my encrypted data, lol

You have to be kidding… put a phone that hasn't even been released yet up against a phone that was released over 2 years ago? Why not just go ahead and put it up against a Motorola Razr or a Palm Treo… the Torch might actually win something then.

Don't get me wrong… I love my Bold 9000 and am a fan of many aspects of the BB OS but releasing your showcase phone in the middle of 2010 with a 624mhz processor and a screen resolution of 480x360 is inexcusable.

BTW… don't even get me started on the quality of apps available for the BB vs. those available for the iPhone/Android… the BB apps are just pathetic from both a UI and functionality standpoint.

Would you please tell us what OS is running on the device next time you do tests like these. It would be nice to know if you're using the current build or an earlier build that might have been improved. Thanks!

I can't believe RIM did this...they knew the browser on the BBs was the biggest complaint and now it will still be the biggest complaint. They show all the BS about Acid test how they scored the highest but the browser is still slow. RIM talk big about the new webkit browser and it is still slow you would have think they would test it against the competition. RIM wake up this is a joke.

Let's not forget we're comparing the hardly polished first launch of a new browser, in development a short time, versus one of the signature features of the Jesus phone. That and the screen res are 80% of the reasons for purchase, whereas the BB browser I'd say is 4th or 5th on the list for BB. Not saying it doesn't need improvement. It does, and will get it. Based on what I've heard, there is a quick ramping up over the next 12-18 mos that will be impressive.

As a STORM1 owner, I've heard that before. Waited and waited and waited, STORM really didn't improve until OS5 dropped. But by then we all learned that the STORM was just underpowered and if we wanted a better experience we needed to upgrade to the soon to be released STORM2.

So now we have the Torch, and even Kevin said he hoped a "refresh" was coming early that would up the CPU and Display.

I'm really tired of waiting on RIM to "get it right". If they do "ramping up over the next 12-18 mos that will be impressive", then maybe that will work good for my next NE2 upgrade an I'll give RIM another chance... but for now it looks like my Nov upgrade will be something that "doesn't need improvement"

I say this after making a second visit to Sprint to fiddle with the EVO! One thing I will say, again is that the EVO is most likely the fastest S-Ph (Smartphone) on the planet. I really loads web pages fast! Even on 3G! Although I like BB interface and feel,...there is something special about the EVO. The feeling is probably like a Corvette owner finally taking a Ferrari out for a test drive and finding out a few things he or she didn't know. I'm going to keep an eye on Sprints plans as I may just ship from T-Mo if the deal becomes to sweet to pass up!

...ya know, I can't imagine anything be faster than the EVO!

Have Bold Will Travel~

Beg for a win all you want, BB didn't come close to the other phones. So glad I ditched my storm for the droid x.

switched over to the Motorola Droid X.....and it was faster than the iphone....without android 2.2

Good bye android central :)

My 9700 is faster than the Torch on all websites on 3G and on wifi. Tested it out 3 times simultaneously with the video and my 9700 is actually faster!

First public build, no complains here.

I don't know why anyone would like android over bb. It does not have a great interface, it feels like what Windows Mobile 7 could've been had the Zune interface was never thought of.

I wouldn't think twice getting a Torch just because of slow loadings, its other features just does not put me in a situation where I have other options.

No surprises here. What was surprising was the editorial blurb," if the blackberry had more memory", or "if the other phones had less"...

They don't. Let's face it RIM has the "emperors news clothes syndrome", the reality is the torch is walking around naked compared to the other devices.

I wonder how come they didn't compare the torch to the X or Evo

Why would they do that when it was just put to shame by the Samsung and the IP4? I don't think they should do any more tests or "Comparisons" like this. After the wait (for the almighty OS6 and the webkit browser) people are going to jump ship with the quickness after seeing a video like this one....

It's a shame that all this time this is the webkit browser they came up with. I love my Blackberry to death but RIM is way behind the times and for them to come out with something that can't even compete with the top phones on the market is very sad IMO. I will unfortunately be leaving very soon. Maybe I will be back some day but that is unlikely unless RIM pulls their skirt up one time and decides to compete with the better platforms..... So Sad..

OMGZ it's gonna take 3 more seconds to render my!!!!!

Take your 3 seconds and bank it on the shitty push of the iPhone and the Android because you'll need it.

If all you give a crap about is how your page loads a few seconds faster get an iPad. Me, I like the way the entire BB experience works. Super fast push email, great multi-tasking, twitter, FB integration along with a new webkit browser.

And as far as the screen goes I doubt most people care as long as it looks good to them. Remember, we are talking fractions of an inch between screens and resolutions and pixel density. It's not that big of a deal on a screen hovering in the 4 inch range.

iOS has push. I was a huge BB horn tooter and sent and email to my friend that was sitting beside me to see how long it would take. Well, it took all of one second to pop up on her phone. I was hesitant to leave the BB world. Used the 8330, 9530 and 9700 but I did make the switch to the iP4 and I'm still happy about it. Time will tell but right now it seems that RIM is still lagging behind.

No wonder a couple months back Crucial, when using both phones, said that the iPhone 4 is the first iPhone that he uses every single day. I don't know what his stance is now but I agree with that statement.

Please, rename Torch to Scrap. This should be the very new superfast device? ATT, keep it exlusively, I dont need it.

I've an iPhone 3GS, and recently got the 9700 from AT&T (which I will take back either for refund, or to exchange for the 9800, as I've only had the 9700 for 2 days, thus within the 30 days limit).

I did the test with my iPhone 3GS, and it was just barely (JUST barely) behind the iPhone 4, and slightly ahead of the Android.

If you guys want to make lemons into lemonade, fine. But don't the 9800 is on par with another phone just to make it sound "not so bad".

I feel 3 or 4 seconds is huge difference, especially since the 9800 is pulling only 1/3 the data.

So it takes so much longer to pull only 1/3? How much longer would it take to pull 100% of the data as the others did????

Someone said the 9800 was a sacrificial lamb, just to have "something" in the market to not lose more customer base. I am begining to think this is true.

RIM has been working on the 9800, along with AT&T, since 2008. They had to have tested the speed of their browser, and tried every trick they could to reduce the data and make things "appear" to be faster, and still this is the best, slower even at 1/3rd of the load. This may be an improvement, to the previous BB browser, but it also shows a true lack of technical expertise in this area too.

So yes the 9800 is cool and nicer browser than BB old one, but lets call a Spade a Spade, and not make it more than it is.

The test I want to see is how well does the slider mechanism hold up to constant use, since BB users tend to do lots of text based activities vs browsing.

It's pulling 1/3 the data, but that data still has to be requested (by the user), pulled down to RIM's servers, compressed, and then sent to your handset.

So data usage is lower, but that doesn't necessarily translate into faster load times.

My take:

-I'm not sure if I get what all the hoopla is about.

No one is making anyone use a Blackberry. If it's too slow for your tastes, then you are certainly free to go buy an iPhone or an Android handset.

-The complaints about the OS 6 browser taking seconds (gasp) longer to load a page versus the other phones is a bit overblown. And it could very well be the processor speed that's holding it back. But, so what? Whatever time you gain in web pages loading faster, is easily negated by the additional time you spend charging your phone.

Not to mention the additional chargers you'll NEED to keep your phone running throughout the day. As a former G1 & Nexus One owner, I can tell your first hand what PITA this is.

-Anyway, from a technical standpoint, this isn't really a "fair" test. This is version one of the OS 6 browser, while Android and iPhone are on their third (or so) revision already. OS 6 is looking good, but it still needs a little time to mature.

So all things considered, the Torch didn't do all that bad.

All in all, I won't be buying a Torch because I don't care for AT&T, but I am happy with the direction RIM is going in.

Function over form wins every time in my book. I'm happy to take a phone that strikes a near perfect balance between usability & practicality instead of just focusing on having the fastest processor, the biggest screen, or the most eye candy.

yah it's the slowest out of the new handsets and doesn't have the 1ghz processor etc etc, but after using an ip4 for 6 days i miss my blackberry.

i used the ip4 the same amount i would use my bb maybe even less cause no bbm, and i'm already at 320mb of data used! i never download anything unless on wifi. on my blackberry i use average 20-30mb a month...

so the data usage is huge for me since the plan i am on is pretty good with the 500mb plan..

I decided to play along with this little speed test using my BB Bold 9700 with OS V I cleared out my cache rebooted my Berry and performed the test along with the video and in a couple of instances the 9700 actually beat out the Torch. One page in particular was national geographic. So although there may be some welcomed changes to the webkit browser I didn't find it any better or any worst than the current BB browser. I just think its more appealing interface will give users the illusion of it being faster and that's about it.

Kevin, can you please install and test Bolt or Operaon Torch as well please? Might not be standard but it's available and fast. Most people will install and use them. Thanks.

But thats all I am hearing, its slow. Not 2-3 seconds but slow and you can not move the page around and it lags when scrolling...its slow.

"if we had the 3GS i am sure it would be on par"


The Old BB broswer is getting trashed by Kevin already, does he not know all you suckers are STILL USING IT LMAO!!!!

Keep in mind one thing....No excuses


Been a BlackBerry user for over 4 years and just switched to the iPhone 4 a few weeks ago and boy am I glad. I mean RIM announced this phone and their stock went DOWN 4%. Thats shady if you ask me. I loved my BB 9700 dont get me wrong but my iPhone 4 is light years ahead of that Torch 9800. I do like how they are going in the right direction and playing catch up but... its just a little too late I think. RIP RIM

+1, I left BB for the Captivate. I like the Blackberry email capabilities and UI a little better, but they're behind. Their "new" release has only 624 mhz? The same as the 9700? It doesn't need the 1ghz that seems to be the standard, but an up in speed over the 9700 would've been nice. I reaally hope they come out with some hardware in the next year or so that'll actually compete, because if and when they do, I'll be back my dear old Rim...until's the little green guy for me...

Yes, you are definitely correct. I noticed that misstatement as well (at around the 2:20 mark.)
I recently did a test on the Verizon Bold 9650. I turned off 3G and used WiFi and went to and the IP that came up was most definitely a RIM IP. So even on WiFi, ALL BB traffic is still routed through RIM’s servers… unless that’s only on Verizon. But I can’t imagine why that would be.

yes, because the browser on blackberry is using proxy on RIM server. The same as the Bolt browser

You can see they are using Squid, the famous Proxy server on Linux, on the detail of an error page..

I am not a big touch screen person, so this phone looks promising. I have read a few comments where ppl are dissappointed in the specs...slow processor, lower res screen. I just wonder if they did that to keep the battery life decent. Those two items in particular will increase battery usage, i would think. Personally, battery life & signal strength are two very big factors in a phone.

If this ever comes to verizon, i might give it a go.

But it just seems like RIM is just dragging their feet when it comes to smartphones and particularly its web browser. There are way better browsers out there, but Blackberry seems to think that it can keep users based on its name alone. I love my Blackberry (9700), but I honestly think that this will be the last Blackberry I'll own. Might make the jump to a droid or to an iphone if RIM doesn't show me (and the world) something REALLY impressive. Just making a pretty looking phone isn't gonna cut it. 39% of Blackberry users say they would leave BB and get an iphone or a droid, while 92% of iphone users and 87% of Android users would keep their phones ( RIM is taking a serious nosedive and needs to catch up to what other smartphone makers are doing. Unfortunately, I think it may already be too late for me. And that really sucks.

If this side-by-side comparison was supposed to help the BB Torch, it completely failed, from where I stand. The guy operating the two other phones was actually very nice by being restrained with his comments. This video will NOT help sell BB Torch devices. It will warn consumers to stay away from this device, and possibly from BB altogether.

Great to see a fair comparison on the browsers.
Even though its not as fast as the iPhone browser, its such an improvement over the previous browser. Well done RIM.

I understand a faster processor would have helped but im appreciating the better battery life blackberries have over the competition so a few seconds wasted is a good compromise.

I'm hoping blackberry OS6 comes out on the 9700 without being too lagy.

I am excited because now, hopefully, all of the whiners and neener neener neener kids will blow out of CB, go buy their droids and iphones and just leave those who enjoy the BB experience alone so we can just get on about our days. When I chose to go smart phone and picked BB over Droid it was certainly not done capriciously. I wanted a device that was based on the concept of communication. Even though the sales reps were pushing the Droid at the time, every single one of them recommended that I go with a BB based on what my needs were. Thank you for that Verizon. And those are still my needs and my S2 is an awesome device. It does everything I ask it to do admirably.

I am more than a few years older than this fellow, but can certainly relate.

Maybe RIM is a Seabiscuit story waiting to happen. For now, I will wait.


Not only was the browser NOTICEABLY slower on the 9800 than on the iPhone or the Android device....

But it seemed to take Kevin longer to just type the address into the 9800, even after he picked it up.

The question is, this a problem in OS6 or the result of the underpowered 9800? (and don't say the one DAY rim will release an upgrade.... I've been down that road with the STORM)

Kevin, you should have also done the test with Opera and Bolt on all 3. I wonder if it would have given a different result?

I've always liked the speed of my Bb over the iphone when signal is not at its best. Real world tests really would do the Rim compression justice.

I tried to like the Milestone/Droid as I have a preference for a hardware keyboard, but I couldn't. It had to do with the software as much as it had to do with those terrible keys.

But seriously Rim, no oleophobic coating?

seriously if RIM wants to keep there customers they need to step it up. im sorry but this is awful and should make RIM feel very pissed off that i cannot now update to a new BB up to date to other phones....f'in sad

Quite frankly this is pathetic. And yet people are making this sound like it's not a big deal at all. "It's only three seconds" is not a valid excuse. Everyone knows that the native browser was THE most complained about feature for blackberry users. "If there's one feature BlackBerry users have wanted to see improve on their devices more than anything else, it's the BlackBerry web browser." So when you think you're getting a lightning fast browsing experience everyone praises RIM. But when it turns out it's just as bad as the old (even worse if some of these comments are to be believed) then browsing speed is suddenly unimportant. Speed matters.

What if you're reading something online (not an article or something short, I'm talking several pages) or flipping through some online photo gallery? Will you be content to wait three seconds between every page load? No. And why should you have to?

We have to see the Torch for what it really is: desperation. There are no quick fixes just around the corner for the Torch. No one should "wait and see". blackberry will never be better for browsing. It will never be a consumer phone. Push email and a physical keyboard are great, but the fact remains that just isn't enough for most cell users these days. RIM is trying to expand and it isn't working. It's just releasing features that everyone else's been doing for a long time, and it's doing them worse.

would love to see a head-to-head test of the 9700 against the 9800 browser. if the 9800 isn't significantly faster than the 9700, I'll stick with my 9700.

Come on people, every one has freedom of choice if people want everything an iPhone or Android has in a phone then choose an iPhone or Android and stop slating rim. there are more people out there who are happy with a blackberry then there are not happy. and us that are happy would have liked a better browser and a blackberry with a big screen and also a physical keyboard. and rim have delivered.who cares if the browser isnt as fast as an iPhone its better than the last bb browser that's what counts. Id prefer to use my bold 9000 over an iPhone so the torch to me is a superb upgrade, after seeing what the torch can do and what its UI looks like I think this is the perfect phone for me.

This a better web browser and O.S.Unfortully what this video show is that the 9800 hardware just could not keep up.

I agree with what most other posters are saying and want to add how disappointed in Blackberry I am.

I went from 9000 to 9700.

For the people who say RIM are "catching up", this is simply not true, they are not "back in the game". Catching up would be to get closer to your rival but I feel RIM still lags the same distance behind Apple and the rest of the smart phone market. Making an improvement over your OWN previous technology is nothing to be proud of and is not "Catch up".

I suspect that RIM are not trying to compete with these super smart phones and are going for the cheaper crowd who are willing to use inferior technology at a cheaper price and if so, RIM shouldn't try to market it as a competitor to Iphone 4 etc.

Even if you didn't mind the slower browsing and were happy with the rest of the blackberry features, you can still admit that the 9800 is an inferior product to the rest both in terms of hardware and software.

I managed to load National geographic full site over wifi faster than 9800. What the hell is that about?

I am still happy with my 9700 and I would gladly purchase a new blackberry as long as they produce a phone that is close to rivalling the best smart phones. Sadly the 9800 is just nowhere near this at all. For me the reviewer summed up the 9800 quite well - "If we had an iphone 3G here it would probably be on par" It came out two years ago RIM!!

Rant over! I still love my 9700.


Hey everyone who has complaining about slow browser..
can you test it on your Blackberry ?

i live far from US, and the connection here is not so stable
but i got a lot faster when go through the same website
using my Bold 9700, OS version

so i think the torch need to be mature on a few updates first, then re-test it with iphone 4, cause my 9700 is faster
Try it on your own bb..

Well, after 5-6 years with BB I changed to Iphone just because the browser. By that time I browse a lot. That was the only reason. I was waiting for a better browser on BB. Is slower? Yes. Hardware is behind? Yes. But lest do a test on real multitasking. Try to get gtalk, msn, email, txt and a call at the same time on other device not bb. And I love that red led that tells me, "ok now you can touch the screen" All phones have their advantages. iPhone raise the bar and all phones now try to copy it, including the Android. Not BB, BB is unique. Slower on the browser but unique. How much iphone owners wait for MMS, Video and Multitasking? And Android is just a better iphone copy.

I know, they are OSes not hardware but my point is that it's a much anticipated upgrade that is a disappointing failure. I'm a huge long time BB fan with sports team type loyalty (Maple Leafs, I guess that explains a lot)but this comparison just gave me a bad feeling, I feel like a kid that was just told there is no Santa Claus. Looks like I'm going to keep "XP" (my 8900) or switch to "Mac" (iP4). I was so caught up in the excitement and have been visiting this site several times a day to read reviews but I'm thinking this may be a deal breaker. If the CPU gets bogged down just surfing the net what will happen when you have several apps running? I will try it for myself when it comes to Rogers but I may be checking out the iP4 when I'm there.

Some points for the iphone and android lovers out there:

- iphone and android suck because after all these years apple refuses to create a h/w kybd and all android h/w kybs suck ass.
- android has no gpu acceleration! scrolling and overall feel is laggy - look it up, ya better believe it.
- email on iphone and android is embarrassing. I'm not talking about push, I'm talking search, usability, options and layout - all suck, BB is king.
- iphones and androids are impossible to hold without accidentally touching something. Can't be used with one hand either.
- hardware design wise iphone and androids all need cases otherwise they are fragile pos's. BB is designed to be used in the real world, no case required.
- you need buttons people! Android is not as bad as iphone here since they have at least the compulsory home/back/menu buttons. On iphone you are at the apps mercy for context. Not intuitive and you always have to think about what you're doing and how to go back. BB makes it second nature, android not too bad either.
- apps? All the important ones already exist on all platforms. But android wins here not apple, because of app inventor.

The torch could be faster, could have a bigger screen, big whoop. If you can't get the basics right, whats the point of crazy hardware? iphone and android are cool for browsing, but thats where it ends. Now that torch is out, browsing is a no longer an issue - bb is the only choice.

Peace children!

Here are ten reasons why, whatever is announced at the forthcoming launch, there’s no point buying the iPhone 4G:

1) It’s expensive: Buy the top-of-the-range Blackberry or Android handset and you will still pay a lot less than the extortionate prices Apple charge. If the iPhone weren’t made by Apple, networks would have had to start giving it away on £30 a month tariffs years ago.

2) It’s anti-technology: When the iPhone launched it was cutting edge – now as other manufacturers announce, for instance, that you can use their phones as shareable wifi hot spots, Apple says no. Not because of some spurious “user experience” argument, but because of economics. When will they learn that it’s customers – supply and demand – that should dictate feature availability?

3) No Flash: The iPhone, the phone that promised to put the web into everybody’s pockets, can’t even show you most of it, because it can’t handle Flash graphics. Google Android can, in the latest version (OS 2.2), and it’s going to be available free on a lot of budget tariffs.

4) No multitasking: Tried instant messaging on an iPhone? Oh yes, you have to open the app to see if you’ve got a message. Genius. If Apple announces multitasking next it will be an improvement – but there’ll be no apology for the way it’s treated customers in the past, and no guarantee it won’t behave similarly shoddily in the future.

5) Its battery life is terrible: This isn’t a problem unique to Apple, but look at phones by companies such as HTC – multitasking, better cameras, better screens, all draining their batteries far more – and yet the iPhone, with its undemanding technology, still only offers equal performance.

6) Developing apps for it is costing you money: The special version of the BBC iPlayer, of Natwest Phone Banking, of Eon’s meter reader – developing all of these came out of money that could have been channelled away from a self-important minority and towards more generally useful ideas.

7) It comes with offensively bad headphones: Sit next to somebody using the original iPhone or iPod headphones and you can hear everything they can. It’s another example of Apple charging premium prices, but delivering a dressed up, budget product.

8) It’s not very well designed: Use the iPhone as a phone and it’s not got great reception, nor is it particularly comfortable to use for long periods. It’s a computer that happens to have a phone bolted on – jack of two trades, but master of neither.

9) It charges for satnav: In an age when Nokia and Google Android provide completely free mapping and satnav facilities, the cheapest way you can turn your overpriced iPhone into a satnav is with a £19.99 app. Bargain.

10) Those iPod docks are holding back better technologies: As every hotel increasingly thinks it should provide iPod docks, the momentum behind this technology is only growing. But if it wasn’t for the iPod and iPhone’s ubiquity, there’d be more wifi radios, more new technologies and a range of different options, competing and driving innovation. is really important if it is only 2-3 seconds difference in downloading...the antennagate is far more important cause 99% of the time you always holding it...torch or droid ? apple is out of the competition...

well most of these comments remind me of that "my camera is better than yours because it has more megapixels"-discussion...

in my eyes it's all about the package: I pretty damn sure if rim wanted to - they could've put in a 1ghz processor or at least sth compatative - but most of you forget that the power has to come somewhere: faster processer means less battery life - remember iphone 3gs? the battery doesn't even last for 1 day if you USE your phone ... want that? other solution would be bigger battery - but then others say it's too heavy or too big or whatever ... different people, different phones, different needs - i prefer my phone running easily 2 days without charging and i can live with that slower browser ... there may be others who don't care how often they have to charge their phone and enjoy their faster browsing experience!

Thanks Kevin for putting this out there. We all know how easy it would have been to bury this video instead of showing it. It shows a lot of integrity on your part to show the Torch/browser CLEARLY being beaten but you posted it anyway.

I love my 9650 but I use it for the data and not the media capabilities. If that was more important to me, I understand I would need to switch to the iPhone4 or droid. Get the device that suits your needs best.

While everyone is bashing RIM on the unit, they need to remember one very important fact.
RIM has been and remains to be the leader in enterprise messaging and integration.
They focus on on the primary objective of security and reliable enterprise integration, which most of the players out there can not even begin to compete.
This is the very fundamental root of why Blackberry still remains as the leader in this regard.
All the other flashy stuff is simply bling for the masses.
I will agree that the move to a WebKit based browser is a gigantic leap forward, opening the door for other CRM applications etc.
It is not however the primary bread and butter reason as to why corporations around the world continue to standardize on the Blackberry platform. I say, stay tuned, this is but only a first humble step in the progression of their devices.

the iPhone4 beats the Torch in web browsing and samsung captivate beats the Torch also.. RIM?? speed up your browsing and you'll be alright.

Maybe it's just because I don't have my head rammed so far up my ass to see this stupid point of view, but what does it matter if it takes 3, 5, or 10 seconds to load a website on my CELL PHONE? At least with a Blackberry, if a website is taking 1.35 secs longer than expected and i'm about to piss myself with anger because I just absolutely can not wait to see this life changing website, I can pop over, shoot off a bbm, hop back, and wow it still loaded.

RIM started as Enterprise-oriented communications, be thankful they are trying to make the BB's more consumer compatible as well. Sure, they need to seriously upgrade the specs of their handset hardware, and with the promise of QNX based phones, that dream more than likely will become a big reality.

In my honest opinion, all Crackberry fanboyness aside, the iPhone is nothing special over an iPod touch. I love my touch and wouldn't ever trade it for any other music device, but if I wanted an iPhone, I'd glue my old 2002 camera flip phone to the back and Bam, iPhone. Android, on the other hand, I semi-like, but it's just not interesting enough for me to want. Blackberrys are sleek, fit well in your hand, and deliver just what you need when you're on the go. Apple fanboys, you just have a $700 aluminum toy. Apps mean nothing when the store is filled with noise makers and flashy lights. My brother has 8, count them, 8 fart makers. Yeah, that's what I want on my $700 phone...

No handheld has true security or multitasking like the Blackberry.

Surfing the web, and get a text? Oh, no! You have to back out of the browser, check the text, go back to the browser app and start again, because you don't have switch app like a Blackberry does. :'(

My company said I couldn't have certain things on my corporate issued phone, but because I'm so smart, and the apple and droid don't have an enterprise server, I jailbroke my phone, and it bricked. Now, I am in serious trouble with my employer cause I thought I was cool. Too bad there wasn't a server my company could control my immature actions on. :'(