Talking BlackBerry Encyclopedia
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Tallahassee, FL
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| | My review: Typing, editing, Google Maps, etc.
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A friend at work got a Storm 9530 today. I just finished playing with it for 15 or 20 minutes.
It came with OS 184.108.40.206 installed and an 8GB MicroSD card.
I did not notice it being laggy. Transition from portrait to landscape is consistently quick. Transition from landscape back to portrait is consistently a bit slower. Maybe 1 to 1.5 seconds.
I like the typing pretty well. I like using SureType on my Pearl, and I didn't have any real trouble with speed or accuracy on the Storm. The first time I opened a new message, I was in Portrait mode, and it came up with the Multitap keyboard displayed (and I verified that it worked as Multitap). I hit the menu key to change to SureType and the menu had "Enable Multitap", but no "Enable SureType". I finally went ahead and chose Enable Multitap, and the multitap keyboard stayed on the display and still worked as multitap. Then I hit the menu key again and it had "Enable SureType". I chose that and the SureType keyboard was displayed and worked just fine.
Somewhere along the way, I read a review that said that, when using the QWERTY keyboard (obviously, in Landscape mode) to type an email, all you could see of the message was the headers and one line of the actual text you are typing. Well, that is incorrect. I could see the headers and three (or 4?) lines of my text. And as I typed enough to cause the text to scroll, the headers scrolled up and out of view, so I could see even more lines of my text.
My biggest problem was selecting text for cut-and-paste operations. I do that quite a bit in messages on my Pearl. Selecting text to cut or copy, using the track ball, is easy on the Pearl. Selecting precisely what you want, in a text message or email, on the Storm seemed very difficult. The letters are so small and you're trying to position the cursor with your finger. You use two fingers to initially set the selection, and then you can use one finger to adjust the ends of the selection. But, if you are trying to select just 2 or 3 letters, it is really difficult.
And the complaint is about the same if you were trying to position the cursor in a specific spot to be able to use Backspace to delete one or more letters. Getting the cursor positioned exactly right to start hitting Backspace is really hard.
Similar for the browser. I went to Weather.com. Navigating the links was hard. You can touch where you want and it will highlight the selected link. If it's the link you want, you just press to click. But, if the text of the link is small, your finger covers the whole link and you can't tell what's highlighted. This is especially a problem if there are two links close together. Your finger covers them both and you can't tell which one you're clicking. That part is much easier if you toggle from Pan mode to Cursor mode. The cursor does not position directly under your fingertip. I positions just slightly abover and to the left, so you can see the whole cursor and whatever it is over. In Cursor mode you can still move your finger to the top or bottom and the screen will scroll. That is okay and I would probably rather have it just work that way by default. But, if I toggled into Cursor mode and then clicked a link, when the new page loaded, it went back into Pan mode. Hopefully, that's an option that can be changed. I didn't have time to check.
I downloaded Google Maps onto the Storm. GM worked, but it did not appear to be getting a signal from the GPS - only tower triangulation. It said my location was within 2300 meters, same as my Pearl. Maybe that was because I was indoors. I don't know. I did go into Options/Advanced Options and make sure the GPS was on.
Also, the Voice Search that works great on my Pearl did not appear to be available as an option when running on the Storm. The app did appear to have Storm-specific stuff, though. The lower left corner has + and - icons for zooming in and out. And the lower right has a purple dot icon that you can click to reposition to your current location.
Also, after I exited out of Google Maps, I couldn't find the GM icon anywhere, to be able to get back into it. I looked in the Applications folder, the Downloads folder, and every single other folder there was. I checked the Menu key to click the Show All option and it wasn't listed. Maybe because there were no icons hidden at that time? Don't know. I could choose Switch Application and pick GM to get back into it, but that was it. I was going to try a battery pull, to see if the GM icon showed up after that, but I didn't have time.
If this thing just had a trackball at the bottom, between the buttons, like the other BBs, I think it would be awesome. As it is, the difficulty in selecting text has me very ambivalent about upgrading from my Pearl. I use my Pearl all day every day as a modem tethered to my laptop. The speed of Rev A in the Storm would be really nice to have. But, when I'm not tethered, I do a lot of emailing directly from my Pearl, which often involves copy-and-paste.
Verizon 8130 (on the bench, now
Verizon 9530 (replaced by VZW 4 times, then with a 9550)