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BlackBerry Storm 2 review

Can it fix the failings of the original Storm?

The Storm 2 is sporting the new BB OS 5.0 interface, meaning the latest in functionality and gadgetry RIM has to offer.

The main thing about the Storm 2 interface is the fact that it feels like it's two phones – one as a normal touchscreen, which is a nice and responsive capacitive effort, and another the clickable display, which confirms any selection you make.

It's very disconcerting the first time you use it – it takes a long time to start trusting this method, as your natural reaction is that pushing into the screen is going to ruin accuracy.

BlackBerry storm 2

The first thing you'll notice when turning on the Storm 2 is just how long it takes to boot up - we're talking minutes here. All well and good the first time you turn it on – a little more annoying when you find you have to do it with every subsequent boot-up whenever the battery is removed.

The interface itself is a fairly clean affair, especially if you're familiar with a BlackBerry – the home screen offers a half menu in portrait mode, with your eight favourite applications, and when moved into landscape all the menu icons become available.

Pretty much every icon on the screen can be clicked on to display further information – such as the connections tab in the top right-hand corner, which gives access to the full list of all active and inactive connections on offer, such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and mobile data.

BlackBerry storm 2

As we mentioned earlier, the Storm 2's capacitive screen is excellent, and has been upgraded over the original. This means dynamic scrolling with a really fluid motion that puts it on a par with a number of other touchscreen smartphones on the market, such as the iPhone 3GS or Palm Pre.

The screen is well set for touch input, with each icon well sized for a finger. And it needs to be, as to make a choice on any element of the screen you need to click down, which as we said before can be a little disconcerting.

And try as we might, we can't see ourselves ever becoming fans of the SurePress technology. Essentially, it's hard to see the point of it – RIM clearly realised that its customers crave a QWERTY keyboard or similar, so it tried to mimic the sensation of pressing buttons.

BlackBerry storm 2

But the difference is that touchscreens are quickly becoming mainstream and their text input understood, and we'd have to question why it's necessary to include an extra level of input into the whole affair.

We're not saying the SurePress doesn't work, but it does get a bit tiresome to use over and over again. Also, sometimes the OS can slow down slightly, and when this happens all the buttons will lock, meaning you can't do anything until the system has fixed the momentary issue.

The difference between the BlackBerry OS and other systems is that each screen is fairly minimal, with further information options activated by hitting the menu button.

This is a nice touch, as elements like messaging or contacts aren't cluttered up with extra icons to expand the selection.

BlackBerry storm 2

Overall, we're impressed with the BB OS 5.0 interface, and especially the way it's been implemented on the Storm 2. Very rarely could we find a time when the phone would slow down or lag in a noticeable way, and most things popped up the second we asked them too, which is a real bonus in a smartphone.

It could all do with being a bit less convoluted, but mobile phone ecosystems are built on evolution rather than revolution – RIM wouldn't want to completely re-invent the BB OS just to make it seem more 'iPhone-like'.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Service ProviderVodafone
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported16 GB
Built-in Memory2 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Product FamilyStorm2
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution3.2 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand Namevodafone
Battery Talk Time6 Hour
Product Model9520
Screen Size8.3 cm (3.3")
Screen Resolution480 x 360
Weight (Approximate)160 g
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height112.5 mm
Width62 mm
Depth13.9 mm
Battery Standby Time280 Hour
ManufacturerVodafone Group
Product NameBlackBerry Storm2 9520 Smartphone (Locked)
Product LineStorm2
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer
Manufacturer Part Number67750
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.vodafone.com
Marketing Information

Love the big picture with the BlackBerry Storm2 9520 smartphone. Stay in touch using next generation SurePress technology. Connect quickly on a 3G network, and just about anywhere with Wi-Fi capabilities.