NY Times’ Pogue reviews RIM’s BlackBerry Storm: ‘I’ve got a better name for it: BlackBerry Dud’

Research in Motion has a new phone that’s “officially called the BlackBerry Storm,” David Pogue reports for The New York Times. “But I’ve got a better name for it: the BlackBerry Dud.”

The Storm’s “entire screen acts like a mouse button. Press hard enough, and it actually responds with a little plastic click… As a result, the Storm offers two degrees of touchiness. You can tap the screen lightly, or you can press firmly to register the palpable click,” Pogue reports. “It’s not a bad idea. In fact, it ought to make the on-screen keyboard feel more like actual keys… Unfortunately, RIM has completely botched the execution.”

“The Storm even muffs simple navigation tasks. When you open a menu, the commands are too close together; even if your finger seems to be squarely on the proper item, your click often winds up triggering something else in the list,” Pogue reports. “There’s no momentum to the scrolling, either, as on the iPhone… In short, trying to navigate this thing isn’t just an exercise in frustration — it’s a marathon of frustration.”

“Now, I wouldn’t come down this hard on some product — especially one that was so eagerly anticipated, customers lined up at dawn on the day of its release — without getting a second, third and fourth opinion. And I’m telling you, there wasn’t a soul who tried this machine who wasn’t appalled, baffled or both,” Pogue reports. “And that’s before they discovered that the Storm doesn’t have Wi-Fi.”

Pogue asks, “How did this thing ever reach the market? Didn’t anyone at RIM actually try it? Or was everyone involved just too terrified to pull the emergency brake on this train?”

There’s much more – highly recommended – in the full report of the train wreck, er… review of RIM’s BlackBerry Storm, headlined “Blackberry Storm Downgraded To A Depression,” here.

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

MacDailyNews Take: Vista got better reviews.


  1. Actually, dude, the iphone was perfect when it came out. It blew the cell phone world apart.

    Remember, this is a product by an Industry Leader, to try to take back some of the losses they are suffering from customers choosing the iPhone.

    This isnt their first attempt at a cell phone. This is the Blackberry guys panicking like rookies.

    Had it too easy for way too long, eh RIM?

    How many other complacent and lazy companies can you name?


  2. To all the naysayers out there, I just want to say that I love the Storm. And the G1 too. Never touched or seen either one, and, based on the reviews, wouldn’t dream of buying one, but I love them just the same. Competition will only drive the iPhone to get better. Heck, I’ll even pre-love the MS Zune-phone disaster-in-waiting, for the same reason!

  3. JD: Golly, the iPhone was just perfect when it first came out, too.

    No, but it got the essentials so right that people were willing to wait for improvements around the edges.

    From all appearances RIM fails miserably even at basic usability. And that is hard or impossible to remedy after the fact. Too bad they don’t seem to understand the difference.

  4. Apparently RIM management read Steve Jobs praise of RIM as a ‘good company that makes good products’ and has set about to destroy his credibility completely. Devilishly clever meta-marketing.

  5. @ping

    Actually, I have a Storm. Its essentials are just fine, and RIM is going to make it better. I don’t know what device Pogue is going on about, but it’s not the Storm. Walt Mossberg agrees with me.

  6. Well JD most reviewers, at least those of note, do seem to know precisely what device he is going on about, and unfortunately for ‘Rimmers’ it IS the Storm. Don’t think they have been on the Apple coolaid eddie either. So just maybe that big sever centre over at RIM Towers is sending positive but very subjective messages to the gullable. Are they telling you to believe in crops circles too by any chance? Not sure either how it can actually improve that much with a limited operating system and only basic touch capability. There is only so far you can go with yesterdays technology I’m afraid.

  7. People who compare the iPhone situation to the Storm have got to be kidding.

    The iPhone was the first, it was the originator and spent its initial time in an empty field all by itself with nothing to compare.

    The Storm is arriving in a sea of iClones that are starting to get good. Some of them, like the Samsung Omnia on Verizon, are being released right alongside it this year. There’s virtually no comparison between the two introductions.

    Apple had plenty of room for error since everyone followed in their shoes. RIM doesn’t. Either you float above the iClones or sink with them.

  8. @spyinthesky

    Is Mossberg drinking the RIM koolaid too?

    What is it with you people that if Steve didn’t personally bless it, it’s evil of the most vile sort? Not everyone can use an iPhone, not everyone wants to. Get over yourselves, the iPhone is just an f-ing phone and it’s not perfect. The 3G dropped half its calls before Apple finally delivered software that made the thing work, and that was after the launch fiasco that left half of them bricks on day one. The original iPhone was, well, not so hot either until a few downloads later, let’s be honest.

    My G4 PowerBook went back with the display problem that most of them had. My white G4 MacBook was replaced because the WiFi stopped working, the way a huge percentage of them did. Now I have a new aluminum MacBook with no FireWire and a clicky trackpad that reminds me a whole lot of my Storm. And don’t even get me started on the mess that is Mobile Me, the dumbest name for a product in the history of computing except for, perhaps, Lisa.

    Please don’t pretend it’s all good here in the orchard, it ain’t so.

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