Research In Motion’s new Blackberry Storm is out tomorrow from Verizon Wireless for $250 and the critics have already got their hands on the device. Plenty of reviews and first look impressions have made their way on the Web and here’s the lowdown from some of the most important players.
To kick things off, PC World’s Yardena Arar thinks “the Storm has some nice features and makes a great first impression.” But things went downhill using the Storm’s touchscreen. She found the device “awkward to use for everyday data entry tasks” and “typing on the Storm isn’t much fun, either.” On the good side, Yardena was “very impressed by the audio quality of MP3 files that I listened to through the bundled earbuds, and a video movie trailer that came on my device looked pretty good.”
On the other camp, ZDNet’s Josh Taylor says “There’s no question that the Storm is an impressive piece of gadgetry” but “with the notable exception of WiFi”. Josh did find though “a couple of annoying glitches – like the ‘screen rotating on its own’ issue, and the noticeable lag time during rotation”. As for the hardware itself, Josh thinks of the Storm as “an attractive phone, but not a head-turner” and finds it “a bit chunky.”
In the periodicals land, Anita Hamilton from Time Magazine hates Storm’s SureType screen and adds that “none of the handful of people I let try it had anything nice to say about it either”. Anita says Storm’s “annoying user interface is a deal-breaker” but she likes the “built-in video recording capability, which you won’t find on either the iPhone or G1.” Though Anita thinks “no one can beat BlackBerry’s e-mail expertise”, the new Blackberry “is one storm you’ll want to steer clear of this winter.”
Eric Benderoff from the Chicago Tribune isn’t very impressed either with RIM’s Storm. He classes the phone as “more like a flurry, failing to add much more than a trace of innovation” and says “the touch controls on the Storm do not compare with the more responsive iPhone or Google phone.” However, Benderoff agrees “the Storm is great for watching movies” and that the “3.2 megapixel camera is better than average”, considering it “a nice media phone”.
Last, but certainly not least, Walt Mossberg says “the Storm is a very capable handheld computer”. He thinks the new Blackberry is a “good option for anyone who is looking to buy one of the new, more powerful, pocket computers” and he could “type quite well on the Storm after awhile, but that a greater adjustment, and more practice, were required than with a physical keyboard.” Addressing the iPhone crowd, Mossberg highlights many out of the box features missing from Apple’s device, such as “copy and paste functionality; MMS (a service for sending photos directly to other phones without using email); voice dialing; and the ability to act as a modem for your laptop. It also allows you to edit, and not just to view, Microsoft (MSFT) Office documents.”
So, will you rush off to the shops tomorrow to buy the new Blackberry Storm or will the iPhone take its place on your Christmas wishlist?