Monday, December 1, 2008

Blackberry Storm's first impressions: A huge disappointment

I've been holding off on getting a iPhone until I tried the Blackberry Storm. So I went to the Verizon store, and I can't remember the last time I've been so disappointed due to high expectations. Well.....not counting Indiana Jones, Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls.

But the whole clickable LCD was a total mess. They never explain in the commercials how it really works. The entire LCD presses in. So for example, the amount of pressure needed to press the G key is a lot more than to key on the edge like A. That problem compounded by the fact that you have to press in for the key to register made it awkward. The pressing in feature slowed down typing.

There are positives and negatives. For example, before you type in a word like "The"

On the Storm, the key will light up, and once you realize you are on the right letter you have to press in.

On the iPhone, it registers when you just touch the key (or maybe when you lift up, not sure). That might sound like it'll take some precision touching but the iPhone seems to have incredible word recognition software where it seemed like I typed a 6 letter word completely wrong (6 out of 6 wrong characters), but since all the letters were approximately near a commonly known word, it corrected it after the 6th character.

Doing the Storm and iPhone typing head to head, the iPhone blew away the Storm.

When I first asked about the Storm to the Verizon rep, the first thing she said before anything was that the Storm's firmware that was on their current models are their old versions and that the response on the new firmwares are much improved. A stiff warning before we actually got to see the Storm with the old firmwares. And she wasn't kidding when we tried it out. The old firmware wasn't boarderline unbearable. It was beyond unbearable. Any person who actually saw the Storm in this form I would imagine would be running to the apple store. It was worse than my first encounter with the Motorola Q on its day 1 release.

Because of my love for Blackberrys, I'll have to give Storm just one more chance with the new firmware before I rule it out completely. But the Storm's better firmware is going to have to be about 10x more responsive to have the same responsiveness than the iPhone. I don't like the typing, which was my biggest reason to even consider the iPhone. My verdict until then will is that the Storm is a total miss.

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