Over the years, Research in Motion’s (R.I.M.’s) BlackBerry cell phone has developed a wide following, especially of business users. The BlackBerry keyboard is one of the most loved features of the BlackBerry. Now, however, under competitive pressure from the iPhone and other touch screen cell phones, RIM has decided to create a version of the BlackBerry with a touch screen rather than their traditional BlackBerry keypad. They also have included additional special features. The result is the BlackBerry Storm. We took a look to see how if the Storm could become a formable opponent for the iPhone and/or a working force in the BlackBerry corral.

As shown in Figure 1, the BlackBerry Storm comes in a typical black BlackBerry cardboard box.

BlackBerry Storm ReviewFigure 1: The BlackBerry Storm box.

The Storm comes well equipped with a wall charger, USB cable, ear buds with in-line control, ear bud covers, and two alternative power adapters. It also comes with a BlackBerry User Tools Software disk, a Global Support Booklet, and Verizon BlackBerry Storm 9530 Software. In addition, you also get expandable storage; an eight-gigabyte memory card (not shown) also comes in the box.

BlackBerry Storm ReviewFigure 2: What’s in the box.

Physically, the Storm is attractive but hardly svelte. While it’s about the same length and width as the iPhone, at 5.46 oz (155 g) and 4.4” x 2.4” x 0.55” (11.2 x 6 x 1.4 cm). The Storm is about 15% thicker and  heavier than the iPhone. Yet, it looks sleek and feels quite substantial in the hand. As shown in Figure 3, the front of the Storm consists of the 3.25-inch wide screen which displays in 65,535 colors. The screen is surrounded by a shiny black area on the top and the bottom which slightly arches and angels giving it a graceful feel. A silver bezel then surrounds the sides of the screen and the top and bottom of the device.  Although the look and build seem excellent, we were bothered by the fact that on our review unit, you could actually see light coming through between the silver bezel on the sides of the screen and the screen itself. Although the crack was minor, in our opinion, it detracted from the overall appearance of quality.

BlackBerry Storm ReviewFigure 3: The Storm.

Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up's Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.