Experiencing The Blackberry Storm

After a full weekend of using my new Blackberry Storm I have to say "bravo" RIM, this is really a great device. Battery life has been good, the applications are very easy to use, and yes I LOVE the new SureTouch screen and QWERTY layout. The new screen technology is getting panned mostly by some reviewers who only had the device a few hours prior to Friday's launch, and who were already invested in either heavy use of a physical keypad (on a Treo or other Blackberry device) or who had programmed their mind so their fingers would land precisely in the right spots on the iPhone touch keyboard. There are a few little secrets to the Storm's keyboard I also learned over the weekend, like holding down the numbers key so you can enter multiple numbers without having to switch back and forth between text and numbers keyboard mode (one online PC Magazine reviewer couldn't figure this out), and also using a downward swiping motion to hide the keyboard to see the full screen under it.

The Verizon Wireless EV-DO Rev A network has been speedy and responsive. I would have liked to have had Wi-Fi but if it meant poor battery performance then I probably would have turned it off anyway. The screen is very sharp and clear. Visual Voicemail is a gem. I am loving not having to call up voice mail to hear messages any more. Setting up e-mail went very smoothly and the e-mail, IM and SMS/MMS clients are simple and easy to use. And how about sending pictures via MMS -- I used that feature several times, sending pictures back to the kids while my wife and I were up in the mountains in Colorado over the weekend.

What could improve about the Storm? I just mentioned taking pictures and I think the camera is a bit overexposed or foggy in the pictures it takes. I imagine that will get fixed in a software update. Also, there are times when the Storm pauses and needs to catch up or can blog down. Not all the time but it acts like it's doing garbage collection, memory management or some such thing. I also would like a screen capture feature which I haven't found yet on the Storm. And of course, more apps, which will happen as the RIM gets the app store up in March and developers create more apps for the Storm. I expect all of these things to improve as RIM provides software updates and the device gets legs with applications and an app store.

Overall, the Blackberry Storm is definitely a two-thumbs up in my book. Beats the iPhone hands down. RIM knows business and the Storm will be a great hit with business users who want a great phone on a reliable network.

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