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BlackBerry Storm2 9520 - BlackBerry Storm2 9520

Niall Magennis

By Niall Magennis
Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score

7/10

User Score

Review Price free/subscription

As with all of BlackBerry’s line-up of handsets the messaging support on the Storm2 is exemplary. Despite being around for such a long time, there’s still nothing really to touch BlackBerry’s push email system in terms of speed of delivery, ease of use and relatively light demands on battery power. Naturally, there are a number of ways you can set up the handset to pick up email, but we used it with a Gmail account and getting this working was a piece of cake - all we had to do was start the email set-up wizard and enter the user name and password. Around 10 minutes later messages were being pushed to the phone.

In our experience, the cameras on most touchscreen phones tend to be pretty poor, but the one used here is better than we’ve come to expect. The resolution of 3.2-megapixels isn’t exactly earth shattering, but the camera does at least have autofocus as well as an LED flash to help you take pictures in low-light environments. The camera captures reasonably accurate colours, and as long as there’s a decent amount of light flooding into the sensor, images aren’t too noisy either.

The big news on the connectivity front is that BlackBerry has finally added Wi-Fi support, something that was desperately missing from the first Storm. In other areas little has changed as the handset still has quad-band and HSDPA support. In the box there’s also a software guide to using your Storm2 as a broadband modem for your laptop - something that’ll cost you a fair wad of extra cash if you want to do the same thing on the iPhone. Naturally there’s also Bluetooth 2.1 and onboard GPS.

Battery life has always been a strength of BlackBerry devices, but unfortunately the Storm2 isn’t quite on a par with Blackberry’s more traditional messaging devices. We got around two days out of it, which puts it pretty much in line with other touchscreen phones, but certainly not ahead of them. Call quality was first rate, though, so we’ve no complaints in that department.

Verdict

The Storm2 is a decent update of the original handset. However, touchscreen smartphones have moved on considerably since the Storm first appeared and the Storm2 feels more like a device that fixes faults rather than an upgrade that elevates the Storm into a position where it can really challenge competitors like the iPhone. Perhaps next time around BlackBerry needs to be less obsessed with its clickable screen and more focused on closing the gap to its rivals.

Scores In Detail

Performance
7/10
Value
8/10
Features
7/10
Design
7/10

Our Score

7/10

User Score

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NeilBolts

December 2, 2009, 10:23 pm

I've had the new storm 2 for a month or so now and I have to say I am bitterly regretting my decision. It freezes on me approximately every other day, the battery lasts a day at most, in terms of reception and making/dropping calls, my old N95 8gb was far superior. I cannot wait to get rid of it. Rubbish!!!

noTHINGface

December 3, 2009, 1:03 am

I think I'm most upset by the fact that it isn't an iPhone... Though it's cheaper to tether of course.

farki80

December 3, 2009, 3:31 am

I have to agree. The Storm and Storm2 has been a disaster to use. Everyone complains about Nokia's S60 UI, but the Blackberry UI is even way behind in both usability and flashiness.

Malderon

December 3, 2009, 8:09 am

I'm always defending my poor Storm. I really think that it just takes some getting used to. Complaining about usability is way off the mark to me, I can type much faster than on any other touchscreen keyboard (its a matter of getting the settings right), and I find the menu's etc to be very finger friendly and common sense (I'm not sure being behind in "flashiness" is such a bad thing, see TouchFlo)





Wi-Fi is the big omission for me on my Generation 1, I don't think I will be upgrading to a Storm2, I will probably be moving to android as I'm an open source fan, and think android will get more third party support but the Storm if you get the right firmware on there, and give it a bit of time then it really is a competant handset. I know alot of people had faults and signal dropping, but mines reliability and call quality have been first rate - maybe I was just lucky.





Anyway to anyone thinking of getting a smartphone on Voda, I would suggest you take the Storm2 seriously, especially if for example you need the corporate email integration.

Ed

December 3, 2009, 2:18 pm

@farki80: I have to disagree strongly that the Blackberry UI is behind in usability. It is quite simply excellent. Things are intuitively laid out, it's neat, and it's fast. S60 is still far, far behind.

Keithe6e

December 3, 2009, 2:50 pm

@noTHINGface: Though it's cheaper to tether of course.





Well, it's not any cheaper, it's not the phone that dictates tethering rates.. :)

farki80

December 4, 2009, 7:55 pm

I guess we can agree to disagree. I find Blackberry UI to be archaic as you do so with S60.

mandyearl

December 5, 2009, 12:59 am

The Blackberry GUI is way behind any mobile OS currently on the market, even none-smartphones. You only need to use the contact, calendar and messaging applications to know what I mean. It really is like using an old Word Perfect software.





The OS itself may be powerful but so it Windows Mobile. UI wise, RIM is way behind everyone - even Microsoft.

Zero

December 5, 2009, 3:46 am

When referring to far behind? Far behind who and what? Whats it not got to make it far behind? Please don't mention a Iphone

Vince

December 18, 2009, 4:26 am

I'm using a Blackberry 8310 at the moment, having previously been very anti-Blackberry. I'm converted to it - it's not full of bells and whistles but it works very well indeed and has a lot of basic features I wish any of my previous phones had.





However, I really really really really really (yes really) hate the newer UI on things like the Bold/Storm. I've had a look a few times now and it really isn't what I wanted. A truely horrible change and utterly unintuitive.





Right now a Nokia N97 + Blackberry 8310 will be the way it is for the forseeable.

Ed

December 18, 2009, 4:52 am

@Vince: Not really sure what you mean with regard the UI. I've not used any Blackberrys prior to the Bold but having had a quick look at some videos of the 8310, it appears that the new OS is just a visual revamp but functionally the same.

matt10

March 31, 2010, 11:05 pm

i havent actually got a bb storm 2 yet but am hoping to get one. I think all the bad reviews regarding it breaking are down to people not treating them properly. othyer issues are in my view one offs and i think its just damaging a good phones reputation. Some things like the surepress technology are things you have to either get use to, or just dont get the phone.

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