Latest BlackBerry: A Storm but not a killer
All eyes will be on Research In Motion on Friday when the BlackBerry Storm, the latest high-profile cell phone for the U.S. market, hits the streets. The CrackBerry maker’s much anticipated touch-screen offering is Verizon Wireless’ big bet for the holiday season this year.
But while Thursday’s reviews praised the device for its innovation and its advantages over iPhone, they by no means gave in to the hero-worship flattery that is bestowed on some devices.
In the words of Ed Baig of USA Today, “Verizon and Rim have not come up with a perfect Storm, but it does pack a wallop.”
What he liked:
-The battery “didn’t seem to poop out quite as fast as iPhone.”
-It works as a tethered modem, has expandable memory, multimedia messaging, supports copy-and-paste and other features missing in the iPhone.
-It has robust e-mail capability
-It has backbutton and a video recorder unlike iPhone, and has a better camera
What he disliked:
– It does not have Wi-Fi – “a mistake”
– It is harder to use, “less intuitive” than iPhone
– Its Web navigation does not support the pinching gesture that lets you zoom in and out on iPhone. Tapping twice lets you zoom in on a part of a web page using Storm
– Flicking through photos, scrolling a web page wasn’t as smooth as iPhone
Walt Mossberg of Wall Street Journal called Storm “a very capable handheld computer that will appeal to BlackBerry users who have been pining for a touch-controlled device with a larger screen.” But Mossberg was lukewarm on what he called its biggest innovation – the fact that when you tap the touch screen you feel a click designed to remind you of pressing a real keyboard.
What he liked::
– It supports cut-and-paste and multimedia messaging, unlike iPhone
– It has a better speaker than iPhone supporting crisp, clear calls
– It runs on the Verizon Wireless network, which has a good reputation for reliability, and that it supports GSM as well as CDMA so it works overseas
– It is “physically attractive” but in the same sentence said it is “hardly svelte” as it is 15 percent thicker and 17 percent heavier than iPhone.
What he disliked::
– Its keypad is more more like iPhone’s keyboard than a traditional BlackBerry’s, despite RIM’s efforts to reassure BlackBerry addicts. He said they did not consider Storm typing similar to typing on a traditional keypad.
– It doesn’t have Wi-Fi -”a glaring deficit.”
– It presents a full QWERTY keyboard only when you hold the phone horizontally – “annoying, and that may put off others.”
– RIM did not customize the keyboard for common tasks like iPhone which offers a convenient “.com” key for when you’re typing an web address
New York Times tech commentator David Pogue did not have a review of Storm on Thursday.