The screen on the Blackberry Storm is unlike anything I’ve come across in a Smartphone. It’s 3.25″ in size with a resolution of 480×360 pixels. Comparatively, the iPhone has a 3.5″ screen with a slightly lower resolution of 480×320 pixels. Both these devices have a touch screen that recognizes multi-touch and gestures however the screen [...]
The screen on the Blackberry Storm is unlike anything I’ve come across in a Smartphone. It’s 3.25″ in size with a resolution of 480×360 pixels. Comparatively, the iPhone has a 3.5″ screen with a slightly lower resolution of 480×320 pixels. Both these devices have a touch screen that recognizes multi-touch and gestures however the screen on the Storm is actually clickable. Think of it as one large button that can be pressed anywhere on the touch screen and that certainly makes things like dialog boxes and buttons feel alive.
Unfortunately, the clicks don’t feel the same way across the screen- for example, pressing on the top or bottom edges of the screen doesn’t feel like it “clicked.” I felt that I was applying more pressure around the edges than the center that gives a real nice tactile feedback. Another aspect of the screen that is not too impressive is that the touch-screen moves around a bit in its frame- so if I have my thumb on the screen and move my thumb, the screen wiggles. I’m not sure if these two “flaws” are due to design restrictions or RIM just being lazy.
The viewing angle of the screen is awesome although its only capable of showing 65,000 colors which is the same as the iPhone but a lot less than some Nokia or SE models that are capable of 250,000+ colors. Viewing the screen in the bright Dubai sun could be a bit of an exercise for your eyes but its not as bad as some other phones I’ve tested. Still, given the choice, I would take the Storm or iPhone any day as pictures and videos on both these devices look incredible. RIM bundles a Babylon AD trailer on the phone and it looked smashing. The speaker volume is also worth mentioning. The Storm has a really loud speaker which is great for multimedia playback but not so good when its your morning alarm.
The camera is also similar to the 8900 with a 3.2 Megapixel sensor and auto-focusing capabilities. Although pictures come out nice, the camera is quite slow to focus on things. It works nicely when trying to picture Burj Dubai but not your three year old that loves bouncing off the walls. Other applications bundled with the Storm like Maps and Quick Office work pretty much like they did on standard Blackberry except that the touch screen is used as an input method instead of the trackball/keyboard. One application that has been updated is the browser. Although better than previous versions of the Blackberry Browser- especially with the double tapping for zooming in etc., it still doesn’t look or work as well as the iPhone .
Navigation on the Storm is sometimes awesome however, I’ve had quite a few frustrating moments. Things like switching between messages by sliding your thumb left or right is brilliant. Sliding between pictures also works this way and it would’ve certainly been cool to move between your songs by swiping the finger as well. The problems creep up moving through a large list of things, especially since the Storm doesn’t have that “Inertia” effect of the iPhone where a quick flick lets you scroll fast. To give you an example, I get lots of emails everyday and once I found myself towards the middle of my entire list. On a regular Blackberry hitting the T key takes me back on top but on the Storm I kept sliding my finger down and down and down and down and then some more. I thought that bringing the onscreen keyboard and pressing T would do it but nope.
Another problem is the Accelometer, or its fondness of moving to Landscape mode. The device would automatically switch to Landscape every time I’d lay it on a flat surface. Picking it up would sometimes take a while or a 90 degree rotation on my part to bring it back to portrait mode. This is probably more of a Software issue that hopefully RIM will tackle in a firmware update.