Hands on with the RIM/Vodafone BlackBerry Storm
Trying out this season's hottest talker
First Look We’ve been writing about the BlackBerry Storm for months, but this morning we boarded a Vodafone tour bus to get up close and personal with the most talked about phone since the T-Mobile G1.
RIM's BlackBerry Storm, coming 14 November
But did the Storm blow us away, like its name suggests it should?
First up, what’s it like to hold? The phone’s perfectly sized to fit neatly into the palm of your hand and its build quality seems second to none. This is a nice change from the Google Android-based G1, which critics instantly claimed felt cheaply made.
Using Storm in either portrait or landscape orientation is painless and although it sometimes needed a shake to make the screen switch between a horizontal and vertical display, something that iPhone owners will be all too familiar with, Vodafone assured us that the accelerometer’s sensitivity can be adjusted to correct this.
Two four-icon rows on the touchscreen act as your hot-keys. Below them sit four physical buttons: the green call key, one to bring up the main menu, a back-step button and the call end key. From the main menu you have access to everything from the web browser and games to the set-up screen and 3.2-megapixel camera app.
Storm's entire display is spring-loaded
The 3.2in touch-sensitive display doesn’t support the usual haptic feedback so it won’t vibrate each time you tap it. Instead, the entire screen is spring-loaded and depresses by a millimetre or so on each touch.
There's no doubt this gives more feedback than you get with many touchscreens, including the iPhones, in a way that feels less artificial than simply tripping a handset's buzzer every tap. But we couldn’t help wonder if the screen’s physical downward movement creates a big enough gap for dust and muck to slip in underneath the display.
At the very least, the screen's going to be accidentally depressed when it's sitting in pockets and bags, and we reckon it's going to get quickly grimy round the edges.
Like most people to whom a phone like the Storm is pitched, I'm used to browsing on my phone via my home wifi connection - it's quicker and easier than using the laptop. My mobile connection at home is patchy at best, not 3G let alone HSDPA, and therefore both far slower and potentially much more expensive than the wifi I'm already paying for separately, so why on earth would I choose a phone that couldn't use it?
why does wifi matter?
I wish there was more said about the functionality of browser, e-mail, calendar, etc... whether keyboard shortcuts are still easy to use - if I can use both full keyboard and suretype shortcuts...
internet on a cell phone is for internet on the go - if I need internet where there is wifi available, I'll pull out the laptop.
data limits is the only reason I can see wifi being a 'necessary' feature. I see it as more a battery drain than anything.
Bad Move by Rim
The lack of Wi-Fi is one of the biggest mistakes that Rim could do, all of the competition has it as standard nowadays so the we couldnt fit it in excuse is just lame.
Even the egotistical Apple was not fool hardy enough to miss that one even though its phone is aimed at the narcisus brigade.
I like the look of the phone but no wi-fi makes it less of an option as that would of allowed for easier access to emils & documents while out of the office.
The X1 looks like a brick & I tried the apple :(
Form & Function is what people are looking for.
Note the comment from VF about WiFi
"There are plans to bring WiFi to the Storm"... does this mean the device DOES have it on board but RIM have disabled it at the request of the carrier(s)? I don't feasibly see it any other way because surely RIM wouldn't produce something like this and NOT put WiFi in there. Especially when by and large this is simply a Bold without the buttons.
Would they REALLY be so silly as to produce a non WiFi version then bring out a WiFi one shortly after and piss off the early adopters to the point where they harm the all important consumer sales in the future .
Educate me if I'm wrong someone, I just don't see this as been a RIM forced situation. It has to be carrier dictated surely?
3.2 megapixels, about optimum for a camera phone's likely sensor and optics, contrary to some Register reviewers/reporters' assertions. Shame about what looks like an LED not-flash though.