12-14-2008, 12:05 PM
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| | My Blackberry Storm Impressions
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Here is a post I made on my blog about the Storm. Let me know what you guys think.
Since picking the Blackberry Storm up on Friday I have had a good amount of time to really get to know the device. So here is a run down of my impressions on RIM's first touchscreen Blackberry. This is gonna be kinda long, so get some popcorn and lets dig in! First let me start off by saying I have never had Verizon before, I have At&t now (my iPhone), and have had T-Mobile and Sprint. Out of all of them Verizon's service is no joke! I get signal in places where NONE of my At&t phones can get coverage (parking garage, deep inside target, etc). So to say the least I am very happy with the signal strength and service on the Storm. As for the device, although Verizon's network is great, I still would have liked to see WiFi implemented on the Storm, but its absence is not a deal breaker. The 3G speeds are very good on the Storm and things move pretty snappy when connected to the network.
Now onto the hardware. The whole "clicky" screen thing to me sounded really lame and not user friendly when I first heard about it. Now that I have used it for a few days I am really enjoying it. Now I will say it does take some getting used to, its not pick up and play friendly like other Blackberry models. Once you have gotten the hang of where your fingers need to be on order to hit each button, it becomes very nice to use. I like that when you just touch the screen it doesn't select the letter until you have actually clicked down on the screen. It really helps in preventing mistyping and misspelled words as long as you take the time to learn the keyboard. The Suretype keyboard is extremely easy to use since the buttons are so big and I can actually say it's easier to use than the Suretype on a Blackberry Pearl. The virtual full qwerty will never take the place of a hardware keyboard, but it does a great job.
The screen on the Storm is WOW good! It's bright, clear, and colors look amazing! I encoded some DVDs to play on the Storm and they play just as good, if not better than my iPhone 3G. The speaker is very clear and loud when listening to music/movies or using it as a speaker phone. The speaker is not quite as good as the Stereo speakers on the Bold, but it is 10x better than my iPhone's speaker. Web browsing is a mix bag for me on the Storm. Navigating the browser is easy, tap to zoom, finger scrolling, and the web looks great on that large display. My only issue is with the Blackberry browser itself. It sits in the middle of Windows Mobile's internet explorer and the iPhone's Safari. Sometimes it doesn't render pages correctly, and some buttons that are normally selectable, preform no action when I click them.
Email, of course, is great on the Storm being a Blackberry and all. I get my Gmail pushed to it and HTML email looks pretty good. Setting up accounts and handling multiple accounts is something Blackberry does extremely well. Text on the other hand, I am not a fan of. I send/receive 500-600 text messages a week, mostly to the same people, so threaded messaging is a huge plus for me. Unfortunately the Storm does not keep all the messages to the same person condensed into one thread. It shows each individual received message in the inbox. Once you select a message you can view the whole conversation from that message back. So I have to either delete them daily or just have an extremely messy text inbox. Media on the Storm really surprised me. As I said earlier, videos play great and do not stutter or have any pixelation. Music is also handled very well, with album art taking up the whole screen similar to the iPhone, it looks great. The music player is organized and using Missing Sync, I can sync my iTunes (Non DRM) music with no problem. My only complaint is that my playlists do not sync over. Not really the phone's fault, but when compared to other phones (COUGH iPhone COUGH) it is an option I wish was there. Calendar and contacts are great also. I use the Google sync app in conjunction with busysync on my computer, to keep my Macbook, Google, and Blackberry all wirelessly synced up.
One thing I love that is not Storm specific but a Blackberry feature, is all the alert options. You can set it to vibrate 1-3 times, ring in the holster, not ring in the holster, use a ton of different pre-installed tones, or any of your own Mp3s as tones and alerts. What I mean is the alert options are very customizable and work great! When I first got the device it was a bit sluggish when navigating through the OS and the accelerometer didn't always rotate quickly.
Yesterday I installed the leaked version of 126.96.36.199, and all of those complaints are gone. I have been using the phone all day and I have to say it is much improved. Overall I really like the device and it is a blast to use. Its does have a learning curve, but it is worth giving the Storm some of your time. It has all the great things you love about Blackberry, but its a new feel with the clicky touchscreen and the amazing display. Most reviewers have said to try before you buy. I say buy the damn thing and put it through the ringer and use your 30 trial to its fullest. So there you have it folks my first impressions and thoughts of the new Blackberry Storm. Leave a comment or send me tweet on Twitter if you have any specific questions for me.