BlackBerry Storm 9530, Tested and Burned In

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At first glance, the BlackBerry Storm is likely to remind you of other BlackBerry devices, but without a QWERTY keyboard. The front of the device has a high-gloss finish that looks good, but tends to attract fingerprints. Even the four hardware buttons (send, menu, escape, and end/power) at the base of the display tend to show some fingerprints. Thankfully, we didn’t notice a degradation in performance when the screen was fingerprinted.

The BlackBerry Storm is a bit deceiving in terms of its looks: When we first picked up the BlackBerry Storm, we thought it had a slightly larger footprint than Apple’s 3G iPhone. Upon closer comparison, however, the Storm is actually a tenth of an inch shorter than the iPhone and has the same width. The difference is that the Storm is a tad thicker than the iPhone and is also a bit heavier (5.47 ounces compared to the iPhone’s weight of 4.7 ounces). These graphics from sizeasy help put things in perspective (Black represents the Storm, purple represents the iPhone):


Above the display on the top side of the device, you’ll find the lock key and the mute key. These keys are flush with the top of the Storm and are denoted with grey icons. Because the keys are flush and don’t have large, white icons to call attention to them, they’re hardly noticeable, as you can see in the picture below. The fact that these buttons may be easily overlooked is not necessarily a bad thing, though, since users tend to like sleek, clean designs.

The sides of the device and part of the back have a soft touch black finish. On the left side of the Storm, you’ll find the left convenience key which is used to open the voice dialing application. There’s also a microUSB port for charging the device and connecting it to a computer. The right side of the device contains the phone’s 3.5mm headphone jack along with volume keys and a right convenience key which opens the camera, initiates auto focus, and takes a picture. A 3.5mm headphone jack isn’t standard on all phones these days (for instance, the HTC Touch Diamond uses USB headphones or an adapter). Consumers who intend to use the phone as a portable media player (and those who are picky about which headphones they use) will definitely appreciate Research in Motion’s inclusion of the 3.5mm jack.

left side

right side

The majority of the back side of the device is consumed by the brushed metal battery cover. When removed, you’ll see the phone’s SIM card and microSD memory card slot. Above the battery cover, you’ll find the phone’s 3.2MP autofocus camera lens. Below the battery cover is the phone’s speaker. There are little feet on either side of the speaker so that the it isn’t muffled if you set the phone on a desk, for instance.

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