Phone Scoop

printed October 26, 2014
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Review: BlackBerry Storm

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Perhaps the Storm's most appealing feature is that it uses a touch screen for user input rather than a trackball and keyboard, as most other 'Berries do. Rather than use a touch screen similar to the iPhone's or Samsung Instinct's, RIM went in a different direction.

Because typing and composing emails is so important to BlackBerry users, RIM wanted to impart haptic feedback on the Storm. Haptic feedback typically lets a user know they've pressed the phone by buzzing or vibrating. That's not what the Storm does. The entire display is one large button. That means in order to select anything on the screen you have to press it. Not lightly touch it as on a touch capacitive screen, nor press it a little bit as on a touch resistive screen. You need to physically press the Storm's screen down to open applications or folders.

This takes a lot of getting used to. I don't care for the way it feels at all, but I am sure plenty of others will love it. I found that after a few moments of composing emails, my thumbs were very tired.

If you want to swipe through menus, slide an email up and down or pan across a Web site, you can certainly do that. RIM decided that touching the screen would be for highlighting things, panning, zooming, etc. We're talking a "light touch" here. Brushing your finger across the screen, or just barely making contact. If you want to open and application, you have to press down on the screen. When I say press, I mean push down until the screen clicks. This means that you won't accidentally open up a program by touching it when you meant to swipe up or down. This also means that you can't double-tap on stuff to open it like you might be used to with other touch-based phones.

It's a novel concept, and I totally understand why RIM chose to go this way. It just takes some getting used to.

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