The battery life isn’t the only disappointment either. The Storm has an accelerometer built into it, so the screen automatically switches orientation as you twist the device. And unlike the iPhone you can switch orientation no matter what you’re doing – so if you’d rather navigate the basic BlackBerry OS in landscape, you can. Unfortunately the accelerometer is temperamental to say the very least. Sometimes the orientation simply refuses to switch, while other times it switches when you don’t want it to.
There’s one other issue with the Storm, and that’s its lack of Wi-Fi. OK, I’ll admit that Vodafone’s HSDPA service is pretty damn good, but in the TrustedReviews offices for example, the best I could manage was GPRS, so I would have preferred for the Storm to switch to Wi-Fi for data while at the office. The lack of Wi-Fi is compounded if you plan on using your Storm abroad, where roaming data charges can be crippling – at least if you use a Wi-Fi hotspot you know exactly how much it’s costing you, but that option is off the menu with the Storm.
The Storm is available exclusively on Vodafone, which means that you get arguably the best HSDPA network in the UK. If you go for a £40 per month 18 month contract you can get the Storm for free and get unlimited email and texts, along with 600 minutes of calls. That’s a similar package to the £35 iPhone tariff, but of course you’re paying almost £100 for the handset on that tariff, so the Storm measures up pretty well.
Despite all the issues and niggles, as I’ve already mentioned, I really like the Storm. This is a very good handset, and probably the closest that RIM has ever come to a true crossover device. But the Storm is just a whisker away from being a truly great handset, and one that really could have given the iPhone a real run for its money. As it stands, if you lust after the usability of the iPhone but need the functionality of the BlackBerry email client, the Storm will make you a very happy bunny.
RIM should be very proud of the BlackBerry Storm. Considering that this is the first touchscreen BlackBerry, it’s a surprisingly accomplished device, and one that’s often a joy to use. But there are issues with the Storm like the lack of Wi-Fi, temperamental accelerometer and disappointing battery life that take off some of the shine. Despite these problems, the Storm is still the closest real competitor to Apple’s iPhone seen to date. Couple that with the legendary BlackBerry email client and I can see the Storm doing very well indeed.
Score in detail