3 Weeks with the BlackBerry Storm

Friday marks the third week I’ve had this phone. Only 1 week left before I can return it, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be doing that.

Since I’ve gotten the phone and posted my initial thoughts I’ve upgraded the firmware to (up from 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.

Categorized as Mobile

By Don

Lead bottle washer at donburnside.com, host at whiteroofradio.com and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.


  1. don’t even try to compare the part about too many buttons to make a call..on the (x) phone it’s like 10 steps. But, it’s a little computer so I like it.

  2. On the ATP, the vibrate is so loud that sometimes when I’m making a call, if I receive an email, the microphone pics up the vibrate, and the person on the other line says “what the hell was that?” Happened today. Yet for some reason when it’s in my pocket I can’t feel it.

  3. @Josh time for tighter pants! Lycra Baby!

    I’ve had the ATP for a week now and it is also lacking in some areas: Can’t forward SMS, can’t invite attendees in Calendar, can’t MMS. Most irritating is the lack of decent apps available in the South African App Store. Oh, and the camera? Sucks dognuts.

    What is love about the ATP is it’s intergration with my Mac, MobileMe, MS Exchange, Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. Almost don’t need my Macbook for day to day stuffs.

  4. @Timmee, I don’t know if you have an MMS implementation in SA, but in the states we get “viewmymessage.com”, which blows worse than not having MMS. I get a username and password that I have to write down, so I can go to the site, put it in, and assuming that the Flash interface doesn’t decide to not work, I get to look at a postage stamp sized version of what was sent to me. And no option to save it.

    But if you have Toy Camera in your appstore, check it out, it applies little filters to the camera that really improve it.

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