Web browser comparison - BlackBerry Bold 9700 vs. BlackBerry Torch 9800

By Adam Zeis on 12 Aug 2010 11:54 am EDT

Playing around with the Torch the last few days I've become a big fan of the WebKit browser (as I expected I would). Sites that I used to shy away from on my 9700 browser are now a breeze on the Torch and make the web experience that much better. Granted having the touchscreen again is a big bonus, but being able to double-tap zoom and flick around with more speed is a great thing -- not to mention having tabbed browsing. This isn't really a "competition" bewtween the two devices, but I ran a little comparison of a few sites to see how the Bold 9700 compared to the Torch 9800. While it's not the greatest difference on some sites, others are much easier to work with now. I checked out CrackBerry.com, Google Reader, IMDB.com and ESPN.com. Kevin showed how the Torch stacked up to other device browsers, so here is a straight up BlackBerry to BlackBerry. I'm sure I'll find some more in the coming weeks, but if you pick up a Torch tomorrow (or have on already) be sure to drop a comment with some of your favorite sites to visit using the new browser.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Web browser comparison - BlackBerry Bold 9700 vs. BlackBerry Torch 9800


Bolt was always shitty IMO. I never liked the UI, I never liked navigating, and I would always use Opera over Bolt if anything but I guess that's just me.

I'm still excited for the WebKit browser. I don't care about speed in comparison to other devices, as the WebKit browser is a gigantic leap over the default browser I deal with by choice.

It's a real pain in the ass. They never integrated the controls for Bolt to match native Berry, so Pressing on "I" or "O" does not do the job like the rest of the native apps (browser, documents, etc). You have to relearn the function keys for the Bolt browser; which are based on keys 0-9 like a basic phones BREW, and it really slows you down. Not that the browsers on either of these devices are worth writing home about... I think RIM just shot itself in the foot by releasing yet another device with a joke for a browser. The funny part is that the majority of Android adopters (something like 58%, I think Android Central reported) are former Berry users. Talk about lack of incentive for RIM loyalty! This thing still cant render sites properly or timely. On the other hand the competition is pushing Adobe Flash 10 updates in a couple weeks. RIM's data exchange is about the only thing keeping them afloat, unfortunately the framework is obsolete and the end users are now paying the price with poor data handling/processing. It can't be long now before we see a big change one way or another...

The webkit browser still needs some work to keep up. In the video it looks like the 9700 was using 3G not WiFi.

Yet for all our complaining for the last 2 years - the bb fangirls response was - "oh - it could be a little faster, but its just fine for how I use it...and "I don't need a lightining fast full HTML browser, it's a business phone" "it'll kill battery life" blah, blah, blah, yadda yadda yadda. Same guys now saying how great this browser is and telling the same people there's no need for a better cpu, dedicated graphics, dedicated RAM, or nice screen.

In the words of my 14 year old - - Whatever.

The new WebKit browser is available, and will be available for other devices so of course people are going to complain in comparison to a different browser on a similar OS. Who DOESN'T want something that's better if it's available for the same platform - especially if it basically puts the OS5 browser to shame.

"It's tough to feel really excited about the BlackBerry Torch and OS 6 after heavy testing. We had high hopes coming into this review that the new operating system would be more than a fresh coat of paint on an aging user experience -- that we were going to see substantial changes in the attitude and direction of the company. While there are notable improvements here and much that is laudable, what we're ultimately left with is, at its core, more of the same. For all the improvements in the browser, the more upscale fit-and-finish of the UI, and the thoughtful changes in basic functionality, we still feel like this device is a generation behind the market. Instead of meeting the rising stars of the smartphone world (Apple and Google) head-on, RIM has taken something more like baby steps toward innovation. The company seems convinced that it's got a better idea about what its customers want and how a smartphone should act in 2010, but we can't say we agree. The Torch seems sluggish, underpowered, and dated from a hardware design standpoint, and BlackBerry 6, despite its new features and polish, still feels woefully behind the curve. To call the Torch the "best BlackBerry ever" wouldn't be an understatement, but unfortunately for RIM and the faithful, their best isn't nearly good enough. "


I agree.

With a name like HTC Droid EvO, I'm not surprised you would agree. Gizmodo is a bunch of iPhone/Android idiots who kick and scream when anything is posted phone-wise, that isn't an iPhone or Android device.

It's funny how so many people will read this and take it straight to heart. Smartphones are all about what works best for YOU and the features you need and want to make your life simpler and/or more fun. If I like the BlackBerry UI, why do you care? How does this affect your life in any way at all- let alone negatively? You clearly like droid phones, I don't care!!! You don't see me over on some HTC forum complaining about how silly that huge screen is, or how the battery life sucks on the Evo, do you? Live and let live, my friend.

The people on this site talk out of there ass, not Kevin he was just being honest. But those like you said went all..."I dont need faster, its fine the way it is"...lol

They are just itching for that 1gz and Hi-res screen.

Right now this is only a victory for a few AT&T users...so please dont bash so quickly, at least 98% of BlackBerry users still have 5.XXX


Just curious...I don't know if anyone has yet to confirm if the 9700 will support OS 6...


RIM announced it at the press conference a couple of weeks ago when they rolled out OS 6

yes the 9700 is using 3G and the 9800 is using wifi. so its not an accurate comparison. i know my wifi at home is WAY faster than 3G.

also, yes it has been confirmed that the 9700 will get OS6

the 9700 is an T-mobile phone which is not 3g and the torch is an at&t which is 3g...i was watching this video like "ive never saw my bold take this long" until my buddy noticed the difference.. really not a side by side...

I have read all the reviews and comparisons on the new AT&T Blackberry Torch and was wondering will I still be an avid Blackberry user once I'm able to upgrade in December. My current carrier is Sprint and I had the chance to use the EVO that one of my friend upgraded from the Blackberry and was really impressed. Sprint is about to introduce another 4G smartphone called the Epic later this summer. I really love the Blackberry experiences even though I have what some may consider as the "low end" version (8530). Definitely want to get rid of this particular phone. If RIM wants to really step it up and improve on the new Blackberry Torch is to produce a Sprint improved version with 4G and call it the Blackberry Flash or Beacon (synonym to Torch)! :)

I'm looking at my 9700 right now as it's on wifi, and I have the wifi icon at the top right when I'm surfing using the BB browser. Don't know if that's still the case on BB 6 via the 9800, but the 9700 definitely isn't using wifi, while wifi is enabled.

So that's definitely comparing apples to oranges regardless, since it's T-Mobile vs. AT&T (or even if they're unlocked, they still couldn't be using the same 3G network due to T-Mobile being on AWS vs. AT&T who are not using AWS).

I think I'll be getting the epic4G IF I'm not charged an extra $10 fee to use it like the EVO...that's the reason I didn't get it and the fact that it doesn't have a physical KB! Hate touch screen KBs!!! Don't get me wrong I love the simplicity of my 8530 but I just want a more advanced phone...

You guys must be drinkin the koolaid....Just read reviews elsewhere - Boy Genius being one - gave this latest POS from Rim the kiss of death. So much potential, so much hope, so much opportunity....WASTED...SAME OLD SAME OLD.
They pretty much said that RIM blew it. 1970's technology in an antique package. SO Sad! If RIM does not take care , it will be #3 or #4 behind Android or the iPhone 4. Read the reviews!! I am not gonna waste my hard earned dollars on just more of the same. Even BGR said don't waste your money - buy an earlier version!

Will this mean that the browser will be just as fast as the torch?

Also about the Wi-Fi......

Why is it that both phones have wi-fi enabled, are right next to each other, but only the 9800 seems to have it active?

Isn't it the same wireless router providing the phones with wi-fi?

I can't wait for OS 6 and this browser on my 9700 but for now bolt serves me just fine and is so much better than the BB browser- i'd like to see a back to back test with bolt!

The storm 2 Browser loads the better espn mobile site, So did the storm 1. Not sure why it would and not the 9700

is a loser for me, especially since it's on ATT. They need to bring back the 9000 form factor w/all the new upgrades of the 9800 - touchscreen not necessary but if it's feasible,go ahead.
I'll visit ATT just to check it out when I have time but for all intent and purposes, I won't be leaving TMO for this unit. I almost left just to use the 9000, but signal strength was weak in my area and making/receiving calls via wifi w/TMO is just unbeatable not to mention pricing.
That's just me so for now, I'm sticking with the 9700 & TMO. Now, if they do upgrade the 9700 with faster cpu & increased memory, I might be "addicted" enough to upgrade because I've given up HOPE that an upgraded 9000 would make it's way back on the scene and if it did, I sincerely doubt that TMO will get it.

I'm pretty disappointed that a respected site like crackberry would post a comparison that is not apples to apples. Comparing webpage load times of 3G vs. wi-fi will of course be drastically different. Either compare 3G to 3G or wi-fi to wi-fi. I'm sure the webkit browser would still win of course, but at least make it a fair comparison.

When the vid starts, both are on wifi, but then when he starts browsing, the Bold 9700 appears to be on 3G (Tmobile) while the Torche 9800 is still on wifi. Totally skewered the results. This review is chuck full of mis-information. Fail.

When the vid starts, both are on wifi, but then when he starts browsing, the Bold 9700 appears to be on 3G (Tmobile) while the Torche 9800 is still on wifi. Totally skewered the results. This review is chuck full of mis-information. Fail.