BlackBerry Storm 9530, Tested and Burned In

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As we hinted up on earlier, the BlackBerry Storm uses a clickable touchscreen display. The phone also has a built-in accelerometer that automatically rotates the screen’s display whenever you turn the device on either side. Unlike some phones which have very limited accelerometer functionality, the Storm's accelerometer will rotate the display in most applications.

The clickable touchscreen display takes a little getting use to, especially if you’re accustomed to using a traditional touchscreen device. First, you must touch the area of the screen to select a command or button. Then, once the command is highlighted, you must press the screen to invoke the command. (You don’t have to lift your finger from the screen once an item is selected, and the control eventually becomes very quick and automatic.)  This control method works pretty well whenever there is a large icon, but in instances where there’s a long list of clickable items (such as in the BlackBerry Help screen), it’s easy to select an item and then accidentally change the selection before you click the screen. I have relatively small hands, but even so, there were also plenty of times where my hand and fingers would block my view of what was selected.

When browsing the Internet, touching the screen quickly (touch, not click) will zoom in on a page. To zoom out, you can press the escape hardware button. Zooming in is very helpful for reading text as well as when attempting to select clickable items.

The Storm’s Home screen has on-screen buttons for easy access to Messages, SMS and MMS, Contacts, Calendar, Browser, VZ Navigator, and Visual Voicemail. By pressing the menu key, you’ll see a scrollable list of icons which include links to various applications, settings, phone functions, and more. One of the icons found in the phone’s menu is a link to the Application Center. Although not a full-blown app store, the Application Center does provide access to a handful of applications that you can download and install on the phone.

        

To scroll in any scrollable screen such as a webpage, email, or document, you simply flick your finger across the screen just as you would with the iPhone or another touchscreen device with similar functionality.

Whenever you need to type, the Storm displays one of three keyboards automatically based on the field you are typing in and the orientation of your device. In portrait mode, you can switch between the SureType technology keyboard and the multi-tap keyboard. Both keyboards combine more than one letter on each key. The SureType keyboard combines two letters onto each key and uses a QWERTY layout. SureType will predict words as you type them. As its name implies, you must tap the multi-tap keyboard multiple times to type a desired letter. For example, to type the second letter on the key, you must press that key twice. In landscape mode, the phone will display a full keyboard that uses a traditional QWERTY layout with one letter on each key.


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