Thu, 20 Nov 2008 BlackBerry Storm 9500 review
Quad-band touchscreen smartphone aims to take on the iPhone, and - to a certain extent - suceeds. Discover what Macworld UK thinks of the BlackBerry Storm 9500
- Manufacturer: RIM (BlackBerry)
- Distributor: Vodafone
- Pros: Unique click-able touchscreen, high speed 3G support, good Web browser; superb email client and contact management
- Cons: Lacks wi-fi; cut-and-paste solution is inelegent, lacks multi-touch zoom,
- Min specs: Quad-band GSM, 3G, HSDPA smartphone; 480x360-pixel transmissive touchscreen (80mm diagonally or 75mm x 49 mm); 3.2Mp camera, flash, 2x incremental zoom; video recorder; voice recorder; Bluetooth v2; BlackBerry Enterprise for Microsoft Exchancge; Lotus Domino; Novell Groupwise and other email clients; email, MMS, SMS, calendar, clock, task list, voice dialling/voice recorder; BlackBerry media player/manager, Vodafone Music downloads; MP3 ringtones; password keeper; AES secure encryption; BlackBerry Maps; Vodafone Telmap Find&Go (six month subscription); 3.5mm headphone jack; mini USB port; 1GB onboard memory; 128MB flash memory; microSDHC slot; dimensions: 62x113x14mm; weight: 158g; 15 days standby; 5.5 hours standby
- Free handest; from £35 per month on 24-month contract
- £300 handset only
- Star rating:
Size, specifications and that "clickable" screen
The 158g handset is physically larger and heavier than other BlackBerry phones. It has a brushed aluminium back with a rubber surround and a 75mm-deep transflective screen that dominates its front. The usable area measures 80mm diagonally (61mm deep and 49mm wide). By comparison, the iPhone’s touch-sensitive area is 81mm diagonally (64mm deep x 49mm wide) and weighs 144g.
Unlike other phones, the Storm’s touchscreen is not just "touchable" but "clickable", so to select an option or a specific area of a web page, you press down firmly – the entire screen clicks down a few millimetres. This means that the Storm has two levels of input (a touch and a click) which has been used to advanced the interface. Once you get used to pressing a bit harder than you would on other touchscreen devices, it becomes quite satisfying, but we did have to train ourselves to apply that extra pressure.
After using the BlackBerry Storm for a few days we are still unsure as to whether we actually prefer the click of the Storm to the touch of the iPhone. We are of the impression that it may well be a "Marmite" decision, with some people loving it, others hating it.
The Storm’s onscreen icons are the large smart ones introduced on the BlackBerry Bold and are the ideal size for selecting with a thumb or finger. Typing on the Storm is wholly different experience than on previous BlackBerry smartphones, though – it's also completely different to the iPhone.
The BlackBery Storm features large touch-screen buttons that glow when you touch, and are selected by pushing down on the click-able screen