Three Weeks With The BlackBerry Storm  

Posted by Mohammad Talha in , ,

It's rare that I get to spend three weeks with one phone, but I thought the BlackBerry Storm would be worth it. The Storm is one of the biggest releases of the year, and it's probably the most innovative thing out there at the moment - its "click screen" is as revolutionary as the two-button mouse. But the Storm got pretty weak reviews from almost everyone, me included, because of its many bugs.

So I used the Storm on the road for a few weeks, during which time it got its first major software update, from version .65 to .75. The update fixed some issues and made the phone, overall, more stable and faster to use. But the software update didn't fix all the problems. I'm still getting "SIM Card Invalid" messages, for instance; the accelerometer is still quirkier than I'd like, and Lance Ulanoff ran into the annoying bug which launches the camera while you're trying to write a new email. It's really unacceptable for devices to be released with bugs like that.

I still love the Storm's click screen. I hate typing on touch screens. I hate typing on the iPhone; my brain wants buttons that feel like they've been pressed. The Storm has the only touch screen that actually feels like a button, because it is a button. For people who assume everything should work like the iPhone, the Storm's two levels of touch - touch and click - are horribly aggravating. But I loved that feature from the very start; the ability to highlight and select things without committing to them.

I'm also pretty comfortable with the Storm's UI in general. Flick, click, tap, whatever; it's working smoothly. The major challenge seems to be in the Web browser, where sometimes it's much too hard to click on DHTML buttons or figure out how to move the cursor in a text box. Way too many of the complaints about the Storm's UI have been "but it doesn't work just like the iPhone," which I don't find very valid. It works - just not the way the iPhone does.

After a few weeks, I'm just as fast and accurate on the click screen as I would be on an iPhone. But that was a painful few weeks, mostly because of some odd choices made by RIM with their virtual QWERTY keyboard. It really expects that you'll be hitting keys on the left side of the screen with your left thumb, and keys on the right side of the screen with your right. And I'm still even faster on a Bold or a Curve. (full Story)

This entry was posted on Dec 19, 2008 at 9:38 AM and is filed under , , . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .

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