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REVIEW DATE: 10.07.08 BOTTOM LINE: Could the Storm be the "iPhone for business?" RIM and ... BlackBerry Storm forum

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    smis's Avatar
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    Thumbs up PC magazine - BlackBerry Storm 9530

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    REVIEW DATE: 10.07.08

    BOTTOM LINE:
    Could the Storm be the "iPhone for business?" RIM and Verizon fire directly at Apple with this attractive and innovative touch-screen BlackBerry.

    PROS:
    Big, high-resolution screen. First touch screen that you actually click. Global high-speed connectivity. HTML e-mail. Features all the traditional BlackBerry features.

    CONS:
    Screen isn't multitouch. Browser UI can be a bit confusing. Flash not supported.

    COMPANY:
    Research In Motion Ltd

    SPEC DATA
    Service Provider: Verizon Wireless
    Operating System: BlackBerry OS
    Screen Size: 3.2 inches
    Screen Details: 3.2", 480x360, 65k-color transmissive TFT LCD display
    Camera: Yes
    Megapixels: 3.2 MP
    802.11x: No
    Bluetooth: Yes
    Web Browser: Yes
    Network: GSM, CDMA, UMTS
    Bands: 850, 900, 1800, 1900, 2100
    High-Speed Data: GPRS, 1xRTT, EDGE, UMTS, HSDPA, EVDO Rev 0, EVDO Rev A
    Processor Speed: 500 MHz

    By Sascha Segan
    RIM's first touch-screen BlackBerry, the Storm 9530, has the first touch screen you can actually physically click. Combine this innovative display with global high-speed cellular, a high-resolution camera, and an improved Web browser and you have a BlackBerry that's poised to steal some of the iPhone's thunder in corporate circles and among those who prefer Verizon's network to AT&T's. Although the Storm hasn't yet hit the PC Magazine Labs for full testing, I was able to get some quality time with the device. And I liked what I saw.
    The 5.5-ounce Storm is a 4.4 by 2.4 by 0.55 inch (HWD) slab dominated by a 3.25-inch, 360-by-480-pixel touch screen, which is capacitive, meaning it detects the electricity from your fingers, and transflective, so it's easy to see outdoors in bright light. Below the display are Pick Up and End call buttons, a Back button, and the familiar BlackBerry menu key. On the sides of the handset, you'll find Camera, Volume, and a programmable Multi-Function button. Mute and lock buttons are on the top panel. The phone's metal back is home to the speakerphone and the 3.2-megapixel camera with LED flash.
    The touch screen feels surreal; it's like nothing I've ever tried before. Many other touch-screen handsets vibrate slightly when you touch a virtual button. But when you press a button on the Storm, it feels as if you're actually pressing on that specific spot. That's because you are: the Storm's touch screen floats along three axes in a magnesium frame, so it provides specific tactile feedback. The screen's virtual keys are as durable as those found on any previous BlackBerry keyboard, RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis told us in a meeting.
    RIM redesigned the whole BlackBerry UI around the touch screen. As a result, there are bigger icons, of course, and a trio of virtual keyboards (QWERTY, SureType, and phone keypad) to replace the beloved physical BlackBerry keyboard. In most applications, touch buttons for common commands pop up automatically at the bottom of the screen. You navigate the Storm's interface by moving your finger lightly over the screen. When you want to select something, you click the screen down. Pressing the physical BlackBerry logo key below the screen summons the familiar BlackBerry contextual menu, and you select your options with your finger.
    Like many other touch-screen phones, the Storm has an accelerometer, but with an added twist: The screen can rotate "upside-down" as well as 90 degrees for landscape mode. That means that the phone's physical buttons can appear to the left or the right of the virtual keyboard, so they're comfortable to both lefties and righties.—Next: A Perfect Storm of Features
    A Perfect Storm of Features
    The touch screen isn't the only innovation here. There's a lot going on under the hood, too. This is the first phone we've seen with dual-mic noise cancellation, a feature borrowed from Bluetooth headsets that improves voice transmission quality by measuring and then canceling outside noise using a microphone on the back of the handset. Visual voice mail, first introduced by Verizon on its LG Voyager, will appear on the Storm as well. And the speakerphone is very loud—I had the opportunity to try it.
    The Storm runs a new version of the BlackBerry OS, version 4.7, to support the touch features. It's got all of the typical BlackBerry applications, including e-mail, the music player, the contacts book, and the Web browser, but with touch interfaces. OS 4.7 also has all of the new features found on the BlackBerry Bold's OS 4.6, including built-in Microsoft Office document editing and support for HTML e-mail. But it improves the browser's JavaScript support as well, dramatically speeding up load times for pages with scripts.
    The Web browser's user interface is particularly interesting. You can toggle between "pan" and "cursor" modes for dragging versus selecting, and double-tap to zoom in on pages. When you're in cursor mode, the cursor actually floats above your finger so your finger doesn't hide it. This could be fun to use, but it could also complicate things we need to use it more to make a full assessment.
    The new OS version won't kill most third-party apps, Lazaridis said. While RIM will release a new SDK with the Storm, most existing apps will continue to run. As an answer to Apple's App Store, Verizon will launch the "VZ App Zone" with the Storm. Verizon will also load V CAST Video and the ESPN MVP sports application onto Storm phones.
    For music playback, there's a standard 3.5mm headphone jack and support for stereo Bluetooth. You can store your MP3, AAC, or WMA music on a microSD card or in the 1GB of internal memory. I saw the Storm play a full-screen, 150-kilobit-per-second, 30-frame-per-second MPEG4 video smoothly; it supports H.263, H.264, and WMV encoding. This is the first BlackBerry to work with Verizon's V CAST Music for Rhapsody, which lets the Storm sync with Rhapsody accounts on PCs. Like all of RIM's current phones, the Storm will also come with BlackBerry Media Sync PC software, which reformats videos on your computer for the device and syncs unprotected iTunes playlists.
    For photos, you get a 3.2MP camera with autofocus, flash, and video recording capabilities. The GPS radio is open to both Verizon's own VZ Navigator and third-party applications such as BlackBerry Maps and Google Maps. According to the phone's spec sheet, you can use it as a high-speed modem for your laptop, too.
    The Storm is the first EV-DO Rev A high-speed device from RIM, and the first phone we've seen with a new Qualcomm chipset that supports EV-DO Rev A, high-speed HSDPA on the foreign 2,100-MHz band, and quad-band global EDGE. The Storm's ARM11 applications processor runs at 500 MHz.
    The handset will come with a Vodafone SIM card so that the phone can be used on Vodafone's networks outside the United States. But Verizon will also unlock the SIM card slot on request, so owners can use other networks if they like. The phone is compatible with networks in 208 countries, including Japan. According to RIM, the Storm will offer up to 6 hours of talk time on its 1,400-mAh battery.
    Given that Verizon now offers all of its phones with month-to-month contracts, and the Storm features quad-band EDGE, this means the phone could theoretically be unlocked to work on AT&T, T-Mobile, or Rogers in Canada. We'll have to investigate that possibility.
    The Storm will be exclusive to Verizon in the U.S. and to Vodafone abroad right now, but "there will also be a Canadian carrier," Verizon CMO Mike Lanman said. Verizon and the unnamed Canadian carrier will get the EV-DO/HSDPA version of the phone, while Vodafone will receive an HSDPA-only model without CDMA support.
    The BlackBerry Storm 9530 should hit shelves by the end of the year. Pricing has not yet been announced. We will post a full lab-tested review as soon as we get our hands on a handset.
    Once you go BlackBerry you never go back!

  2. #2
    eazid's Avatar
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    Interesting. I'll have to go look at the article.
    "Who Dares Wins"

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    The Storm will be exclusive to Verizon in the U.S. and to Vodafone abroad right now, but "there will also be a Canadian carrier," Verizon CMO Mike Lanman said. Verizon and the unnamed Canadian carrier will get the EV-DO/HSDPA version of the phone, while Vodafone will receive an HSDPA-only model without CDMA support.
    The BlackBerry Storm 9530 should hit shelves by the end of the year. Pricing has not yet been announced. We will post a full lab-tested review as soon as we get our hands on a handset.[/quote]


    I am assuming that telus is the canadian carrier that will get this device, so if they get a version that also has cdma support then it would work on any cdma carrier, right. Or am I missing something.

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    ok i am loosing my brain tonight, i just picked up the storm and i can not for the life of me get the thing to make the clicking sound like in the cammersal all it does it make a BEEP.

    any help is worth receiving

  5. #5
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    Um...the screen is multi-touch...isn't it? It's a capacitive screen and you use Multi-touch to do copy and paste... right?

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