Pros Touch Screen
Fun to Use
Easy to Use
Great Battery Life
Good Browsing Capabilities
Great Call Quality
Cons Very slight accelerometer lag
Summary Ok I have to stand up for this phone because it's totally getting a bad reputation! It's a good phone if you give it a chance!! I've had the phone for over a week now, but have been itching to review it since I got it, but waited to see if any flaws presented themselves. I'm keeping the review limited to the phone itself and NOT about Verizon's service or lack of applications(but just to say, Verizon's service rocks!).
First thing first, the infamous touch screen, as this seems to be the biggest issue people have with this phone. Yes, there is a learning curve to get used to it. It's different than any touch screen and you have to expect you won't be able to type at lightning speed right away. This would be the case with ANY touch screen, not just the Storm's SureType screen. It does take a little more effort to actually push down on the screen, but it's much more accurate to type since you "confirm" your selection before it registers. On a normal touch screen if you accidentally press the wrong letter or whatever, you'd have to go back and delete it, which would be a pain. The QWERTY keyboard is large enough for my fingers (I would say my hands are average size), you just have to find the sweet spot and figure out which keys to press with which thumb. The only error I make a lot is accidentally pressing the letter "b" when I mean to press "space bar" since they are placed right next to each other. Other than that, I have no complaints about the screen. I text a lot and I've been just as fast on this phone as I was with my old LG. People who type long emails on the other hand might want to stick to an actual computer, if they want speed.
The next issue to address would be the accelerometer. Yes there is a slight lag. But it's really not that bad(it's like half a second). Since this is BlackBerry's first touch screen it's still in development, so I can't really fault them that much. Plus it isn't so slow that I get impatient. I think a lot of reviewers are just too critical about this phone. It seems like a lot of them just try the store model, and to be honest, a phone that is played with my hundreds of people a day isn't going to be the best representation. The device I got was much better than the display. So at least ask to see a new one before deciding.
Thirdly, comes the issue of no Wi-Fi. Since the phone is on Verizon, you really don't need it since you can get service ANYWHERE unless you're in the middle of...say Wyoming or Montana. With Verizon, you have to have the BlackBerry Data Plan, which is unlimited internet anyway, so what's the big deal? I've been completely satisfied with Verizon's 3G network. BlackBerry's in general are great when you aren't around a computer, but I still like my MacBook. For me there's no replacing an actual computer.
Other features: The camera is actually pretty good. Yes, there is a lag with the shutter so I guess you couldn't take fast shots. I hate it when people think they should be able to take fantastic pictures with their cell phones. The Storm gets the job done! They aren't the greatest quality, but they're fine for sending to friends. If you want good pictures, get a CAMERA. Call quality is great. No complaints there. Also battery life is fine. A combo use of the browser, phone calls, games and texting, and at the end of the day I still have at least two battery cells left. The actual screen itself is beautiful! Great resolution! The phone came with an 8GB card, so I've loaded a selection of music and a couple movies and still have room to spare. Movie and music playback is great. I LOVED that I could set my own music as ringtones, breaking free of Verizon's control over my own media. Available applications were not taken into account with my rating, but I do wish there were more for the Storm. But I guess you just have to be patient while applications are developed since it's a new device and different from all other BlackBerry's.
So overall, the phone is really great! It's may not quite be the iPhone Killer, but it gives it a run for it's money. I'm not saying I would never get the iPhone, but I hate AT&T so I'll be with Verizon and get the iPhone if ever Verizon carries it. I also want to point out, hasn't anyone noticed that while the Storm has a 2.5-star rating, the iPhone only has 3 stars? So it obviously has issues too and isn't as perfect as people seem to think. There will always be those diehard Apple fanatics. But I reiterate, GIVE THE STORM A CHANCE!
Pros This is my 1st time owning a PDA/Phone. It is incredible! The pictures from the 3.2MP camera are worthy! VZ Navigator looks great on this screen. I would highly recommend this phone to other Verizon users. Speakers seemed better than the reviews.
Cons I recommend switching the keyboard to "multitap" versus "SureType" for accuracy and ease of use. The 16GB memory card for this phone does not appear to be available yet. I'd say the worst part about this phone is it is hard to get right now.I'm lucky
Summary The screen size and clarity is easliy comparable to the Iphone. Once you get used to the clickable touch screen make sure to change the keyboard setting to "multitap". The speakerphone works much better than all phones I have tried in the past. Voice command actually does what I tell it to do...amazing right :P
I have adjusted to the phone's clickable screen fairly fast but some might not. Also, there is no WiFi as I am sure you have read time and time again. To me it is not as much a factor since I need to pay for the extra internet cost for VZ Navigator since I drive a lot. And I have no problem with the download speeds. If this phone was capable of playing Adobe Flash and could make my breakfast I would have given it 5 stars! hehe But seriously it is a great phone...btw, make sure to check with Verizon because after I purchased it I found out I had a $100 credit available for an upgrade. Make sure to ask if you qualify when you are purchasing. I love the Blackberry Storm and I think you will too if you give it a try.
Pros - Camera is the best I've ever seen on a cell phone...super clear/crisp pictures.
- Browser is MUCH improved over my prior Blackberry 8830
- Multi-media capabilities (music, photos) are awesome.
- It's a Blackberry...inherent pros right there.
Cons - Keyboard is arduous to use on a regular basis...the touch screen can't keep up with how quickly I type, and having to push down the screen really slows me down.
- Software is super sluggish. 2 battery pulls/day on average; reboot time is awful.
Summary I'm a huge Crackberry fan, and believe me when I say that I wanted to like this phone...I really, really did. But after using it for 6 weeks, I made the call to Verizon and will be returning it (so glad they made an exception to their 30 day return policy...I'd go crazy if I had to keep this phone for the full 2 years!) in favor of a Blackberry Curve 8330. I can?t wait to give the Storm back at this point.As an update to my previous review, I received my new Blackberry Curve in the mail this past weekend (the Storm is thankfully back in the mail to Verizon :-) ), and already have it up and running...I can't tell you how happy I am to have a device with a real QWERTY keyboard and a trackball again!! My advice to anyone who is having difficulty with the Storm is to contact Verizon, even if it's after the 30 day return period. I found that rather than simply saying that you don't like the phone, be as specific as you can with the customer service reps as to the specific problems that you're having with the phone. It took a few calls to the customer service line, but I finally found a wonderful lady who helped me out, and I couldn't be happier with my Curve!!
This phone isn't all bad...the pros listed above caused me to give it an extended try. I also liked the spell check/autocorrect feature offered for text messages?once you got your custom dictionary set up, anyway. I use a lot of acronyms (I work in the defense industry?it?s kind of like alphabet soup when we compose emails), and until I got all of those acronyms added to my custom dictionary, the spell check feature was actually more of a bother. Just by hitting the space bar, you?ll accept the word that Blackberry proposes as a correction to your perceived typo?if you hit backspace, it will revert the word back to what you originally typed?but having to constantly backspace, and then space again when you want to type something that Blackberry doesn?t recognize gets very annoying!
The software was the most surprising thing considering this is a Blackberry...I really feel like it was rushed to market long before it should have been. Verizon keeps promising over the air software upgrades (I purchased my phone in December), but I have yet to see any (I check every day). The accelerometer is sluggish on a good day...on a bad day, it's impossible to work with. Case in point - I'll try to switch the orientation to landscape mode to compose an email since I like the full QWERTY keyboard...the accelerometer won't pick up on this...I'll get frustrated and attempt to compose in portrait mode instead because I'm tired of waiting...and about 30-40 seconds later, the accelerometer will finally kick in, causing me to hit incorrect keys when the screen finally flips around.
When the software on my Storm wasn?t being sluggish, it was usually frozen (giving me the ?white screen of death,? as I call it)?which required a battery pull. I?m not just talking like once or twice ever?I?m talking like once or twice EVERY DAY. And re-starting this phone takes a VERY long time?super sluggish there as well.
The keyboard...having to physically push the screen down doesn't sound like a big deal, but you'd be surprised at how much it slows down the speed at which you compose messages?and if you hover your fingers over the keys on your current Blackberry ? beware of doing that on the Storm. Once the screen is depressed, any key that is highlighted will be selected and will show up on your screen?something that I had a very big problem with. And forget about even attempting to use your right hand on the left side of the keyboard, and vice versa to quickly type something with one hand?trust me, don?t even try it because it won?t even come close to typing what you want it to.
Trying to edit text that you've already typed was a nightmare for me as well - trying to change the cursor to the little outlined square and drag it back to the appropriate place in the text I wanted to edit was almost impossible for me. I?m a petite girl and have tiny hands/fingers, so I can?t imagine the difficulty others must have with this. It seems like common sense to me that if your finger is on top of the box on the screen, it?s going to be pretty difficult to see where the heck that little box is in the line of text! I finally took to holding the phone at eye level so that I was looking across the screen when I was attempting to do this?I definitely got some weird looks, but it was the only way that I could attempt to work with it. I was longing for the trackball on my old 8830 by this point.
The other big issue that I had was locking/unlocking the phone. On my 8830, you could lock the phone without a password, and you?d have to hit the * key and the green ?send? key in quick succession to unlock it (one-handed, without taking your eyes off of the road)?it sounds simple, but I dislike using a password to lock my phone - it just makes it more difficult to unlock if I decide that I want to make a call while driving, for instance. However, on the Storm, if you lock the phone without a password, all you have to do to unlock it is hit the little ?unlock? button on the top left of the phone?can I tell you how many times the phone inadvertently unlocked itself in my purse? Not a good setting. So I started using a password to lock the phone?which coupled with the fact that you have to use 2 hands to use this keyboard, made it impossible to use/unlock while driving?I?d have to pull over every time I wanted to unlock it to place a call?I set the security timeout to an hour (the longest time allowed), but my commute is often much more than an hour each way?so if the phone sat idle, it would lock itself up again before I reached my destination.
Updated on Feb 9, 2009
Pros Beautiful screen, easy to use. Its like having a phone, ipod, latop, camera all in one!
Cons some typo's with "touch screen". some aspects could be re-fined. Could be lighter/less bulky. my biggest gripe is sometimes selecting a small button is difficult, a stylus would have been nice(as long as it stows in the device(omnia).
Summary I purchased the Storm about a week and a half ago and had to wait for verizon to ship it because of "high demand". In the last week or so I read so many reviews(both good and bad) that my head was starting to spin. I was second guessing my decison not to switch to at&t and get the iPhone. I am 100% happy with my decison now, I have been with all the carriers and feel verizon has the best network. I have never owned a Blackberry but I am learning the o.s. quickly and know there are so many possibilities I have not yet explored. I used the gps today with blackberry maps and it worked great, no need to pay for the vz navagator unless turn by turn voice commands are necessary.I also installed google maps(streetview is cool!) today and myspace for the blackberry and both worked great! I have never writen a review before but I thought I might be able to put someone's mind at ease. I was considering returning the storm for the omnia if I didn't like it but unless something unexpected happens that won't be happening. My only concern is durability, nothing has happened as of yet, I just hope this new technology with the clickable touchscreen dosent have any issues down the line. Seeing the edges of the screen makes me a little uneasy about lint & such getting into the seams. I wish they put a boarder around the screen. All in all I believe for 95% of us this phone will be all we expect and more. I know the critic's and tech snobs love to write everything that is wrong with a new device and usually bring up stuff that most of us would not pay attention to(I wish it had wifi but don't believe its a big deal). If you are going to create documents and do alot of typing maybe the traditional qwerty keyboard would be better but for people who just text and surf the web on our phones, its should be fine! If anything serious comes up I will update, I hope this was helpful!
Pros Typing is better than iPhone - very novel click screen that really works.
Excellent email capabilities
Better web experience than older Blackberry devices
Cons Sluggish rotation between portrait and landscape modes
Buggy operating system - Using the video camera causes the Storm to crash. Feeze ups and lock ups more common than a final production device should have.
Summary Overall the Storm is a big step forward for Blackberry. Its novel clickable screen works very well. Typing on it is, in my view, more efficient than the iPhone. There is a lot to like. The dislplay is very good. Email as you would expect from a Blackberry is very well implemented. The visual voicemail (an optional downloaded application with a $3,00/month charge) is a welcome addition. Finally Blackberry has a decent web browser so you can see a properly rendered web page (no flash support yet).
Verizon/RIM have all the right pieces in place to make this an excellent device. But there must have been a rush to meet the release date because there are several bugs and miscues that undermine everything that could make this device excellent in its execution.
Rotating the device from portrait to landscape mode is a bit sluggish. Even in EVDO territory, web pages seem to load more slowly than they should. This could be a factor of traffic on the network. But I have found I sometimes have to go back and click my bookmarked link a second time to kickstart a page load.
There are more feeze ups and lock ups than you would expect from a production model. For example using the video camera causes the phone to lock up after 10-20 seconds - a fellow co-worker experiences the same problem. The only way to fix this is to remove and reinsert the battery and let the device reboot - a lengthy operation. The storm has locked up on me while using the web browser. In four days of use I have had to reboot the device 3 or 4 times to get it going again.
While typing is excellent, correcting a misspelled word in text you have already typed is a bit of a hassle. For example if I typed "The quick grey fox" and wanted to go back and replace "grey" with "brown" I have to use my fat finger and try and place it in the area of the text I want to change and hope the cursor appears between the right letters. There is no arrow key to move the cursor around so sometimes you have to click several times get cursor in the right spot. Blackberry could have done a better job here given its expertise in the email experience.
Besides the problems I have discussed, I do think the Storm delivers and hope that an OS update comes out quickly to address these quirks that should have been caught pre-release.