Blackberry 9500 Storm Smartphone

By on April 9, 2009
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Say the word Blackberry and what I think of is a QWERTY device with messaging capabilities like no other. While the latter part still holds true for RIM’s latest smartphone modeled as the 9500 or, Storm, gone is the full keyboard and the trackball that we’ve come to love- replaced by a large, clickable touch-screen. [...]

Say the word Blackberry and what I think of is a QWERTY device with messaging capabilities like no other. While the latter part still holds true for RIM’s latest smartphone modeled as the 9500 or, Storm, gone is the full keyboard and the trackball that we’ve come to love- replaced by a large, clickable touch-screen. No points for guessing which fruit company RIM is going after with their Storm which is why you’ll see the iPhone referenced several times in this article.

The Storm appears to be a quite bit shorter in length than the iPhone but just a tad bit wider and noticeably fatter. Official specs point it at 112.5mm x 62.2mm x 13.95mm with a weight of 155 grams. The iPhone 3G is listed 115.5m x 62.1m x 12.3mm and weighs 133 grams making it about 15% lighter than the Storm- a difference that is easily felt when holding both the devices. The feel and look of both these devices is great and you’d attract attention carrying either.

storm_lefttop

Storm certainly takes design cues from RIM’s recent Bold and Curve 8900 models with an all black design outlined in a silver frame. Below the large touch-screen on the front, you see four familiar keys found in all of RIM’s latest smartphones while a lone LED sits on top blinking different colors for different purposes. On the right, you have a 3.5mm jack, volume keys as well as a convenience key that is repeated on the left side along with the new micro USB “B” connector. The top has buttons for muting the device as well as locking it while the back features the 3.2 auto-focus camera found in the Curve 8900 as well as a weighty battery cover the slides open to reveal the battery, your SIM card slot and a micro-SD slot.

storm_rightbot

Hardware wise, RIM has almost all its bases covered and with the exception of Wi-Fi, you will find the Storm is up-to-date. Wi-Fi isn’t necessarily a requirement on Blackberry devices in this region since as most people here have an unlimited data plan. That, along with HSDPA/3G is fast enough for most of the things you’d use the device for. The Storm comes with 128MB of RAM as well as 1GB built-in storage for your personal files. GPS is built-in and so is Bluetooth 2.0 with A2DP support. The 624MHz Processor generally does a good job of keeping up with the device however the Storm is not as fast as the Bold which is no surprise as it has to power a really large LCD screen.

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About

Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

Comments
  • http://www.tbreak.com/authors/5/Osama-Rashid Osama

    I used it…hated it. I can’t stand the whole touchscreen/button idea. If they wanted to make an iPhone beater, they should’ve aimed higher…way higher.

  • http://epicapplications.com BlackberryStormApps

    I totally agree with the editing feature in Black Berry Storm. I’ve been struggling with the text feature of Iphone especially if you are used to Nokia or Sony Ericsson brands.Wait till you see the integrated and WiFi feature and the improve SureTouch feature. These new features will definitely redeem Storm.

    Btw, I just want to share this information I found which is definitely useful for Storm users. There is an All Blackberry Storm Apps that do not require any compatibility mode. It has a Cool Call Blocker application, useful tip calculator, Typing speed application, a bartender app that tells you what drinks you can make based on what you have in your kitchen and even a super-quick and bright flashlight app!

    This is a must have for Blackberry Storm fanatics!

  • Pingback: Blackberry Storm @ t-break - TestFreaks Forum - Geeky discussions about Consumer Electronics

  • Jodiuh

    If you’re not going to bother updating firmware, why should we place merit to anything in your review?

  • Jodiuh

    Maybe I’m sleepy, but I don’t see anything on the 2nd page about firmware. Did you at least get a chance to loosen the torx screws and put some paper behind the battery door?

    I went right from .109 to .122 and there’s quite a difference. From 25MB free to 40MB and I can finally leave Opera mini running in the background wo/ the GUI having a heart attack. Sadly, it still goes back down to 25MB later in the day and becomes crappy again. Quickpull’s scheduled every night @ 4am, so that’s a work around for now.

    .122′s really gotten the GUI where it should have been in the beginning though. Here’s to hoping for .200 instead of a Storm 2. :(

  • http://www.tbreak.com Abbas Jaffar Ali

    Sorry- my bad. Its now on the first paragraph of the third page- last line. Must’ve been moved when the review was edited.

    It was a loaner unit from RIM so I didnt want to open it up- in case something messed up. But what exactly does putting paper behind the battery door do? My back cover is firm in its place if thats what it helps with.

    Storm 2 rumours have certainly been making the rounds. Lets hope RIM reads reviews and comments on the Storm and makes it out to what it should be

  • Jodiuh

    There are 2 torx 6 screws in the middle (left and right) behind the battery cover. The right screw’s covered w/ a red sticker (water damage revealer?), but it’s removed easily w/ a push pin or small needle. You can’t even tell I removed it. But be careful, my bro ripped his. :D

    From there, you can loosen 1 or both ever so slightly and play w/ them to get the right amount of tension on the screen. Once you’ve tweaked it to your liking, it will not longer “stick” and should press down 2-3x easier than before w/ much faster rebound.

    By placing a felt/plastic button or slim paper behind the battery door and centered behind the screen, you reduce the total travel time. Now instead of a PRESS, it’s a quick tap.

    Combined and after some practice, typing on this phone became a true joy to use. I’m getting very fast and accurate on the portrait QWERTY and the landscape keyboard gets used when I want to relax and chill type.

    The current .122 has increased the speed of the GUI tremendously. However, it still leaks memory like a champ. That may well be due to the weatherbug or one of the many crazy apps installed, but quickpull sort of fixes that. Every night, it does a reboot and gets me back up to speed.

    Battery life on the thing impresses me the most. I know a lot of users complain about the G1 and the iphone’s not a warrior either. But I can last 1 to 4 days depending on how hard I use. it. Average is about 2 and that’s using GPS on occasion, 30-40 emails a day, 30 minutes of phone, and a decent amount of browsing.

    Here’s a good illustration and guide for modding the screen which BB should have done from the start IMO:

    http://www.hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1033783056&postcount=42

    And the Storm 2 better come w/ an “upgrade” offer to Storm 1 users if it comes out sooner than a couple years…

  • Cool

    I am not happy with Rim Blackberry at all! I have to dispose my Iphone because of Storm Blackberry with the aimed that it’s going to have all the features i needed compared to Iphone.. they should try to correct that as soon.

  • iPhone Lover

    The Storm has got to be the worst phone I ever used. The software is slow and feels very arkward. The screen may be crystal clear but the icons and color scheme is horrible. The web browser sucks you can’t browse any regular website with it. The video playback is slow to start and the controls are jerky. I would go on but this would take all day.

  • Reggaeluvr

    Blackberry Storm!!! What a turd!!! I wanted to take it back the 2nd day i had it. Can’t upgrade because you need a Windows system running internet explorer. Who the hell uses internet explorer anymore?? Phone sucks!! I don’t care what it cost, i’m getting a iPhone.

  • http://www.tbreak.com Abbas Jaffar Ali

    Jodiuh: If you read the second page of the review it states that I used the latest official firmware available at that time which was .113

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