RIM BlackBerry Storm reviewed (Verdict: Not even a BlackBerry killer)

RIM’s BlackBerry “Storm” smartphone — the one with the clickable touchscreen, but no QWERTY keyboard — fell through the reviews hamper today. The reviews almost all read as guardedly positive at first glance, but even a cursory reading finds big flaws in the Storm’s interface.

Mossberg said that “neither I, nor any of the several BlackBerry addicts I asked to try it out, considered typing on the Storm’s keyboard to be very similar to using the keyboard of a traditional full-sized BlackBerry,” but ultimately concluded that it’s “another good option for anyone who is looking to buy one of the new, more powerful, pocket computers.”

Matt Buchanan said “I kind of came to hate typing on it” and called it “tiring”.

Joshua Topolsky, quested if the clicky touchscreen could “actually improve the experience of using this sort of device — and in our opinion, they do not.”

Danny Dumas says the laggy operating system “moves like a tranquilized yak,” and that it’s not as good as RIM’s own Bold, let alone the iPhone.

Yardena Arar, from PC World described it as “awkward and disappointing,” and that “People who were hoping for a credible iPhone alternative fortified with BlackBerry’s strengths as a mobile tool for corporate travelers will likely find the Storm a disappointment.”

Laptop Mag’s Mark Spoonauer knocks the “sluggish performance,” issuing a verdict that stops short of outright condemnation: “The one thing that most BlackBerry users have grown accustomed to–a superior keyboard–is frustrating to use on the Storm.”

Peter Ha at CrunchGear won’t be ditching his current model: ” I wish the Storm were the real iPhone killer, but it’s not…”

So, who, apart from Mossberg, liked it?

Boy Genius Report goes back and forth at length, but its firmest points are the positive ones: “This is the best phone to ever touch Verizon Wireless so far. If you’re a Verizon Wireless subscriber and a dumb phone won’t cut it, you’d be pretty air-headed to not pick this bad boy up above any other smartphone in Verizon’s lineup. … ”

David Ciccone at Mobility Today offers unreserved praise: “We will not compare the iPhone to the Storm since the iPhone is clearly not a full fledged business messaging device. If you are in the market for a new phone the Storm definitely has to be on your holiday list this year! Great job RIM!”

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2 Responses to RIM BlackBerry Storm reviewed (Verdict: Not even a BlackBerry killer)

  1. Anonymous says:

    I demoed a Storm the other week at a local Verizon shop, thinking on getting it to replace my trusty, but clunky, 8830. No way, José. The Storm felt cheaply made, and the touch screen was inoperable half the time. (Inexplicably, some inputs require a double click, others don’t.)

    The Storm still utilizes the Blackberry menu key, but it’s not a substitute for accessing the features on the touch screen. Indeed, it seemed to require a convoluted combination of the menu key and the screen to navigate anywhere, and totally non-intuitive. It’s like RIM took the worst of two different nav systems and mashed them together.

    The connection speed seemed decent enough, but using the screen to click on items in a web page was nearly maddening. I missed the ease of using a track ball; hopefully RIM will introduce a Storm 2.0 with this device.

    A/V quality seemed pretty good, which was one of the reasons I was thinking on purchasing one. But unless RIM goes back to the drawing board to come up with a nav and usability design to rival iPhone, I’m just going to stick with the Blackberry that I have.

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