This is my first time reviewing a BlackBerry phone. After hearing so much about the BlackBerry Storm, I finally got my hands on the review unit. I will not touch on the BlackBerry features like push email since there are a lot of other better review on this award winning feature. Instead, I’ll be touching more on the form factor and user interface.
The Storm is RIM’s first full touch screen BlackBerry device. You still get all the great BlackBerry services like push email and BlackBerry Messenger. But instead of the usual non-touchscreen, Qwerty keyboard, you get a 3.25inch touchscreen. The device feel very sturdy. It feels like it can take quite a bit of punishment from the corporate world. Like throwing it at your bosses or hitting your co-workers on the head. But please don’t attempt to do that. I will not be responsible for any damages or lawsuit. It has a 3.2 megapixel camera and charging and data transfer is thru a Micro USB port which we all love.
The biggest difference between the BlackBerry Storm and all the other touchscreen devices out there is the tactile feedback. Touching on the BlackBerry Storm touchscreen will only select the item. The touchscreen is like a huge button where you need to press it to select the item. This is very difference from all the touchscreen we are used to. In fact, this feature is there to address the complaint that there is no feedback on touchscreen.
But here is the problem, we are all used to touchscreen without tactile feedback. It takes a while for you to get used to the tactile feedback. The tactile feedback is an interesting concept. It might be easier for someone to adapt to the tactile feedback touchscreen if they are not exposed to all the non tactile feedback touchscreen devices. For me, I’m too used to the usual touchscreen concept that I keep forgetting that I need to press the screen down to confirm my selection. If you are getting the BlackBerry Storm, you might need to un-learn how to use a touchscreen device since they don’t require you to push the screen down. And its a little hard to press the screen down at the bottom corner. Honestly, I don’t know what’s the big hoo-ha over touchscreen not having feedback. I personally feel that it is alright to have no feedback on touchscreen.
There is no physical keyboard on the BlackBerry Storm. Instead you get to choose between a full keyboard, SureType or MultiTap. You can use SureType on the BlackBerry Storm portrait mode is pretty useful since the screen is only 3.25 inch. But one problem with the virtual keyboard is that its hard to tell what button you are pressing. Most virtual keyboard shows the characters that you are pressing above or on the side of the area you are pressing. But for the BlackBerry bold, it highlight the character you are pressing. Problem is, if you finger is pressing that character, how are you going to see it?
Like all BlackBerry devices, the Storm comes with all the BlackBerry services like push emails and BlackBerry Messenger which needs no introductions. The BlackBerry Application Center also provides a good selection of application.
If you are looking for a touchscreen BlackBerry device, the BlackBerry Storm is currently your only option. If you are looking for a touchscreen with tactile feedback, the BlackBerry Storm is also your only option. The BlackBerry Storm is created to cater for this 2 group of users. But for those who don’t fall into this 2 category, RIM has many other great BlackBerry device to offer. I’ve tried my friend’s BlackBerry Bold and personally quite like it. BlackBerry has always been doing a great job with their physical keyboard, non touchscreen based phones. The tactile feedback touchscreen phone still need more fine tuning. Which is why I’m actually looking forward to see the rumored BlackBerry Storm 2. (provided the rumors are true)
A great phone for those who need tactile feedback on their touchscreen or a touchscreen BlackBerry device.
Feels very sturdy
Tactile feedback touchscreen
Unable to see which character is being pressed on the virtual keyboard
Thanks to Jolin from LEWIS and RIM for sending the review unit.