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As on the previous Storm, this handset uses BlackBerry’s SurePress technology. This basically means that the surface of the screen is clickable like a button. In practice it works as follows: you can select an area or item on the screen by placing your finger on it, but the phone doesn’t action the command unless you physically press down on the screen. BlackBerry has done a lot of work to make the new screen more responsive, as it now uses four ‘click’ sensors rather than the single one that was employed on the original handset. Also the clickable part of the display is now locked in place when the handset is in standby or turned off, so it doesn’t gather as much dust around the edges as before.
However, it goes without saying that if you’ve used other touchscreen smartphones this clickable display still takes some getting used to and, to be honest, even after using the phone for a week, we still didn’t like it. Firstly, the clicking sensation just feels wrong to us when applied to a touchscreen and secondly it slowed down our typing. For example, we found we could tap out an email faster on an iPhone than we could on the Storm2, which is not great considering the BlackBerry brand is synonymous with messaging. Still, some people may get along with it better than we do, as it does feel slightly more like a physical keyboard than just tapping on a standard touchscreen.
As well as the updated screen, the new model also seems a good deal faster than the original. As far as we know the Storm2 uses the same processor, but BlackBerry has doubled the phone’s main memory from 128MB to 256MB and this seems to have given the OS a bit more room to stretch its legs. For example, it’s less prone to slowdowns and pages are notably faster to load and render in the browser. Along with the increase in main memory, the flash memory used for document storage has also been doubled from 1GB or 2GB.
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