Tuesday, October 28, 2008

BlackBerry Storm – What You Need to Know

The world’s rumbling about BlackBerry’s latest entry into the touchscreen world. Before you start camping out at your closest Verizon (or Bell), we thought we’d give you a quick rundown of why there’s so much hype behind “another” smartphone and why we’re so excited for November 15 (hopefully).
  • Click Through – BlackBerry’s answer to Apple’s multi-touch on the iPhone. While there is very little difference between “clicking” and navigating on an iPhone, BlackBerry wanted to make sure its users know the difference. With “Click Through” you have to physically lift your fingers and repress to make another selection. While it sounds more tedious, it’s actually quite responsive and significantly cuts down on the mis-strokes and lack of precision we had to get used to with the iPhone. Check out this video to see what we’re talking about.
  • SureType – Pearl users are used to SureType and its word-matching greatness and, luckily, it’s coming to the Storm. When the phone’s in Portrait mode and you are typing an e-mail, you can enable SureType to enlarge the keyboard buttons and cause fewer mistakes. Of course, you can also TYPE AN EMAIL IN LANDSCAPE MODE if you want. I’m sorry, was that in all caps? I wonder why…
  • BlackBerry Apps – BlackBerry’s third-party applications have never been as numerous as their competitors, but for what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality. BlackBerry apps have always been of the highest grade and their incorporation into the phone and the operating system is almost always flawless due to RIM’s stringent demands and standards. We’ve already discussed a new IM service that we’re excited to see coming to the BlackBerry app store and we can only expect even greater things to come.
  • “Tactile” Feedback – When you press something, the image on the screen pushes back and then rebounds like you actually just pushed that part of the screen in. Combined with the click sounds, it’s a great optical illusion that really makes you think you’ve pressed a physical button. While current touchscreen users may be used to not having it, I think this will make for a much easier transition for physical keyboard veterans. If you don't believe me, check out the world's worst customer-reaciton video below and watch people ooh and ahh...and chuckle nervously.

These are the four things we’re most interested in, but we can’t lie and say there aren’t any limitations. If you’re looking to view anything and everything on the Web then you might want to try and find an unlocked iPhone. While the browser’s improved from the Bold and BlackBerry’s past attempts, it’s still somewhat barebones compared to other offerings. Also, the lack of Wi-Fi will be a dealbreaker for a few people. This is a feature a lot of people expect in a high-end, top-tie smartphone, but sadly it’s not there on the Storm.

Be sure to check out the Verizon Web site for some great shots and feature explanations as well as more ridiculous marketing videos! How many of you are planning on lining up on launch day?

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