Paul Mah offers a brief evaluation of the BlackBerry Storm2 9550. Find out why he thinks this smartphone is what the BlackBerry Storm should have been.
I reviewed the BlackBerry Storm for TechRepublic in May 2009, so I was curious to see what improvements RIM made in the BlackBerry Storm2 9550. RIM was kind enough to send me a review unit of the BlackBerry Storm2 9550 to evaluate.
After I swapped out the SIM card from my BlackBerry Bold, I tested the BlackBerry Storm2 9550 by using it as my work phone. Here's a snapshot of the device's specifications and enhancements.
- 3.2 MP camera with auto-focus
- 256 MB Flash memory
- Dimensions: Height: 4.4 inches, Width: 2.4 inches, Depth: 0.55 inches
- Weight: 5.64 ounces
- 802.11b/g enabled
- Bluetooth v2.1+EDR1
- Read about all of the specifications on the BlackBerry site.
- Check the BlackBerry site for where you can buy the device and for pricing information (for instance, in the United States, the price varies depending on the carrier).
- Take a look at the BlackBerry Storm 2 photo gallery.
Here's a look at some of the enhancements in the BlackBerry Storm2 9550.Default buttons on the display
At first glance, the integration of the default buttons (Call, End Call, Menu, Back) on the main display makes for a more refined feel and reduces how much dust and lint gets trapped.Memory It appears that RIM positioned the BlackBerry Storm2 9550 as a high-end device, packing it with 256 MB of flash memory. Memory running low is definitely not a concern here; even after installing my favorite applications, the free memory stayed resolutely in the 30-40 Megabytes space. Touch screen keyboard In response to criticism that the original SureType screen was too hard to type on, RIM has tweaked the BlackBerry Storm2 9550 so that its clickable "haptic" screen is easier to click on. I was able to type much faster thanks to the improved tactile response; I particularly liked typing using the QWERTY keyboard in landscape position.
The BlackBerry Storm2 9550 keyboard also has an option called Popup Keys. As the name suggests, this feature will display a popup window showing the key that you pressed.
I hesitate to say that the device's touch interface is better than that of the iPhone, but it's evident that great strides have been made in the cohesiveness of the touch screen's UI elements. Unless you intend to regularly craft full-length correspondence while on the go, I think you'll definitely enjoy the experience and larger display afforded by the touch display.High-resolution touch screen With the BlackBerry Storm2 9550, I can simply tap on various elements on the default Home screen rather than wasting the space on application icons. I was able to manage the wireless connectivity, set the alarm, and switch profiles simply by tapping on the indicator icons -- these are standard items on every BlackBerry. Tweaks to optional social networking applications that came bundled with the BlackBerry Storm2 9550 (which include Facebook and UberTwitter) were also touch screen friendly.
I enjoyed the extra screen real estate for reading text messages and emails; oftentimes, I was able to read these messages without needing to scroll down. In fact, with the beta release of the Kindle app for BlackBerry software, I actually missed the large touch screen when I switched back to my BlackBerry Bold, which has a smaller display.
Due to the numerous enhancements in the BlackBerry Storm2 9550, I think the device is what the BlackBerry Storm should have been when it was released last year. However, before you splurge on the BlackBerry Storm2 9550, bear in mind that the various software enhancements will probably make their way into the BlackBerry Storm.
More BlackBerry resources on TechRepublic
- BlackBerry 9650 makes the Bold RIM's new flagship smartphone
- RIM announces BlackBerry Pearl 3G; bets many consumers won't need full QWERTY
- First look: What to expect in BlackBerry OS 6.0
- Five reasons why BlackBerry is still winning in the enterprise
- A look at the BlackBerry Push Service for third-party apps
Paul Mah is a writer and blogger who lives in Singapore, where he has worked for a number of years in various capacities within the IT industry. Paul enjoys tinkering with tech gadgets, smartphones, and networking devices.