BlackBerry Storm in a teacup? I think not

I recently acquired a BlackBerry Storm. While heffing our three tonne TV downstairs to make way for its slimline replacement last Monday, I rested it against my leg on each step, such was it weight. I later found out that at each of the eleven such steps, my keys were being jammed against my MDA Vario III’s screen, rendering it defunct by the time the TV’s potential energy had been reduced by the desired amount.

Five months from the end of my contract, I had mixed emotions: glee at never having to use the shit-brick again; annoyance at not having an immediately-obvious replacement.

Through means I won’t go into right now, I happened upon a replacement in the form of the BlackBerry Storm. And my oh my what a wonderful phone it is.

I’d heard about it before, in comparison with its Bold sibling. But I’d never seen one. Desperate, I took the Storm, no questions asked.

The most significant feature of note is the touch screen. Unlike the iPhone, it reacts to the touch. The glass clicks when pressed sufficiently to warrant what might amount to a click, giving me feedback that the click has been recognised. Given that it doesn’t have a physical keyboard, this feature is vital when using the on-screen keyboard, as it attempts to approximate the feel of a genuine keyboard.

The 480×360 screen is a good size and bright, but it’s not huge when represented as a keyboard, particularly when some of the screen is necessarily taken up by the application that you’re typing into. But the SureType™ input mechanism in portrait mode that mimics an old-world BlackBerry keyboard, where each key represents multiple letters, makes for easier typing through bigger "keys". Day by day, my typing is becoming faster and more accurate.

Its accelerometer is not as good as that of the iPhone, either in terms of hardware or software. It doesn’t always detect a rotation from landscape to portrait or vice versa, and when it does it flips the screen display in a single change rather than rotating it smoothly like the iPhone.

But that’s a minor annoyance. I have Google Mail installed to manage my mail through Google Apps; the content-light Facebook application that is dwarfed by its browser-based equivalent, SMS (although apparently MMS doesn’t work—I never used it anyway), Weatherbug, Flickr Uploader, Google Maps and Google Talk. My calendar is sync-ed to my Google Apps Calendar, and I’ll no doubt install a WordPress editor as soon as this blog is ported across to WordPress.

The only thing that I’ll miss from my Windows Mobile Vario III is Microsoft Mobile Office, in which I used text and text colouring in Word, and simple formulae in Excel. I’m sure there’ll be a couple of free downloads that can satisfy these trivial requirements.

Comments

2 Responses to “BlackBerry Storm in a teacup? I think not”

  1. Greg on January 29th, 2009 21:38

    I suggest you update your Storm OS to 4.7.0.90 if you haven’t already. It makes the whole experience much more pleasant.
    9500 Storm link: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=JN7U4537
    9530 Storm link: http://www.megaupload.com/?d=SA9OXZ48

  2. iPhone 3G [S] vs. BlackBerry Storm : Tangential Ramblings on June 27th, 2009 22:55

    […] replacement device gave up the ghost thanks to the force of a 32″ TV, so I adopted a BlackBerry Storm as a temporary measure.  And for the three months or so I used […]

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