When I heard that RIM is sticking with their tactile feedback touchscreen for their BlackBerry Storm 2, I though that they never learn their lesson from BlackBerry Storm 1. When I reviewed the Storm 1, the biggest problem is the tactile feedback touchscreen. It is first of it kind and like all things that are the first generation, it comes with problems. The touchscreen is just hard to use.
But I was pleasantly surprised when I first tried the BlackBerry Storm 2. RIM fixed the dreaded tactile feedback touchscreen problem. And I’m pretty impressed with it now. Before I got my hands on the Storm 2, I thought tactile feedback touchscreen will never work. Well, RIM proved me wrong and now I’m beginning to see the future of this technology.
Those who are used to the normal touchscreen will need sometime to get used to the tactile feedback. That’s because on a normal touchscreen, you just need to tap on the screen to click on an item. For tactile feedback screen, you need to “push” the screen down in order to click on the item. Tapping will only select the item. I think it just need a while to get used to this new method of input.
I guess the primary reason why RIM used tactile feedback screen for their touchscreen phone is because most of their customers are used to physical Qwerty keyboard. The tactile feedback screen mimic a physical keyboard pretty well. I guess it would be the best way to get someone who love a physical keyboard to hop on the touchscreen.
But 1 thing that RIM didn’t fix is the virtual keyboard. When you placed your finger on top of a letter, the letter does not show up at the top or side of your finger. This makes it hard to tell which letter you are pressing. I wonder if the BlackBerry API allows 3rd party developers to do a new virtual keyboard.
As a whole, I love the newly improved BlackBerry Storm 2. Played with it for around 10 minutes and didn’t find any problems other than the virtual keyboard. The improved tactile feedback screen is pretty well done and I don’t mind typing long emails with it now. The BlackBerry App World is getting better and better. Now, if only we can buy application in Singapore. That will be even better.