Review: BlackBerry Storm
The BlackBerry Storm is not perfect, but, in my humble opinion, it is the best BlackBerry yet.
The media features are much improved compared to other BlackBerries. The music player is more robust, offers more features, and sounds better than the Pearl Flip.
The camera outperforms every BlackBerry I've ever tested. The resulting images and videos surpass those taken with other BlackBerries as well.
It is the same robust messaging powerhouse that every other BlackBerry is, but the touch interface leads to some great innovations, especially with the added sorting capabilities in the mail application.
While I didn't initially care for the way the touch screen works, I'll allow that many will be fine with it, and even I could come to like it over time. The SurePress (as it is called by RIM) touch technology is an interesting way for RIM to give users the touch experience and still have the actual feedback of pressing a physical button when typing.
There were definitely some bugs with my review unit. Lag was a recurring issue all over the place. Perhaps Verizon Wireless and RIM will be able to fix the lag with a firmware update, but perhaps not. That's something you might want to ask of your local Verizon retailer.
In the end, if you're a Verizon customer in the market for a better BlackBerry, the Storm is for you.
To be fair, we gave RIM/Verizon a second chance. They shipped us a second review unit. Unfortunately, it experienced ALL THE SAME PROBLEMS that the first review unit did. Obviously, then, the Storm's problems were not device specific. There is an issue with the actual software/hardware. If you check other reviews on the web today, you'll see similar reports if bugginess.
Both of our review units were running system software 126.96.36.199. To the best of our knowledge, the latest build is 188.8.131.52, which is much improved. If/when that build will become available to handsets is unknown. We're checking with Verizon to get an answer.
Until we know that, you may want to wait a few weeks before buying a Storm.