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Blackberry 9500 Storm Review: Introduction

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The mobile industry is heading towards touch screen enabled phones, this year we had two major manufacturers releasing their first touch enabled phone. Nokia and Blackberry entered this segment of the market, a segment that is widely controlled by Apple and its iPhone.

From RIM we had a 3.2” 360×480 display phone with the first ”Clickable Touch Screen” ever on a touch screen phone, the Blackberry Storm.  By introducing the Blackberry Storm to the market RIM attempted two things, one of them is competing against the popular iPhone, and the second one is opening a door towards the future, touch screen enabled phones.

In order to be able to have a wide view of the new Blackberry Storm, we have to compare it with similar devices. The other manufacturer that announced its first touch enabled phone is Nokia.

From Nokia we had the Nokia 5800, this device runs Symbian S60 5th Edition Touch User Interface. The 5800 has similar specifications to the Storm, from a 3.2″ screen to a 3.2 Megapixel camera, and of course touch screen, this phones are definitevely rivals. The interesting aspect between the Blackberry Storm and the Nokia 5800 is that the latter is a mid-range device, while the Storm is a High-End device. Other competitors are the Samsung Omnia, again the Omnia, just like the 5800, has a 3.2″ touch screen; and the iPhone from Apple.

An aspect that completely changed with the Storm is that Blackberry was always about business phones, RIM always  had strong business-oriented specifications and a strong business-oriented marketing.  But with the Storm all this has changed, the Storm was advertised as a multimedia oriented device but with the typical Blackberry business features, in the advert we could see how the Storm handled videos and other multimedia features. By doing this RIM wanted to let the public know that the Storm is not solely a business-oriented device, it is more like a phone for ”everyone”, and of course they wish to target the Storm as for ”everyone”, so they can take iPhone’s territory and break the stereotype that Blackberry was exclusively for business users and work.

Blackberry had success, they managed to build a great hype and, as in the iPhone launch, people were camping outside stores to get their hands on the Storm, but Blackberry failed to supply the demand they generated. On the launch day stores were supplied with a scarce shipment of Storms and this caused a lot of deception and in some cases rage; Reuters reported that riots were a problem in some of the stores that were selling the Storms.The Storm is a first of its kind, the first touch screen enabled phone from RIM, the first Clickable touch screen ever and the first device on RIM’s portfolios that broke the business stereotype and was oriented more as a multimedia device for everyone, rather than a business device for work. The Storm is definitevely a phone that deserves attention, and here at PhoneReport we will bring you a full review for this breakthrough device.

Key Features:

  • Wireless email
  • Organizer
  • Browser
  • Phone
  • Camera
  • Video recording
  • BlackBerry® Maps
  • Media player
  • Built-in GPS
  • Corporate data access
  • SMS
  • MMS

Size and Weight

  • 4.43″/112.5mm (Length)
  • 2.45″/62.2mm (Width)
  • 0.55″/13.95mm (Depth)
  • 5.5 oz/155g (Weight)

Data Input/Navigation

  • SurePress™ touch screen
  • On screen keyboard: portrait SureType® and Multi-tap, QWERTY landscape

Voice Input/Output

  • 3.5mm stereo headset capable
  • Integrated earpiece/ microphone
  • Built-in speakerphone
  • Bluetooth® v2.0; mono/stereo headset, handsfree, phone book access profile, and serial port profile supported (Bluetooth® technology)
  • M3 (Rating for hearing aids (PDF))

Media Player

  • MPEG4 H.263, MPEG4 Part 2 Simple Profile, H.264, WMV (Video format support)
  • MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, WMA ProPlus (Audio format support)

Display

  • High resolution 480 x 360 pixel color (Display)
  • Transmissive TFT LCD
  • Font size (user selectable)
  • Color display
  • Light sensing screen

Notification

  • Polyphonic/MIDI ringtones
  • MP3 ringtones
  • Vibrate mode
  • LED indicator

Approximate Battery Life

  • Up to 15 days (Standby time)
  • GSM: 5.5 hours, CDMA: 6 hours (Talk time)

Memory

  • Expandable memory – support for microSD card
  • 1 GB (Onboard memory)
  • 128 MB Flash (Flash memory)

Modem

  • RIM® wireless modem
  • Tethered modem capability

Email Integrations

  • Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for Microsoft® Exchange
  • Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for IBM® Lotus® Domino®
  • Works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server for Novell® GroupWise®
  • Integrates with an existing enterprise email account

Device Security

  • Password protection and screen lock
  • Sleep mode
  • Support for AES or Triple DES encryption when integrated with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
  • FIPS 140-2 Compliant (FIPS Validation in Progress) (FIPS validation)
  • Optional support for S/MIME

Wireless Network

  • UMTS/HSPA networks: 2100 MHz
  • Dual-band 800/1900 Mhz CDMA2000 1X Ev-DO networks
  • North America: 850 MHz GSM/GPRS networks
  • North America: 1900MHz GSM®/GPRS networks
  • Europe/Asia Pacific: 1800MHz GSM/GPRS networks
  • Europe/Asia Pacific: 900MHz GSM/GPRS networks

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By , International Correspondent on Dec 18th, 2008 GMT +2

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