Since I’ve gotten the phone and posted my initial thoughts I’ve upgraded the firmware to 18.104.22.168 (up from 22.214.171.124) and installed 3 apps. The first is WeatherBug, which is still in Beta for the Storm but working ok. The second is Viigo which is an RSS reader and a bunch of other things in 1 package, also in Beta. The third is google maps. I’ll talk more about that below.
Those apps are ok. Both act and perform like Beta apps, but I can tell they will be very cool once the final release comes out.
Otherwise, here are my thoughts about the BlackBerry Storm, so far.
The Stuff I don’t care about
I didn’t buy the phone to do any of this stuff. They are just cool bonuses. But I know you are curious, so here goes.
- The browser still sucks, but on WAP (mobile) pages it’s not too bad.
- The Map program is cool when it works. Or doesn’t take too long to redraw. Or get lost. Or crash.
- The movie player still sucks unless you are doing anything but straight video playback
- Google maps doesn’t recognize that my phone has a GPS built-in, so the best I get is 4500m from the nearest cell tower as my location.
- I’m getting pretty speedy with SureType. Way better than T9, and almost better, dare I say, then the QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode. But, I do have kinda small hands.
The Stuff that bothers me
- The USB port is on the wrong side of the phone. It’s on the left side which is fine if the phone is upside-down. This sounds weird, but honestly it messes me up.
- The vibrate ringer on this phone is horrible. It’s so weak that most of the time when the phone is in my pocket on vibrate I miss calls and messages.
- The accelerometer is still easily confused, especially while lying flat or in my pocket.
- The touch is less than responsive when the phone is placed on a flat surface. I think my phone likes to be squeezed (hugged?) when used for best performance. I’ve read a little bit of double-sided sticky foam-tape on the back fixes this.
- When I’m in a call, the phone doesn’t seem to know this so I am constantly pressing numbers or the mute button with my cheek.
- Everytime I send a message, it copies me. I haven’t figured out how to turn that off yet, but I hope to find a fix soon since this is terribly annoying.
- Battery life seems to be acceptable. Only twice did I have to put the phone on the juice before the end of the day. The first time was when I let the lad check it out for about an hour and I think he mapped from his location to Tokyo. The other time I was out of range and forgot to turn off the radio.
- Making a phone call seems to take too many steps. Should I really have to have 5 button presses to redial the last number I called? Is this normal for the BB or am I missing a step?
For the most part, this phone does exactly what I want it to do when I want it to do it. Great call quality, great messaging and very good photos.
The little things are bothing me, so I will be contacting VZ611 about them to see how much longer until there is another update.
Would I recommend this phone to anyone? Same as before. If you need a solid email/messaging phone with a good camera and a big screen, then yes. However, if you want your phone to also do everything the Apple Telephone Product does, then you should definitely go that route instead.