First hands-on reports of BlackBerry Storm

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Gizmodo’s Matt Buchanan has touched it, loved it, and put up a big gallery of real-life photographs of RIM’s fourth-quarter wonder phone. Of note its is very different approach to touchscreens.

No matter how many times your fingers dance on the screen like you’ve been trained on every other touchscreen, nothing will happen. At least, not until you push the screen all the way down and you feel a click. Yes, the screen is a giant button, one you have to punch for basically every action, even every letter you type, completely breaking the touchscreen paradigm. Surprisingly, it works.

The short form: it’s the first phone to drain the phrase “iPhone killer” of its intrinsic cynicism. More cimcumspect is Wired’s Danny Dumas:

It’s hard to say if the Storm will eclipse the iPhone in terms of performance, applications, or even cultural cache.

Despite having some superior features, I doubt it will have the same impact on the cellular landscape that the iPhone has.

That said, he also raves on the clicky touchscreen: “There’s no ambiguity to button presses. … I was able to compose a lengthy detailed SMS without a single typo. That’s a feat I have yet to accomplish with the iPhone.”

Engadget’s Paul Miller isn’t so impressed – “[not] unattractive to its traditional corporate loyalists,” he writes – and is especially meh on the limitations of its operating system. The hardware itself, however, makes the transition to touch “brilliantly.”

What it’s probably going to boil down to is whether or not the BlackBerry OS is your style. RIM hasn’t done an overhaul to make touchscreen viable, instead banking on its navigation / execution paradigm to make the transition to touch — which for the most part it does brilliantly

BlackBerry Storm First Hands On [Gizmodo]

Hands On With The BlackBerry Storm [Wired: Gadget Lab]

Storm … Hands On [Engadget]

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