Talking of typing, the Storm offers two forms of text input. With the device held in portrait mode, you’re presented with BlackBerry’s excellent SureType system, which is a bit like T9 on steroids. SureType was first seen on the BlackBerry 7100, and has just got better over the years; so much so that I can type pretty much flawlessly at speed, using it. However, if you simply can’t get on with SureType, you can switch to a landscape orientation, where you’ll be greeted with a full QWERTY keyboard – and even Andy had to admit that typing on the Storm using this method was pretty good.
However, the click screen isn’t perfect, and you need to be very careful where you’re clicking. When I first started using the Storm I found that whenever I tried to click an option or link, I ended up actually clicking the option directly below it. Basically, as I was pressing I was rolling my thumb downwards and clicking the wrong selection. Initially I found this incredibly frustrating, but I eventually started to click just above the link, which resulted in the right option being selected. I now do this without thinking when using the Storm, so if you encounter the same issue, persevere and you’ll find that you naturally overcome the problem. I dare say that if I wasn’t so used to using an iPhone I may not have encountered this issue in the first place.
Putting the click screen to one side, this is also a multi-touch screen, which means that it has a few neat tricks up its sleeve – one being very simple copy and paste functionality. If you want to copy a chunk of text from an email, to say, an text message, you simply touch the screen at the beginning of the text and again at the end – the text will then be highlighted. Now you just press the Menu button and select the Copy option, then when you want to insert the text just press the Menu button again and select the Paste option. Take note Apple!
You can of course scroll through web pages and menus, but there’s no sense of inertia like there is on the iPhone. This makes the whole process seem somewhat stunted and frankly disappointing. That said, this is clearly a software issue, because if you fire up a specific application, like Vodafone’s music store, you can scroll through selections with a level of inertia that’s every bit as good as on the iPhone. Come on RIM, it can’t be that hard to inject a bit of inertia into the menus, or in fact the otherwise excellent browser.
Talking of the browser, it really is very good and has no problem rendering complex pages like TrustedReviews. Interestingly you can click to zoom into a page or double tap, iPhone style. Column mode is still there, and as useful as ever, forcing the text to fill the entire width of the screen at the largest possible font, for ease of reading. As already mentioned, the click screen really does save you a lot of accidental link selection, something that even the iPhone falls foul of quite frequently.