The Gadget Show's Touchscreen Smartphone Showdown

Over the weekend I posted my First Impressions video of the HTC Fuze, and well, it wasn't very pretty. Over at our sister site, you can imagine they were less than thrilled. Dieter did post a good tip for me though that has me feeling more comfortable on Fuze's touchscreen (so much so that I had to scrap my half-written Fuze review and start over as the first draft was now too mean! Look for it late today or tomorrow or Christmas day or the day after!).

To provide a quantum of solace to all those WinMob fans out there who's feelings we hurt, I just had to post the video above (thanks Adlen for sending it in!) from The Gadget Show. On this episode they take four touchscreen smartphones to task in smartphone showdown - the Vodafone Storm, the iPhone 3G, G1 and HTC Touch HD. It makes for a good watch!

Warning - The Storm doesn't do so well. But take the results with a grain of salt as the tests are being conducted by a guy who LOVES using a stylus! I couldn't help but burst out laughing 3m52s into the video :-)

By Kevin Michaluk on 23 Dec 2008 10:21 am EST

Over the weekend I posted my First Impressions video of the HTC Fuze, and well, it wasn't very pretty. Over at our sister site, you can imagine they were less than thrilled. Dieter did post a good tip for me though that has me feeling more comfortable on Fuze's touchscreen (so much so that I had to scrap my half-written Fuze review and start over as the first draft was now too mean! Look for it late today or tomorrow or Christmas day or the day after!).

To provide a quantum of solace to all those WinMob fans out there who's feelings we hurt, I just had to post the video above (thanks Adlen for sending it in!) from The Gadget Show. On this episode they take four touchscreen smartphones to task in smartphone showdown - the Vodafone Storm, the iPhone 3G, G1 and HTC Touch HD. It makes for a good watch!

Warning - The Storm doesn't do so well. But take the results with a grain of salt as the tests are being conducted by a guy who LOVES using a stylus! I couldn't help but burst out laughing 3m52s into the video :-)

Topics: Video Devices

Reader comments

The Gadget Show's Touchscreen Smartphone Showdown


Maybe a set of "proper" teeth would help this chap. He needs to use one of his rotten teeth as a stylus. Stylus? How elementary! Blackberry all the way on composing an email.

Good day ole brit

You attack a mans physical appearance because you do not like what it is he is saying? Shame you weren't raised right.

I had the Verizon Storm for all of 3 days and took it back. The keyboard is all but impossible to type quickly on and that is a huge negative for business people. No way should anyone using a Blackberry as a business tool ever buy the Storm. (Well, it wasn't produced for business use anyway...) I ended up with the AT&T Bold... after 3 horribly frustrating days with the Storm, relief in a big way! The Bold is really the King of Blackberrys and Smartphones in general ... at least for true business use. One thing I have to say... movies on the Storm are amazing.. no one can touch the quality of that screen!!

While the Strom might now have been directly designed at business that is what I use mine for. I send and recieve around 50-80 email a day and most are lengthy emails not just 2 or 3 sentences but rather paragraphs and do just fine. The storm is perfect for the business user on the go as it is everything I need to carry. You might not have gotten used to the touchscreen and that is preference but don't say no business person should "ever buy a Storm" that is just stupid.

As far as the review goes it is off base in the sense that from the looks of it he wasn't letting the predictive tezxt do what it should and that is finish typing out to finish the word. He should have had some background on the what the keyboard is designed to do.

I have been using BBs since they first came out. So am more then used to the form and functionality as it grew over the years. According to the Verizon store staff I purchased mine at (and took it back to) they are getting a number of Storms back from business people. The main reason?... the keyboard is to frustrating to use and get used to. No one wants to take weeks getting used to something when you have critical business to attend to. The form is simply not immediately user friendly.. and that is what most people want and require.

I know we are all very passionate about the particular BB we own. I sure am! But the fact is that RIM hit the market way to soon with the Storm.. that isn't just my feeling, it is the industry's in general. The devise needs more development and real world testing. I guarantee the Storm will come into it's own in the next couple of generations. My personal feeling, again, having had numerous BB models that have hit the market.. the next generation Storm will hit the streets sometime in 2009.

The Storm is a great idea and I have no doubt that in the coming generations all of the issues being fielded by RIM will be taken care of.

By-the-way, I had a huge problem with the keyboard. The predictive text would not work properly (a problem I never had on my old Pearl) and you would press a specific letter and a letter from the entire opposite side of the keyboard would show up. This is not just a minor is a major glitch. Another issue was the fact that when I entered a URL into the Search window of the Browser, it simply would not move into the search mode. Again, not a minor issue, but a major glitch as I need to look up web sites often. I am not saying I didn't get a bad unit.. but I have read way to many posts about our fellow BB users getting bad Storms and having to send them back.

I am not Storm bashing... it simply didn't work for me and I really wished it did. I have been wanting a touch screen for some time. iPhone is not an option and Windows Mobile simply doesn't cut it. So maybe in the coming year or so the Strom will live up to my requirements and I will ditch the Bold and move back to a Storm. But their is no question.. it needs development time.

Your problem with the keyboard sounds like a unit defect more than a function of the phone's keyboard. I guess Im out of the norm as it took me a day to get it and Ive never used suretype before. All of your issues sound like a bad os load or a unit defect...did you exchange it and try another?

Most people who returned it probably didn't play with it before buying which is what I tell everybody that wants a Stoprm to do I said it isnt for everyone, thats fine but the reviewer's perceptions of off base!

I would also recommend that anyone who is considering a true touch screen devise, with a touch keyboard, try it out before buying. We all have different expectations. Mine was that it was going to be very smooth and easy to use.. as I type pretty fast on the 8820 and Bold keyboard. For me, that was not the case. So my expectations were not met and it became a huge point of frustration. When that happens it is generally all over.

As for the physical unit itself, their is no doubt it could have been defective. Or, the OS may have gone south. As I use my cell phone for my work number, I really didn't have time to wait for days or weeks until the next batch showed up at the Verizon store. So I had to make a quick decision.. get some other devise from Verizon or simply drop the account (it was only 4 days old) and move on. I decided because of my consulting business I couldn't wait for a new batch of Storms to come in and I didn't like anything else Verizon had.. I needed to make the move to the Bold. Glad I did.. it is exactly what I need and is of course the replacement for the 8820 (my most recent BB), so I was very comfortable with the form factor and user interface.

I have feeling the Storm is going to be one of those things that you either love or dislike... no real in between. It certainly has created a "storm" of its own on the blogs. I bet RIM is pleased.. even negative publicity can be positive.

You're right. I didn't use the Storm myself, but have used WM touch screen based phones and typing with the half-qwerty is quicker than the full usually. Especially with sure-type... but, that is personal preference. I really am hoping though for that Bold :) in the RoundRobin or getting a 8900 at T-Mo...

why would you only give the phone three days? sometimes i think alot of these people never had the phone at all. theres no way im gonna wait all this time for something to come out, test it for three days then return it. i got mine, it was one of the first generations with the faulty screen/ and knew i would get a replacement fot 2 weeks. and still wanted to give it a chance . it took me about 2 to 3 days to get to the typing, and i must say i love this phone. typing is no problem for me at all. in fact its better then my world edition. the buttons are much larger. and once i learned how to edit, it was a wrap.

but if so... the reason I kept the phone for only 3 - 4 days was because it had so many issues and my business (consulting) depends a great deal on having a phone that works. I suspect mine was one of the first ones that was flashed with the latest OS prior to being sent out. That said, the screen would not change orientation when moved; it would change orientation when set down on a table or desk; the keyboard was totally goofy... you would press a key on one side of the keyboard and a letter from the opposite side would show in the text; the predictive word application was not working... on and on. This was not a unit that anyone should have kept.. no matter how long they waited for it to come out. That is like buying a new car and the engine refuses to start, but you keep it anyway because it was a car you really wanted.

Nothing is perfect.. not the Bold, not the Storm .. .not any Blackberry. But RIM should have battle tested the Storm before releasing it for public consumption. It has at least another year of development left before it is ready for prime time. They simply rushed it out so they would have a consumer oriented devise to compete with the iPhone at Christmas time. Their is absolutely no question about that. RIM and Verizon are really at fault here for rushing something to market before it was ready. All for the $ involved.

He seemed like he had no experience with the blackberry, I could have easily typed out the email without many mistakes. And with further optimization on auto text typing is a breeze.

i agree he didnt know what he was doing and didnt get the concept of the touch screen i could send an email 10 times faster than this chap. and also with the full keyboard lay out u are sopposed to use your left thumb for the left keys and right thumb for the right keys.

That personal preference plays a big part. If I had to pull out a stylus to send an email I'd go mad. I got used to the BB landscape keyboard in two days.

no wonder it took so long to type this guy is a dumb ass, WHO TYPES like that. My little brother types faster. I have had my storm a month now and yes it sucked the first week but after i used a while it works great and fast so try something more then 3 days before you bash it. they give you 30 days for a reason...only thing this thing needs is Wifi so that's the only reason the bold is better.

Yeah that was retarded! Who in their right mind HOLDS THE PHONE WITH ONE HAND AND PRESSES IN WITH ONE FINGER, wtf?!?

I'm not sure why he said you can't see which letter you're touching when you touch the screen, as it light's up blue showing you which "button" you're going to select. Does your finger really cover the button that much? I haven't gotten a chance to play with a Storm yet, so no self experience to go off of.

To be fair, if you are not used to touch screen keyboards, either iPhone or Storm, and you use a Stylus, then yeah, that is what you are going to end up winning a race with.

I will say that I tried to one hand an email (horizontal) on my Storm and it just does not work. I think RIM anticipates thumbs.

As far as reviews go, this thing gets a 0 out of 5 G's.

First off, no windows mobile device, with a stylus should ever win. He should have used the Touch HD's TouchFlo3D QWERTY keyboard, not the windows mobile default stylus one. (Which is worse in my opnion, but he should have still had to apply hands on screen method as the other 2 were done.)

Second, No way in hell Storm took longer than iPhone to type. I don't believe it. Take two strangers unfamiliar with iPhone or Storm, and have them type out stuff. Suretype makes it faster, qwerty landscape makes it more accurate. The two should have tied let alone the Storm being the first one out.

Funny how the last test came down to Battery life. That's where the storm would have kicked their asses. Oh well...

iPhone's still number 1 and Jobs flavored Kool-Aid is still sold out at all grocery stores.

Well, I bet you DO NOT own an iPhone. I do, and a Curve, and I can smoke my Curve typing on the iPhone. It has auto correct, and the letter "pops up" in front of your thumb, so it is easy to see, and corrects if you don't. And that has NOTHING to do with Koolaid. I carry the Curve day to day because of what the iPhone lacks. But when it comes to typing, the iPhone wins hands down.

You should get it checked out.

I do own an iPhone, had the 1st gen when it came out plus the 3G which I gave to my younger brother. All updated, all the time. The iPhone's keyboard is NOT faster than the Curve. You are a liar if you're saying that. Even with the auto correct, and "letter pops up" stuff, the physical keyboard will always be faster to type on unless some new innovation comes out to make touch screen input even faster. RIM got closer bringing their suretype to the touch screen, I bet even that's faster at typing than Apple's keyboard.

Anyways, you're monthly supply of kool-aid is on it's way, so sit tight you'll get your fix soon. Take care.

I'd say Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas to you, but you must celebrate Apple Jobsmas. So have a good one of those.

Holy crap I can't believe that review. This guy looks as though he has never used a qwerty keyboard to send something! Honestly, the cameraman should have walked ober, taken the phone, and put it in the reviewer's hands like a gameboy and said "use your thumbs ole chap!". if I used my forefingers to type on my curve, it would take me forever as well. Using the fingers on my right hand, blazingly fast. I've adopted an odd grip that lets my type with my thumb and first two fingers on both hands and I can shoot out emails like nobody's business. 2 thumbs down for the reviewer, give the phone to a 16 y/o girl and see how fast texts can go!

How can you call that a comparison ?

There's so many feature he didn't go into, this was the most nontechnical comparison in the world.

What a dick !

He was WAY over thinking the typing on the Storm... frustrating at times, yes... but a minute and a half to send a short email... not the norm.

It was painful to watch him typing. Someone needs to teach him how to hold a blackberry. And of course you can't see the letters selected. It's the same way on a physical keyboard, a computer's keyboard and even a pepsi vending machine. Whatever key or button that you are currently selecting is going to be obscured by your finger.

Typing is not that hard on the storm.

i was thinking the exact same thing...this limitation is on all devices that use a physical keyboard you cant see it so why do people even point this out its a dumb point and anyone with common sense would know this i cant say i agree with this review not even a little

I would to have seen him walk and type at the same time. I could not master that skill on my iPhone at all. One of the reasons I went back to my Curve. And I bet he couldn't do it with his stylus and that tiny keyboard either. The entire review was a waste. It is like saying the you don't like a car just because of the color. The Storm is not perfect by a long shot. I tried typing on one and did not like it at all. I had my iPhone and would go back and forth and was not impressed. You can scrool on the iPhone and could not get the Storm to do that. It took more "effort" on the Storm, and I found I was missing letters because I did not press hard enough. By the same token, the iPhone can be "touchy" because it IS so easy to select something. I also wonder what will happen to the Storm movable screen once dust / lint / dirt starts collecting around the edges.
Nope, sticking with the Curve until my update to the Bold.

Ok 1 more thing....


Ok, I feel better

To be honest, I would take anything that is said on the Gadget show with a molecule of salt. This is the same show (and it's motoring counterpart, Fifth Gear) that has to entice their viewers with a shed load of prizes just to watch and fund them. None of the reviews that are carried out on the show have any science involved. Usually each episode involves blowing something up or frisbeeing a laptop to the far flung edges of a field for the sake of entertainment. They believe they are pushing the gadget to the limit. I call it basic stupidity. Jon Bentley is not a tech head. He is a journalist, if a crap one at that.

I agree with one of the other posters who suggested that Jon should learn to use his thumbs. Typing fast on any of these devices with the portrait keyboard requires thumb typing . If all tests were done in that fashion, then it would be closer to being an objective test.

That being said, all reviews are subjective, irrespective of who is providing them. The Touch HD is a great device and HTC have made some great leaps to hide the ugliness of Windows Mobile. The problem I have with the HD is it is very pricey at the moment (Orange have exclusitivity of it for the time being) and some features still rely on using the Windows Mobile UI which is not finger friendly (in my opinion).

i have no idea why everyone is so obsessed with having wifi.. think people verizon has the best network and is faster than any wifi connecting. i know this for a fact because i tested the iphone and storm to get the same page at same time and storm completely loaded first. screw wifi u idiots

I love that the Storm was eliminated because this Gomer can't type. A stylus, are you serious? This guy is a tool, and I laugh at this review. I am glad the Storm didn't win this comparison. It really would have lost credibility if this guy liked it.


This was far and away the worst review I have ever seen. How can you compare pecking away at that pinhead sized keyboard with a stick to either of the Storms keyboards. I have started to dig on the Suretype and I love the full qwerty. He also mentioned the wobbly video on the Storm, well if he would stop hittin the bottle before doing his crazy reviews maybe his hands wouldn't shake so much.

People are so obsessed with wifi because the eyeFone has it and they're used to crappy service with their Godly JesusPhone.

I'll give it (the iPhone) credit in that it's a great device....but I could never go back to, or switch to ATT....Verizon is light years ahead of other American carriers and I would probably own it instead of the storm if it was on Verizon because I would've bought it well before the storm came out/was majorly announced.

i have to agree on him about the letters being hidden by your fingers. I noticed it too and it is hard to know if you're on the right one. takes some getting used to for sure.

I think the complaints about lack of wi-fi are completely legitimate. There are plenty of places where one can get a wi-fi signal but not a cell phone signal (inside my work facility, for example). Saying that wi-fi shouldn't be an issue is like saying 3G wasn't an issue for the first iPhones -- after all, EDGE is perfectly OK, right?

I do think his criticism of the Storm's typability is completely overblown, as if he was looking for a reason to dislike the click screen. But, so much about mobile phones depends on what works for a given individual, so any review must be taken as just one person's opinion.

because they couldn't adjust! HA! It's funny how only OLD people have a hard time adjusting to new technology. My Storm is great and I can easily knock out 50 200word length emails a day without a single problem. SureType is the way to go, however, that may not be the case for old folks.

I have blackberry storm and i type too fast and way better than this lame old man! he done it with one or 2 sentences in 1 min 30 sec? tsk tsk. I done 3 or 4 sentence in 45 seconds! hes full of crap, period!

This guy is retarded to say the least. Aside from no being humorous his inability to type on a touchscreen made him look like a neanderthal. Kevin's review of the Storm was much better. First of all WHY IS HE USING THE SMALL WINDOWS MOBILE STOCK KEYBOARD WITH A STYLUS WHEN THE HTC TOUCH HD HAS ITS OWN REAL SIZE QWERTY KEYBOARD THAT IS EVEN EASY TO USE ON A TYTN OR FUZE? There is no need for that crap. You can type on the HD due to its size better than the IPhone and much faster. And I take it that the Storm is not that bad for typing.

As far as the test that guy gave it he definitely did not use it correctly especially the full keyboard which he held the phone with 1 hand and typed with 1 finger, I think he would have had a different experience ad he held it correctly it wasn't a fair tet of the Storm's ability.

I am new to smart phones in general and the storm is my first touch screen. I have to say I am glad for a smart phone and touch screen I picked it because the click screen feels so natural and I can type just as fast if not faster on the storm as on my old phones full qwerty key board, also the functionality of it is so easy to learn and use, it took all of about 2 hours to figure everything out.

If you don't like it you may be too used to a regular touch screen or a normal qwerty keyboard, sometimes change is difficult and doesn't mean its the phones fault, the only problem Ive heard of and have is a section of the screen doesn't click well and Verizon is sending me a new unit and if they didn't I don't find it to be a problem I can't live with.

The email speed test was such a joke. This guy was typing on the devices with one finger!!!! The STORM is designed so you can type with two hands. If you cross over the middle of the screen you make mistakes as it was designed to be used with BOTH HANDS. What a joke of a test. The STORM and the IPHONE lose to the HTC TOUCH HD? Are you joking me. Leave it to a BRIT to make that choice. He can keep the HTC touch HD piece of crap and I will keep on STORMING!

I have the storm, and i love the phone. but i hate the typing on the phone. Its just as bad as he said. You cant see what your hitting even with the blue glow. It needs a popup thing like apple has bad. Its def. not patented cause the new g1 keyboard has the pop ups too.

It takes me forever to type on the thing and i have been heavily using it for a month+ now. Sorry, but this guy was spot on. I only wish he did the battery life 2nd and the typing last cause the storm would have won battery life.

Are you kidding me... you don't know the layout of a QWERTY keyboard? You need a letter to pop up to know where you are on a keyboard? That sir, is ridiculous!

Does anyone who owns a storm type on it like that guy was trying to type on it seriously?

even with the other phones he was typing wrong accept for the winmo one..

who takes there finger and pokes at the screen to type..

After Mumbai attack sentiments were really negative in the stock market. Still BSE managed to touch 10K mark which is a great achievement
and it shows the confidence of investors which they have in Indian economy.

Long way to go


As you can see HTC needs the advertisement.
I bought the original HTC touch a year ago... brought it back 5 hours later.....
Then this year I got the HTC touch diamond.... that lasted 2 weeks (with sooooo many times I just wanted to chuck the MOFO!)
I can't see how the BB storm would get so low rating after so many praise from everyone. You can see that the guy never uses his fingers on a touch screen by the way he holds the device and types.

Pre xmas rant felt good!

Some fat European dork who bases a phone on whether or not he can type on it. Who in the hell even uses a PDA anymore that has a Stylus? That is so 1998, WTF! Get out of the stone age, if you are going to have a gadget Show jackass!

This guy is all to funny. The second test with texting was a joke. The man needed to get someone in there that could actually text. I have sent text via a Storm and can do it at least in half the time it took him.

i agree with this review. i wasn't too impressed with the storm and i really hated the way the screen kinda shifted in all directions when you slide your finger across it. plus, no wifi? you've gotta be kidding me. yes, it's a blackberry, but i'm not that big of a crazed fanboy. the storm sucks. period.

Have to agree with you the storm sucks BIG TIME.
My friend just bought one two days ago and i had an not so joyful fun time playing with it.
Try to find your way around on the screen, what i mean is typing was a nightmare and when you download new apps to phone....It puts it in a folder...Not cool....Have to click on folder them click on app..Just more to do!!!! Keep it simple and add it to home screen RIM!!!
So to my friend keep your storm!!!!
I,m waiting for the new touchscreen BOLD or 8930 curve to come to Telus next year.
Storm is now OLD!!!!LOL

The Storm's landscape keyboard is designed to be used with both hands. The left thumb should select keys on the left half of the keyboard, the right thumb should select the right keys. This guy is holding the phone with one hand and selecting letters with the other hand in SureType mode. Obviously this guy should do a little research on the phones he is reviewing before making a public criticism on any phone!

I heard froms somewhere in crackberry said that there will be a update OS for WIFI who has blackberry storm will get OTA in somewhen in Jan or feb or whenever in 2009. so, hopefully we will get it!

1. He needs to use a thumb on the keyobard. He types like an old man (and he is one).

2. Use 2 thumbs on the QWERTY keyboard. Makes it much faster.

3. Yet, there are issues finding the right key on the Storm, but the two points above would have sped it up a lot.

4. Pressing the Menu key twice to Send would have also saves time.