Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Up Next: BlackBerry Storm 2

I have received a Verizon Wireless BlackBerry Storm 2 for review today. As with the recent reviews of the Motorola Droid and BlackBerry Tour, I am reviewing the Storm 2 as a potential replacement for my company's fleet of Palm Treo smartphones.

The BlackBerry Storm 2, also known as the BlackBerry 9550, is a CDMA, GSM, Wi-Fi "world phone." My demo unit ships with a Vodafone GSM SIM card pre-installed. The Storm 2 is running BlackBerry OS 5.0.0.320 out of the box.

As is no doubt obvious from the picture, the BlackBerry Storm 2 does not have a physical keyboard. For this device, RIM has opted to include four variations on the soft keyboard. While I find the "full keyboard" usable in landscape mode, I'm not a big fan of the other three keyboard modes that can be used while the phone is held with a portrait orientation. The "clickable" screen does add a nice tactile feel that is missing from the iPhone and iPod touch, though I still much rather have that hardware keyboard.

In my initial testing, the device responded quickly and the screen is bright and readable. I also thing that it is easier to control the Wi-Fi radio on the Storm 2 verses Wi-Fi on the Droid. Oddly, this phone seems to be heavier than the other two I've looked at recently. While it doesn't bother me, it may be a deal breaker for some.

In short, if you are a 'Berry addict, the BlackBerry Storm 2 is your iPhone.

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