BlackBerry Torch 9800 vs. Samsung Epic 4G: Slider Showdown

By Peter Chubb - Aug 3, 2010

RIM announced to the world today their latest handset, the BlackBerry Torch 9800. This is not your usual BlackBerry handset; it is like a hybrid to them, as it incorporates a QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen. RIM will have some tough competition in this market as they have lined themselves up to go head-to-head with the Samsung Epic 4G, so who will win this slider showdown?

If I were a betting man I would say that Samsung would win out, I am not saying there is anything wrong with the new BlackBerry device, but the Epic has two things going for it – Android mobile OS and Sprint 4G data speeds. However, the Torch will be on AT&T and will benefit from a huge advertising campaign.

This is something that will not happen with the Epic as it is part of the Galaxy S range and all four carriers have their own variants – this means that none of the carriers will want to start a huge advertising campaign.

Let us compare the specs from the two handsets; the Torch 9800 has a 3.2-inch screen compared to the 4-inch display on the Epic 4G. Both handsets offer a 5-megapixel camera; again the Samsung handset has the edge with 720p video recording.

Both handsets come with 512 MB RAM / 512 MB ROM and MicroSD card slots for extra storage. The BlackBerry Torch 9800 comes with BB OS 6, where the Samsung Epic 4G comes with Android 2.1, although will get the 2.2 Froyo update in the fall.

On paper the Epic looks to be the better phone, but it is down to you, so what will you choose?

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Also See: AT&T BlackBerry Torch 9810 release date confirmed – nice price

  • Tom Miller

    hile waiting for a sprint torch I have discovered a few things like how to make the OS 4 browser run faster. (See google) and how to load the regular linkedin login page (turn off styles) plus the tether app replaces my need for a seperate data phone line so I am beginning to wonder if I even want to up grade out of my curve.


  • Jeff

    My wife and I are leaving TMO after 3 months of a nightmare with their customer service. Now we are going to AT&T just to get the blackberry torch we can't wait till they arrive we even got the new colors. As far as the torch being a bad phone come on people all phones are bad the first time around but wait and see. As my wife would tell you I'm never wrong I say wait for the new torch it's going to blow all other phones away just stop and think about it and you will agree

    • fowenati

      It's so much more than that, The OS needs an overhaul. The phone's processer is completely 2 Generations old. Blow other phones away? Have you ever used some of the new android phones? The only thing blackberry has going for it is BBM and its intense use in the bussiness world of 2+ Years ago because it dominated the market then and people don't want to learn anything new and they want to comply with their company and the cycle keeps going, one of the same reasons windows are used more than macs, because everything is saved in windows formats. AT&T has shitty customer service too, and ATT has bad service as well. If you wanted the best service then Verizon, Fastest Speeds/Good service then Sprint (their customer service used to suck ass, but now it's actually really good, from a 10 Year customer stand point of my dad). I have used the torch and the epic, the torch seems amazing compared to other black berries, but compared to android phones, it sucks.

  • LJon

    Just moved from BlackBerry to a Samsung Epic – thought it was going to be the right move. While i love the Apps. and the browser. i have to say the most important function of a smart phone for business is the ability to do e-mail. Thus far i have not been impressed by Epic. Swype is cool but I like to click away on a keyboard, this is why i got the Epic. keyboard lay out is good, but i have not figured out how to make the text i am writting larger and possibly the biggest issue is the fact that ANDROID DOES NOT HAVE SPELL CHECK. Seriously are you kidding me. I might stay – i have been with Sprint for years. but BB is looking better and better for This business user. BTW- the Epic battery is aweful!!!!!!

    • lovelylove

      Hey I got the epic and yes the battery tend to be kinda off but! Though I must say you sould go to the sprint stre and buy the other battery fr it cuz they dnt have the extended battery 🙁 sad but tre so I got the other batter cost me 50 but its wrth it!!!

  • Mattemer

    The Epic 4G has 1gig of ROM, and 512mb of RAM. Not 512mb ROM like reported in this article.

  • CRMPie

    I have had an opportunity to spend some time with both of these devices and since no one has thrown in a vote for the BB Torch, I will tell you why it will be my phone of choice. The Torch is a complete rework of the BB experience the majority of the smartphone users in the marketplace have come to know over the years. The Samsung has a slightly faster browser (only a fraction of a second) and a superior camera in that it also shoots clean video. If you love wicked fun gadgetry – go with the Samsung and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

    I prefer the BB because I am mainly a business user. I feel the weight distribution and general ergonomics of the slide down QWERTY keyboard on the BB champions the slide sideways keyboards equipped on many of the Android phones, including the Samsung. Like many business users, I send hours each week thrashing away on the keyboard – ergonomics is no light concern for me! If you like the form factor of the BB QWERTY which has always been a huge plus for them – this new slide down rendition will be so close to the original experience you won't look back.

    Besides the ergonomics, the phone itself is cooler than anything every conceived of by our RIM friends across the border. I really enjoyed the web browsing experience and I absolutely love the email interface which lays the tired old BB email to rest – no one will mourn!

    Really folks, if you have been a solid BB user for years as I have been, this latest iteration will make you profoundly pleased. The Samsung is also an incredible device – it's certainly more impressive on paper – but it strikes me as a gadget for gadget enthusiasts and gamers. I predict that the BB crowd is going to rally big behind the Torch and that you'll also find RIM reclaiming a large chunk of expats who ditched them for the iPhone.

  • tommy

    I have been with my blackberry phone since 2006. They were the best at that moment. (Past) Rim thought that they had the cell phone market forever. They were mistaken. Rim saw others companies growing such as HTC, Samsung and did not do anything. Blackberry OS 5.0.0 was ok but no excellent. Rim should have come with this Torch phone 2 years ago. It would have been the best phone in 2008, now it is too late. EVO 4G is here, Droid X, Droid 2 is about to come out and my phone Samsung Epic as well. Two years ago Android OS was only a joke in people's mind, now is the best because Google have been listing the requirements that people have been writing on blogs around the internet every day. My wife has the EVO 4G and she loves it. (She is very picky). Good bye Blackberry it was a pleasure, but now I will get My Samsung Epic 4G as soon as I can. I will be very happy with this phone even though I do not have it yet. It will sport a push mail technology like blackberry. I LOVE this phone already.

  • This one would have been better if it has a front facing camera and wasn't released on an AT&T carrier only. Reactions to Blackberry Torch.

  • biblelit

    Blackberry has been a great business phone for me for years. And it used to be the ONLY business phone to choose. That simply is NOT the case any more. Now, a phone must be able to have supportable applications that will aid our work and life. Blackberry OS is simply NOT that Operating System. I am sure this phone is fine. It can't stack up to the EVO or this Epic. It is over for Blackberry… I say that with no pleasure. It is just the facts of our technological lives.

  • Maroot

    With either phone you have a 2 year commitment.
    I'd rather spend 2 years with a phone that's easier to see the screen, use/type, flixible/upgradable, faster data speed and overall – cost to operate.
    That only leads to one phone. And that is the Sprint Samsung Epic 4G. Period.

  • I am on ATT now with an Iphone and oh gosh does the experience suck! You call their customer service and THEY will tell you — dude its the phone, not the network so get a new phone and you should see better service than the spotty service you have been experiencing. I declined the free phone offer and will get the Epic when I switch to Sprint.

  • Mikey

    The Samsung Galaxy S Epic 4G from Sprint is the right choice!!!!

  • Fozzyfoe

    The slide out keyboard looks very useful and the lcd is incredible. I like that Sansung developed their own CPU and GPU to out-perform the Droid X and iPhone (the reviews have confirmed this). In my view, I don't think the Sprint Epic 4G is missing much. It looks to be close to perfect especially due to receiving the OTA Froyo update soon. This is the phone for me. It has been real Blackberry but I have to move on to the next level of smartphone……..Android – Epic 4G. Later.

  • Fozzyfoe

    I currently have a Bold 9700 and have been using Blackberries since they cameout a long time ago. The problem has always been their multimedia experience. The 9700 is better with Flash support but the web browsing experience is just ok. ATT has a questionable network but they do offer the ability to web browse, email/text, and talk on the phone simultaneously. This is helpful from time to time. The phone just needs a lot more. The screen is too small, the lack of touch screen is limiting. So the addition of touch-screen is nice. I do however wish they would have chosen a premium screen to compete better with the rentina lcd and amoled lcd. With that said, I am ready for a faster, more web friendly phone such as the Sprint Epic 4G. I like what I have read in the web reviews. The thickness is not too bad it appears.

    • MVTom

      If you are in a Sprint 4G area, or using WiFi, you can talk and text at the same time with the Epic (as you can do with the HTC EVO 4G right now), because 4G is used exclusively for text and all voice goes over 3G (if you are in an area not yet covered by Sprint 4G, you can use WiFi for the text and 3G for voice).

      • Mattemer

        You've always been able to talk and text at the same time on CDMA using 3G. Texting isn't internet based. You couldn't use internet services and voice services at the same time. MMS also could not be done at the same time.

      • hank

        thats not true…you can talk and text all the time

  • Neil

    The bb is on AT&T.
    That means great things for the epic4g. I will be moving from att, which is horribly uncaring and has horrible unreliable service to sprint, which is a wild card (but cheap, at least). This is just for Cincinnati, but att made me take back my iPhone by not having adequate service!