“I’ve spent the past three days using Verizon Wireless’s new BlackBerry Storm extensively,” Eric Zeman reports for InformationWeek. “In the tests I performed on the phone, the quality and clarity of voice calls was excellent. The speakerphone was nice and loud, and pairing the Storm to Bluetooth headsets (both mono and stereo) was easy.”
“The Storm covers most of the BlackBerry basics well. One area it fails to perform is with battery life. RIM claims that the Storm gets 6 hours of talk time. I completely killed the Storm’s battery in a single day. It had a full charge at 8AM, and by midnight, the Storm was flashing ‘low battery’ warnings at me,” Zeman reports.
“What is it like to type on the Storm? Honestly, I can’t stand it,” Zeman reports. “The Storm’s display is touch sensitive for navigating the menus, swiping up and down and back and forth. In order to actually open folders or applications, you have to press the screen forcefully. The entire screen is one big button. You’ll feel it click, giving you the physical feedback that other touch phones lack. This is fine for selecting applications and interacting with most of the Storm’s features, but it just doesn’t cut it when it comes to typing… Physically pressing the Storm’s screen down to type each letter was just tiresome.”
“Now for the really bad news. The Storm has issues. The review unit I tested experienced severe bugginess and problems all over the place,” Zeman reports. “The accelerometer, for example, rarely works as it is supposed to. I would rotate the phone and wait up to a minute for the phone to recognize that I had turned it on its side. Other times, the phone would randomly switch from vertical to horizontal orientation even though the phone hadn’t been rotated at all. That’s unacceptable.”
“The camera software and video playback software both crashed the phone completely several times, requiring me to pull the battery to reset the Storm,” Zeman reports. “Another issue I experienced was serious lag and lack of responsiveness from the user interface. The Storm would fail to register finger presses, the ‘back’ button worked only about 50 percent of the time, and panning around was slow and jittery. Applications behaved strangely and would randomly quit.”
“If you think I got stuck with a bad unit, think again. In order to be as fair as possible, I requested a second review unit from Verizon Wireless,” Zeman reports. “The second review unit experienced all the same problems and issues… People may have lined up early this morning in eager anticipation of buying the Storm, but if I were a consumer, I would have returned the Storm by now.”
Full review here.
Another excellent* review of RIM’s BlackBerry Storm.
*Excellent for Apple, that is.