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Review: BlackBerry Storm

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Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

The Storm uses pretty much the same menu that's seen on the BlackBerry Bold and Pearl Flip. That is to say that all the graphics and icons have been refreshed compared to the Curve and 8800 series BlackBerries.

The home screen of the Storm has a large view of status indicators at the top. Below it about one-third of the screen is blank, allowing you to see your wallpaper. Below that are 8 icons to get to your messages, contacts, calendar, browser and several other things. This is pretty much in line what what we've seen on other BlackBerries.

Pressing the BlackBerry key or tapping in the black section of the home page opens the full menu which is really just a more fleshed out set of icons appearing in grid fashion. This menu includes the 8 items from the home screen and many more. You can swipe up and down to scroll through all the selections. Once you see what you want, press it firmly and away you go.

Drilling down beyond this set of icons, though, and things start to look more familiar. The underlying architecture of the BlackBerry OS is the same, which mean menus, menus, and more menus. If you want to do anything, hit the BlackBerry key, and a long list of action items appears. Most often, RIM's software automatically highlights the selection you're probably most interested in. For example, if your looking at an email and you tap the BB key, it will open the menu and highlight "reply". If you've already typed an email and hit the BB key, it will highlight "send".

My Storm review unit had a very noticeable lag. You'd press the screen to access an application or menu, and there would be a delay before that app or menu opened or loaded. Sometimes the delay was short, sometimes the delay was lengthy.

My review unit also had a lot of problems with the "Back" key. It refused to recognize that the back key had been pressed fully 50% of the time. This meant I had to re-press the key. Some times I had to press the back key a lot to get it to do what I wanted.

The lag was apparent in every menu and every application. I was told that these review units are literally the first ones to come from the factory floor. Read into that what you will.

In all, though, the menu system isn't all that hard to figure out.


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