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BlackBerry Storm2 9520 review

Niall Magennis



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BlackBerry Storm2 9520
  • BlackBerry Storm2 9520
  • BlackBerry Storm2 9520
  • BlackBerry Storm2 9520
  • BlackBerry Storm2 9520
  • BlackBerry Storm2 9520
  • BlackBerry Storm2 9520


Our Score:


The original Storm was BlackBerry’s first attempt at a touchscreen phone and while it wasn’t a complete disaster it didn’t quite conjure up a whirlwind of adulation either. We’ve known several Storm owners and none of them were overly complimentary about the handset’s long term performance. The main issues were down to the build quality (the side-mounted plastic buttons falling off), the bizarre decision by BlackBerry to not equip the handset with Wi-Fi and the lack of responsiveness from the SurePress screen.

The first of those two issues seem to be solved on the Storm2, but while the new SurePress screen used on this model has been greatly improved, we’re not sure it’s going to prove any more popular than the previous version.

Looks-wise the Storm2 is almost identical to the original, but there are some subtle differences here and there. For example, while the four buttons for answer, menu, back and end are still mounted on the front of the phone, they’re now integrated into the clickable part of the SurePress screen, rather than being separate to it. Also the chrome band that used to run around the outer edge of the phone has now being given a much darker finish so it blends in nicely with the glossy plastic finish that covers much of the rest of the handset (although thankfully the battery cover is still made of metal). Similarly BlackBerry has dumped the plasticky, side-mounted buttons and instead replaced them with rubberised ones that are better anchored into the chassis, which should make them much more durable in the long run.

Nevertheless, some niggles with the design remain. Despite having a 3.5mm headphone jack, we don’t like the way the jack is mounted on the side of the handset as it tends to snag when you’re taking the phone in and out of a pocket. Also, the phone feels quite thick and heavy, certainly much more so than the iPhone or Hero.

The handset runs the new BlackBerry OS v5.0, which includes a number of useful additions. One of the best of these is the updated cut and paste functionality. If you want to cut text, say from an email, and paste it into the web browser you now just have to call up the BlackBerry menu and choose Select. This places two selection tabs that you can position to mark the areas of text you want to cut. Although the system is similar to that used on the iPhone the selection tabs are much larger and more finger-friendly so they’re a good deal easier to position. There’s also updated Maps software and you can now access the clock and connections menu directly from the home screen.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


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!!!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.. :)


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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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