Steve Jobs and Apple have done their part in the making of iPhone. We saw a lot of fashionable mobile handsets in recent past. But, the seduction offered by iPhone was tremendous to ignore. It attracted almost everybody. Now, this is not a review of iPhone. This might look unfair to start a review of Blackberry Storm with the brand name iPhone. But, it’s necessary enough, so that the additional features and drawbacks can be brought into the scene.
Starting with BlackBerry Storm’s review, this is probably the best competitor Apple could get. With touch screen, wide screen, storm also features a better camera, better navigation and better email connection when compared to iPhone (Beware, Steve! RIM has done it for Blackberry again).
Storm, as the name suggests the design is stormy and striking. Yeah no exaggeration, it’s of course a striking device with a lot of care and crafting done to its seducing body. 90% of the front panel constitutes the display. A real large one of 3.25 inch (480 x 360) display with touch screen and a silver bezel which runs around the sides, top and bottom of the gadget (typical Blackberry design). Searching for the familiar Blackberry keys, huh? They’re there too. Below the screen are the four keys (Phone, Menu, Back and End/Power). Go to the left side and you can find the convenience key and a micro USB port. Right side has the gem. Oh yeah! One 3.5mm headphone jack, volume rocker and a convenience key. Turn around the device and the battery cover is made up of brushed aluminum. The top of the handset has a single LED to the right with the lock and mute keys on either side of the casing ,which makes the handset look yet beautiful.
However, there is flip side to the design too. Backlight leaking through the sides of the case is not something one would expect from manufacturers like RIM.
The touch screen is clearly the attention grabber in the device. Leaving behind the competitors like iPhone, Storm utilizes a new technology of clicking functionality called SurePress. This technology helps the user to click on the screen just like we click with mouse. This facility helps the user to hover anywhere on the screen without selecting it.
Talking about the software, it’s all old. The same one what they had for BlackBerry Bold; OS 4.6. Now, Why am making a big deal about the software? OS 4.6 was designed for all those handsets having QWERTY keyboards with a trackball for navigation. For a touchscreen enabled gadget there are OS like 4.7, which could have been used in it. So what does it suggest? The UI of storm is obviously not custom built for touchscreen – navigation of touch was added later. The sensors for the touchscreen are sensitive to its core, but it’s really important how the OS behaves with the touches made on the screen. Without the cooperation of the OS/Software you can’t feel the effect of touch as felt in iPhone.
Coming to the part for which Blackberry is renowned of; the E-mail and Web. The click option really adds a lot in browsing the web or typing a mail. The blue color around the buttons when clicked is really beautiful. But, is it enough to become a User Friendly device? I guess not. A slow paced OS and the difficulty in typing as you have to release the finger to confirm the click can be awful. There are good implementations too – copying and pasting. With elegant multi touch functionality the functions are like gem to the device. Just grab the part you want to copy and drag it to where you want to paste. Job done! But honestly speaking, this has to go a long way to compete with iPhone for virtual keyboard domination. If speed is not a concern, then this phone is manageable.
Though the battery is not a beast like that of Blackberry Bold, it’s respectable. And, you need not carry your charger along with you. There won’t be a huge problem of battery dying.
Camera is nothing incredible with 3.2MP and some additional things like photo editing features and a dedicated flash. Although it’s 3.2MP, it’s still noisy like most cell phone cameras.
You are welcome to download some RIM’s pre-approved applications like Google Talk, AOL instant messenger, FaceBook, Flickr and a lot more. This is where you should look out for your software. But, stop daydreaming guys. The store is yet to come. Till then, be busy downloading your apps from internet like those old days.
The bottomline is, there are a lot more things to be done to this gadget to make it a perfect competitor for iPhone. Unless you’re a diehard fan of Blackberry, this is not the phone you were dreaming from RIM. iPhone still owns the Emperor’s chair! What do you think about Blackberry Storm? Can it be an iPhone killer?