TIME Mag reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘Novelty screen feels cheap; steer clear of this storm’

“It seemed like a neat idea when Research in Motion announced it in October: the first smartphone with a clickable touchscreen. I even enjoyed the few minutes I spent playing with a prerelease version of the BlackBerry Storm, which goes on sale Nov. 21 for $200,” Anita Hamilton reports for TIME Magazine. “But after 24 hours of actually testing the new BlackBerry side by side with its main competition — Apple’s iPhone 3G and T-Mobile’s G1 (the ‘Google phone’) — the novelty quickly wore off.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iPhone has no real competition. There is iPhone and then a slew of iPhone lookalikes-not-workalikes.

Hamilton continues, “I hate the click screen, and none of the handful of people I let try it had anything nice to say about it either… The trouble with having to push down on the entire 3.2-inch screen every time you type a letter or confirm a menu choice is that it slows you down… What’s more, the screen jiggles in the phone’s casing when you press on it, which makes it feel cheap.”

Hamilton reports, “If, like many Americans, you’re planning to scrimp your way through the holidays, the Storm isn’t worth busting your budget for… This is one storm you’ll want to steer clear of this winter.”

Full review here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “MacVicta” for the heads up.]


  1. I read a tepid review of the Storm on msnbc.com, but even the old bat who wrote the review wasn’t exactly raving about it. The Fortune magazine Mac writer printed out positive and negative review points for it, andnmy conclusion is that RIM doesn’t. Deliver the goods. Ofbinterest were the reader comments. On one side are some people who actually tested one – they HATED it. The other comments came from the usual corporate PC/IT Nazis. Almost to an individual, they said that the iPhone is a consumer toy, and that the Blackberry is more secure. To that I say, bollocks. I have been testing an iPhone with Exchange and now prefer the iPhone much more for email and calendaring. The iPhone is simply better. But to am IT Nazi, WiFi is evil. Also, readers hatedball the overhead Verizon dumpsninto the new Blackberry.

    Written on my iPhone.

  2. Overall, the Storm is a very capable handheld computer that will appeal to BlackBerry users who have been pining for a touch-controlled device with a larger screen. And it offers yet another good option for anyone who is looking to buy one of the new, more powerful, pocket computers.


    The Storm isn’t just some wanna-be, rip-off iPhone. At its core, it’s just like every other BlackBerry. This will be important for business clients — many companies’ IT systems will only work with RIM’s Enterprise Server for e-mail on the go. It’s also important for BlackBerry lovers. If you’ve used a BlackBerry before, you’ll get the Storm’s menus, symbols and buttons immediately.

    Instead of comparing the Storm to the iPhone and whining grumpilly about the Storm’s lack of multi-touch, consumers will compare it to other BlackBerries. And when they do, they may find that they like what they see: A big, fun to use touchscreen, a 3.2MP camera that takes video and has a bright flash, a respectable Web browser and a typing system that really works.


    If that sounds like a lot of utility you are not mistaken, the Storm is a veritable online workhorse out of the box. All of the familiar Blackberry programs are there and the inclusion of the three Dataviz programs means you can not only open Office Word, Excel and PowerPoint files but you can also edit them on the Storm. This turns the Storm into the type of enterprise-ready phone that you expect from a Blackberry, even though the Storm is clearly also aimed at the consumer market. You can almost leave the laptop at home on short trips with the Storm in your pocket.

    The Storm is a global communications solution similar to the 8830 on Verizon. There is a SIM card included that will work outside the US where CDMA networks are not available. Business travelers can thus use the Storm almost anywhere in the world with optional voice and data plans from Verizon.


  3. @ Uncle Walt: Sure, to Blackberry users, it will feel like an upgrade compared to their other Blackberries. More importantly, what Blackberry users will expect is a more “Applelike” experience. They won’t get that. This is where the consumer gets short changed again.

    Blackberry had a great idea a few years ago, and it took off. Unfortunately, they became complacent and stodgy, ignoring the storm in the marketplace. Now we are seeing just the begging of the tide change away from Blackberry and RIM…

  4. This is where iPhone fanboys get confused.

    Blackberry users don’t want an iPhone. It doesn’t do what they need their business phone to do, which is to securely sync OTA with their corporate e-mail, contacts and calendars, and to link to their corporate apps.

    They want a BLACKBERRY with better media features and browsers, which the Storm is.

    No, it’s not as elegant as the iPhone. Nothing anyone makes is as elegant as anything Apple makes. No one is even disputing that. BUT, the iPhone simply doesn’t do the things that made the Blackberry the success in the corporate marketplace that it is and continues to be. As long as you continue to ignore the importance of the RIM messaging features (and no, the iPhone DOESN’T have anything even remotely close,) you won’t get it.

  5. If the storm’s push to click function is anything like my new MacBook Pro’s clickable trackpad, I can see why people don’t like it. At least the Mac trackpad doesn’t slide around in its casing. The difference is that my MacBook Pro gives me the option of just using light taps which gives it the feel of my iPhone.

    Apple gets it–others don’t. You almost have to feel sorry for them.

  6. “They want a BLACKBERRY with better media features and browsers, which the Storm is.”

    Isn’t that what the BlackBerry Bold was created for?

    RIM didn’t make the Storm for the “corporate market.” That’s your own personal copout should the Storm fail in the consumer space. Consumer sales are where the real money and growth is.

    You think Verizon and RIM launched that big marketing campaign to appeal to corporate users? LOL.

    What you neglect is the fact that RIM wants MORE than BlackBerry users. They want an expansion into the consumer realm and it’s been underway well before the iPhone was released. The notion that RIM made this solely for BlackBerry users who happen to want their wonderful secure e-mail with a nice web browser is flat out wrong.

  7. The Bold and the Storm are essentially the same device with the exception of the touch screen in the Storm. Functionally they’re pretty much identical.

    Of course RIM wants to pick up every user they can get, but the notion that consumers are, en masse, going to pay what VZW wants for its unlimited data plan is just silly. It’s a business phone with some nice additions, but it IS a business phone. Unless, of course, you know a lot of people with a BES in their basement. I don’t.

    You’re inventing this “copout” nonsense out of whole cloth.

  8. “Of course RIM wants to pick up every user they can get, but the notion that consumers are, en masse, going to pay what VZW wants for its unlimited data plan is just silly.”

    The plans aren’t substantially different from those of the iPhone. Why would it be silly for RIM to expect consumers to adopt them when Apple and its various carrier partners don’t have a problem convincing them to do it?

    It’s the present and future of the smartphone game: if you want that nice phone with its HTML web browser and unlimited data then you’re going to pay for it. It’s the same deal for the Samsung Instinct on Sprint and you can’t possibly tell me that the Instinct is a corporate smartphone.

    The BlackBerry Storm is meant to be a consumer-oriented touchscreen device that can do the corporate crap, just like the iPhone. RIM argues that the Storm can do the corporate crap better (and it probably can). At the moment however, I can’t open a magazine without seeing full-page spreads advertising the Storm. I can’t turn on my TV without seeing an ad for the Storm. It’s foolish to deny that Verizon and RIM want this device to appeal to the same demographic as the iPhone.

  9. BlackBerry just laid a BrickBerry.

    This is significant. The greater number of top execs / managers start liking Apple products, the more likely they will frown upon the continual money pit that is MSFT Windows products, and real change in corporate IT landscape may finally start.

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