CrackBerry Humor

Flashback Friday: Impress your friends with a shiny new BlackBerry Storm2, only $140 at 1SaleADay!

News & Rumors

BlackBerry owner takes apart his Storm 2 blindfolded!

News & Rumors

Official OS 5.0.0.1082 for the BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 released by Appalachian Wireless

Help, How-To & Tips

Touchcuts - Using shortcuts on your touchscreen BlackBerry

News & Rumors

Leaked: OS 5.0.0.1015 For The BlackBerry Storm2 9550

News & Rumors

Official OS 5.0.0.983 for the BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 released by Inland Cellular

News & Rumors

Leaked: OS 5.0.0.895 for the BlackBerry Storm 2 9550

News & Rumors

BlackBerry Storm 9570 - Up close and personal pics

News & Rumors

BlackBerry 9570 spotted running BlackBerry 6 but what is it?

News & Rumors

Official OS 5.0.0.741 for the BlackBerry Storm 2 9520 released by Indosat

News & Rumors

SK Telecom and RIM Introduce the First Touch-Screen BlackBerry Smartphone in South Korea

News & Rumors

Did Verizon halt BlackBerry 6 testing on the BlackBerry Storm 2?!?

News & Rumors

Official OS: 5.0.0.713 For The BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 From Verizon

News & Rumors

Leaked: OS 5.0.0.643 For The BlackBerry Storm 2 9520

News & Rumors

Bell To Launch BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 On April 13th?

News & Rumors

Have You Had Your BlackBerry Storm 2 Swapped For A New One?

News & Rumors

Official OS 5.0.0.497 For The BlackBerry Storm 9520 Released

News & Rumors

BlackBerry Storm 2 9520 Arrives On T-Mobile UK Website

News & Rumors

BlackBerry Storm 2 Coming To Rogers Or Just A Marketing Mix Up?

BlackBerry OS

Leaked OS 5.0.0.451 for the BlackBerry Storm2 9550

< >

BlackBerry Storm 2 Review

Featuring Wi-Fi, more memory and an improved SurePress technology, Research in Motion's second-generation BlackBerry Storm is ready for primetime and wants to be touched!

By Kevin Michaluk on 15 Oct 2009 12:01 am EDT
2
loading...
0
loading...
7
loading...

BlackBerry Storm2 Review

It's that time again! Grab a cup of coffee or your favorite energy drink, kick back and enjoy yet another CrackBerry.com pre-release BlackBerry Smartphone review. This time around we're looking at an officially-received BlackBerry Storm2. Has RIM taken the Storm to the next level with the Storm 2, or are we looking at a minor update? Should owners of the original BlackBerry Storm upgrade? Read on to find out!

* Note:I received this review unit just after 12 noon CST today, which left me less than 11 hours to get this together before the embargo lifted. That's not much time to conduct a proper review in full out CrackBerry fashion, so we'll be following up soon with more BlackBerry Storm2 videos and walk-throughs and I'll add a few more images and screencaps to this review shortly. Stay tuned for that. Also, keep in mind I was told the handheld software (version 5.0.0.287) is not the final version, so there may be some minor operating system changes from the unit reviewed here and what you ultimately can purchase. *

The Calm Before the Second Storm...

The BlackBerry Storm2. To say it has been highly anticipated would be an understatement. Before the original BlackBerry Storm was available to customers, the first rumors of the Storm 2 began to surface. Research in Motion even acknowledged the existence of the new device much earlier than they historically would, when RIM's co-CEO Jim Balsillie said in a presentation to analysts and investors (reported by Reuters) in May 2009 that they were working on a next generation of its BlackBerry Storm as part of a continuing push into the retail market. From that point, it was less than two weeks later when the first photos of the new BlackBerry Storm were posted to the internet right here at CrackBerry.com which was followed up soon after when we brought you the first video of the BlackBerry Storm 2 in action. In the weeks following and leading up to the Storm2's "official" announcement, youtube has been full of "unofficial" BlackBerry Storm2 9550 and 9520 previews (Verizon's Storm2 is the 9550; Vodafone's is the 9520) showing off early-stage hardware and firmware. Due to this unofficial nature, most early Storm2 videos/photos disappeared from the web as quickly as they appeared, but now that we have an official review unit you can rest assured knowing Storm2 content is now here to stay.

BlackBerry Storm2 Review

So how does the BlackBerry Storm2 compared to the Storm? When all is said and done, the most accurate explanation I can think of is to draw an analogy to the automotive industry and how car manufacturers release a new car and follow up with a new model each year. It is often said that you should not buy the "first year" of a new car, as there is bound to be issues, and nobody will argue in the case of the BlackBerry Storm that the device as it went to market experienced some issues (lag, more lag, and a bit more still lag still). RIM's strength over the years lay in making non-touchscreen devices featuring a physical keyboard, so adapting the BlackBerry operating system to touchscreen hardware was a new game for them. A few recalls (aka firmware upgrades) later, however, and the BlackBerry Storm is now a much more usable device. In fact, if you haven't touched a BlackBerry Storm in a while you might be surprised at just how well it performs. And that brings us to the next part of this analogy. If you think of the Storm as the 2009 model year, the BlackBerry Storm2 really is the 2010 model year. Yes it's new, it's improved and it features some additional bells and whistles not found in the 2009 model and overall is a better performing and easier to use smartphone, but it doesn't immediately make the old model year obsolete.

Existing Storm owners who have invested the time and energy to get comfortable on their device and have upgraded to the latest firmware (OS 5.0 just around the corner!) may find after picking up and playing with the Storm2 in a store that they're able to stick it out with their Storm until they are eligible for an upgrade. Others of course, may find the addition of WiFi alone to be enough of a reason to pay the penalties and upgrade to the Storm2 immediately. Just like cars, you're always going to want the new model year, even if you got a great lease/finance rate on picking up last year's model. But enough with the analogy, let's get to what's new in the Storm2!

BlackBerry Storm2 Overview and Key Specifications

BlackBerry Storm2

Picking up the BlackBerry Storm2, it's clear that Research in Motion's thought process here was simply to build a better BlackBerry Storm. They weren't thinking about building an iPhone killer or worrying about what Palm is up to with their Web OS or what the next wave of Android phones might look like. RIM looked at the original BlackBerry Storm, assessed where it was great, where it was good, where it was bad and where it was ugly and they fixed it. I'm sure many of the BlackBerry Storm2 reviews that emerge will state the BlackBerry Storm2 is what the original BlackBerry Storm should have been, and well, they'll all be right. We don't want to dwell too much on the Storm's shaky start; after all, it was a pretty big success for RIM from a sales standpoint, but it's impossible to review the Storm2 without looking back at the original BlackBerry Storm.

BlackBerry Storm2 Key Specifications: Be sure to follow the link following for the BlackBerry Storm2's Full Specifications and Features List. Below is a summary of the key highlights:

BlackBerry Storm2 Specifications

Size (LxWxD) 112.5 mm x 62 mm x 13.9 mm
Weight (battery included) 160 g / 5.65 oz
Memory 256 MB Flash memory, 2GB eMMC
Expandable Memory MicroSD located under battery door cover (up to 16 GB)
Battery 1400 mAhr removable/rechargeable cryptographic Lithium cell
Battery Life CDMA: 11.2 days standby, 5.5 hours of talk time
GSM: 12.7 days standby, 5 hours of talk time
UMTS: 11.7 days standby, 6 hours of talk time
Display High-resolution 480 X 360 pixel color display 3.25" (diagonally measured)
Transmissive TFT LCD
Supports over 65,000 colors
Dynamic hardware brightness control
Camera 3.2 MP camera, flash, auto focus, image stabilization, 2X digital zoom
GPS Integrated GPS with A-GPS
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g enabled
Media Player BlackBerry Media Player
Video format support: MPEG4 H.263, MPEG4 Part 2
Simple Profile, H.264, WMV
Audio format support: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA,
WMA ProPlus
Headset 3.5mm stereo headset capable
Network Quad-Band: 850/900/1800/1900MHz GSM/GPRS/
EDGE networks
Single-Band: 2100 MHz UMTS/HSPA networks
Dual-Band: 800/1900 MHz CDMA/EVDO Rev A network

Comparing the specs and features list of the BlackBerry Storm2 to the BlackBerry Storm on a line by line basis does not actually reveal that many changes, yet the changes that have been made are significant. According to Research in Motion,

 

BlackBerry Storm2 refinements include:

 

  • Enhanced SurePress Technology (SurePress is all electronic in Storm 2 - there are no mechanical moving parts)
  • Overall device performance (i.e. rotation speed, etc…) is enhanced
  • JavaScript is now On by default
  • Wi-FI 802.11 b/g
  • 256 MB Flash Memory (Storm 1 had 128MB)
  • 2GB Onboard Media Memory (Storm 1 had 1GB)
  • Sleeker Design (tinted chrome ring, etc.)
  • Integrated touch navigation keys
  • BlackBerry Handheld Software v5.0
  • Internet browsing enhancements (i.e. faster page loading)

 

and User Interface Enhancements on Storm2 include:

 

  • Inertial Scrolling w/Snap Back
  • Enhanced SurePress input
    • Probability-based entry with advanced auto-correct
    • Multi-touch for ALT and SHIFT
    • Key rollover for faster typing
    • Optimized pressure for comfortable text entry
  • Fine Cursor Control (for text editing)
    • Improved sensitivity and accuracy
  • Multi-touch text selection enhancements (for copy/paste)
  • Updated spin boxes o Clock, calendar, date/time, etc...
  • Phone enhancements o Face detection
  • Actionable touch buttons (Send in Messaging, Save in Calendar/Contacts, etc)
  • Enhanced SMS UI - notifications, emoticons, threaded chats

It's important to note that while the BlackBerry Storm at the time of this post is still running BlackBerry Handheld Software v4.7, that most of the UI refinements touted above for the Storm2 will soon be available to BlackBerry Storm users when v5.0 software is rolled out to existing devices. So while this is an "official" enhancement as of now (you can already find leaked versions of OS5.0 for the Storm - dig into our Storm forums), soon the Storm will receive many of these benefits (exception - those benefits derived from the Storm2's hardware improvements, such as clicking multiple parts of the screen at once and the face detection while on a call. More to come on that...).

* Update - October 25th, 2009 - Verizon has released OS 5.0 for the original BlackBerry Storm 9530 *

Walking Through the BlackBerry Storm2's Major Fixes / Improvements

Let's address these one at at a time:

Improved Form Factor/External Hardware

In the hand, the BlackBerry Storm2 now has the look and feel of a polished consumer product. The same can't comfortably be said for the original BlackBerry Storm, which has something of a commercialized science fair project feel about it (harsh, but true). Not all Storm owners will have the same gripes, but for me the Storm's form factor strikes were:

  • the "floating screen" - which feels sloppy as you can wiggle it back and forth within the casing.
  • the gaps/backlighting - the gaps around the screen and between the send/end/menu/escape keys allow light from within the device to shine through the cracks, making the device feel unfinished. These gaps also make it easy for dust to get behind the screen, which can cause issues.
  • the "fish hooks" - that's my nickname for the sliding clasps that hold the Storm's battery door onto the device - they remind me of barbed fish hooks. They're kind of sharp, do catch on stuff and really seemed like a last minute solution (we have the device built, now how do we get the door to stay on?).
  • the speaker "feet" - with the speaker port placed on the backside of the device, RIM placed two feet on both sides of the speaker, so that when lying on a flat surface the speaker was lifted allowing for sound to escape and not be muffled. Unfortunately, this gives the device a horrible wobble when trying to actually use it while it's lying on a flat surface - something a lot of people like to do when at a desk (solution: put a skin on your Storm).
  • Headset port design - while this gripe was very minor to me, on the original Storm the 3.5mm headset port location sort of juts out from the top right corner of the device vs. being flush to the casing sidewalls, as it is with other BlackBerry Smartphone models.

That's a long list of form factor complaints for the first generation BlackBerry Storm, but RIM must have agreed, as the BlackBerry Storm2 addresses each and every one of these form factor gripes. The BlackBerry Storm2's display has extremely tight tolerances. While there is still some vertical movement associated with the SurePress click action, there's no real wiggle or jiggle to the display. Instead of having physical buttons, RIM has implemented the core send/end/menu/escape keys to be part of the display (and as we have begun to see on other new devices, the green talk/send key now faces up vs. down). These changes combined eliminate the issue of backlighting shining through the gaps and should prevent dust from getting into the unit. On the backside of the device, RIM now has a smooth battery door that is held on by a newly designed single pressure fit clasp underneath. The speaker port has been relocated towards the bottom of the device so that even when lying flat the sound escapes cleanly without the need for original Storm's speaker feet. RIM also managed to flush mount the headset port, which cleans up the Storm2's aesthetic lines.

Storm problems solved, the BlackBerry Storm2 features some other notable form factor changes. The overall look of the device is slightly different. The top and bottom of the device feature that BlackBerry chromed-out look and have slightly different geometry. The silver plastic convenience keys and volume button have been replaced by soft-touch rubberized ones, and RIM decided to replace the hidden ‘lock' button at the top left corner of the device with a ‘power' button, which quickly powers the unit's display on and off. 

The only arguably negative change that has taken place moving from the BlackBerry Storm to BlackBerry Storm2 occurs on the scale, where the Storm2 tips in at 160 grams, a full 5 grams heavier than the Storm (the results of my Tale of the Scale: BlackBerry Weigh-In were slightly different, but not by much). I say arguably negative, because in reality the Storm2 feels better/lighter in the hand. Both Storm1 and Storm2 are heavy as far as smartphones go; the iPhone 3GS is 135 grams and the Curve 8520 is only 106 grams in comparison, but the weighty feeling of the Storm2 to me feels more like a sign of quality than of bulk. For some it will undoubtedly be a bit heavy for everyday comfort, but its ok for me.

I know this will sound lame, but I tend to think that, just like living spaces, smartphones have their own sort of feng shui about them. There was something about the original BlackBerry Storm that was a bit un-BlackBerry like. I think between all the of the little form factor gripes listed above, it just gave off a slightly negative vibe. With the BlackBerry Storm2, the feng shui is much more positive.

Enhanced SurePress Technology

In recent months leading up to the BlackBerry Storm2's announcement, this has been the topic of greatest interest to Storm2 chasers. Is it that much better to type on? How is it different? Like the BlackBerry Storm, the BlackBerry Storm2 features RIM's SurePress technology, which separates navigation from confirmation by allowing the user to touch the screen to select an item and then press down on the screen (you'll feel it move and hear the ‘click') to take action on an item.

The SurePress concept is a debatable and controversial. Some love it. Others hate it. Some wish they could turn it off or on at their choosing. For more on this, you can check out our BlackBerry Storm review where we get into the theory of SurePress and also this recent CrackBerry poll where we ask readers if they want SurePress on their touchscreen BlackBerry.

On the BlackBerry Storm2, the theory behind SurePress is unchanged, but the actual hardware and execution is much better. The photo below shows the difference of what's under the piece of display of the BlackBerry Storm and BlackBerry Storm2. Whereas the BlackBerry Storm's LCD essentially floats on a single physical button located in the middle of the display, the BlackBerry Storm2's display is attached to four buttons, spaced out evenly, and their operation is now completely electric.

BlackBerry Storm vs. BlackBerry Storm2

Looking back at the BlackBerry Storm's original SurePress design, it suffers from a few issues:

  • Inconsistent pressure - the amount of pressure required to click the screen varies as you move towards the outer corners of display. The "click" is accomplished by compressing the button in the middle no matter where on display you are pressing, so the further away from the middle you move the less direct pressure/leverage there is on the center button and the more difficult the press becomes
  • Outpacing the hardware - Because there is only one button, you are limited to the action of that single button. When typing, you have to type a letter, wait for the button/screen to rebound, then type another button. On a physical keyboard, where every letter has an individual button, you can type extremely fast as the moment you press down on a letter, your other thumb can begin clicking on the next letter (while the key to the first letter is still rebounding). The Storm's single button design forces fast typists to slow down a bit as you can click only as fast as the button can rebound, which brings us to...
  • Slow/Mushy Rebound - With just a single button under the display and a bit of flex in the chassis, the Storm's rebound tends to feel a bit mushy and slow. Following the Storm's release, there were numerous fixes popping up in the forums to try and address this (and the inconsistent pressure) problem, like stuffing folded bits of paper under the battery door to improve the stiffness and responsiveness.
  • No proximity sensor / inability to disable SurePress on a phone call - If there's one place where SurePress isn't required, it's while the phone is pressed to your ear while on a call. Though an ear isn't a thumb, the Storm's screen treats it as such. I can't even count the number of times I've ear-muted conversations or accidentally turned on speakerphone.

The BlackBerry Storm2's enhanced SurePress technology addresses the issues of the BlackBerry Storm's original SurePress design:

  • Consistent Pressure - Because the screen is now sitting on four evenly spaced ‘buttons' (for lack of a better word), the amount of pressure required to create a click is consistent regardless of where you press.
  • Multi-press capabilities - The improved SurePress hardware allows you to click on more than one part of the screen at a time. Taking advantage of this, RIM has allowed the software to now register two inputs on the keyboard. This is extremely beneficial when typing on the full qwerty keyboard in landscape. When typing letters across the keyboard from each (you are alternating between your left and right thumbs), you can now execute these letters more quickly as you can press the next letter without waiting for the screen to finish rebounding from the previous letter. It's more like typing on a physical full qwerty smartphone.
  • Smoother Rebound - Clicking in and out on the BlackBerry Storm2's display is simply much smoother now, thanks again to the four electric button design. Use it side by side with the Storm and you'll immediately feel the difference.
  • Face Detection feature! - Last, but certainly not least, the BlackBerry Storm2 features a proximity sensor that powers down the display when the phone is next to your ear on a call. Earlier hardware/software versions we have seen of the Storm2 never possessed this feature, but this review unit certainly does. Simply start talking with the BlackBerry Storm2 against your ear and the screen powers down - no more ear typing! As soon as you pull the phone away from your ear the screen powers on and you can enable calling features (mute, speakerphone, etc.). Finally!!

A unique feature about the BlackBerry Storm2's SurePress technology, which we first pointed out here on CrackBerry.com, is that when powered off the screen locks into a fixed position. In other words, when the display is powered down (it's off/black), there's no click. This happens when you use the power off button located on the top left side of the phone and also happens when on a call (not only does the display turn off while you're speaking, but it also disables SurePress).

With all of the improvements RIM has made to SurePress in the BlackBerry Storm2, you can't help but ponder the question Where does SurePress go from here? The move to electric powered SurePress has obviously given RIM the ability to exert much more control over its actions - for example, powering it down while on a call. Maybe with time we'll see RIM code in even more control, such as allowing users to set the firmness of the "click" or potentially disabling it in specific applications (say you want to use the keyboard without SurePress but use it for web browsing) or even disable it altogether should one wish to do so. You never know. I wouldn't be surprised to see it happen in later revisions of Storm2 hardware, or if not on Storm2 for some additional SurePress options to show up in Storm3?!

Now with Wi-Fi

BlackBerry Storm2 WiFi

The BlackBerry Storm didn't have WiFi. The BlackBerry Storm2 does. It's as simple as that. AMEN. Leading up to the release of the BlackBerry Storm 9530/9500, we had heard of units floating around that actually had WiFi onboard. So whether it was a carrier mandate to not put WiFi on the original BlackBerry Storm or a technical limitation at the time, it is clearly apparent now that the carriers want it and that RIM can deliver it.

More Memory

The BlackBerry Storm2 doubles, across the board, the amount of memory on the device compared to the BlackBerry Storm:

  • Application (Flash) Memory has doubled from 128MB to 256MB. This is the active memory where the firmware resides, applications are installed and use resources, messages sit, browser cache piles up, etc. Devices like the BlackBerry Storm and Bold with only 128MB of flash memory tend to bog down as there's simply not enough memory. While 256MB is still not a big number and hardcore BlackBerry users would like to see that number increase 4 fold or more, it puts it on par with other new BlackBerry Smartphones like the Tour and Curve 8900 and so far during my time using the device the 256MB appears to allow the Storm2 to run smoothly.
  • Device Memory has doubled from 1GB to 2GB. This built-in memory is used for storage - pictures, videos, downloads, apps installed from App world (get backed up here, but when installed utilizes application memory).
  • Expandable Memory that ships with the device has also doubled. Whereas the BlackBerry Storm shipped with an 8GB MicroSD card, the BlackBerry Storm2 ships with a 16GB card, which can be removed.

Refined OS

As mentioned above, the BlackBerry Storm will be receiving the same v5.0 Handheld Software that the Storm2 ships with, which should run much quite smooth on the original Storm. But comparing the Storm at launch to Storm2 at launch is a complete night and day difference. When the BlackBerry Storm hit the market, owners were staying up all hours of the night waiting in hopes of a firmware update to leak in the forums, with the aim of improving the usability of the device. With the BlackBerry Storm2, this won't be necessary. Out of the gate the version 5 software runs very fast and smooth, quick screen orientation changes included. I'm sure CrackBerry readers who are Storm2 owners will still be online 24/7 looking for the latest firmware, but in the case of the Storm2 it won't be nearly as necessary.

That covers the major improvements of the BlackBerry Storm2 that address the lingering issues of the BlackBerry Storm. Basically, the above are items / features we wished the original Storm would have done better / possessed, but simply didn't. We're glad to see that RIM learned from their first touchscreen BlackBerry experience to make the second one that much better.

Putting the BlackBerry Storm2 to Use

While the BlackBerry Storm2 fixes a lot of the issues owners had with the BlackBerry Storm, it doesn't just stop there, but packs additional performance into many areas of the device.

General Performance / Use

The BlackBerry Storm2's performance is snappy. From what I can tell (don't shoot me if I'm wrong), the Storm2 is using the same processor as the Storm, though it seems to be turbocharged or on steroids in comparison. Some of this could be attributed to the additional flash memory, but while putting the BlackBerry Storm2 to work beside two BlackBerry Storms (one on OS4.7 and one on 5.0) and tapping away, everything is just a little bit quicker on the Storm2- apps open faster, photos load quicker, transitions are snappier, video controls are smoother, etc.. During my trials, the Storm with 5.0 proved to be quicker than the Storm with 4.7, though the Storm with 5.0 still isn't quite as snappy as the BlackBerry Storm2.

As stated earlier, the BlackBerry Storm2 feels great in the hand - the improved feng shui is noticeable. Between the integrated keys and tighter design it feels more object-like than gadget-like, which is cool. I have noticed one issue with my review unit though - when sitting it flat on a desk, the integrated end key doesn't want to press down smoothly all of the time (it sort of hangs up a bit and doesn't want to press down, though the rest of the keys - send/menu/escape - remain easy to press whether on desk or in hand ). When held in the hand the end key works flawless though. I'm not sure what the exact issue is here, but hopefully that's a one-off and not something we'll be hearing about often.

Display

Though the BlackBerry Storm and BlackBerry Storm2's displays have the same specifications listed on their spec sheets, to my eyes the BlackBerry Storm2's display seems to be improved. Putting the BlackBerry Storm2 beside a BlackBerry Storm, you can see that when powered off the Storm2's display is much darker. Still side by side but now powered on watching the same music videos, the Storm2's display is brighter, with darker blacks and whiter whites. It really is impressive. The only improvement I'm longing for here is to reduce the amount of black border surrounding the edge of the display which would create a noticeable jump in screen real estate.

While there has been plenty of debate in the forums about whether or not the BlackBerry Storm2 will support OpenGL (3D graphics support), to date there has been no official mention of it yet. At last year's BlackBerry Developer Conference, this was one of the most sought after features developers wanted to see in the BlackBerry platform. With the 2nd Annual BlackBerry Developer Conference just around the corner, I can't help but think maybe there is more to the Storm2 than meets the eye in this department, and that RIM will announce upcoming OpenGL support at the event and at a later date will be able to flick the OpenGL switch on the Storm2. I know I'd be pretty stoked to find later that the Storm2 has the support built-in. I guess time will tell...

Sound

While on the topic of watching music videos, it makes sense to comment on the Storm2's speakers, which sound solid. The original BlackBerry Storm can get pretty loud, but it really tends to distort/get tinny as you crank the tunes up on the external speaker. The Storm2 gets loud, but has less distortion at the louder volumes. The sound coming out of the speakerphone on calls also seems to be a little clearer/louder from my initial testing on this review unit.

Keyboard / Typing

We spent a lot of time above explaining the improvements RIM has made to SureType on the BlackBerry Storm2, but what really matters is how the hardware and software translate into a user-friendly typing experience. So is it better? Yes, the Storm2's keyboard is better. How much better is going to be up to your skills, previous device history, and time spent on the device. But unlike the BlackBerry Storm which to me seemed to take a while to get used to, I think new Storm2 owners (first time BlackBerry owners included) should be able to pick up the device and get up to speed quite quickly. Honestly, reading about the keyboard in a review or even seeing it in a video can't convey how it performs. You're going to have to head down to your Verizon or Vodafone store and try one out to decide for yourself just how good it is.

Compared to the BlackBerry Storm, the improvements to the Storm2's keyboard are most noticeable in landscape mode. This is where the new SurePress design really makes an impact, as you can use both thumbs more effectively now thanks to the multi-press input and improved screen responsiveness. Two thumb/finger typists on SurePress or the Portrait Full Qwerty keyboard will also enjoy these benefits. Those who type with only one thumb/finger on the current Storm's keyboard (common to type on SurePress with one thumb if you're holding the device only in one hand) will still appreciate the feel of the new SurePress, though I'm not sure there is as big of a speed gain to be had here (switch to two thumbs to go faster!).

The RIM specs on the BlackBerry Storm2 list three other notable enhancements:

  • Probability-based entry with advanced auto-correct - As part of handheld software v5.0, RIM has introduced an improved predictive word system. I find the probability-based entry is too distracting for my liking (causes you to lose your train of thought/typing with it popping up all the time and taking up so much of the screen) so I tend to prefer disabling it (Options > Language and Text Input > Input Style → change from Word Complete to Auto Correction) but you may find yourself liking it.
  • Multi-touch for ALT and SHIFT - This was one of the first things I noticed on the BlackBerry Storm2 that it is pretty cool. On the BlackBerry Storm, if you want to bang out multiple alternate characters or capital letters, you need to either keep tapping the Alt and Shift keys after each alternate press, or lock the Alt / Shift keys by holding down on them for an extra moment, typing out your alternate text or caps, then tapping the Alt / Shift keys again to release the lock. On the BlackBerry Storm2 you can actually use the Alt and Shift keys on as you would on a physical keyboard - hold down on the Alt /Shift key, bang out all of the alternate letters/capital letters you want, then let go and keep on typing. This new system works pretty well - especially if the alternate you're typing out is across the keyboard, but when next to the alt key itself is a bit cumbersome (example - it's impossible to hold down on the alt key and multi-tap out a bunch of 7's as you're trying to compress the already compressed button). All in all, I really like this improvement - it gives me much more of that "traditional" BlackBerry feeling on a touch screen.
  • Key rollover for faster typing - We've seen some OS 5.0 leaks for the BlackBerry Storm that showed a new setting under Options > Screen/Keyboard for Popup Keys (similar to how the iPhone pops up keys as you type). I assume this is what RIM means by "Key rollover for faster typing" but the firmware on this review unit does not show that option. I'll be curious to see if this makes the final OS5.0 version that rolls out on the Storm2 and Storm when it gets the update.

Personally, I'm one of those BlackBerry users who never felt quite at home on the BlackBerry Storm no matter how much I used it. I'm comfortable in saying though that I could make the BlackBerry Storm2 my daily driver and be pretty happy with it. I'm definitely going to try and do that over the weeks and months ahead and see how it goes.

I sort of think no matter how much I use the Storm2 I'll still be able to type faster, with more accuracy and comfort on a physical BlackBerry keyboard simply because that's what I've been using for so long. But practice makes perfect, so you never know. I sure hope I can get as comfortable though, as I love the Storm2's big display. It'll be a happy day for many BlackBerry users out there when RIM releases a slider with a physical keyboard and a big touch screen -- no trade-off required.

How does the keyboard stack up against other touch screen smartphones on the market? That too is going to depend on your past device history, your dexterity and personal preference. As we've seen debated time and time again since the launch of the BlackBerry Storm, there are those who love the SurePress concept, those who hate it, and those who just wish they could control when to use it. For me, I can type pretty fast on a standard touch screen keyboard (like the iPhone's for example) with minimal errors and I enjoy the fact this typing is effortless - tapping on a flat piece of glass may not provide tactile feedback, but it requires no effort so you can tap all day without ever getting tired. In contrast, the Storm2's SurePress gives your thumbs more of a workout, but also provides more feedback (a more natural typing experience perhaps?) and allows you to hone in on what you want to select before you take action (extremely helpful in the web browser, or when typing in bumpy environments). I'm sure it's a debate that will continue on through the release of the BlackBerry Storm3, 4 and 5!

Web Browser

BlackBerry Storm2 Web Browser

It's getting better, but a few speed tests later show it's still not where it needs to be in terms of speed, rendering and ease of use compared to the competitive benchmark, the iPhone's Safari browser. Tabbed browsing hasn't made an appearance yet, nor has multi-touch for zooming in/out (though you would think the hardware/OS should be capable of it based on the fact you can now light up two keyboard keys at a time). Javascript support is now enabled by default, which is a step forward, but it's not yet the leap so many BlackBerry users are waiting for.

Thankfully, if you're not satisfied with the native browser, third party browser support is here and on the way via Bolt Browser, Opera Mini and SkyFire. Likewise, RIM knows their browser is a weak spot and is working to improve it as demonstrated by their recent acquisition of Torch Mobile. It's coming. We have faith in you RIM.

Other Stuff: GPS, WiFi, Phone, Camera, etc.

With not much time between getting my BlackBerry Storm2 unit and getting this review written up, I haven't had a full chance to grind through every feature and function of the Storm2 to the extent I would like to. A few phone calls later shows that the Storm2 should be solid as a phone, and the GPS located me on the map in a matter of seconds. I took a few pictures on the camera as well and they look good, but haven't had the chance yet to pit them head to against photos taken from the Storm or competition. Oh, and the Storm2's vibration function is seriously powerful (though kind of loud). I'll come back and add to this section later as I have a chance to spend more time putting the Storm2 through its paces.

BlackBerry OS 5.0

BlackBerry Storm2 SMS

I often take for granted that if you're reading CrackBerry.com you're likely a BlackBerry user and are familiar with the BlackBerry operating system experience. If you're completely new to BlackBerry you'll want to hit our BlackBerry 101 section and Smartphone Round Robin articles to learn the basics about the platform and what it can do for you (everything!). As for Handheld Software version 5.0, we'll have a full walk through of all the improvements coming soon in a future article. The BlackBerry Storm2 and Bold 9700 will be the first new devices to launch with it, but it will be rolled out to existing devices on the market so we'll want to do an in-depth job covering it for everyone.

A noticeable BIG improvement to OS 5.0 for the BlackBerry Storms is the inclusion of inertial scrolling with snap back. It provides a much more intuitive and friendly user experience. Other good news on the BlackBerry Storm2 is that it features the new and improved threaded SMS chat client (w00t!). Combine this with the recently released BlackBerry Messenger 5.0 and the native IM clients are at a whole new level of addictiveness.

BlackBerry Storm2 Apps

BlackBerry Storm Review

The BlackBerry Storm2 comes preloaded with BlackBerry App World. The review unit I received also comes with the Application Center pre-loaded, which seems a bit redundant since App Center contains App World and all the other apps (IM clients, Facebook, Flickr) can be found in App World itself. If and when you take delivery of your BlackBerry Storm2, you'll also want to check out our CrackBerry App Store. There are a lot of compelling reasons to load up CrackBerry App Store Client on your phone (themes, better pricing in many cases, sales and promotions, etc.). Check out this article for Getting Apps on your BlackBerry which goes through the process. As the Storm2 hits the market we'll be sure to put out a Top Apps for your BlackBerry Storm2 article.

BlackBerry Storm2 Accessories

If you're a BlackBerry Storm owner planning on purchasing the BlackBerry Storm2, you'll need to do your due diligence on which accessories will still work and which won't (visit this page on BlackBerry Storm2 Accessory key points). You shouldn't have much of an issue with loose fitting accessories, like BlackBerry Storm2 cases (top pouches and leather holsters should be fine, skins should be close) and BlackBerry Storm2 batteries (1400mah, like the Storm, 8900 and Tour), but the differences between the Storm2 form factor and original Storm are big enough that accessories like the always popular BlackBerry Charging Pod may not quite work. To see compatible Storm2 accessories, you'll want to keep it locked to our BlackBerry Storm2 Accessories page at ShopCrackBerry.com. And as we did for apps, we'll also put together a Top Accessories for the BlackBerry Storm 2 article once the device hits the market.

Pricing and Availability

(updated - October 26th, 2009)

While Research in Motion and Vodafone announced the BlackBerry Storm2 the same day as this release wen up, Verizon waiting until October 26th, two days before the device is scheduled to be available for purchase (October 28th) to make the Verizon BlackBerry Storm official. Initial pricing is $179 after a mail-in rebate on a 2yr contract. View press release.

Closing Thoughts for Now...

BlackBerry Storm2

With a new device like the BlackBerry Storm2, it's going to take some time to work through every feature and improvement to see how they play out with extended use. That is exactly what we'll do, but as you just read my initial impressions are very positive.

The Storm2 fixes many of the BlackBerry Storm's outstanding issues and makes a ton of incremental improvements, all of which add up to something that feels noticeably better. In a way that never quite applied to the original Storm, the Storm2 could legitimately be called the flagship BlackBerry.

If you're a Verizon or Vodafone customer jonesing for a new touchscreen smartphone, you'll want to line up the day the BlackBerry Storm2 goes on sale and get one. Period.

Related BlackBerry Storm2 Content:

Reader comments

BlackBerry Storm 2 Review

272 Comments

i believe they call it "expressing an opinion". and I agree...fool me once...not letting it happen twice. I'm going to give some of the new android handsets out later this year a run.

I'm going to sit on my Storm 1 see what happens with the Storm 2 and see how many bugs are in the initial released OS and see how many are just jacked up...

Storm 1 was my 1st early adopting and don't think I will ever do it again.

"If you're a Verizon or Vodafone customer jonesing for a new touchscreen smartphone, you'll want to line up the day the BlackBerry Storm2 goes on sale and get one. Period."

Uh...no. I'm a verizon customer and there's no way I'm staying with BB. Outdated OS, inferior web browser, low grade camera/video, poor map/navigation, limited # of apps, and on and on and on.

BB has fallen behind. Bring on Android.

I just jumped off the BlackBerry bandwagon after 10 years with one to try the Droid Eris (the Motorola Droid is a POS...sorry, but true). There is one thing, and ONLY one thing, that might make me return to BB before my 14-day trial is up and that is if I can't get used to the TINY, TINY font on an Android phone. It's not something you can fix...it's just there, period.

Anyone who doesn't like the storm 2 must have something against blackberry phones. I bought mine off ebay from a seller named moneytolk and it has been great so far.

The biggest thing about the Tour is the high resolution screen makes everything a challenge to read in the browser. Zooming in delays your page and everything takes longer. The keyboard on the Tour is so monochromatic that it's hard to differentiate between numbers and alpha keys at a glance. Those things spoiled the Tour for me. Otherwise, the Tour is a nice work. Just those two deal breakers for me spoil it.

At the end of the day, it'll probably come down to whether or not you prefer a real or virtual keyboard. Aside from that, the only real difference make I see is the WiFi in the Storm. Personally, I'd go with the Tour(which I already have) becuase I love that particular form factor and I'll take a good keyboard over a touch screen any day. That's why I picked an E71 over an iPhone previously and my Tour over a Pre(sure it has a keyboard, but it's awful) this time around.

i am so getting the Vodafone version when it comes out. i can not wait good thing i returned the htc pure. time to sell the first storm. :)

Great review, especially given the time frame which you tested and found time to write this review. Great pictures to back up your review also.

What a difference a year makes.. CB didn't even do an official review of the Storm at launch last year because the OS was garbage. This year we have one before it's even available. Not sure I am willing to take the leap again though....

To save money for upgrade or not? If OS 5.0 does in fact make my 9530 more snappy and keeps me from pulling the battery at least once a day (quickpull only works half the time) then i may hold off like said.
But that money is burning a hole in my pocket.

I have to agree with what bluehorseshoe said....once bitten, twice shy. I had the original storm and it was a nightmare for me. Outside of the fact it would just randomly reboot whenever it felt like it, I was not overly fond of surepress. While I am intrigued by the Storm 2 (and am also eligable for an upgrade), I think I'm going to wait this one out for a while and see how it goes when its actually released.

Yea i agree i am just gonna wait and see what happens i had seventeen storm replacements before i got my tour.

I wish I would have waited a few months for this (I got the storm 1 in the beginning of August) but I am happy to read the whole car analogy I don't feel as dumb anymore.

Anyways it looks like RIM is moving in the right direction with there phones and really improving them, I can't wait til my two years are up with my storm who knows what kind of Blackberry's will be out then

amazing review, especially with the amount of time it was done in.
if i can somehow get any storm2 on rogers working with 3g... id buy it in a heartbeat

If Rogers got the storm 2(never gonna happen) id scrounge up enough to get this phone no problem! But as it stands.. Won't happen and MTS looks so appealing with their storm capabilities.... Telus isn't even an option, Never telus.

Nice review Kevin. I think you're right on when you mention Storm 1 users that have spent alot of time (and money on apps and accessories) tweaking their device may want to wait. I played with a leaked 5.0 for a couple of days and it does improve the experience. I adjusted the screws on the back to make the typing more usable and was enough to stop me from jumping to the Tour. I will probably wait for upgrade eligibility as I don't think the new SureType is enough to swallow retail on a new BB.

haha im thinking i HAVE to get this, simply because it allows multiple presses.. -sighs- im in love. i will wait for initial user reviews, however. S1 has been great for me on 5.0, leaked or not.. it can only get better.

Great review. I have been following this phone since RIM first mentioned the second generation storm and this review has me convinced. come Wednesday, its mine :)

The S2 looks absolutely wonderful. I have used the Storm since the day it came out as my one and only mobile device (got sick of my 8830) loved it (hated it at times until I started loading OSes after .148, especially 5.0) and never looked back. My parents have iPhones, and I can't stand that device compared to my Storm, for so many personal reasons. The Storm2 distills all of my hopes and dreams for the Storm into one amazing device, and you bet I will await its arrival.

No questions asked, I'm getting one on release day! Now only if we knew when release day ACTUALLY is going to be...

Nice review for the limited time that you had. It will be interesting to see whether or not the final OS will bring any additional features??? I am hoping they give users the option to enable or disable the "Sure Press" as I think this will attract more touch screen enthusiasts...which means more market share for RIM. I am sold already!!!

Thank you and congratulations...a very complete review of Storm2.
One question...jejeje this is not gonna be 3G GSM right ? ( I ask because I live in Mexico and Telcel is the Major Carrier here but it is only GSM )

Thanks

JB

It has 3G GSM, but only on the 2100MHz frequency which makes it edge only in Canada, USA, and Mexico as well (since I believe Telcel uses the 1900MHz band) so I believe you are out of luck for a 3G HSDPA BB Storm in Mexico.

I am so NOT getting this! Still unfinished OS and browser -- the most important parts of the device. When will RIM figure out that they will need to put 1,000 more programmers on development and work them overtime to keep up with.... (substitute any name of your choosing here, like Android, Apple, or even WinMO). If you are infatuated with this device you are indeed a crackberry addict.

Sounds to me like you might be the crackberry "ADDICT" or you wouldn't bother wasting our time telling us how your SOOOOO not going to get this, so get your little TOY out and go play!

I'm anxious to test this out at Verizon. That screen seems really cool. It would be even nicer if you had the option to have the click, or just touch, like the iPhone/iTouch. (As you said in your review.) BUT I think my next BB will have a trackpad...hopefully. Tour has me sick of trackballs.

I'm lucky because my contract is up in April. I want one sooo bad, but I also want one that does 4g. Is the Storm2 capable of doing 4g ?

My contract with Verizon will end next month..but, I am not really sure about upgrading my Curve 8330 :)...I have to go to store and play first...:)

T.

I wouldn't have one, if I were going to get a touch screen I don't think you can beat the iphone. Fortunetly I prefer keys, so bring on the Bold 2 review!

my concern is very few telus reps know anything and it pisses me off. My buddies @ best buy know way more. I asked two telus reps about the storm 2 today one never heard of it he knew the 9700 was coming but not the storm 2 the other said late october but obviously had no idea what she was talking about because she said it had a "slide out keyboard" i know there will be one running on telus' new HSPA but is that version coming to canada. I've read some things about it going to rogers which would make sense due to the fact that telus will now carry rogers' baby the iphone. BUT MY MAIN CONCERN is that since the iphone is running on HSPA and the HTC hero this would mean that HSPA would be up and running by late november and many telus reps have all concluded that telus will no longer be launching CDMA phones as new releases will the storm2 on HSPA come to telus.. I NEED TO know asap.

please and thank you:)

Toni

ps great review in such short time Crackberry is my new bestfriend.

Wow this review has me almost convinced to get a storm2 but i figure ill wait till 5.0 officially comes out and see how good it is but It looks very improved from the original.

Why are we still going to have a box to type in? why not be able to type in a bubble like other OS's of other phones?? The box takes up more space that the screen just isnt big enough for!!! Seems like no matter how much they try to listen to BB users they dont hear us!!!

How is it opposing MY opinion, your the one feeling IMPORTANT because you told us YOUR not going to get it, who the fuck cares if you get it or not, go waste your time with people who give rats ass if you get the Storm 2 or not and leave those of us who want it alone. This isn't a FORUM about whether your getting this phone or not, or how bad it is, blah blah blah, it's a COMMENT section about Kevin's review of the phone. And your calling me the LOSER!

Dude.. its really a eye-opening review...

too bad .. jus got ma Bold !!

hv to stick to it fr sumtime

I have been eligible for an upgrade since August but have been waiting for the S2. We almost went for the Tour, but decided the WiFi would make it worth the wait. My old Pearl has been a workhorse, but it's on it's last leg. Now if we could just get a confirmed release date...

wow kevin great review! i feel like i have put my hands on the S2 through your great depiction and explanation of the device... Now I have the decision to make... Well i guess not really... I am gonna have to upgrade my Storm for an S2 no matter how mad the wife gets!!! you rock and thanks for all the hard work you do to provide content to us Addicts!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That was an excellent review of the Storm 2, but we would not expect anything less from Crackberry.

BlackBerry will have to give me a lot more improvements than that to get me to give up my Storm 1. After fighting six months with Verizon to get them to honor there warrantee on an obviously defective phone, and the time I have spent setting up this phone with the right combination of thems and applications I can not imagine changing phones now. I love my Storm, and am some time amazed at what this phone and applications can actually do.

While I think, having Wi-Fi would be nice I would not give up my present phone to get this feature. I would however, consider updating my phones if they added a feature like Sprints 4G speed.

I have never had a problem typing on my Storm once I went into options and selected a full keyboard. Actually, I can almost type as fast on the Storm, as I do on my pc.

To be honest I never noticed the gap around the screen and backlighting until I read about it in one of the many reviews I have seen lately. I personally cannot imagine anyone being bothered by the slight movement in the screen, but I am sure they can prescribe medication to those people that are bothered by such a little thing as that.

I look forward to BlackBerry improvement to there web browser, and the addition of Adobe Flash, but I will receive that improvement no matter which Storm I have.

I think the Storm 2 sounds great if you’re in the market for a new phone right now, but I would not give up my present phone for the improvements made to the Storm 2.

I got a Storm 1 on release day and have had none of the issues anyone has related or are mentioned in the review! I don't see that there is such a jump that would make me want to change phones again. I mean, Wi-Fi, why??? If you got a decent provider the browser is more than enough etc etc. I could go on, but for now, good luck to all those who go Storm 2 - but I'll be sticking with 1. Oh, and thanks to CB for a great review in the available time! Keep up the good work.

guys keep your shirts on.. y'all were yakking the same stuff about the first Storm, how you were gonna get it right off the bat. i've seen storms with screens that had fallen off, storms where the glue of the plastic glass cover of the camera had come loose.. it was not only software issues, the construction itself was faulty too. this time, i'm gonna wait.. i'm really content with my Bold

Got the Storm 1, which was, at time, a great phone, but a lot of the time was an absolute nightmare! Not sure if I'll head for the Storm 2... LOVE blackberrys in general, but really want a touchscreen, am I going to have to ditch them for an iPhone or Android phone? guess i'll have a play around and see... great review though guys thanks a lot!!

I am really liking what I see with the Storm 2. I thought the original was very innovative but this device seems to make the innovation work. If it does indeed work, it should be a hot item and put RIM back in the game when it comes to touchscreen devices. I am looking forward to testing one of these out.

I switched from Curve (8310) to Storm the minute it became available in my country (Croatia), but just a week after I switched to Bold as my fingers couldn't stand much typing on this SurePress tech...
I'm waiting for Storm2 to become available here and I'll definetly try it on and I'm hoping to make another switch...

I had the original Storm and for the most part liked it alot. What I couldn't handle was the Sure Press technology on it. It was just too slow for my needs. So I upgraded to the tour and the physical keyboard. I don't know what to do now, it looks like the new sure press may be fast enough.

So those of us who are not on verizon (rogers etc.) We need to take a look at the 9520 to see if it has 3G NA to unlock it

Oh well more waiting and fumming at rogers (my favourite past tome)

Although this seems promising and I am very excited. I had to the storm1 on the day it was released but had too many issues with it. I am sad that my NE2 isn't due till January. I think this might be a good thing that way I can check it out in the store and see if I really want it. Also they may have 5.0 official by then and I can have that already loaded from the factory. I guess the wait wont kill me lol!!!!!!!

I wonder if battery life is going to be a bigger issue because now you have all these chat clients, wifi, BBM 5.0, great display, etc. Can one go a day without a charge? That will be the big question for me.

But I'm definately waiting for some non professional reviews ie the forums here to see how it really performs. Still not happy that the browser stinks, will probably have to look at the droid.

Bought the first Storm and have regretted it ever since. Not buying this piece of JUNK! Going back to LG as soon as I can get the discount again.

In all the reviews nobody has said that the Storm 2 is FASTER, is it?
Does the camera take pictures before the person gets another year older while waiting for the flash?
How about the video camera, does it work? Storm 1 doesn't.
Who cares that it vibrates better (maybe some women might).

Come on Verizon get the iPhone!!!!!!

The biggest improvement they could have made would of been a battery on the outside so we can do a battery pull easier!

Well I plan on getting one asap, I wonder if I can pay the $ 500 or $ 600 price and UNLOCK it on for another CDMA Carrier? My company phone sevice is FREE so I want to use it on that???

I've been waiting to replace my phone for nearly a month now on word that this BB was coming out soon, I don't know if I can hold out to some undisclosed time in Novmember. I'm on the road daily and need a reliable smartphone, come on verizon get with it

As i'm blackberry owner i still feel that most of bb devices are mediocre and limited, In an age where email is becoming obsolete and we have to pay for it whether you like it or not, I'll pass this one onto those who likes disappointment.

I got to play around with an iPhone the other day and can honestly say that I was NOT impressed with typing on it.
I am so excited for the Storm2 9550. It will definately make my phone fetish go away and keep my Crackberry addict alive!

So I see u still can't turn the 3G off and on huh? I sure hope the magnum or whatever it's called has that capability since it sounds like it's going to be a good phone!

Whoooo javascript enabled by default!!! Finally I don't have to go into browser settings one time and turn it on!!!

"The biggest thing about the Tour is the high resolution screen makes everything a challenge to read in the browser. "

Well, I set my browser to column mode and then everything is larger by default.

That being said, I am intrigued by the Storm 2. I will at least go play with one in my Verizon Store once they are out. But, having just purchased my Tour a little over a month ago, I would not want to pay full retail to get a S2 now. I am happy with the Tour.

Part of me also wants to see what comes, if anything, from VZW and Apple, if at all. And if nothing materializes on that front, after 2 years I'll be NE2 eligible again and can get the S2 at a great price, or whatever comes next (S3 perhaps?).

Does anyone know if Verizon is going to let you use the WIFI option for voice calls? Similar to T-Mobile I have a Curve 8320 with WIFI. I use my WIFI and have unlimited mins as long as I am on WIFI. Does anyone know if the Storm 2 with VZ has unlimited mins with WIFI as an option in the plan?

Thanks

If the Storm2 is so much better and competes with the iPhone (another review which I doubt) then RIM should recall the original Storms and issue all us a Storm2. I have gone thru several hardware replacements, dealt with outdated software and features and watch Motorola and iPhones receive calls when i am out of range! the Motorola is on a Verizon Network like me...I really need to wait and read reviews from none crackberry users to get an unbiased reveiw.

All of us who own a storm and have provided the mountains of feedback have been the uncompensated testing ground for RIM. I thought I was buying a phone ready for market and not for beta testing.

RIM has so burnt this bridge that majority of my company is leaving them high and dry and switching to other smartphones.

So I will await the recall...this 'improved storm' just adds salt to open wounds...

Biggest problem with the Storm?

Many consumers have proven too clueless to use a multi-tasking smartphone.

How do you tell?

By listening to the whine.

Have another smart phone for my personal phone.. Biggest problem with Blackberry is that they dont have a state of market smartphone available.

Sounds like RIM really DOES listen to the customer base. Nice to see a large manufacturer take ergonomic suggestions and screen improvements into account. I may have to look at this for my next BB.

However, for those of us who don't understand/fear/aren't familiar with OpenGL, can you explain to us what the benefits of the BlackBerry OS support of OpenGL would be?

Otherwise, this article is an excellent look at a compelling device.

WE are dealing with pros here boys, real pros, keep up the good work over at crackberry. im proud to be a member.

Just update your software
it is easy to do and cheaper in the long run.
if you need wifi, you should update your plan for unlimited data.

Two comments: I like the chrome trim on the Storm 1 and does the main screen have update issues on the Storm2. Did RIM finally fix that with the new OS?

So if there's Wi-Fi does that mean you don't have to get a data plan? I guess I'm missing the point as to why it's great to have Wi-Fi if you're already paying for the internet. Is is the speed? Connection? Just wondering...

additions of WiFi is a plus for some people, maybe due to coverage issues, WiFi has more reliability in faster browsing experience. Apart from that, IF the AT&T would like to have their own branded S2, u can utilise UMA calling on that device.

However, being a 3G device, it is useless if your network doesnt support 3G yet especially in India. So, having a WiFi might improve browsing while on-the-go, or else u have to stuck with 2.5G connection (EDGE of course) despite having a 3G capable phones.

The storm 2 looks great. I was a luck one I still have my original storm from last years release date. I found the right combo of apps and officially released OS to work for me. 5.0 upgrade and this OG storm will be great, who needs wifi anyway I take my macbook everywhere with my aircard so I can still talk on the storm..Smile life is good!

I can't help but feel like everyone who is bashing saying they aren't going to get it is largely in part because they CAN'T get it without paying full price. This phone is just going to be flat out better than Storm1, hands down. The same OS on Storm1 and Storm2 is going to run faster on Storm2 because it has a faster processor. I'm lucky because I will be able to do the one year early upgrade. I'm not ever leaving VZ so don't really care about extending the contract. Even if i couldn't early upgrade i would terminate my contract and then reactivate a new account which is still going to be cheaper than paying full price. Yes it sucks that it seems us Storm1 owners are left out in the dark. But if you didn't get your Storm1 on Nov. 21 and got it months and months and months later, there were enough reviews on it for you to make an informed decision. And you chose to get it anyway. Which in all honesty I don't understand why so many people have had so many problems. My storm1 has run flawlessly since day one cause i know how to MANAGE my berry. Blackberries are not for the non-tech saavy. that's what an iphone is for. Put it this way, I bet everyone that says they don't want it is going to want it when they go to a VZ store and check it out. There's a difference between WANTING it and GETTING it. You all are going to WANT it trust me...;-)

I will be buying this from Telus and then unlock it and using it on Rogers.

In regards to the review, you only had 11 hours and came up with a lot, lol. In my opinion though, once "feng shui" or whatever it is was mentioned, it lost all credibility. Is it like the new fad? I hear it mentioned every where now, especially in corporate/business settings...lame.

i have the storm and would love if there was an easy way to upgrade to the storm2...sucks that we got stuck with this phone and not what it "should have been"

This was great. Not only did you bring out the plus, but you didn't hype it up as to Storm1 users have to feel the necessity to go out there and rush to switch.

It would be nice that in the future you would state if the cases that are populur (incipio)do fit the storm 2.

again thanks for the write, great job!

Thanks for the great review Kevin. I already knew I would be in line to get it on the release date--you just make me feel better about my addiction. lol
And Hatch.duffy- I agree with you about most of what you said- however- I don't think you have to be tech-savy to own a blackberry. No one knew less about tech stuff than me when I got mine- but I came here to Crackberry to learn what to do if I wanted to improve something. And THAT is what blackberries are good for. You can customize your phone to your hearts content.
I haven't seen forums like this for any other phone. There are some-but none as passionate and helpful ---love this site and love my storm!

My understanding of the issue with having a "proper" version of slingplayer mobile on the S1 is that CDMA did not play nicely with sling... since the S2 will have wifi, does this mean that we can finally have an "official" version of SPM that runs on the S2...?

It looks like it is at least usable which the Storm 1 was not. No excuse at this point for the browser. It still sucks. The OS is old, old, old. Still no support for more than 256MB of apps which is unbelievable in 2009. Basically an archaic, clunky, OS grafted onto a touchscreen BB. The keys need to do more than light up under your fingers where you can't see them. They should pop up like on the iPhone and Android. If Android and the iPhone didn't exist this would be awesome but they do and so this is an also ran unless you like really limiting yourself. If it wasn't for the iPhone RIM would not have come this far.

I would like to be able to purchase one when the are available for sell; however, im with Sprint. Do you know if Rim and Sprint will ever have a touchscreen blackberry? I mean Verizon is high and some people want the phone but the service is ridicously high.

yogi

ok - might be a stupid question...but is the battery from the original storm compatible with storm2? the pic looks like it is the same battery, but wanted to see if anyone knew.

I wouldn't take a risk on Storm 2 if my life depended on it. I was incredibly disappointed with Storm 1, and I couldn't wait to get rid of it. I bit the bullet early and paid the difference to upgrade to a Tour. Now I am happy again. Love the Tour and can't say enough about it.

As for the Storm, it seems like everyone is doing their best to accomodate its weaknesses and living with it. Why do that? Just get the Tour and you don't have to compromise. Enough said...

Jim...

I love your exaggeration..." wouldn't take a risk on Storm 2 if my life depended on it. "

I am one of the users that can't stand the full button QWERTY keypads on other BB's like the Tour, which we use at work. The Tour is very hard to type quickly on compared to the Storm plus it sounds like the Storm 2 will be even quicker and easier to type on.

If you didn't use the Storm on the later iterations of the OS (even the VZW official .148 release) then you don't realize how much better the experience with the phone had gotten.

For people like me with fat thumbs the Tour just doesn't work. The Storm was a nice phone that didn't work like it should. The iphone had the same problems on its first version. I'll get the storm 2 and enjoy it.

I'm thinking of getting a STORM 2 to replace my Treo 755P on Verizon.
The review does not reference the lack of "flash" support on this (or any Blackberry) device. How critical is this for a good/great browsing experience? I know that the PALM browser is out-of-date, so that's not my basis of comparison. Friends rave about their I-Phones; taking cell carrier preference out of it, why a STORM 2 and not an I-PHONE 3GS with regard to web browsing?

I'm also concerned about the STORM's need to pull the battery at least once/day. Any hint of this issue in the 2?

The battery pull is a daily ritual for nearly every BB and I seriously doubt that is fixed on Storm 2, but I would guess that's more of an OS issue, so the question is really if that is fixed in OS 5.0

In my experience, I stopped batt pulls way back with .151, currently running .230 and is damn near perfection in comparison to when initially released.

Verizon rep confirmed to me I can get the S2 for 250.00 with new 2 year contract. Um NO WAY. I have the Storm 1 and really its not that bad of a phone, sure the daily restarts and freezing for no reason are a pain, but no way would I allow Verizon to use me as another test subject. I will wait until my upgrade date and review al lthe phones out at that time. BE CAREFUL about jumping right into the S2. They didnt support the S1 at all I doubt they will support this one, and it may have Wifi but I am sure Veriziscam will find a way to cripple it.

QUIT PLAYING WITH ALL THE BETAMAX PHONES STORM WAS CRAP AND STILL IS CRAP. WAIT AND GET BLU RAY OF PHONES bOLD 9700. HAS ALL THAT YOU WILL NEED,EXCEPT FINGERPRINT MAGNET TOUCHSCREEN CRAP.

After 3 years, my LG VX8600 pooped out and I *had* to finally use my VZW upgrade. So, I took the BB plunge with the Storm 1 last week. Love it!

I heard chatter about the Storm 2, but didn't realize the release was so close! VZW now has a 30-day trial period for all new upgrades, but charges a $35 nickle-and-dime-you-fee if you trade in your first choice for a second. (I say 'now' because last time I bothered to check, the 'test drive' period was only 15 days).

Seeing how the Storm 2 will be out before the end of the month, I think it may be worthwhile to trade up to the Storm2. I just wonder what the price difference will be; the S1 was essentially 'free'. I doubt the S2 will be quite as cheap.

I would like to see a video review of the wifi and typing on the new OS. Please please please will someone make one? * and all the other goodies*

By the way, awesome review considering the time. ! nike work

Entered! I sure hope I win!

Actually, the Storm 2 sounds like a great phone this time. With all the positive feedback/reviews, I really do believe RIM has it correct out of the gate this time.

My main question is "Is it really worth upgrading to for the average user/enthusiast?"

i wish i never bought the storm one! Ive been a long time Blackberry user so i will give them the benefit of the doubt ill go try the new storm when it comes out....i have a feeling i will leave and go get the iphone if typing is as terrible as the storm one.

We must remember Pioneers get the Arrows, Settlers Get the Land.
I'm going to see how the land plows before jumping our of the Storm 1.

is it me or are they making a big deal out of the os improvements even though if you are running a leaked version of 5.0 you have all those..so i dont really see why id get the storm2 especially when the wifi on blackberries isnt faster than 3g

I switched to Verizon in May of this year. I am not eligible to upgrade until January of 2011. I have a long wait ahead of me, unless I wanted to pay full retail and thats not going to happen. I am hearing that Verizon my be coming out with a phone simular to the iPhone but I still love my Storm even with all the problems. Hopefully they will release another software update to make it even a better phone!

Kenny

Can someone write an article explaining why thing like emails and web browsing cache fill up the application memory? What's the point of 2gb onboard if it isn't being used and instead the phone starts hanging when i have too many emails?

What a bunch of crap. I have the Storm 1 and I seriously doubt I'll see a software upgrade anytime soon from Verizon. I'm not going to install a leaked o/s either. These phones 1 & 2 no where compare to an iPhone in smoothness of operation or o/s. I would have an iPhone if it weren't for the fact that AT&T's service in my town sucks. Verizon simply has the best coverage in central Illinois thus I went to Blackberry. If this Storm2 is so great and runs on a better o/s, then why hasn't Verizon released an o/s upgrade for the older Storm? I'll tell you why. There is no money in it that's why. They fully expect us schmucks to run out and pony up the dough for the latest improved gadget. Meanwhile, if I don't, then I am stuck rebooting, dealing with lags, wondering if any useful software will appear for my Storm other than a Tip calculator and have to buy felt pads because the touch screen won't click. Not to mention the random reboots and the constant upgrades for software I have bought. Slide alone has had 3 or 4 updates and Berrybuzz works when it wants too. QuickPull Pro just had another upgrade and I have to get up at 3am to see if it even worked only to find that somehow the settings got changed and turned off.

Basically all I want is for the phone to work and I can't imagine how it does for those others out there who claim they can multi-task on it. My battery goes low, won't charge at times must do a physical pull to get it to charge, it reboots sometimes when I plug in the charger, and I can't depend on the alarm. Now you want me to buy the 2 because the screen looks prettier and it feels better in the hand? Where the hell were you when the first piece of crap came out?

NO! I'm not even going for the storm 2 unless Verizon does right to the users of Storm 1...like myself. They knew the 1 was a peice of crap. Do the right thing Verizon!

Outstanding review with a lot of nice info. Interesting how the one thing left out is the one thing never mentioned. How about the video feature? Never worked on my Storm1 but I am very curious if it will work here. I could record but at playback it was always video not of the proper format. Did anyone try the video on the Storm2? I will be curious. Otherwise looks great and for sure an upgrade.

Seriously? A Storm 2? RIM and Verizon released a product that was pure JUNK, and did nothing about it. This from a "professional" level phone? Professional for who, a third grader? I love the ever present clock of doom, hampering everything from working, but not nearly as much as I love my several times a day battery pulls, the only way to reboot the phone. And yes, I have the same problems on all (4) stupid Storms I own!!! All with up to the minute software....
RIM and Verizon should have offerred a full cost return, admitted the phone was never ready and moved on, but nope-not a dime. So WHY would I get another RIM phone or stay with Verizon? I have already switched a couple of lines to the "non-professional" iPhone, which.....WORKS! 21 YEARS of cellular service for me and it still SUCKS........

there had better be an upgrade incentive for storm 1 owners. i don't like beta testing their hardware for them to release a revised version less than a year later while the rest of us get left holding the bag.

Well, let me just say this "I could just kick myself" and my reason for this remark is simply because I normally wouldn't purchase a new product on it's first release. I bought my Storm 9530 as soon as it became available for two reasons: 1) I was eager step away from the average cellphone and step into a device that was more versatile. 2) BlackBerry seem to have a fair rep. and after talking with a few people whom owned the Pearl 8330, I felt comfortable enough to step things up a notch.

I'm currently on my third replacement from my original purchase and so far all has been fairly well since mid April of 09, this unit was built in Mexico. Not this really means anything as far as its quality.

My first Storm would lock up for no apparent reason. And the second unit which had been shipped to me packaged in brown cardboard and for some reason seem to be a referb, had display issues. The third unit had a charging problem and thus put me on my forth unit.
I've had some issues, such as video playback, OS freeze up. Overall I'm fairly please with my current Storm.

What ercks me is that BlackBerry releases not only an updated Storm2, but it modifies its body. Now that I purchased various accessories for my Storm, their most likely no good for the Storm2.
It'd be nice if BlackBerry would show some loyalty to their loyal customers whom follow and purchase their new technical breakthroughs with a generous discount.

After ready some of the comments posted, I may just hang tight til late 2010 to see what improvements come about.

Man, RIM and Verizon are never going to give us anything free. Specially not one of the Hottest and most anticipated CrackBerrys this year.

I have had my Storm since the day it was released, and there were very few things that bothered me. Which I chalk up to new deviceitis that being going from a conventional push button to my first touch screen phone, and the orientation of the screen which was fixed. I think a lot of the issues people experienced was operator error. When the Storm 2 aka the Odin is released I will be eligble for an early upgrade, I wont think about it, the phone is mine. I dont regret at all getting Storm 1 I wont regret getting Storm 2.

I must say that I am not a fan of Kevin's writing style. I find his excessive enthusiasm, adolescent. I have been hoping for the day when he would finally reach puberty and write a decent article.

That day has come. Kevin did a damn fine job of reviewing the Storm 2. It appears to be fair, balanced, and complete.

Thank you, Kevin.

Hey fellow crack-berrians...I was so frustrated when I bought the Storm, couldn't have but 3 or 4 apps at a time, nonresponsive alot of the time, battery pulls 2 0r 3 times a day, I seriously was contemplating blackberry suicide but after I upgraded to 5.0 the change was like a switch, no more battery pulls and its so much faster and apps aren't a problem anymore either. A great job was done on this software update!! I love my blackberry storm again!!

Same here, too bad we can't more of the "Crybabies" to see that and upgrade, instead of whining all the time. So VZW f'd up, there is a fix, UPGRADE TO 5.0 already....

The processor of the Storm 1 and 2 are indeed the same. Also both phones are capable of running OpenGL hardware 3d acceleration. In fact the specs of the 3D capabilities surpass that of the Sony PSP. RIM however has yet to release the API so developers can make use of it.

Will the release date include units that are unlocked?
Like would I be able to order one unbranded unit through any of the online phone sites?

I appreciate your review, and even considering you didn't have a lot of time to prepare it, one of the main things I wanted to know about the S2 you totally missed: Audio Quality.

The Tour suffered from: "Hey, did you get a new phone...it's sounds terrible...take it back." I know most everyone is more concerned about which games they can play on their new S2 but I still need to be able to talk to people and I want them to hear me with decent audio quality....not like I am talking through a pillow. And since one of RIM's shortcomings over the years has been the outgoing audio quality of their devices, I'm hoping they got it right with the S2.

I guess I'll have to wait until I can try it out at the local VZW store (someday) and see what the audio quality is myself.

As soon as the iPhone and Verizon cohabitate, this storm will be over. Verizon is an adequate carrier. My BB Storm is one major mistake.

Kevin, just have to tell you how much I enjoyed reading your excellent Storm2 review. It should be a great help to current BB users, and anyone considering getting their first BlackBerry.

After reading it, I felt like running out and getting one. Keep up the good work.

- CB

Kevin - you mentioned how BB Maps and VZW Navigator were sluggish and not responsive at time - and seemed to correlate that with the performance of the GPS chip. I have noticed on the my last three phones 8830, 8330, and now the Tour, that VZW navigator is very unresponsive, and sometimes doesn't lock. On the same phones, using telenav (8830 and 8330 w/key fob gps) I had much better luck. Both my wife and I now have Tours - she still uses VZW Navigator and I am using the latest Telenav. Her phone often doesn't lock or takes a very long time to lock or re-route as your review said with S2. With Telenav, everything is extremely quick on my Tour - to lock, re-routes are almost instantaneous, even in Boston. I'd be curious to hear how S2's gps functionality is with Telenav.

Looks like RIM has got it together this time on the hardware. Unique input system with combining capacitive screen with electronic feedback; nice size package; quality handset and I suspect all that glass and metal on the front and back respectively will probably shield the phone nicely from a SAR standpoint too.

To finish the job RIM desperately needs to provide the developer tools in order to bridge the gap with other platforms on software. The VOIP situation is especially embarrassing. It's a strange state of affairs indeed when RIM is more than up to speed on stuff like social networking and yet behind Apple's shiny toys on something like VOIP.

Well, see, i was so frustrated with the blackberry storm 1 that i traded my beloved verizon carrier to the disastrous ATT. But damn that iphone is just superb in all aspects of any phone i have owned. I was a palm fan. I was about to get the PRE but when i went to best buy to try it out the keyboard was so darn stupid i went on to the iphone and glad i did.
Yes i still have the blackberry storm 1 and its collecting dust.
Of course i have so much problems with ATT but the iphone makes it bearable.
When iphone jumps to verizon i will surely pay ETF for ATT and jump back.
And yes its all about the hardware for me.
I am still thinking of getting a blackberry with verizon but it wouldnt be a storm. TOUR? yes definitely.

Does storm2 has full qwerty keyboard both on portrait and landspace mode???
i really need full qwerty in the portrait mode...

Excellent review and the phone looks sick... BUT, they make such a big deal about fixing the space between the screen and what do they do? Add a new area with a huge gap (top of the phone by the power and mute buttons). WTF?

We are in a society that likes to point the blame to someone else. Why in the world should be accept blame for anything we did? After all Verizon forced you and made you get the Blackberry Storm and said you could never exchange it in the first 30 days. You want and iPhone go ahead that is your choice. I had one once and dropped calls and had my emails not come through until I power cycled the phone once or twice a day. Oops does that mean the iPhone has flaws too? Don't tell anyone else that. For all you whiners who are complaining and saying you are beta testing the first Storm.....30 days to return it if you don't like it!! Don't tell me you didn't know the phone had problems until after your 30 days were up. Just look in the mirror and point at the person you see there and say " I am the idiot that kept the phone that makes me angry" There you just took your first step in admitting you were wrong Not Verizon, Not RIM. Storm 2 is already a lot better than the first storm and RIM is not the first company to bring out an updated phone a year after their first one....for example the iDon't phone did the same exact thing.

Well, you are right, Verizon never made me buy the Storm 1 and yes they have a 30 day bring it back no questions asked. I just love hanging out in a Verizon store getting no work done while some young chick takes my non working Storm in the back room for 20 minutes only to come out and say there is nothing wrong, I should sit down and read my manual and enjoy my new phone. What? Then when you demand to change phones, again another 30 minute wait while a tech takes the phone again into a back room and then 20 minutes later comes out and says yes but there is an o/s upgrade coming out in a few days, wait until it comes out and then upgrade it. You'll like it then. Meanwhile days go by and no upgrade and then finally, two weeks after the fact, I get 4.7.148 upgrade from .65. Wow, the phone seems to be working better but now the screen flickers and back to Verizon only to have the same girl tell me she can't make it flicker so it's me. What? Screen goes out and doh! Verizon says here's a new one all updated. Meanwhile that 30 days just flew by because all I really wanted is a phone with the Storm's features that worked and worked smoothly. That has never ever happened and now some here at Crackberry suggest I basically hack the phone and install a leaked o/s like 5.0. Verizon says if I do, the warranty is void, such as it is. My point is, I shouldn't have to hack this phone to make it work, I shouldn't have to insert a card into the battery compartment to make it click, I shouldn't have to remove the battery 2 or more times a day to get it to respond to receiving emails, get it to charge, and to get it to "see" my USB. The battery door as it is was designed by an idiot as it takes very little to jar it open. So, Yes, I was a Genni pig. I deserve a medal and a new Storm 2 (if that phone works) from Verizon at the least.

Kevin:

Nice summary. For all us hardworking Theme Builders,
will our Storm Themes work on Storm2 ? What about
Stormers that have purchased themes ?

Doctor Neutron

I feel that owners of orig Storm should have option of getting the Storm 2. I am on my 4th phone since Nov 8 2008 when I stood in line 2 1/2 hrs for this thing slow download time, screen constantly getting locked up .. you call tech they tell you remove the battery I have blisters on my fingers how many times I ve done and I am on a 2 yr contract

I still see no compelling reason to upgrade. Every other smartphone maker seems to have gotten with the program and are using much larger Flash ROMs. Also, still no ability to install programs to the removable memory, making the outdated Flash even more useless. RIM really needs to get with the program if they are going to really appeal to consumers.

Thanks for taking the time to really inform us Storm 1 owners of the new Storm 2. I really enjoyed the review and your comments on the Storm 1 are spot on. My device today, is far better then it was 8 months ago thanks to OS updates. Will look forward to getting my hands on a Storm 2 to play with and decide if upgrade is for me. My biggest reason would be for the upgraded SurePress technology. Thanks again for the WONDERFUL review.

I will be getting mine as soon as it comes out. I have had the Original Storm 3 different times. This last time I sent it back before my 30 days were up so that I can get the new every two discount on the Storm 2. I had the most recent leak for the Storm (5.0) and found that the phone was amazing and that was what it should of done in the first place. I would have kept it, but I need the WiFi in certain areas that I am in. I wish we could actually get an official announcement though. Someone posted on another site that it was Nov 15th now??? Enough games already!

Same phone, new hardware, more memory, and wifi...Not really worth it if i dont care about new hardware, have a lot of memory left, and barely even touch the bb browser...Oh Yeah I have OS 5.0 too!!! Whenever they get OS 6.0 and we are stuck on 5.0 then maybe i'll reconsider...

Anyone know whether Verizon is going to change their policy and allow third party software to fully utilize the built-in GPS functionality of the Storm 2? This is my single biggest gripe with Verizon service - if they don't, I'm going to the iPhone. Thanks.

definitely considering getting the new storm 2
spoke with a verizon rep on the phone who confirmed it will be released on oct 28

anyone have any information about getting the storm 2 unlocked?
which canadian carrier will i be able to use the phone with?

Storm 1 owners out there rejoice. There's not much the storm 2 can do. If it didnt have the wifi, i doubt this device would even be considered as a blackberry contender.
First off, the click feature is not as good as the storm 1. When i click the screen, there's a grinding noise that makes it feel like the screen is going to crack. Storm 1 click feature is much better.
2. Software is the same. So the storm 1 runs just as fluid as the storm 2. No difference there.
3. Not worth to shell out retail price for the storm 2. However, if you are planning to get a storm, now is the time to get it. But upgrade isnt necessary. Keep your cash for the storm 3.

ANd that's all about it. With wifi and more memory, there's not much the storm 2 can do that storm 1 can not.

completely agree the storm 2 actually seems to be a little slower then the storm 1 with the new os. the only thing thats better is the screen. i like the sure press because u can actually click on the corners with out having to press too hard. typing is better i belive. overall the screen is the best feature. maybe it will get better with time. will now wait for the storm 3 lol

Got the 2 today, the last day of my 30 day trial period. Whew! I even did the upgrade yesterday to 5.0 one the Storm. I'm lovin' the 2 already. The Storm was my very first smart phone, let alone touch screen. I almost gave it back two weeks ago , but stuck it out. Now that I've had the Storm and now the 2, I'm really glad I stuck it out. To me, the screen clicks better, it scrolls better, and types better. I'm happy!

I went from a Curve to the Storm 2 yesterday, and I have to say that the vibrate is way too weak. I am missing calls because of it. The rest is fine...

I picked up the Storm 1 two weeks ago and even upgraded the software to 5.0, but the Storm 2 is much faster, and better utilize the OS 5.0 features. Although, it's a vast improvement hardware wise, there wasn't anything there that really wow'ed me or surprised me.

I guess there needs to be more apps developed for the Storm2, and all the other apps need to be updated.

The points about wifi, increased speed, memory and touchpad improvements sound encouraging, however, a couple of things that bug me are not mentioned so I'll take up a little web space with them: 1. Security: I often leave the password disabled for ease of use, when I go to enable it, it prompts for a new password. That means that anyone can take control of your phone when the password is turned off by doing the same thing. Why can't my Storm remember my password? 2. Camera: I didn't realize how much I used the camera on my cellphone until I got the Storm with it's lousy camera. No self-timer, white balance has no effect in any mode, no exposure adjust for backlighting, etc., and the delay makes it practically useless in most situations, unless you're doing landscape photography, which would be okay if they supplied a tripod. 3. Why did Navigator work so much better on my $50 cellphone? Have they change it or is it the Storm or BlackBerry platform that screwed it up? I'm realizing that the only reason I have this phone is for the email and for the Verizon network.

Picked up my first BBerry over two years ago, a curve, not realizing that there were better models, time to upgrade and after serious looking at the Storm, 2, and theother latest versions, still wondering which to get. Would like to get the 9700 but its going to be T-Mobile from what I hear, I'm sticking w/Verizon. Stickin w/BBerry too, thanks Crack Berry for all the info.

Peace

Picked up my first BBerry over two years ago, a curve, not realizing that there were better models, time to upgrade and after serious looking at the Storm, 2, and theother latest versions, still wondering which to get. Would like to get the 9700 but its going to be T-Mobile from what I hear, I'm sticking w/Verizon. Stickin w/BBerry too, thanks Crack Berry for all the info.

Peace

I highly recommend everyone getting over their old Storm 1 issues and move on. If not you are missing out on the flagship Blackberry phone. The Storm 2 9550 has everything, I have downloaded apps, enjoyed facebook, email, messaging features,and the new sure press is off the hook. A little bit of getting used to but once you have it down this phone is second to none. I have had zero issues with the phone. They got it right this time, 5 stars for the new Blackberry Storm 2!

I saw I was eligible for an upgrade and the Storm 9530 was free so I thought "why not?". I've read reviews - certainly mixed - and still thought, it's free, give it a try but keep the Curve as a backup. So far, it's OK. I'm not loving it but I'm not hating it and yes, the touch screen takes some getting used to. Yes, the keyboard freezes up and I get impatient but I also know that the constant push/pull of emails and my constant use of browsers and apps will tend to do that (I worked my Curve HARD and it would act the same way). Fortunately I have about 2 weeks left to turn in the Storm and after reading the Storm 2 review, I'm tempted. But are the improvements worth $180? I don't want to get the Storm 2 and then wish I kept my FREE Storm and $180. And I don't want to switch to an LG env Touch and pay the ginormous fees to have the same features as a BB ... I like my BB (this is my 3rd) and don't want to give up yet. I'm sitting on the fence on this Storm 2. The hubs gets his upgrade in Feb, maybe I'll just wait until then and do the switcheroo and give him my Storm. :-)

If you were one of the lucky ones to buy a storm for $40 you made out. The new storms is nice; however, all the improvements are in the software. The sure press feels the same to me, I really cannot tell the difference. The crazy thing is RIM is letting all of us BB Storm 1 owners upgrade to OS 5.0 free! Not only this but the BB Storm 2 screen seems much dimmer than its predecessor. My recommendation: if you have a storm 1 its not worth another 2 year contract just for a storm 2, due to no real innovations besides the OS 5.0 which works with the original storm. I suggest wait for Google Android OS 2.0 to come out on a variety of devices which are coming soon....Don't upgrade it's not worth it...Go to the Verizon store and see for yourself!

Not one comment about any improvements in the actual phone conversation quality, which is really poor on the Storm 1? I installed the 5.0 OS on my Storm 1 and it's really good.

Well today went to the local Verizon store cause I'm do for an upgrade. I have the BB pearl 8130 i love the phone and was my first smart phone ,but it's time to move on. Well i really like the looks of the new S2 so i decided to check it out.I'm unsure weather I want a virtual or regular keyboard? Today was a kind of deciding factor to not get the storm but it's still up in the air.Reason for that is as I was playing with it it crashed on me!! Black screen of death!It did eventually reboot,but instantly i thought of all the comments from all the storm 1 people and how much problems they went through!!No thanks I don't wanna go through that mess!!Oh and also the video player had and error and wouldn't play.Ugg what to do? Wait i guess? My two cents.

They Storm2 is hands down one of the best phones out right now..Yes the droid sounds good to everyone but lets think about it.If you want a phone for the messaging purposes hands down the storm2 is the winner.The storm2 also is a better app phone..Dont get me wrong the droid is going to be a great phone but compared to the storm2 hands down the storm2 is better.Three people from verizon told me that the droid is basically going to another Dare just with a keyboard.and everyone knows the dare sucked.Trust me when i say being a storm1 owner and now a storm2 owner the storm2 will not disapoint you like the storm1 did.

They Storm2 is hands down one of the best phones out right now..Yes the droid sounds good to everyone but lets think about it.If you want a phone for the messaging purposes hands down the storm2 is the winner.The storm2 also is a better app phone..Dont get me wrong the droid is going to be a great phone but compared to the storm2 hands down the storm2 is better.Three people from verizon told me that the droid is basically going to another Dare just with a keyboard.and everyone knows the dare sucked.Trust me when i say being a storm1 owner and now a storm2 owner the storm2 will not disapoint you like the storm1 did.

Had 1 now have the 2. More I use it more I love it. Although didn't have much trouble and even with 5.0 upgrade on 9530 this one is so much better. More responsive, WiFi works great, more memory I just like it a lot better. Had two Tours and was given opportunity to trade the most current Tour for the Storm 9550. Was tough decision but very glad I made it. Although really love the Tour (still have two of them, 1 for me 1 for my wife, but really love the 9550 device.

I had the first storm, and i hated it, i switched to the tour. i would get this one, but i am just to traumatized from the first storm.

I had the first storm, and i hated it, i switched to the tour. i would get this one, but i am just to traumatized from the first storm.

I have a question on the WI Fi portion of this phone. I have verizon as my carrier. I was under the impression that with wi fi you wouldnt need to get a company package ( $30 date package from Verizon )to get on the internet if your phone had wi fi. I went to get this phone and was told I had to get the data package to get on the internet through Verizon.

Do you think this is the best BB that verizon offers? I looked that the Tour as well. Or should I wait for the new bold?

THanks

I went from an 8830 to the first Storm & loved it... the only things that disappointed me a bit (on performance and useability) all seem to be completely addressed in this new gen.

What a thourough eval - great work...

Got an email from Verizon i could upgrade for the same price even though i had 6 months left on contract. ($196 OTD)
I had the Storm1 and am a APP freak, always watching my memory, now no worries

Anyone is dumb if they think its not worth it

Clean, sleek, double flash mem, touch screen excellent, 16gb memory card, thing is great, i would have paid retail if i knew it would run as good as it is...

I tested the new Blackberry storm-2 at Verizon, Wow ! is all I can say whatever Blackberry did to this phones mic and speaker other manufactures need to take some notes.
I have a very server hearing loss and tried lots of phones even with M4 T4 Ratings. This phone is M3 T3 ratings, It should be M4 T4 the highest.
For testing I wore my low end hearing aids, and there not that great (I have three sets) When testing I did not turn on the tele-coil mode on my hearing aid. I would usually have to , but I did not. I just kept my hearing aids in the regular mic mode. The Blackberry Storm -2 sounded clear and clean at mid level volume. I turned up the volume and it became much more clear. I was listening to a Verizon recording when testing. Now for the real test called my wife and received the same clarity, Outstanding. Speaker mode was even better, I could never have had a conversation with anyone on a speaker phone, let alone a very good conversation with the ear speaker on the phone. With this phone I can. This phone passed the speaker phone test with flying colors. The sound was once again clear and loud.
For the last test I used my hearing aid in all modes and wow ! No feedback, no humming, nothing, just very clear sound. No, or very little feedback on the hearing aids a big plus for anyone using hearing aids. I did get not receive any feedback with these low end hearing aids, might be different for other hearing aids. Now I decided to try out my digital hearing aids. The sound was much more clear. No feedback, No, humming . Nothing but clear sound. I’m so impressed with this phone just because of the outstanding quality blackberry has done to meet the needs of those with hearing loss.
This is by far the best phone on the market for people with hearing aids hands down. I tested just about every PDA phone on the market with all the carriers that are major network providers. ATT, Sprint, etc..
The HTC Eris came very close but lacked in volume, but was very clear. The HTC Eris speaker mode, also very clear, but lacked volume. This would be also a good choice for those with moderate hearing loss. But , If you want to have a conversation without missing words get the Storm-2
The worst phone for those with hearing loss, and using hearing aids is the Apple Iphone. No FCC ratings for the (M) mic and (T) telecoil ratings. The apple Iphone will give you so much trouble it not even funny. Apple got around this by using the FCC 255 Regulation ruling . Stating they only make one type phone. The FCC 255 regulation states phone manufactures with 2 or more phones in production must meet the fcc rules.
The Blackberry Storm-2 falls short on battery life , but then again it’s a PDA. Carry an extra battery. But, who cares I don’t. This phone passed with flying colors for those with hearing aids.
I would also like to mention when testing phones with hearing aids I have found that provider network makes a difference. believe it or not. For some reason or another conversations do not sound as clear when using a phone on a GSM network. ATT- T-Mobile. but with Sprint and Verizon the call quality with hearing aids is much better. Just my observation.
The BlackBerry Storm 2 wins hands down for sound quality and volume.

My Storm2 voice tends to disappear after 20 seconds. Reading different forums, it seems this is a bug in 9550 and shows RIM still hasn't been able to come out with the PERFECT STORM :(

Totally love it!!! I took back the Imagio I originally purchased because I hated it for 1,000 reasons; HOWEVER, the Storm 2 rocks. The touch screen has sensitivity controls, the screen is easy to type on and easy to navigate. I've been using it for 2 months and would highly recommend it.

(Sorry - didn't mean to post twice!) LOL

I took back the Imagio that I originally purchased because I hated it for 1,000 reasons; HOWEVER, the BlackBerry Storm 2 is awesome. LOVE the touch screen and the fact that you can control the sensitivity. LOVE the way it glows around the choice as you touch before you click so you can verify your option. This phone is SO EASY to navigate and is extremely user friendly. Been using it for 45 days and would recommend it to anyone without reservation!!!

Its nice to see blackberry is finally working on there touch screen market, of smart phones but the BlackBerry Strom wasn't the best product other their when it comes to smart phones now with the Storm2 we talking a true touch screen experience, I've would get unlocked one, it seems like some retail stores online already have the unlocked or for the Strom2 and its priced well around http://www.selectgsm.com/ $580.00

Pages