Touchscreen smartphones are certainly a big hit right now. If you consider Apple’s ever-popular iPhone, HTC’s well-received Touch lineup, and many others, touch is a high-demand feature. Manufacturers are certainly taking note of this fact. Traditionally speaking, the BlackBerry line of smartphones share a common layout with a QWERTY keyboard located beneath a standard (i.e. non-touchscreen) display.
Considering the popularity of touch, you can imagine that Research in Motion wasn’t going to hold out on creating a touchscreen device forever. As to be expected, the company received a lot of hype when it announced the first ever touchscreen BlackBerry smartphone in October of last year. But as the BlackBerry Storm 9530 officially hit the scenes late last year, it was met with mixed reviews.
We’ve been checking out Verizon Wireless’ version of this smartphone for over a month now. Instead of rehashing the same stuff that you’ve seen in other reviews, we’re going to look at this BlackBerry in terms of how it is different from other smartphones (not just other BlackBerries), and how well it will meet the needs of both business and personal users. In light of the fact that Amazon is now offering the Storm for just $99, it’s also important to consider what you’ll get for the money.
In years past, BlackBerries were most popular for business users who wanted easy access to email while on the go. As smartphones have evolved and become more widespread, however, we’re seeing more and more consumers carrying smartphones. Smartphones with touch screens have attracted the attention of many non-business users, perhaps because of the shiny interfaces they often provide.
The BlackBerry Storm’s clickable touchscreen is what sets the Storm apart from other touchscreen devices we’ve seen to date. We’ll discuss interactions with this screen more later, but it’s important to keep in mind that you must touch the screen to select a command and then press the screen to “click.” Other touchscreen devices simply require a single tap of a finger or stylus to initiate an action.
Research in Motion took its experience in producing business-centric devices and has incorporated many of the company's well-liked and well-known organizational and communication features into the BlackBerry Storm. Because you interact with the Storm in a manner that is unlike any other BlackBerry to date, the new interface affects the way the way applications look and feel. However, the changes are minor so most BlackBerry users will still feel right at home. In the end, some users will welcome the change while others may dislike the new interface. In addition to traditional business applications and features, the BlackBerry Storm also incorporates a number of consumer-friendly features, including a camera, application store, GPS receiver, and media player/manager. Read on as we discuss more about this rather interesting smartphone...