First Impressions of the Blackberry Storm

Earlier today my new Blackberry Storm arrived at my front door, so I thought I would share some of my first impressions of the device.   Before I even get in to the device itself let me cover two things which will you understand my expectations of the device.  Why did I upgrade now?  I have had a Verizon 8830 World Edition since November of 2007, at that time the motivation to upgrade was for an upcoming trip out of the country, and the 8830 was the first model in which Verizon finally added global support.  I had held off making the move earlier as I thought the switch to the trackball instead of the thumbwheel would be a tough one (in the end it wasn’t).  I have lost count but the 8830 was either my 9th or 10th model Blackberry, and by far the least rugged blackberry I ever owned, it simply did not hold up well at all to the daily wear and tear (you can see here the condition in which it returned from Lotusphere).  So my decision to upgrade was one of necessity.  The second factor is that I have been using an iPhone for almost a year now (something I am not sure is a good thing for making the move to a Storm), and I am very interested to compare the iPhone and the Storm. So with the history behind us, my first impressions of the Storm, which I had not touched or seen until mine arrived today, and while I read up a little on the device my main impressions were from Chris Millers posts Day 1 and 2 with the Blackberry Storm, and Day 3 with the Blackberry Storm (and Chris has promised more).  Getting started was simple thanks to  Enterprise Activation, while this is not specific to the Storm, it is impressive how fast and easy it is to change devices effortlessly with out losing any data. My very first impression of the touch screen was that it was terrible, however after peeling off the screen protector (not the shipping plastic, but one of those thin films they put on the screen) it got a little better.  It is a bit confusing especially if you are used to an iPhone since you do have to Click to make selections, I did not realize the whole screen would actually move to allow the click, definitely takes some getting used to.  I have not found it very intuitive when to touch and when to click. My second issue the the Phone and Menu buttons on the bottom, I don’t know why but I seem to want the Menu button where the phone is, and vice versa. blackberry-storm The typing in Landscape mode is not bad as you have the full QWERTY keyboard, in landscape mode with the auto word complete will take some getting used to.  I have not used the browser much, but one thing I am finding is that in Blackberry screens and on Websites drop  down boxes are very difficult  to navigate and select. Application wise I have only looked at three applications so far, Facebook which is identical in functionality to my previous blackberry and very unimpressive, I would hope they develop a rich application like the one on the iPhone, Flickr, nice that they have a Flickr upload application (something severely lacking on the iPhone) I will have to play with the camera and Flickr later (this is my first Blackberry with a camera).  Finally Sametime 8.0.1 installed with out any issue and connected with out any issue. I have to drag out the manual and look up a few things, and play with the sound profiles and see if I can get my settings back the way I like them, and in general get used to the device. More on the Storm as I play with it and get more familiar with it. Finally, you have my point of view, let me share my daughter Molly’s first impression of the Storm, she came home from Kindergarten and was excited to see my new Blackberry, she took one look at it and said “Daddy, your new Blackberry looks just like your iPhone”.

2 Responses to First Impressions of the Blackberry Storm
  1. NatesDad
    February 5, 2009 | 7:39 pm

    I am a day ahead of Mitch and wasn’t sick, so here are my comments and impressions (I did read “The Basics” section of the manual which was fairly useless):

    I agree – the menu and phone buttons should be switched.

    Sametime and GoogleTalk worked fine. VZ Navigator was great until it told me the company didn’t make it part of the plan. Google Maps looks great but Verizon still won’t let them at the GPS data so it’s still using towers to set your position.

    The shift from portrait to landscape can be quirky – sometimes fast sometimes slow (maybe when data is coming in?). Some apps don’t seem to want to rotate. It will rotate to landscape if you hold it flat and tilt either side up or down.

    You can’t edit any of the profiles except the default and it is annoying that the in/out holster differences aren’t there anymore.

    My son is an iPod Touch user and didn’t like the browser zooming at all. I’m kind of glad I had never used an iPhone before so I didn’t have any “habits”.

    I have small hands and I seem to click the wrong letter in landscape mode. Maybe it’s a practice thing. I still have no idea how Sure Type works.

    I think I will like the device eventually, but right now change is bad. My previous BB still had a click wheel so this is a big change.

    Mitch has had more BB’s than me but we both started on the non-phone pager network device that we got from a rep we met at a computer show at the Javits Center back in 2000.

  2. Esya
    April 10, 2009 | 1:16 pm

    I’ve had mine about 3 weeks now. I keep loosing the keyboard for the phone regardless of whether it’s in landscape or portrait mode and the reported fixes to that are not working; it has reduced capacity to pre-filter email without setting up a third work account; and the way the apps are set up is not intuitive to find the setting locations. It’s a commercialized pain in the neck. I disagree that the sound quality is good–I’ve had many Verizon phones before that were better and frankly the Sprint system I have used is superior and works internationally. What’s the big deal besides all the app toys?