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Analysis: Blackberry Storm2 vs HTC Touch Pro2

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Verizon BlackBerry Storm2 vs HTC Touch Pro2The Blackberry Storm2 and the HTC Touch Pro2 are two of the most capable smartphones offered by US Carrier Verizon. But which one offers an overall better experience as a product?

The Storm2 is a high-end touchscreen phone from RIM, it is the sequel to the original Storm which produced mixed reactions. On the other end, is the HTC Touch Pro2; an HTC handset running TouchFLO on top of Windows Mobile. Both devices offer similar features such as a touchscreen, 3.2 megapixel camera, GPS, Bluetooth and 3G EV-Do. However, the Pro2 and Storm2 differ greatly in the operating system and form factor. The question becomes: which one offers a more solid experience?

The form factor is very different on both devices. The Blackberry Storm2 is a metal-built single unit with no movable parts besides the clickable touchscreen, a screen that the user pinches to select and actually clicks to confirm.

The Storm2 is very well built, it is pure classical Blackberry quality: all metal, but for some small parts where plastic is used. It has a glass capacitive touchscreen that responds without lag to commands, that together with the clickable touchscreen offers a unique experience.

The HTC Touch Pro2 is very different on every aspect. The Pro2 is a slider-tilt phone: it first slides to reveal a full QWERTY keyboard, and then the screen alone tilts upward to form a laptop-like form factor. The mechanism is solid, the screen doesn’t wobble like on many high-end handsets. The smartphone feels, once again, solid, but when compared to the Blackberry Storm2, one can see it is not an equal contendant. The almost-full metallic Storm 2 is just better built than the Pro2.

These handsets have another aspect that is very different on either of them. The Blackberry Storm2 has a capacitive screen while the Pro2 has a resistive screen. This means that the Storm2’s screen senses the human finger (it won’t react to pointy objects), while the Pro2 screen responds to pressure and everything will activate it.

In theory, both options seem good, but in practice, the Storm2’s capacitive screen is miles ahead of the Pro2’s resistive screen. Having a capacitive screen means that it will respond faster and to the slightest touch, the Pro2’s screen requires more pressure (it won’t respond to pinches not strong enough to activate it) and will not always act as fast and accurate as the capacitive screen from the BlackBerry.

Verizon BlackBerry Storm2 vs HTC Touch Pro2

Other aspect in the design of both handsets is the ergonomic factor. The Blackberry Storm2 is a slim handset, it fits well in the hand both in portrait and landscape mode. The HTC Touch Pro2 is very bulky, it is a big handset that weighs significantly more than the Storm2, even though it does not have metallic parts.

The text inputting methods on either device are part of the ergonomics category, after all, both are messaging devices and typing should be as comfortable as possible. The reason for the Pro2 to be a bulky phone is its great QWERTY keyboard. The Pro2 packs a very comfortable QWERTY keyboard with a dedicated numeric row; for typing long documents, the HTC is an absolute winner. The Storm2 on the other hand, has an on-screen virtual keyboard that works pretty well with the clickable SurePress Blackberry Technology.

Typing on the Storm2 is a tedious thing to do the first couple of days, however, after few days one can notice that typing comes natural, the click-screen makes it really fun. Both text-inputting methods have their advantages. While the HTC Touch Pro2 is great for long documents, it is not great at all for quick messaging. The on-screen keyboard from the Pro2 lacks consistency owing to the resistive screen, and opening the device takes both hands, and believe it or not: effort that most of the times one will not enjoy, opening the whole device to answer a small SMS is just tedious.

This is an area where the Storm2 exceeds, typing fast messages with one hand is great, and medium-length messages with both hands is very comfortable.

Verizon BlackBerry Storm2 vs HTC Touch Pro2

Next up: Windows Mobile vs BlackBerry OS, and then, our conclusion

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By , International Correspondent on Feb 15th, 2010 GMT +2

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