See why Verizon's new BlackBerry is stirring up a Storm

November 19, 2008, 1:04 PM PST | Length: 375


Research in Motion's BlackBerry Storm has been one of the most widely anticipated IT products of 2008. In this special episode of Sanity Savers for IT Executives, get a look at the hits and misses of the Storm and see how well it stacks up against the iPhone as a business device.

7 comments
BillGibson
BillGibson

Here is a my review of the Blckberry Storm 9500 after the first 48 hours? First, a ?Must Know? section with tips you should know before using the device. ?The touch screen requires the electrical signaling that your body puts off?which mean that no stylus/fingernail use is supported. ?In most areas of the phone, the touch screen works in two different ?modes?. ?Highlight mode? when you touch the screen but don?t press to select an item, and ?Select mode? when you depress the screen?s surface to make a selection. ?The screen can be automatically rotated from portrait orientation to either of the 90 degree landscape modes. This change can take a second, and does not support the 180 degree portrait mode. ?The abbreviated home menu can be expanded to view all of the selection choices by pressing anywhere in the top 1/2, or by pressing the menu key. ?When in a menu, or item, a horizontal or vertical wipe across the screen provides a quick way to scroll through one (or many) items. ?Depending on your preference, multi-tap mode can be enabled or disabled for typing in portrait mode. ?Press the green phone button to switch to phone mode. ?Press the red phone button to return to the Home screen from any area. ?Hold the red button to power on/off the phone. Now, a ?review? section with observations, cheers, and jeers. Reading e-mail & calendar information is a breeze. Scrolling through messages, and ?flicking? from one message (or day) to another works well. Typing extended messages takes some patience, but is manageable. My tip is to press slightly higher than you intend. Likewise, choosing menu items can be challenging as these items tend to be about half the height of a ?button-ized? item. If you are unsure if you?re going to click the correct item, or are unsure what the icon represents, you are able to touch, but not click on many items to reveal a full text description of what the object is as well as make your selection glow blue. Use of the ?Blackberry? Menu key has been expanded throughout the phone?s interface. Anytime that I found myself on a screen searching for how to do something it was inevitably a choice listed after pressing the menu key. One example of this button?s handiness is the ease in which you can rearrange icons on the home screen simply by choose ?Move? from the menu, then dragging the icons wherever you like. The camera takes nice quality pictures/video, but has trouble taking still photographs when the subject is moving (at all). It also includes a short range built in flash. In support of this feature, the screen quality is superb. This is also noticeable when using the phone?s Internet browser. The browser supports column mode for pages that may not render well on the phone, but most pages I?ve found display just as intended (no Flash plug-in support though). Zooming and scrolling around on pages works well, just not as intuitively as on the iPhone. Note that the Back key does not escape out of the browser, but instead functions as a browser back button, forcing you to menu, or home key your way out. Download & browser response times combined with the ability to render pages as expected move the idea of Internet browsing from the ?sorta works? column into being used as a viable tool (except that typing URLs is painful if you get half way through & realize you transposed a letter or two). Other applications of interest include the freebie Maps application, with ?where am I? GPS support. Note that the Visual Voicemail (premium storage space, plus software features) service is $3/month and is outlined here: http://wirelesssupport.verizon.com/information/voicemail_comparison.html?t= and that VZ Navigator(turn by turn GPS directions) is $10/month and they recommend that this be used with a car charger. https://vznavigator.vzw.com/index.html?lid=//global//features+and+downloads//maps+and+location+services//vz+navigator+gps There is a hardware ?lock? key on the top of the phone, as well as a mute button. This mute key functions as a pause key when playing media, or mute key during a phone call, but does not act as a shortcut into the ?Sound Profiles? area, to say, mute all functions of the phone. Instead, there is a shortcut key on the abbreviated Home menu, to the left of the date (top/left corner) that gets you to this area quickly. I tested the ability to IM from Blackberry to Blackberry using ?Blackberry messenger? and this worked well enough, but does not support a desktop client. The phone also comes preloaded with AIM/MSN/Google IM clients, as well as Facbook & Flickr apps. Voice dialing works well, but does not give you access to PDA data. Working with ?two lines? on this phone works well. It was easy to add another participant to an active call, answer a second incoming call, and terminate ? of a group call. It was even easy to switch between two active callers, the caveat being that there was no way to easily identify which caller you were connected to. The clock feature has several slick looking clocks, and the ability to set an ?always on? bedside mode, however you can only set ONE alarm (which does have a 5 minute snooze feature). Additional applications can be downloaded/managed/uninstalled from within the ?Application Center? or installed directly from various locations on the web. http://na.blackberry.com/eng/services/applications.jsp http://www.appscout.com/2008/11/blackberry_storm_application_c.php http://www.google.com/mobile/default/maps.html Finally, Blackberry Enterprise Server features such as managing out of office info/remotely wiping of the device works just fine using ver 4.1.

chas_2
chas_2

The Storm should do very well with business users. The iPhone is, essentially, a media player that can make phone calls. I believe it was never really developed for business users. Why no mention of T-Mobile's new G1 in this article, for comparison? The G1 has a full keyboard unlike either of the Storm or iPhone and a whole lot of other features comparable to both.

tmclark
tmclark

I can't view it eather.

santeewelding
santeewelding

Maybe a readjustment on my anvil will coax it.

madhead
madhead

Was quite looking forward to looking at the video but nothing loads up in firefox on w2k3. Can you check it please. Always worked before!

jasonhiner
jasonhiner moderator

Or No Script or Ad blocker? All of those things tend to block Flash videos (not just ours). We recently upgraded our platform and some people have told us that some of their ad blocking features or software now blocks our videos. Hope this helps!