The Storm Has Arrived.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008 ·

It’s finally here. The much anticipated world’s first touch screen BlackBerry Storm is now available through Vodafone in the UK, Ireland and Australia, Verizon Wireless in the United States, Telus and Bell in Canada..

The BlackBerry Storm, or BlackBerry Thunder, is a smartphone developed by Research In Motion (RIM). It is part of the 9500 series of phones. It is RIM's first touchscreen device and first device without a physical keyboard and will feature a touchscreen which reacts physically like a button via SurePress, a Research In Motion patented technology of providing haptic feedback. That is when you strike a key or icon on the Storm's screen, you feel a physical sensation, as if you were pressing a real key or button. That's because you are pressing a real button. The entire glass display is one large button, mounted on a mechanical substructure that allows it to move upon pressure. The idea behind this feature is to make typing on glass feel much more like typing on a real keyboard, and thus to make the virtual keyboard, and the touch interface, more acceptable to people used to physical keyboards and buttons. This push-down screen also replaces the side-mounted scroll wheel or track ball on other BlackBerrys for activating menu choices and icons.

It is intended to be a direct competitor to Apple iPhone, the T-Mobile G1 by HTC, HTC Touch Diamond, HTC Touch Pro and HTC Touch HD. The shape and dimensions are very close to that of the iPhone, but thicker by 7 millimeters and heavier, weighing 20 grams (0.71 oz) more.
The Blackberry Storm is a world-phone, featuring CDMA with EV-DO Rev. A data, UMTS with HSDPA, and quad-band GSM with EDGE data access speed.

The BlackBerry Storm offers a surprising amount of innovation and usability for a touchscreen business phone. The clickscreen navigation setup works very well, and deftly solves the problem of dealing with RIM's long menus on a touchscreen phone. Typing on the BlackBerry Storm's keyboard is better than typing on any other touchscreen. Productivity apps are also top-notch, especially thanks to the included DataViz Documents To Go suite—good for opening and editing Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. And of course, hundreds of third-party BlackBerry—ranging from games and RSS readers to Facebook and MySpace apps—are available online.
Multimedia options are plentiful, including easy-to-use music and video players. You can listen to your tunes over stereo Bluetooth headsets or using the 3.5mm earphone jack, and the phones comes with 1GB of internal storage and an 8GB microSD card.

Also making an appearance is a very capable 3.2-MP camera. While it lacks the fancypants lenses found in better camera phones, it does have a flash and snaps off some pretty decent, noiseless pics. Also included is a video recorder.

Web surfing on the device is good, not great. The fully realized browser pulls up pages quickly but also suffers from a lack of flash support. Cut-and-paste functionality works almost perfectly, as does text editing. All of RIM’s e-mail goodness and top-shelf messaging are also effortlessly integrated into the device. For better or for worse, you never forget that you are using a BlackBerry.

As I use the phone I will add more reviews and tips to this blog.


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