For New York Times BlackBerry Storm is a Dud

27 Comments

Looks like for once I am in agreement with The New York Times gadget columnist David Pogue, who eviscerated the new Blackberry Storm device in his review published earlier today.

“But I’ve got a better name for it: the BlackBerry Dud.
The first sign of trouble was the concept: a touchscreen BlackBerry. That’s right — in its zeal to cash in on some of that iPhone touch screen mania, R.I.M. has created a BlackBerry without a physical keyboard. Hello? Isn’t the thumb keyboard the defining feature of a BlackBerry? A BlackBerry without a keyboard is like an iPod without a scroll wheel. A Prius with terrible mileage. Cracker Jack without a prize inside. ( via The New York Times)

I had pretty much the same sentiments, though I wasn’t quite as colorful. Many who have used the Storm’s touch keyboard have been disappointed by it. Others, have been turned off by its lack of WiFi support.

27 Comments

Rich Golek

I gave my wife a BB Storm BB9530T for use in her business, and regret it. It crashed twice, the dowloaded desktop software for sync is full of bugs (using Windows Vista), calls drop regularly, she lost hundreds of client phone numbers from memory, the media card will not load to the PC from the Blackbery. etc. This is pure garbage; I have been an EE for 37years, never saw trash like this.

Ellen Bergh

We had these Blackberry Storms for 3 months and it was sheer hell. Calls were repeatedly dropped, and people who called us complained they could not hear us , the we broke up constantly. We had left ATT and wanted something “better”, dh workmates in SD boasted about the Storm but we were now living part time in our motorhome and Verizon doesnt function well in RV or at least this BB phone. Dh took phone in for adjustment but little improvement. Finally we cut our losses and returned to ATT and he got an I phone, I chose a Samsung – I dont want duplication of my email on a phone thank you. Everyone says now they can hear us!!!. We regret having bought the hyoe about the BB and the arcane secret society method of access your acct on line with Verizon Plueeze. Give me the Easy Button and rollover minutes. BTW that data plan change will clean your wallet out quick. Thumbs down on Verizon and the BB

fl_jones

Network covereage in a motorhome? AT&T and VZW both have problems switching you from one cell to another. If you’re on the fringe of a reception range you could do one of two things, buy a $250 cell signal booster (one that does all networks) and pop it on the roof to increase your signal strength by a good 5 miles from a single network entry point or move your motorhome closer to the network and get OUT OF THE WOODS.
People who live on their boats and drive 12 miles off shore expect to get service too, but that’s simply not the way either AT&T or VZW work, these things aren’t SATELLITE phones.
Unless you are a gamer or your primary use of the phone is calls, text messages and emails and you like Apple applications like iPhoto and iTunes, the iPhone is not a great mobile professional tool.
Using the Storm you can GPS your way around places similar to using a Garmin or TOMTOM device, don’t get lost?, you can use either Google Maps or VZWNavigator to get you somewhere in town.
If you want an iPhone then get an iPhone, if you want a multi-talented business tool then get a BB and choose wisely or you’ll be paying the $175+ cancellation fee from either service.

Axeman RBS

Got a storm 2 months ago – used it for 3 weeks. put it back in box & switched back to my pearl. Its rubbish:
Slow
Too bulky for pocket
Hard to type
crap battery life
Software crashes
missed calls
Touchscreen is a gimmick

Devin

The iphone can’t copy and paste, nor can it run more than one app at once… a true smartphone has had these functions for at least five years.

I’ve been using a bb storm for about a month now, I hated it at first, after week one i had the thing mastered, sure there is going to be a learning curve for going from physical keyboard to virtual, but i have to say I love the virtual keyboard now. it gives you so much more viewing area, and the clickable touchscreen is brilliant!

also to the att rep, why would someone be looking to buy a storm from you, you don’t even have them? and as you can tell this nyt collumn was written in a fit of anger, why i don’t know but its not even at all close to factual information. just look a few posts up. tell me, does the i phone have a scroll wheel? then according to nyt its a POS. no questions asked.

iphones are great and all but i need a phone that functions for more than an mp3 player and cell phone, a phone that i can truly email on, truly edit a document on. a phone i can copy and paste some tex,t switch between apps without losing my work and all WHILE listening to the newestbayside cd. that’s a REAL phone.

Loving my bb storm
–Devin

Jesse

All these people comparing the BB to the iPhone.. THERE IS NO COMPARISON… The iPhone has the edge on any phone… and Apple did it a year before anyone else… So for the WANNA-BE’s out there, keep trying. Best is, I’m an AT&T Sales Rep, and all I have to say when someone brings up the storm is “Did you read the NY Times review on the BB Storm?”.. and the iPhone sale is finalized. I must say though, it’s amazing how right on the columnist is.

Scot

” A BlackBerry without a keyboard is like an iPod without a scroll wheel.”

So what does that make the iPhone, iPod touch and iPod shuffle? None of those have scroll wheels. I don’t see BB “cashing in” on the success of the iPhone as much as experimenting in a trend that might point to the future of multi-media based devices.

Brotha' Joe

The Storm is not a BlackBerry, but instead a BlackBerry is the Storm. R.I.M has been coming out with software updates, and I’m sure they are working hard and dillagently to get all the bugs fixed. As for me, the only thing I’m concerned with is the spaces in-between the buttons on the phone. This could lead to some dust particles getting in there, and possibly damaging the phone. But I see why their there; to allow the clicking feature of this phone to work properlly.

David

The lack of WiFi may not be a big deal in cities like NYC or LA. It becomes a major problem if you leave those high coverage areas, tho. I’ve been with Verizon for nearly ten years, and I have serious connection issues when I visit family in West Texas or vacation in the Rockies. I wouldn’t be connected at all if it weren’t for WiFi in those areas. This is a serious issue for RIM if they are trying to compete with the iPhone. (And if they aren’t, then why release this immature handheld for the holidays?) Even worse, I work in a very large building where nobody gets a decent signal from any provider. Our Enterprise handhelds MUST have WiFi capability.

I agree with many of the navigation/OS issues, but I think they will be resolved over time. But we need to kill this meme of “EVDO is a WiFi replacement”. That might be acceptable to the coffee shop contingent, but not for the majority of smartphone users.

Black Barack

The storm is for losers. The bold is a much better phone. the iPhone is the gold standard.

Charlie Uniman

I’m usually four-square (sp?) behind Pogue’s tech views. But, with the BBerry Storm, I’ve got to disagree. The click-alble screen is a brilliant way to increase virtual keyboard typing accuracy. Sure, it takes getting used to, but I find that, as a touch typist, it hardly slows me down; in fact, as just stated, in gives me a great deal more confidence that I’m hitting the right keys than does my iPhone 3G. This is a biggie for me because I’m a user of email and texting all day long.

Sluggish? Not at all. Sure, the switch from portrait to landscape can sometimes be buggy; no real problem here. For me, apps launch quickly and the device is very responsive. Makes me wonder if Pogue was using a pre-production device.

Pluses? Love surfing the Web in landscape mode on the bright and sharp screen. Scrolling is smooth – much better than the Instinct by Samsung. No, not as good as the iPhone’s scrolling and I do miss the momentum scrolling feature on the iPhone, but I’m confident RIM will fix this.

Wifi? With Verizon’s excellent EVDO network speeds, no problemo for me (at least here in NYC).

Being able to read and edit Word and Excel documents, get stereo Bluetooth and cut/paste – just GREAT. All in all, a wonderful first effort for a touchscreen by RIM>

Don

This is such a stupid commentary by yourself and by The New York Times. Maybe the Storm isn’t a Blackberry product as Blackberrys have been defined. But what about the Storm as a stand-alone product, forgetting that it’s a Blackberry?

Jarvis Again

I’m hearing a lot of complaints about the blackberry storm. I was able to get my hands on this device the first day of its release. Initially I thought I made a big mistake after my first experiences with this device and I was also highly skeptical since it did not have WI-FI capability. I even remember telling my wife of my plans to return the darn thing, however we have now purchased a second storm for her use.

The first thing I had problems with was the screen clicking which took a bit of getting used to. After a lengthy IM chat I was convinced that this technology out shines any other solution on the market. Once I became confident in clicking the screen I was sold. The main problem I have is the convenience keys on the side of the storm. They are easily pressed when typing or using it with one hand and will launch the camera or voice dialing by default once pressed. However you have the option of setting these keys to do nothing and that’s what I did. Navigation of the GUI on the storm is a pure delight in that I do not even need to use the convenience keys at all. The fix for this is easy. Rim just needs to add a delayed time option for these keys so that they will not initiate a command for a set amount of time, say 4 seconds.

I have not been able to master selecting text for the copy and past feature which I may be incorrectly using.

Momentum scrolling is the other major problem with this phone it can be tedious scrolling long web pages. I am sure RIM will come up with a solution for this. I love how people forget that this is rims first touchscreen phone unlike HTC who has years of touch screen experience and apple who is now on the second version of its Iphone. Once you grasp the understanding of the screen touch/click screen you get the feel similar to double clicking mouse. Imaging first touching the mouse button then clicking to get the same effect of double clicking. There is no other device on the market like the storm so we are all unfamiliar with the screen function in the beginning. Also there are fixes to the touch sensitivity in options/Screen/Keybord. If you enlarge your fonts the menu spacing becomes larger and thus gives you more accuracy when touching.

As far as wi-fi is concerned, I have broadband connection speeds everywhere except in last mile rural areas on the road. I highly doubt there are any wi-fi hot spots in these areas either. People complaining about wi-fi are living a fantasy of the ability to one day use voip over wifi hotspots with consistency. If you know anything about IP networks you know the variables of voip over wifi are so enumerable that it makes voip over wi-fi almost useless unless every access point you use have the same configurations. Further more security is an issue for many business users and voip over wi-fi just wont cut it.

What is feasible though is the consistency that voip over 3G networks will bring. Most people don’t realize that voip over licensed 3G networks is where things are headed. Wi-fi would be nice when traveling outside the US but I don’t know of a single voip provider that provides free international long distance either. FYI when traveling abroad on business or leisure its still a good a idea to have a laptop with wi-fi connectivity. I complained about the lack of wi-fi at first but I have now seen the light.

What is awesome about this phone is it hands down kicks butt on the Iphone and the G1 in features.
Stereo bluetooth anyone? How about not being tied and forced to use GOOGLE! How about using a back up battery
with that Iphone? What about license agreements that let Google or Apple remotely disable applications on your phone?
The storm has silky smooth video. I have Opera Mini installed on my storm and it works in touch only mode with no need for clicking the screen. This is probably the most flexible hand held on the market both now and forward looking.

If you want a toy get a g1 or a iphone. If you are serious about getting things done on both a business and pleasure level nothing compares unless you are using a laptop.

Shirish Agarwal

My last 4 phones have been Blackberries and I must admit that lack of WiFi is a major turnoff. The virtual keyboard aspect is just about getting used to it- give it 2-3 years and probably QWERTY (and conventional) keyboards will be obsolete, so its all a matter of getting used to.

fred

RIM has decided to compete with apple by pretending they don’t exist. The RIM GPS is disabled by Verizon and they charge you a monthly fee to “provision” your phone (take the monkey-wrench out).

I was sold a phone that could work as a tethered modem. It does not work on OS X, which is the most robust and stable popular OS. I could not get anyone at verizon or RIM to even admit to being hard at work…or even an assurance that anyone would ever work on fixing it; nullifying my bait-n-switch feelings. Syncing between the mac and the Blackberry Curve is also impossible and leads to myriad crashes and problems (on the blackberry, while the mac OS hums along with nary a glitch)

fl_jones

Sorry Fred, you couldn’t be more wrong although you’re partially right.
Tethering is a leaching process where you piggyback on a network connection to as if you didn’t exist. While I agree it would be nice to go back to the old days when Service Providers didn’t know we were doing this, in today’s comm integrated world we now have to pay a small fee to allow the same feature as a separate EVDO wireless card on our computer.
I have a MBP MAC w OS X and have had no problem configuring the BBS as a USB or tethered modem to use the network. Have been doing so since getting my BBS Nov 22, 2008.
You should get the Sync software for the MAC since RIM was still in the process of getting use to MAC users being professionals. Now they have a version that works snappy!

Shak

The virtual keyboard is genius!! I personally did not want to purchase a touch-phone because of the lack of a real keyboard but I would definitely get myself a BB Storm now.

-Shak

Stan

My guess is most of these reviews were written by RIM employees.. I tried the phone out the other day. Can’t begin to tell you how much I hate this phone. Fix the bugs and you will still have a dud…Navigation is an absolute joke. RIM has about 2 to 3 solid years of work to get this thing in shape – too bad google and apple will be that much further along…bye bye RIM

Adam

I don’t own a BB Storm, but I’m seriously considering purchasing one. I played with one for a while at a VZW store yesterday and the first thing I noticed is that I can type on this thing pretty easily, UNLIKE an iPhone.

-Adam

zxs

iPod touch doesn’t have a a scroll wheel. NYT has a moron for columnist.

Valace2

Why don’t you just put up in large bold letters “THIS IS NOT AN IPHONE”. That would get your point across, it sucks because it is not the Iphone. As for Wifi, I will wave at you as I drive by the Mcdonalds you stopped at to leach off their WIFI. Then I will laugh when I realize I don’t have to stop at a hotspot to know I have a decent connection.

Mitch

To borrow from the quoted metaphor…
Saying that a virtual keyboard is not a keyboard is like saying a digital speedometer is not a speedometer. If the biggest complaint about a cutting edge device is that it cuts too much edge then I think people are basically spiting criticism for the sake of getting attention.

Mari

wow, that was perfectly said (especially the cutting edge part lol).

Rob

im afraid that i must disagree. i have the storm and it works great for me. its faster than my iphone 3g and has a much better camera and battery life. i really like the suretype and if you don’t then it can be disabled in the settings to work like a normal touch screen. it has a few bugs, nothing too major and nothing that can’t be fixed with a firmware update (RIM said it would be out next week). the iphone is cool but i am prefering the storm for its better call quality and email.

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