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567 of 586 people found the following review helpful
on December 9, 2008
I knew this was going to happen. Research In Motion (the makers of the BlackBerry series of smart phones) finally made a product that didn't live up to my expectations.

I'll tell you more in detail below, but first a bit of history: At my 9-to-5 job it is one of my roles to manage a BlackBerry server and 50-odd BlackBerry phones, so I've used every model of BlackBerry available in the US for the most part in some capacity or another.

Currently, I have a Verizon BlackBerry Curve at the office. My current home cell phone is an iPhone 3G. I asked our corporate Verizon representative to send me a demo of the Storm, because I've had a lot of BlackBerry users at work asking me when we were getting them (due to the media saturation of the commercials and the general coolness factor of how the phone looks). So I felt it was my duty to get one in for review so I could make an educated decision about recommending this thing to upper management and other people who may be interested in it.

A lot has been said about this phone in reviews by other technology journalists on the web (David Pogue of the New York Times for instance, and Walt Mossberg of the Wall Street Journal), some positive, some negative. I used the phone for a solid 4 days of testing and one software upgrade (to try to fix an issue, more later on that) before deciding to write this.

I'll go over some key items about the phone in a few sections, the stuff that's important to me as a consumer. Things that have been in BlackBerry OS forever (such as push email, calendar sync, etc) are really not that noteworthy to me, and I won't talk much about those. I can, and will compare this phone to the iPhone 3G though, simply because RIM was definitely aiming right at Apple when designing this, I have no doubts about that.

Phone Design

The BlackBerry Storm is a slick looking phone -- which elicits the expected reaction from nearly everyone you show it to. It is very heavy feeling, about the same weight as the iPhone 3G. I would say it feels solid, but then you press down on the touchscreen itself (since it is one large button), and it wobbles and leaks light in from behind the screen. It is not the most comfortable phone to hold, but then again I don't think the iPhone wins in that category, either. Both of them could benefit from the rubberized grip of the BlackBerry Curve (or other phones that actually seem like they're designed to be held).

Underneath the black aluminum battery cover (yes, unlike the iPhone the battery can be removed - score 1 for RIM), there is a removable 8GB MicroSDHC card, which is a great thing for them to provide. The last generation of BlackBerry phones (The Curve and Pearl) include a MicroSD card slot, but they didn't give you a card with the phones. 8GB is more than enough for a decent amount of media and pictures. It also included a Verizon SIM card (which I think is a placeholder, since Verizon doesn't sell GSM phone service). I've been told that this can be unlocked just as easily as other BlackBerry phones so you can roam the world with it easily (this is another thing the iPhone 3G requires hacking to do.)

RIM abandoned the standard Mini USB port they've used for several years for a new "Micro" USB port for charging and connecting the phone to the computer. This means all your old BlackBerry chargers and any wired peripherals won't work with the new phone. This is kind of a letdown for me as a BlackBerry administrator, simply because we have dozens of perfectly good spare BlackBerry car and home chargers that are now useless if we move to the Storm.

The Screen

The screen is one of the better things this phone has to offer. It has a 3.25', 480×360 pixel screen, with very easy to read text and a very bright backlight, with a nice glossy sheen to it. I really have no gripes whatsoever with the actual screen in this phone by itself, if I don't take into account the way or manner information is displayed on it or it's "click" function. It is better than the iPhone's screen in both clarity, size, and general readability.

The Accelerometer

This is the first BlackBerry with an accelerometer in the device. Again, another thing I believe RIM decided to copy from the iPhone (even though the iPhone is not the first device to use something like this, it's the first one to do it right in my opinion.) I found the sensor had major lag issues (even after a software update to the 4.7.0.75 leaked firmware!) with moving from portrait to landscape. Sometimes it took up to 4 seconds for the phone to change back from landscape to portrait with nothing else going on. This is simply unacceptable. It would inadvertently switch screen orientation at random times when it wasn't necessary to do so, and it confused all the users I gave the phone to. The final straw with the accelerometer is for some reason RIM believes that if you have your phone locked, it should still change orientation from portrait to landscape. I honestly can't figure out why I'd want my phone sitting there in my pocket switching orientation when it's locked and not being used. I hope they fix this in a software update.

The Keyboard

The screen being covered in its literal sense, I'll discuss the biggest part of what makes the Storm the Storm: The keyboard and its role in the UI. RIM decided in the BlackBerry Storm's development to eschew the traditional BlackBerry keyboard for two different "touch" keyboards. These both are familiar to older users of BlackBerry phones: The "SureType" style in the 7100 series and Pearl (2 letters per key), active while in Portrait orientation, or the QWERTY style (full keyboard), like in the Curve, 8700, and 8800 series, which is active in landscape orientation.

However, the old keyboard layouts work completely differently in the Storm -- because they are now part of the touch screen and are activated by "clicking" in the entire screen while your finger is over the corresponding button. The screen acts as one giant button that you press in with every letter press, icon click, or menu selection.

I've found typing for any period of time becomes tiresome after only a minute or so, and it seems like way too much work even to just send off a small text message. The auto-correction software (SureType) seems like it isn't as effective as it was in the BlackBerry Curve, and sometimes the phone simply types letters that I didn't press, even though it looks like I'm pressing the right one due to the blue "halo" around my finger as I hover over the letters.

The keyboard isn't completely missing. There are still 4 physical buttons on the front of the phone, which include the typical SEND and END keys, the "Menu" key, and the "Back" key, both of those last two are holdovers from previous BlackBerry incarnations. I'm kind of surprised they couldn't find some way to integrate these into the touch screen.

If this review was trying to convince me to buy this phone, this keyboard would be the deal breaker. I can't stand it. People who might peck one or two characters every 5 seconds might not care about how bad this is, but for me, it was infuriating to use it. I can type on my BlackBerry Curve at approximately 30 words a minute. The iPhone 3G? maybe 20-25. This was much, much less than that. I'm extremely disappointed; one of the huge advantages of BlackBerry was their highly efficient keyboard and the "Pearl" (or scroll wheel in the older generations), and that speed and fluidity is completely obliterated with a keyboard UI that just doesn't work. I had several non-techie users at my office try to type on it who were BlackBerry users, and they either typed incredibly slow or were just confused by the new keyboard.

The Touch Screen, And It's Role In The User Interface

In general, the touch screen functions are a good effort for a phone if you ignore one thing: the existence of iPhone. Apple clearly invested much, much more time into usability and interface design here than RIM did. A few things about the iPhone that you don't notice you miss until you use the Storm are the ability to quickly "flick" through lists of items, multi-touch capabilities like pinch gesturing, double-tapping to zoom smoothly into/out of web pages, and smooth scrolling through websites. All of these things are not something the Storm does well (or at all in some cases), and I'm sure I'm missing a lot more here. Maybe its related to patent issues, but the touch screen in the Storm just seems dumber than the iPhone touch screen. That's about all I can say about it.

Research In Motion has not paid enough attention to the menu UI in regards to making it easy for people to "click" on menu items, either. They are too small for even my (not that large) fingers to consistently press in properly. Making calls from the old UI was simple: Start dialing from the home screen. Now you have to press the SEND button to get to the call area, or click on the call log, which wasn't immediately apparent to any veteran BlackBerry user I showed it to.

The Apps

As of right now, there's really little that is new or interesting about the applications bundled with the Storm. VZ Navigator is included, which is a turn-by-turn GPS application that has a lot of good Points of Interest and other neat features. Unfortunately Verizon charges $10/mo for this feature, which is really not worth paying a monthly fee for. There's not a good turn-by-turn GPS on the iPhone right now, but if it cost $10/mo extra, I wouldn't buy it anyway.

Refinements to BlackBerry OS 4.7 to make it look very pretty are great, but those were done in OS 4.6 already for the BlackBerry Bold (a far superior phone for people who might actually want to type out an email!). BlackBerry even created some sort of half-baked version of Apple's App Store, but it simply forwards you to web pages to download applications. Not even close, RIM.

The development happening for iPhone right now is astounding. I'd be surprised if the Storm gets this level of interest, considering there's already a huge glut of years worth of BlackBerry applications that still work on the Storm. There are a lot of great BlackBerry apps (A shining example is BeeJiveIM, which is also on iPhone), so it's not all bad but it really doesn't compare to some of the great stuff on the iPhone right now.

On a positive note, applications on the Storm (or any other BlackBerry) can run in the background, which is one thing about the iPhone that is a frustrating design choice apple made that they play off as a feature to save battery life.

The Web Browser

One of the biggest changes in the 4.7 BlackBerry OS for the Storm is the web browser. The web browser definitely benefits from the much higher screen resolution on this phone, and actually renders real pages in a very readable way. Verizon's network is extremely fast (but not WiFi fast). The browser simply isn't up to the level of Mobile Safari on the iPhone/iPod Touch, though. The gestures that are in the iPhone for web browsing are light-years ahead in terms of ease of use than in the BlackBerry browser. This version is a marked improvement over the BlackBerry OS 4.5 browser, though.

The Network

As the commercials state, Verizon's data network is the fastest out there. Their voice coverage is arguably the best in the nation. The phone does not have Wi-Fi, though, which comes in handy when you're somewhere that doesn't have Verizon's extremely fast Rev. A EVDO. This is the first BlackBerry on Verizon that supports tethering for internet on Rev. A EVDO, the prior ones only supported Rev. 0 (the slower EVDO speed).

Generally speaking, sites and downloads came through very quickly in my tests in my metro area. The phone supports both CDMA (Verizon) network, and GSM networks with a SIM (worldwide with an unlock which is something very easy to do on the BlackBerry and not something you can do on the iPhone without hacks.) This is one of the major advantages of having this phone on Verizon, their network is great. You pay for it, though.

Camera

It's not all bad news. The camera is 3.2 megapixels, with an auto-focus feature. At this point this is the best camera I have ever used in a cell phone. As a disclaimer I must mention I haven't used the Nokia N95, which has a 5 megapixel camera in it, or the new N97. The auto-focus feature is main reason I like this camera. Being able to focus on close items (e.g. a piece of paper) and still have the text on the page be sharp is a huge bonus; this is something you simply can't do with the iPhone 3G's camera. The camera's lag time for the shutter and taking photos is brutally slow, especially in low light. The iPhone 3G's camera has similar issues, though.

Battery Life

The battery life on the Storm seemed to be pretty decent; I don't have any scientific estimates on how long it lasts under light or heavy use. One of my gripes with the iPhone 3G is you can easily drain the battery to nearly nothing within 3 hours if you use it heavily. I didn't have anything worth using heavily on my Storm to really drain it, so I'm not a totally fair judge of this, but it seemed that the Storm's battery life is quite decent, and probably better than the iPhone 3G for general use.

Additionally, having a removable battery is a very nice feature... albeit one I don't really care much about, since I generally have some type of charger near me, whether it's in a car, my desk at work, or an outlet at home.

General Impressions / In Closing

So, you're wondering after reading this, do I recommend the BlackBerry Storm to anyone?

My short answer: No.

My longer answer: The phone isn't refined enough. It lags doing simple things like orienting the screen and scrolling through the icons (even after their first firmware update), and needs more attention paid to the UI.

For consumers on Verizon who won't leave (either due to loyalty or the other carriers not having good signal in your area), or corporate customers on Verizon: I'd say to either get a BlackBerry Pearl or Curve, or better yet, wait for Verizon to get the BlackBerry Bold (probably sometime in 2009). You don't want this touch screen. Skip it. I haven't personally reviewed the Bold yet, but it seems like it's inherited all the best UI features from the Storm and a great input interface to use them with.

For consumers who want a cool phone right now and don't care about what carrier it's on: Get the iPhone 3G. Right now, overall, it is truly the best smart phone for the largest swath of consumers out there. Its flaws are overcome by an amazing development scene and a very well done user interface.
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665 of 702 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 25, 2008
6-22-2009 foreword:

I'm going to make this foreword short and sweet, after trying my friends iPhone 3Gs it just blows away my Storm, the little advantages I once had with the Storm (copy and paste, movie mode etc.) are now mostly gone and between that and the much better software execution on the iPhone I am now suggesting that you get an iPhone if you don't care what carrier you use. For those of us with Verizon I hear our iPhone is on the way next year.

For those of you still interested in my journey over the past half year with a Storm compared to the older iPhone or if you still really want a Storm read on.

If you have to have a Blackberry but you love playing movies, songs and showing photos this is the one. If you need to type out hundreds of e-mails a week with one hand typing and one driving you need the more traditional Blackberries.

5-2-2009 Screen Clarity update:

The screen on my Storm continues to impress! Did you take some photos you really want to show off? Photos of the family, or say photos of Hugh Jackman and the cast of X-Men Origins: Wolverine at the World Premiere. You will always have them with you on your storm and they will look very impressive indeed. Click this link to see photos I'm showing off on my storm [...]

4-3-2009 Battery update:

I've noticed lately after several months use that my Storm's battery is luck to make it through the work day now. Not sure if it's the way I have charged the battery or it's already losing it's power to hold a charge.

Introduction:

My old Verizon XV6700 was giving out and I needed a new phone.

I borrowed my friend's iPhone and played with it and loved it. But then I found out Verizon Wireless does not allow me to use an iPhone. And then my friend told me about the dismal coverage and dropped calls using AT&T so I decided to go with something that Verizon has.

Review:

My first thoughts were what a slick looking phone. The Storm fit well in my hand and my pocket and the screen looked amazing: sharp, bright and great contrast. The local Verizon Wireless store copied all my contact info over from my XV6700 and I was on my way.

I loved the fact that I could open the back and replace the battery; memory card and SIM card myself.

My second thoughts were what a slow phone. It got faster after a while and you might not notice it if and this is a big IF you had not just played with an iPhone. But turning the camera from portrait to landscape mode is not even close to the speed and smoothness of my friend's iPhone. In fact none of the menus are as smooth and fast as the iPhone.

Multimedia Experience:

Now this is where the Storm really rains all over the iPhone's parade. The screen is much brighter and sharper then the iPhone. So much so that you can actually see every detail of a photo and watch a video outside in direct sunlight. My friends iPhone was pretty dim in direct sunlight. The speaker phone just blows away the iPhone, it's no contest not even close. Both phones take headphones and both sounded good listening to music through the headphones. I really like the fact that I can download TV shows and video to the Storm right on to the video card without using iTunes. But if you want you can sync your iTunes to the Storm just like the iPhone. You can also import playlists from iTunes or create your own right on the phone.

Desktop Software:

Blackberry Desktop Manager
The initial software I got with the phone Blackberry desktop manager was very buggy both on the work computer (Windows XP) and my home computer (Mac OS-X Tiger). Surprisingly the Windows XP version was the most problematic. At least after loading the desktop manager on my Mac and working with Blackberry phone support I was eventually able to setup and transfer iTunes songs, my address book etc to my storm from my Mac. I still haven't been able to get my Windows XP to do a correct sync.

V CAST Music with Rhapsody:

I'm sorry this software is just junk! Don't bother loading this hard to use featureless software on your computer use the Blackberry Desktop Manager and iTunes instead.

Storm VS. iPhone:

Phone
Storm wins (Storm has great call clarity with no dropped calls and really loud speakers. No matter where in our work buildings I went I could always place and receive calls with the Storm. The iPhone at times had no reception deep inside the buildings and when using the external speakers the Storm was the clear and loud leader. Both had good features for looking up contacts adding photos to contacts and controlling incoming and outgoing calls. Also lots of ring tone options and features etc. are available for both with the Storm being able to add ring tones by simply saving files to the correct folder on the memory card.

Screen
Storm hands down winner! (Brighter, sharper, clearer, more contrast)

Menus
iPhone hands down winner! (Intuitive to learn screen selections, smooth, refined graphics, slick transitions)

Typing

Updated 12-3-2008
iPhone hands down winner (with just a little practice on my friends iPhone I was typing away pretty confidently with little fatigue) My Storm on the other hand took a lot of practice and I'm still pretty slow. And the click to choose has inconsistent pressure with items clicked in corners harder to push then in the center which takes some getting used to as well. Also, there is no cursor guide scroll button / device. Which means when you want to select a different area of text you just typed on your Storm it's a frustrating thing. My old VX6700 allowed you to tab through areas and select text with precision. Before buying you may want to stop at a Verizon store and try typing for yourself just to be sure you like it. I can see it being good enough for causal users but not good enough for the average business person.

Storm Typing Tips:

I learned if you place your finger over the area and highlighted it first then press until the screen clicks you are more likely to get the right letter or number. Also make sure your finger is actually over the middle of the number or letter. I had an initial tendency to get the letter below to the right instead of the one I wanted.

Copy and Paste:

Storm hands down winner (Storm has it, iPhone does not)

Speed

Updated 12-06-08
The iPhone is still the winner after software update 4.7.0.75 but the Storm is now MUCH faster then it used to be. The iPhone still seems like an extension of your brain but the Storm is almost as fast now. And after the update the Storm no longer just sits there when rotating the phone from portrait to landscape mode like it used to. Now it usually rotates in less then a second.

Speaker Phone
Storm hands down winner! (Blows away the iPhone)

Music
Tie

Size:
Tie both are close enough in size the iPhone a little longer but thinner. The Storm a little heaver and thicker.

Battery
Storm hands down winner! (You can buy an extra battery to take along to swap out and it lasts a little longer). And as a bonus it charges really fast!
12-07-08 Update
Made a two hour call last night on the Storm including looking up several contacts and looking around on the camera for almost half that time during the call. I only used 1 battery bar up during that time!! I had 4 bars left on the battery meter after the call! I'm very impressed my old VX6700 would have been DEAD after a two hour call.

Memory
Storm hands down winner! (Again just like the battery you can buy your own memory cards and swap them out on the fly and even upgrade on the fly from the 8GB it came with to 16GB)

Service Provider:
Storm hands down winner (No comparison between the coverage and abilities of Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

Camera:
Storm hands down winner (the photos look better and it does video as well, the iPhone does not do videos).
12-07-08 Updated
The Storm takes the best quality photos for a phone I have ever seen. With that said I must at least mention that like all other camera phones I have tried taking a photo with it is a slow process indeed both in getting the camera to appear on screen and in getting the camera to actually take the photo after you have pushed the shutter button. You will not want to try and take any action photos with it. And yes the quality is better then other phones but no its still not as good as a regular camera.

WiFi:
iPhone hands down winner (the iPhone has it, the Storm does not)

Navigation:
I'm going to give this one to the iPhone even though they don't have the coverage area that Verizon has. It's much easier to navigate and there are nice little features on the iPhone like the ability to put a push pin on your map and have the phone give you the address then navigate you there. Plus you can use standard map or topographical on the iPhone. If the Storm has this capability I couldn't find it. Plus the iPhone could be setup and actually navigating before the Storm even got to the Navigation screen.

Computer integration:
iPhone hands down winner!! (No one is slicker then Apple at integrating a perhipials with their computers, it's not even close).

Storm VS Verizon VX6700

The Storm wins hands down in all areas save for a couple so I will keep this short and sweet.

The Verizon VX6700 has WiFi
The Verizon VX6700 integrates well with Windows allowing you to plug in to your Windows based computer and automatically sync your Outlook Calendar and address book. The Software for the Storm is very problematic at this point and I never successfully synced on my Windows XP computer at work. I'm hoping a new software update will fix this in the future. Other then these two items one of which will probably be fixed soon I don't miss my old VX6700 at all.

Surprises:
I wasn't expecting a bedside alarm clock as I had never seen any commercial showing one but it's pretty cool and I found out both the Storm and the iPhone have it. When you plug your Storm into the electrical power charger cord it automatically goes into a night mode with a large bedside clock. You can set an alarm to wake you and can even change it between different formats like digital or analog and even and old style flip clock if you have a longing for some nostalgia.

E-mail is so cool on this phone. I can have up to 10 e-mails on this phone and the way it sets up is so cool. You can setup on your home computer then no matter where you are all of your e-mails automatically get pushed out to your phone with an alert. No longer do I have to request the e-mails like on my old VX6700 phone.

Also the Blackberry support person I talked to waited on the phone patiently for the over 2 hour period it took to try and troubleshoot my Windows computer and get the sync working. He gave me a lot of cool Blackberry tips while we were waiting between re-boots of the WIndows XP.

Verdict:

I like it and will keep it. You should probably try both the iPhone and Storm before you buy and check your coverage area.

Updates:

In the coming weeks I will come back and update my experiences with the Storm. I'm hoping that software updates will speed up the screen response time. And after some tips from the Blackberry support line I'm doing much better and really starting to love my phone er I mean Blackberry.

11-26-2008 Update:

Verizon sent me this text message update about a Verizon Blackberry Storm interactive training guide on the Internet. In just playing the introduction I found out the Storm has a neat pause un-pause feature button on the top right opposite of the screen lock button that I didn't even know was there. VERY COOL. I suggest that you go through every level of training as you never know what little thing you might find. It's located at [...]
11-27-2008 Update:

It's Thanksgiving and I have time to play. I setup my speed dials which is very easy to do I found out. Just click on the call button and when the dialing menu comes up hold down a number until the add a speed dial menu comes up asking if you want to add a number! Pretty cool.

And found out you can hold down the menu button then press the screen to get a switch apps menu.

Starting to really love this phone now. I think if you are coming from a Blackberry already then you really have an advantage knowing about the menu and escape buttons which are an integrated part of the menu system but I wasn't aware of when I first got the phone.

Also found out you can make home made ring tones by using the voice notes function. It's so funny you can record your friend saying "Hey, its me pickup" or something else funny then assign that recording as their ring tone and every time they call you get to hear them before they even pickup. Also assigned some of my iTunes songs as individual ring tones and a Led Zeppelin song as my default ring tone.

12-1-2008 Update:

Am a little frustrated lately. The Storm really is slow to operate for a minute or two after removing from the charger. Got a call from my sister and tried to answer with it plugged in like I used to do with my VX6700 phone but the Storm would not respond so I unplugged it from the charger and still would not pickup. By the time it started responding again she had already left a long detailed message on my voice mail and I had to call her back.

Thought this was a fluke when it happened again later in the day in exactly the same long delay.

Also found out when my Storm is plugged into the charger it is VERY slow to operate almost unusable. Good thing the battery life is really good.

Bottom line on charging, if you are expecting an important call do NOT charge your Storm and expect it to pickup like in normal operation.

Also, found out that when you get a call you had better have your Storm unlocked. My old VX6700 could be locked and one button would work, the green call button to pickup an incoming call. My Storm if locked will not allow you to receive a call either using the on-screen green call button or the main button on the phone. Hopefully this will be fixed in a software update. Bottom line on this one, hit unlock before you attempt to answer.

Still like the Storm and will keep it. It's got let's see... character yeah that's it character, kind of like the old Dodge 340 Six Pack T/A Challenger I used to own. Great performance when acting right but not so good when it doesn't.

12-3-2008 Update:

Storm getting a little slow, slower then normal. Try a re-boot, remove the battery for 15 seconds then re-insert. Usually revives mine back to it's original state.

12-5-2008 Update:

I'm really starting to get in the groove with my Storm. Also, I downloaded the latest software yesterday with the Blackberry tech people on the phone. No change in functionality yet after install. It's still slow and buggy and will update my Address book from my Mac to the Blackberry but not the iTunes songs. I still have to copy them manually which is easy enough to do but frustrating. It could be that I don't have the latest version of MAC OS-X as I currently have only Tiger OS-X with all the latest patches. I'm sure that Research In Motion is working on updates at a rapid pace.

12-6-2008 Update:

Software Upgrade:

This morning I got a notice on my Storm of a software upgrade availability of version 4.7.0.75. I currently have version 4.7.0.65. So I downloaded 4.7.0.75 and installed the update to my Storm. In the end it took almost an hour because I didn't know to reboot before I started.

My experience:

The initial download took several minutes but at least there is a progress bar running across the top along with the MB remaining to download. And they provided a Pause Download button at the bottom of the download screen should you need it. Pretty cool. When the download is complete you have to option of Upgrade Now or Schedule Upgrade. I choose to upgrade now. If you choose now you get a warning that you may not be able to use your Storm for up to two hours then it starts a verifying the upgrade then it gave me a message upgrade requires additional memory. Removing older data. Then I got an error message to delete 780 kb of personal data even though I had 4.6 GB of room available on my Sandisk. I guess it only uses the main memory on the Storm to do the upgrade. So I called Verizon support and they suggested a reboot by removing the battery for 10 seconds which I did. Then the update started running with two progress bars: 1 Over all backup progress. 2. Current database messages and an elapsed time window at the bottom. Total elapsed time shown was 1:34 seconds. Now the phone started an auto reboot. I am now a half hour total into the process however including the support call and reboots. After the reboot it started saying Patching OS and had a percent bar running across the middle. Then it said Patching Java with progress bar. Then it went blank again and then a Linking Java menu came up with progress bar. Then it went white and a progress bar started across the bottom. Then another overall progress menu came up. Then it came up with a setup wizard and I picked close. Then it asked you to auto or manually chose networks type and I picked auto.

Upgrade Results:

Total time taken was just under 1 hour so I'm glad I started with a fully charged battery.

Now the phone is much faster in all respects, browsing for photos, watching videos even rotating the phone from portrait to landscape. It's still not as fast as my friends iPhone but it's much closer then it was before. So I highly recommend going though the update to 4.7.0.75 just be sure to remove your battery for 10 seconds for a good reboot before starting and you probably won't have the problem I had.

12-07-08 Update
Very impressed after a two hour call last night had only used 1/5th of my battery power (see Battery 12-07-08 update above for more info) I could see talking for 5 or 6 hours on one charge. My old VX6700 would have been DEAD after a two hour call.

Also updated the camera info above. The Storm takes better photos then other camera phones but is still very slow to take a photo so don't buy it just to take photos.

About those side buttons, I have locked all but the volume control out because I would keep accidently activating them bringing up say the camera by accident when I was trying to surf the web or make a call. At least they give you the option to lock them out.

Visual Voice Mail, what an awesome thing! Especially if you get a lot of voice mails. No longer to do you have to dial in and listen to voice commands to access your voice mails. Once installed simply press the visual voice mail menu button and up comes a complete list of all your voice mails allowing you to listen, reply, call back and delete right on your Storm. At this time it's a $2.99 a month option. I recommend for all users that get a lot of voice mails.

12-08-2008 Update:
I've been messing with re-arranging the menu buttons but I keep accidently moving buttons to places I don't mean to or deleting them or putting them into a folder by accident. So I'm just going to leave them in the de-fault arrangement. Thank God there is a default or I would really be lost.

12-10-08 Update:
Strange thing since the 4.7.0.75 update seems like the Storm is just a little heaver on battery use like maybe 20% or so. Still it was worth it since it's so much faster. One other thing I do with for after seeing on the iPhone is the ability to quickly go to the top or bottom of a list or page with my fingers. On the iPhone the faster you flick upward or downward the faster and further the listed items will scroll. On the Storm there is only one speed.

12-12-08 Update:
Unlike a lot of other products I have reviewed, the Storm continues to create a controversy. I haven't seen any other reviews where the 1 stars and the 5 stars are equal. The Storm truly polarizes consumers. And I think that's the point, this is not a Blackberry for everyone. It's for those who want foremost and above all a great multi-media system with typing and business taking more of a secondary role. If you have to have a Blackberry but you love playing movies, songs, showing photos this is the one. If you need to type out hundreds of e-mails a week with one hand typing and one driving you need the more traditional Blackberries.

12-15-2008 Update:
My Storm is still very inconsistent when it comes to rotating correctly at times rotating pretty quickly and at times not, must have a mind of it's own. On the positive side it also still attracts a lot of attention and accounts for itself pretty well when showing off photos and videos. Still loving it and will keep it.

12-18-2008 Update:
The Storm comes with two games one of which is pretty cool called Word Mole. You are a mole in a yard with all these letters to dig up. By clicking on each letter the mole digs out a hole where the letter is. The goal is to try to dig up letters to make as many and as long a words a possible. Sounds pretty dumb but my daughter and I both are pretty addicted to it. Look for the games Icon in the menu area. Gives you practice with your touch screen Storm typing as well.

12-19-2008 Update:
I'm heading out on our annual Christmas trip tomorrow and won't be back until next year so I won't be doing anymore updates for awhile. Thought I would answer one more question about Windows Vista. I really don't know if the Storm can be synced with Windows Vista, I don't have Windows at home only Mac and Ubuntu (a form of Unix). I never did get it to sync properly with Windows XP. Hopefully a fix is coming soon. If anyone knows please feel free to comment. Happy Holidays everyone!

12-31-2008 Update:
Well my trip to Texas was pretty much a bust. I set up the push e-mail so I could access it on the road and in Dublin Texas and Brownwood Texas where I spent most of my time not only did the e-mail push not work but I had no Text Messaging or Internet. And I ended up having to do a hard re-boot after leaving the area to get all these items to work again. Also none of my phones worked at first to even make or receive a call in these areas until after working for Verizon tech support. No fault of the Storms I guess but it is frustrating non the less. If your plans call for being in these areas I did notice some people with iPhones that worked perfectly. The strange and sad thing was everything worked perfectly in the middle of no where between El Paso and Midland where there is absolutely nothing!

01-15-2009 Selecting Text Update:

I have always had a hard time selecting text on the Storm until I got an e-mail recently explaining how to do it. See below. It works really well.

This is courtesy of BJ Lewis
"When it comes to placing the cursor inside a text field, you do not have to click repeatedly until it's in the right spot or anything as difficult as that. Simply place your finger on the text field, without clicking the
screen for a few seconds without moving it at all. The cursor should change into a black outlined rectangle, at which point you can slide your finger across the text field to move it precisely anywhere you want within the text field."

Black Berry Storm tips 2-5-2009:

Here are some handy Storm tips and tricks I have learned over the last two months that save me a lot of hassle. If you just want to read the review please scroll on down to Review:

Select and Copy:
To select and copy text lightly hold one finger before and one after the text you want. Once selected click on the Blackberry key and click copy.

Access the Keyboard:
To access the keyboard quickly swipe a finger upwards from the bottom of the screen towards the middle. To hide the keyboard swipe quickly downwards from the middle towards the bottom.

Number Lock:
Ever need to enter a bunch of numbers? Tired of having to click on the number icon repeatedly? To use the number lock, go to the onscreen keyboard and hold down the 123 key for 2 or 3 seconds until num lock appears. The number keypad will stay on until you hit the 123 key again.

Zoom in:
Double tap

Zoom out:
Tap once on the bottom of the screen and choose the - sign.

Control a video:
Tap once on bottom of screen. Tap again to hide menu.

Jump between menus:
Hold down the Blackberry key until the Alt menu appears swipe left or right to go through entries then place finger on menu you want to jump to and click and hold the selection.

Attention Mac users!

Your Blackberry Storm comes with free Mac sync software right in the box but you will want to download the latest version from the web instead!

I'm seeing comments on here and the workers at the Verizon store told me that my Storm did not come with software that would sync my Storm with my Mac. This is NOT true! The PocketMac for Blackberry desktop manager for Mac OS-X is right on the disk that comes with your Storm. However it is pretty buggy and I had to download the latest version from the Blackberry site to finally make it work on my Mac with OS-X Tiger and help from the Blackberry support line. You can download the latest copy for free at [...]
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138 of 152 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon November 28, 2008
If you have been researching this phone you are likely to have come across a lot of negitive reviews comparing it to the iPhone. I must admit that if Verizon had the iPhone I might have chosen it over this (at least until RIM releases a software patch or two). But as it is AT&T service is horrible, so the iPhone os not an option for me and those who prefer Verizon's service. If you want to stay with Verizon this is a great phone. Let me give a run down of its pros and cons.

PROS:

-It has great reception (the most important feature seeing as its a phone).
-Its a touch screen, which can be a pro or con depending on whether you can get used to a touch screen or not.
-Decent internet speed, even indoors.
-Good MP3 and video playing capabilities, on par with the iPhone I tried.
-A great camera as far as phones go. Obviously not a replacement for a stand alone camera, but no phone camera is.
-Unlike my old Curve you can use the built in GPS without paying for VZNavigator.
-Bright, clear screen that is much better looking than the iPhone I tried.
-Sleek look.
-Its a Blackberry, previous and current BB users will find a lot of familier features here.
-Does not require iTunes, but it supports it if you wish to use it.

CONS:
-Its slow. It often freezes while doing the simplest things like turning or switching menus. On the bright side this seems like it could be fixed with a software upgrade.
-Its a touch screen, which can be a pro or con depending on whether you can get used to a touch screen or not.
-Like the iPhone (and any other touchscreen phone), the on screen keyboard can take some getting used to. In this case the SureType feature in particular.
-Typicall early adobter syndrom. If you buy this you know that it is likely an improved version will be released in a year or two. Also as of right now accessories are hard to come by along with apps taylored to the Storm (luckely most Blackberry aps work on it). The last two issues will likely dissapear when the stores stock more accessories and the App Store launches next year (along with more 3rd parties supporting the Storm).

All in all I'd say if you want a an iPhone, without switching to AT&T and their lousy service you won't regret getting a Storm. I love it, and its likely to only get better through software updates. As for the price its basically $30 or $45 (depending on whether you need/want corperate e-mail or not) on top of your regular Voice plan charges, as is the case with all Blackberry devices.
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35 of 35 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 7, 2009
A few points to start with.....

I'm a long time (9 years) Blackberry user, and I kind of understand the way they do things. Its not perfect, but the software is mature, and the approach is reliable

I'm a business guy, and reliability and consistency are the most important things to me. I rely on the phone and email constantly. Cameras, MP3 players, web browsers are all nice extras, but those are secondary features. If the camera never worked, I wouldn't care.

I'm also very very satisfied with Verizon wireless, and their service has never let me down. I've always had a Verizon phone, as well as a Blackberry device (which also tended to included a GSM phone on either Cingular and lately AT&T for the past 5 years or so), which I used internationally as I travel pretty heavily. AT&T has been very very unreliable in the US, which is why I always have made sure to have Verizon, as it is been totally reliable for myself and my large family. The Storm is a "World Phone" and includes a GSM transceiver and SIM card.

I made a horrible mistake recently of trying to make an LG Dare work as an adult phone and email device, and after 5 months of banging my head against the wall, with its terrible reliability, awful screen handling, and non existent email capabilities, I finally surrendered and went and bought a Storm.

On the Storm

I waited until now to get the Storm, so I have the benefit of all the bug fixes of the past month. One reason that I decided to go back to Blackberry was that RIM actively maintains and updates their software. The LG Dare experience was awful, with only 1 (and a weak one at that) software update since its initial release 7 months ago. The RIM and Blackberry experience are not the same as an iPhone (which I probably would have bought if it was on Verizon, but AT&T has just let me down too many times)

I think its important to understand that if you are a Blackberry user, and understand what their whole thing is about, the Storm will feel comfortable to you. If you are expecting a trendy cool iPhone gadget to show your friends and watch youtube videos on all day, you might want to look somewhere else.

The hardware is typical RIM quality. It is heavy and built like a tank. The buttons are familiar BBerry buttons. The whole chassis is clearly made to take abuse. The touchscreen has an interesting "push/click" thing going on, that makes it pretty easy to use the interface. The LG Dare and iPhone have a less definitive touch screen, although the Dare gives nice feedback when you hit keys. But with the Storm I find it much easier to navigate and select, with less "false" selections. You navigate, then click. There are still some "false" selections, but very very few.

The phone call quality is very very good. Probably the best I've ever had with a RIM device. My most recent BBerry was a Curve through AT&T which had awful call quality in the US, but was decent everywhere else the world. The Storm is very good, which is what I expect from Verizon.

Email is of course RIMs main franchise, and as usual, it is terrific. Its just state of the art, amongst the best that there is. It uses the usual Blackberry software hierarchy and menus, so if you understand them, and find them useful, the Storm will be good for you. Navigation will take some getting used to, because the touchscreen eliminates/consolidates things like the wheel or small joystick that past BBerrys have used. But the new approach makes sense after a while.

As far as configurability, the Storm is terrific. You can set the hard buttons to do all sorts of things, change the screen functions, and reorganize the phone to your liking (something which the Dare did not allow).

I would give the browser a 8/10, as either it has a mind of its own, or I haven't mastered it yet. It has some automated magnification functions that work well, until they make the web page unusable. It might be operator error on my part.

I haven't really used the Camera yet, although my kids say its nice. But I already have a camera, and have never been much of a cell phone camera user.

I am a huge music lover though, and so far the MP3 player seems useful, it can be set up as a normal USB type flash memory device so you can simply copy your songs onto it. One unfortunate thing about it is that RIM has for some insane reason selected Roxio to provide a media manager (along with the atrocious Rhapsody/Real DRM and adware infested disaster that Verizon has been swindled by). The choice of Rhapsody/Real or Roxio is like choosing between sawing off your own head with rusty chainsaw or doing rootcanal on yourself with a jackhammer.... just an awful choice of 2 adware infested, computer destroying pieces of software. Not good. I'm still experimenting with other media players to sync up music.

All in all, the Storm works for me as of now. I'll try to update this as I learn more about the Storm. But from what I can tell, it is as good a piece of hardware as RIM has ever made. And if you are looking for a decent device for a few years, its really a decent choice, as RIM completely understands how to maintain software and fix bugs. It seems that only Apple, RIM and the Windows Mobile devices will stand a chance as being long term platforms that you can rely on. All other "smartphones" don't seem to be built by companies with attention spans longer than 10 minutes.

UPDATE: April 23 2009

Been living with the Storm now for several months. There are some observations worth adding to the initial impressions I had above.

Overall, the Storm is a vintage Blackberry, with typical navigation, menus, selections, and features that Blackberry users will understand. Even though it is a touchscreen, it still feels like home, after having Blackberry devices for the past 10 years.

Call quality continues to amaze me. The radio is absolutely tenacious.... it will hold a signal longer and better than most phones I have ever owned. Dropped calls are very very rare, even in sketchy areas... we are skiers and spend plenty of time in mountainous regions, and it even holds onto calls in those terrains.

Touchscreen operations are an acquired taste. I have gotten the hang of it and have really begun to enjoy the flexibility. This is the same for any touchscreen device, phone or otherwise. The touch and click approach has turned out to be extremely useful, and it prevents false selections. I never find that the phone called someone when I put it into my pocket. This is a nice feature, and I wonder why anyone would complain about it.

Email is absolutely stellar. I have several accounts running on it. The method of aggregation of all communications is great. Nothing else need be said. Blackberry IS mobile email. There is no better.

Media operations are simply excellent. I have abandoned my faithful Sansa MP3 player in favor of the Storm. It is an excellent music player, bar none. Music players are a commodity, the functionality is well understood and pretty simple, and the Storm is just fine in this respect. Videos look terrific too, although I don't use it for video that much because of my middle age eyes...

Bluetooth functions well, even in my brain damaged Acura (which thinks its good, but is very very not good). Sound quality via bluetooth is quite good.

The major area of complaints about the storm, revolve around navigation and strangeness associated with touchscreen operations and navigation. While RIM has released many updates for the Storm, Verizon has failed (miserably I might add) to release ANY updates to the Storm since it was released by Verizon. Now, I love Verizon wireless, and they are extremely reliable, however, they are SO SLOW with software updates on their phones, it has become downright ridiculous.

I understand that they have a HUGE customer base, and a tiny bug that may affect a tiny percentage of their customers could flood support lines and stores. But its been 5 months, and nary a peep from VZW about Storm bug fixes. The screen does crash, and the motion sensor does get confused. But this has been addressed in numerous updates that other wireless carriers have distributed.

I did indeed install another carriers RIM OS on my Storm, which has GREATLY improved navigation and screen problems. I just wish VZW would get it together.

All in all, I have really come to rely on the Storm. And once I updated the software, nearly ALL the screen problems went away.

Its important to note, that the Blackberry Storm (like nearly ALL Blackberrys) are complex devices and not fashion phones, or toys. For folks looking for a device to help them conduct life and business, it is a great device. For those thinking it is a fun toy for watching youtube, and doing all sorts of trendy webby kind of things, the Storm may not be for you.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2009
Note that anyone looking to buy this phone should consider two things.

1) Most early reviews were based off of a pseudo-beta initial release of the phone software (v65). The phone has since been updated and works exceptionally well. Look for reviews AFTER 12/15/2008.

2) This phone is a powerful productivity tool, NOT a toy. For users wanting an entertainment device with plenty of games, buy the iPhone. For users wanting an unmatched phone, email client, contact/task database, all rolled into a high-res screen with sufficient multimedia ability, buy the Storm. Many reviewers are blaming the phone for their own inability. Yes, it might seem complicated at first but it gets the job done unlike any other phone. If you want a simple toy/ipod, again, look elsewhere.

Also, the iPhone vs Storm comparisons are getting way out of hand (see first review: Grant). These two phones are completely different with one exception, the touchscreen. To prove the point, below is a cut/paste from a post I ran across in another forum (note I can't vouch for all info, still it should be useful when considering this purchase):

Hope this helps.
MD

-----------------------

Storm vs iPhone (aka: Storm DOES have, iPhone *DOES NOT* have):

- 3D click-through screen (capacitive touch PLUS tactile click)
- MMS (TXT messages with pictures attached)
- ability to record videos
- WMV video support
- WMA audio support
- 3GPP RTSP website audio/video streaming
- copy/paste via multitouch
- better camera (3.2mp vs 2mp = 60% improvement)
- 2x digital camera zoom (vs none)
- camera flash
- camera autofocus & image stabilization
- better screen resolution (480x360 vs 480x320 = 12% improvement)
- full QWERTY keyboard (PLUS SureType)
- second mic for active noise cancellation during phone calls
- removable/replaceable battery
- better battery life w/ 1400 mAhr (5.5-6.0hrs vs 5.0hrs = 10-20% improvement) (+ even more with Seidio extended 1600mAhr battery!)
- replaceable metal backing (vs plastic, non-replaceable)
- MicroSD memory card expandable up to 32GB
- 10x hard buttons (4 front, 2 top, 4 side)
- voice-command dialing
- global phone: CDMA/EVDO.A/UMTS/HSPA/EDGE/GPRS/GSM (works on VZW and includes a SIM card for travel abroad)
- true, lean email push w/ compression (vs battery draining ping-pong workaround)
- DOD-level encryption and security (with remote management via BES or Unite)
- syncronize contacts, tasks, memos, calendar with Yahoo! PIM, Outlook, Lotus Notes, etc
- save attachments & send attachments from media card or internal memory
- open PDF, DOC, XLS, PPT files
- invite attendees to calendar meetings
- ability to use any music manager (vs iTunes-only restriction)
- high-speed PC modem via USB tethering
- third-party application multitasking (aka background applications)
- Assisted GPS for turn-by-turn voice navigation with third-party applications (VZNavigator, Garmin, TeleNav)
- mass storage mode (allows drag/drop of files via Windows Explorer)
- BlueTooth 2.0 with stereo headset, A2DP/AVRCP audio streaming, file-sharing, wireless printing, etc
- horizontal charging dock for "clock mode" and movie viewing
- better Verizon contracts and cheaper price plans
- better 3G network (Verizon EVDO Rev. A vs AT&T HSDPA scarce coverage and slower uploads)
- open architecture app install (vs Apple collecting a buck for EVERYTHING you buy)

On AT&T, spotty 3G coverage requires the WiFi alternative...
VZW 3G coverage is everywhere, hence no need to compensate with an additional chip that would raise prices and reduce battery life.

iPhone, game over.
-----------------------
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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on December 5, 2008
This review is based on after installing the .75 update. The phone got a lot faster on the screen rotation. The keyboard really really SUCKS... I think RIM built this phone without thinking people were going to actually use the keyboard.. :).. Great Screen though super sharp when watching a movie... the camera takes an eternity and a half to take a picture. If you press the bottom to snap, you have to keep the phone steady for 5-6 seconds after you snap to get a good picture. The touch screen is a pain period... I found myself constantly "talking" to the phone... "no it's not what I wanted to do"... "no don't start that program"... "no I don't need the keyboard".... The keyboard layout is also not friendly... let's say you had to type an address like 1125 NW 16 ave Miami, FL... well my friend you will be up for a good lesson on patience... the letters one layout of the keyboard, the numbers on another and the commas and questions on another... BAD IDEA!!!!
I have seen keyboard that you can just hold a letter for 2 sec and you get the numbers... simple and less messy... On the storm if you hold a letter you get the capitol version... I think it's useless... So to type my little address here 1125 NW 16 ave Miami, FL you would need to be bouncing between 3 keyboard screen layout... did I mention it goes back to the letters after you type each number... unless you lock the numbers but than again you have to unlock to get another letter.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
UPDATED 12/15

I just so happen to love it. But that's because I'm open minded about these types of things. Was the thing overhyped? Probably. But so what? Methinks too many people get their hopes up and expect the world when they should understand by now that NO technology is ever perfect.

First of all, to those that wonder if BlackBerry has lost its touch (no pun intended), wonder no more. Internally this is a BlackBerry, through and through. The only real distinction between this and other BlackBerries is the screen/navigation, period. It's still the champion of email and messages; still handles documents, still handles PDFs, still is one of the best all around communication devices there is. In fact, behind the the pretty interface, the apps are nearly identical to that found on the Curve or Pearl.

As you've likely noticed already, this device has been getting either lauded...or blasted...depending on who you talk to. Some reviewers love it, some hate it. 99% of reviews compare it to iPhone (AT&T), simply because of the touch screens and accelerometer. But to be truthfully frank, that's really where the similarities end, and is the background of my review here, as I've not used an iPhone and therefore make no comparisons. I did own an iPod Touch for about a day (returned it, couldn't stand it), so I'm familiar with some of the touch functionality found there, but ultimately I didn't get the BB for its touch; I got it because it's a BlackBerry. If you're in the same boat, read on.

As I mentioned, this has all of the functionality of the other BlackBerries. Email on the go is the #1 feature for me and the reason I keep coming back to BlackBerry, and this one is just as good as the others, if not better. Of notable mention is the new method of navigation on this phone; there's no scroll wheel, no "pearl" to scroll through options. There are two ways to navigate: touch, and click. Touch selects an option (referred to as "highlighting"), which click activates it. This is important, because it means you can't use touch to type. You have to use click for each key. Some don't really care for this. Part of that is RIM's fault, because of the way they presented this functionality. They made it seem as though the screen was some sort of soft press deal that "felt" like keys...when really it's a single dimple pressing a single button to activate whatever option is highlighted. You can hopefully see where I'm going with this and why I said it that way.

Sometimes you'll highlight an option not what you want, thinking you're on something else, and when you click, it will do the option you didn't want. So for example, you'll be on a menu option attempting to close an application, and it does "Switch Application" instead. You'll see "Close" clearly highlighted, but it does the other one. You didn't see where the highlight shifted at the last minute. It happens. The reason this happens is due to the user and the adjustment period to getting used to the device. You really need to take your time and pay attention to what's being selected; it's not like other BlackBerries where you can feel out certain options, or like some users who can select options with their eyes closed because they're just that good at the navigation. It's just a learning curve, but one that not everyone will tolerate.

I had a co-worker ask me what kind of person would enjoy this device. It's hard to say. What I know for certain is that if you're not a "gadget head", you probably won't like it. If you're the kind of person who just needs to make calls this is not the device for you. That's not to say it's not good at making and receiving calls, because it is...better than most other phones I've had. It's just that, if that's all you care to do, this phone is overkill. Same for the Sidekick/LG Voyager/Dare converts; in my opinion, this phone is way overkill.

What some have to understand, is that BlackBerries are business phones. They are designed for the business-minded individuals who need to get stuff done. Certainly RIM has gone out of its way to "consumerize" the device, but at the end of the day, it's not going to have a stellar, if any, camera. It's not going to be the ultimate media player. It's not going to be the ultimate instant messaging machine. But it will get stuff done efficiently.

Another co-worker approached me after having bought the Storm, on the verge of returning it due to multiple frustrations with using the device. His #1 complaint: too confusing how to figure out how to do everything. I countered this by explaining that the main difference between iPhone and Storm is that the iPhone wants to hold your hand through the process. It wants to "teach" you how to use it effectively. The Storm, on the other hand, is still a BlackBerry at heart. BlackBerries don't "teach". They expect you to know how to do the basics already. This can be considered a shortcoming on RIM's part, but to their credit they do run you through a setup the first time to try and help you learn the basics; quite honestly, you'll only learn by doing it and patiently working with the phone.

Another concern people have, and have had since the Pearl, is with SureType, complaining that it's difficult to use. SureType is actually more intelligent than the regular phone predictive text engines; What some miss, and the reason they get frustrated with it, is that SureType is also attempting to think for you. There are a lot of things it will do for you without you even realizing it. Basic things such as punctuation, first letter capitalization, etc. are all done by SureType automatically. The best way to use SureType: don't think too hard about what's going on the screen; just spell out the words, space, period. Repeat that, without worrying about what's happening on screen (for the most part). If you let SureType handle the logic behind the sentence structure, you'll probably find that it's even easier to manage than standard QWERTY, even though QWERTY does some of the same things. If you think/worry too hard about what SureType is doing, it's guaranteed to give you errors, because you're effectively fighting the engine without even realizing it.

Finally, make sure you update your phone to the latest firmware as soon as you get it, as it will resolve a lot of the issues with the screen navigation and accelerometer. Other than that there isn't really much else I can say. Either you will like it, or you won't. The more open-minded you are about the phone, the better the experience.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 11, 2009
There are some pretty chatty reviewers here so I'll just bottom line it for you. As a web browser and general all-around application tool, the Storm is far superior to the Bold (and the Curve) due to it's large touch screen. As a mail READER, the Storm is also superior.

As alluded to by numerous other reviewers, the only non-superior aspect of the device is the maximum speed at which a user can type out a message. For generating email & text, a traditional quality keyboard such as on the Curve (and to a lessor extent the Bold) will actualize your maximum typing speed... if that's what's most important to you.

For me, the ease of navigating screens and applications (to include READING email) via the touch screen is far more important than maximum typing speed (I have an office computer and a notebook with broadband; either of which I will use to generate most of my wordy emails. I use the blackberry mostly to keep abreast of what's going on while away from those primary computing tools). Using the trackball of the Bold and the Curve is much more cumbersome for the regular away from desk tasks of reading email, browsing the web, updating Twitter, etc.

There is also currently a socio-capitalistic elitism to be enjoyed by having the touch screen of the Storm (sure, deny it if you want, and hate me for bringing it up, but you know in your heart that like me, you enjoy having the coolest new toy in the office, and this is it!).

Summary: I read 30 email messages a day on my phone, but only respond or generate a few... the keyboard's maximum typing speed is of secondary concern for you if you share my same use model (and the web browsing on the Storm, like the iPhone, is absolutely joyous!)
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2009
Verified Purchase
Hello everyone, I've had this phone for the past 3 weeks and felt I was ready to write my own review for it.

A bit of background on me so you know a little bit more of where i'm coming from.

I'm 18 years of age so still rather young compared to most others, but I have quite an busy life which includes college, family, 2 jobs, and yes, bills. I am also rather tech savvy, at an intermediate/expert level.

Blackberry Storm 9350!

I'll give you a bottom line right off the bat for this product:

If you want a phone for it's entertainment and good - not the best - business applications I would go with the storm.

If you want a hardcore business phone go with the Curve or Bold as it's more suitable for emails and is much faster to type with if your on the go.

The reason why I say this is because this is the first Blackberry with so many entertainment features like free news sent right to you phone you just click on to read, your own customizable ring tones, an amazing screen for ultimate video, a great camera (takes some time to actually take the picture but it's the same with other quality cell phone camera's), great email abilities, coming out with good applications making it a formidable foe to the iphone once again, free google maps and other browsers for your various needs, including the firefox alpha and opera mini!

The only cons that I have found with this phone have been the fact that not as many applications that i'd like to get have been released, but that is not the phone's problem since it hasn't been out very long. Also the fact that if you purchased music from Itunes you have to tamper with it to transfer that music to your phone, I don't buy music from Itunes but I still don't like to be limited in that sense. The last con I have for this phone would be that when I go to actually answer the phone it has a bit of a lag, a time difference when i switch the phone from landscape to portrait or vice versa, and that makes it difficult if you want to ignore the phone call, as you can answer it using the actual answe button an the bottom of the phone without a problem.

In the end yes this phone is a multimedia tool with the blackberry backbone for some good business tools, and as of yet I cannot find a valid reason to give it any less than a 5 star review as I believe for the price of $150 and verizon's coverage you can't go wrong with this smartphone.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2009
I've had the Storm now for nearly 4 months. Got mine the day they released them. In that time I've grown quite attached to this device and the closer they get to the "Gold Code" operating system, the better it gets. Yes, I do think it got pushed out the door a little before it was ready, yes I think it still needs a little tweaking to the O.S. and yes I still think it's the best thing since beer. The combination of GPS and internet has gotten me to and from places I was unfamiliar with, my email gets to me within a minute after it arrives, voice quality is good, bluetooth functions perfectly (and does stereo too!), SMS/MMS messaging works nicely, it records video, and the camera 9while it could be a little faster) takes amazing pictures even as close as 1.5 inches from the lens. It's GREAT for taking photos of text documents and what not...something most cameras (especially on phones) can't handle. And to top it off, it links to my car stereo via bluetooth for MP3 playback, which is the coolest thing ever.

So yeah, I love this phone! Is it for everyone? No. It takes a couple weeks to get used to how it functions and using the keyboard. Once you get it down tough, it's great. Anyone who gave in after only a day or two should have tried a little harder, but they're missing out. ;)
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