Blackberry Storm Review: Quick Hands-On (83%)

Blackberry Storm: Quick Hands On ReviewOver the weekend we had chance to play with Blackberry’s first touchscreen model, the much-hyped Blackberry Storm.

The first impressions were very positive: the handset is a great size and feels very solid indeed. The back panel looked like it would survive a drop or two, and the battery door had none of that soon-break flimsiness seen on many phones.

The front of the Storm comes with four buttons to start/end calls, plus a back/Blackberry Menu, all of which felt reassuringly solid.

Clickable touchscreen
The big news with the Storm is of course its innovative clickable 4″ touchscreen and we found this a pleasure to type on, and certainly way superior to pushing your fingers around the iPhone’s feedback-free slab of glass.

Using the screen, we soon found our typing speeds hitting a fair rate of knots – not quite up to a proper hardware QWERTY keyboard, but it’s the best on-screen keyboard we’ve ever used.

Blackberry Storm: Quick Hands On ReviewGood auto typing correction
We preferred the Storm’s auto-correct to the iPhone’s as it both anticipates what you’re writing and offers to fix misspelled words when you’ve accidentally added a few letters.

The response seemed pretty nippy too, although we did suffer a couple of lags when opening programs. We can’t declare ourselves fans of the all-black interface and frequently found ourselves feeling a bit lost when navigating around the Storm, although with time we’d probably get used to it.

Blackberry Storm: Quick Hands On ReviewGood camera
The 3.2 MP auto-focus, camera with flash was a notch above average and took some excellent quality images. Video recording was sharp, and playback was impressive, as was the thunderous volume from the speakerphone.

There’s a microSD slot onboard that supports up to 16 GB and the handset comes with dual microphone technology designed to improve your hearing and talking ability in loud areas.

The browser supports full HTML and although not quite as slick as the iPhone’s, it’s still up there with the best.

We didn’t get chance to run the battery down, but at 1400mAh, the Storm should keep you going for a fair while. Call quality was good throughout.

In line with its high end consumer/business focus, the Storm is compatible with just about every network on the planet, offering Quad-Band 850/900/1800/1900MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE, 2100 MHz UMTS/HSPA networks and Dual-Band 800/1900 MHz CDMA/EVDO Rev A networks.

Blackberry Storm: Quick Hands On ReviewVerdict
All of our views are only after having the Storm in our hands for a short period. We hope to have it back in our hands for a more detailed look shortly.

With video recording, a far superior keyboard, cut and paste and Blackberry’s legendary email support, this really could be the phone to challenge the iPhone, apart from one calamitous flaw: no Wi-Fi.

We’ve no idea why RIM decided to offer the phone without Wi-Fi but we expect it may be a disastrous omission for many.

If you can live without Wi-Fi and like to do a lot of typing, then the Storm could be the perfect choice for you, although the initial pricing plans sure look a tad steep to our eyes.

Our scores
Ease of use: 80%
Build: 90%
Features: 78%
Voice quality: 88%
Value for money: 80%
Overall: 83%

Read more about the Blackberry Storm here: BlackBerry Storm hands on: Review of reviews

Blackberry Storm

11 thoughts on “Blackberry Storm Review: Quick Hands-On (83%)”

  1. i just came from the Vodafone store. Storm arrived on the German stores yesterday. Honestly, i didnt like it. the salesguy offered me a very good deal to change my previous package but im in doubts about storm or IPhone. the clickable screen is quite weird, maybe is just that i am not used to it. but it lacked accuracy. i misstyped a URL and to put the cursor on the wrong letter took very long. the qwerty keyboard is not so big (and i dont have fat fingers) so that many times i misstyped letters. one noticeable hickup is that the phone is slow. when you open an application, it takes time! looks like Vista on an old computer… i went there to buy the thing but left the store more inclined to end my contract with Vodafone and go for TMobile to get the IPhone.
    anybody around that have bought the Storm and could provide some feedback??

  2. Got my blackberry storm yesterday to replace my existing blackberry pearl and a motorola phone – thinking to myself – great I can combine the two. First impressions? I hate it – the whole concept of using this to make and receive calls seems to have taken 4th place to applications, web access and a load of junk that as a business user is irrelevant oh and emails. Seem to spend minutes on doing stuff that on a phone or regular blackberry take seconds. I did like the touchscreen and the “push” feel but does not always do what you have touched for and generally speaking it might be marvellous for some but mine is going back next week

  3. @Marcus & Ed – thanks very much for your impressions of the Storm. We’d love to hear from more people about it.

    My first impressions
    I tried it out one Saturday, separately from Mike, and did manage to get the typing sorted out pretty quickly – but was left uncertain that I’d ever be able to get to the kind of typing speeds that I get to on the real keyboard on my Curve.

    We’re waiting for Vodafone to drop us one to review. Only when that happens will we have the whole picture.

    @Ed – be really interested to hear if you change you mind over the week.

  4. ed here, I decided to not be a wuss and keep trying to love this blackberry storm and afraid it’s not going to happen. Email is ok and better than previous blackberry but as a phone and using text is painful, slow and takes way longer than any normal phone. I have yet to be able to master entering a URL for the web and can find no instructions either on the phone or in the booklet. Have also noticed that the battery is not great and I feel I am constantly having to recharge, last issue is managing contacts – big problem here in that it does not appear to be possible to manage them and add a new number (eg: landline to an existing contact), so in my case I find myself with 3/4 different pages for one contact – a mess. I’m going to keep the unit for emails but get a seperate phone for calls and sms

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