Monday, December 1, 2008

Verizon Blackberry Storm Review

Since Friday I have been using my new Verizon Blackberry Storm (Verizon 9530). A little background first. For the past 28 months I've been using a Verizon Blackberry 7130e. Not the most modern blackberry, but a suretype device that is a good prep for the portrait version of the keyboard on the storm.

First impressions:

+Velvet touch. I don't know how else to describe it, but that's it. Nice reaction to presses.

+Speedy! Wow, lots better even on the old network (not 3G). Probably more due to the new OS and browser.

+Nice landscape keyboard. I've got to learn to use my left hand though when trying to type a T. Apparently the screen compensates for whether it expects you to be a little left or right of the characters based on the side of the keyboard.

+Beautiful screen. That picture in the photo is pretty close on the vividness. Again, it could be because of my 'old' phone's poor color.

-Need to be able to fully configure the side buttons. I really want a TAB key for navigating web pages.

-Doesn't ship with a holster or pouch.

-Doesn't use the same USB charger as older berrys. Instead of the more universal mini-usb, it uses the micro usb format.

-Many apps aren't fully supporting the touch interface - OK, this is way ahead of the game, but I said first impressions didn't I?

Biggest Gripe - Verizon is starting to upsell other services through the storm. Right on the main screen is an icon for Visual Voice Mail and VCast Music by Rhapsody. Both very interesting services, but VVM is $2.99 a month, and VCast is $14.99 a month, this on top of already having to pay for a $45 a month data plan.

If you are currently a Verizon customer, and eligible for an upgrade, be sure to order through your Verizon online account. It will knock another $50 off the price. Not to mention, you can keep your current plan, which in my case saved an additional $5 a month. This is because Verizon has recently upped the unlimited data plans.

If you're thinking of an alternative to the iPhone, you should definitely pick up a Storm and play around. It isn't as slick an interface (I still consider this rev 1.0), but it's fully supported by BES and many enterprises.

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