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Blackberry 9500 Storm Review: Multimedia

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The Blackberry Storm was the first Blackberry device pointed as a smartphone perfect for everyone, not only business users as Blackberry used to do, but multimedia users as well.

In the Storm advertisements we saw how the Storm handled videos and other multimedia content. But how does the Storm handle multimedia files? Is it a good device that can fulfil the expectations of multimedia users? In this chapter of the Blackberry Storm review we will discuss how the Storm performs completing Multimedia tasks.

The Storm we received came with a MicroSD 8GB memory card, I was quite happy to see that Blackberry added this card in the box because it makes the Storm an out-of the-box-ready multimedia device. The Storm also brought a headset, which is not such a good headset to listen to music. It is nice that they added the headset, but in the long run the user will have to replace them because the quality they offer is not that good.

The Storm has a box in the menu called ”Media”. With this Media menu we have five icons at the bottom of the screen. In order from left to right they are: Music, Videos, Ring Tones, Pictures and voice notes.

Music:  The user can select from ”All Songs”,  ”Artists”, ”Albums”, ”Genres”, and ”Playlists”, a standard on category division most players.

The scrolling between songs, artists, genres etc. is very smooth, so far it has not freezed or crashed. The Storm has shuffle option for random tracks and has 12 equalizer options. An interesting feature in the Storm’s music player is that when the user attempts to raise the volume to the maximum level, a warning appears saying that doctors don’t recommend to listen high volume tones and that if the user starts to suffer from ear problems, he should disconnect immediately and consult a physician. After reading the warning, the user can select between ”Continue”, in order to raise the volume to maximum level, or ”Cancel” in order to lower the volume and continue listening to music. The music player also  has an option called ”Connect Headset” which is a wizard that enables the user connect a Bluetooth headset easily.

Videos: The video player is very simple, it has a search box and below the available videos. The Storm comes with a movie  trailer preloaded, the trailer plays very smooth and at an extraordinary frame rate. By default, the videos appear full screen and if the screen is touched the controls appear.

Ring Tones: Also a very simple player that lets the user see available ring tones and set the ring tone as ringing tone. No editing unfortunately.

Pictures: The pictures tab has 3 options, All pictures, Picture Folders and Sample Pictures. The user can decide if the pictures are showed in list form or grid mode.

Voice Notes: Last, but not least, Voice Notes only shows the recordings that were recorded only in the device, they are useful as reminders.

The bad aspect of the  Multimedia is that the battery meter goes down quickly, the Storm normally completes an entire 15-hour-day without problems with average use. But with Multimedia features this can be reduced to less than 10 hours. I calculated that the Storms consumed 10% battery after 2 hours of continuous music playback, and 1 hour and 15 minutes for video playback.

The Storm comes pre-loaded with 2 games, BrickBreaker and Word Mole. Both very well designed and with nice graphics. Unfortunately there are no games available for download that are compatible with the Storm.

In conclusion the Storm is a full multimedia device. The Videos, Music, Games are perfectly comfortable and easy to handle on the Storm. A big advantage that the Storm has over other devices is the huge 3.25 inch screen where complete movies can be seen without any problem. The Music player is also a very well loaded application with many options, and the 8GB memory card that comes in the box makes the Storm multimedia-ready out-of-the-box. Stay tuned as in the next chapter we will explore how the Storm’s 3.2 megapixel camera performs.

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By , International Correspondent on Dec 25th, 2008 GMT +2

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