Print 26 comment(s) - last by BlackBerryFan.. on Nov 20 at 8:42 PM

The Blackberry Storm has the Apple iPhone beat when it comes to reception, copy and paste, email, document editing, and camera. While lacking tabbed browsing and Wi-Fi, this solid choice is shaping up to be an "iPhone killer" and indeed I am picking it over the iPhone.  (Source: Blackberry)
My new smart phone is just two days away!

Staring at my mess of a broken LG Chocolate phone I decided to make a drastic change.  You see, I have been on a steady climb up the tech ladder when it comes to cell phones.  I started with a crude Samsung clamshell that came with my first Verizon contract.  About a year and a half I switched to the LG Chocolate, intending to use it as a music player.

In the end I hardly used the Chocolate for music, as I soon bought a 160 GB iPod that could hold all my collection.  And my first Chocolate had a slew of problems, which I say I personal chalk up to poor engineering on LG's part; first the buttons became unresponsive, then the microphone pickup began to die -- people couldn't hear my calls.  After a stiff talk with some Verizon folks I got my phone warrantied.  After several more months, my phone began to develop a crack on the screen.  Whether this was somehow my doing or something that happened on the line or in shipping is immaterial -- the end result was the same -- the screen eventually died entirely.

Now, faced with the hassle opportunity of getting a new phone.  Continuing my phone evolution path, I'm finally going to jump on the smartphone band wagon.  While some might suspect that I would pick an iPhone, when it comes to cell phones, President-elect Barack Obama and I are on the same page -- "Yes we can (get a Blackberry)!"

Ironically, my Verizon contract reaches one year on November 21, coinciding perfectly with the release of the RIM's Blackberry Storm.  Sounds like fate eh? 

So why am I excited about the Storm, and why am I picking it over the iPhone?  First and foremost call:  quality.  I know people in my area, both friends and random acquaintances, who have had problems with the iPhone reception.  On a train in Chicago, I had a random exchange with one iPhone user who bemoaned the horrible call quality her iPhone had given her over the course of the last year.  Further, I do a lot of travelling and if I go overseas, say to Europe, I want to have a way of getting service -- something not possible with the iPhone.  Working on any GSM HSPA 3G network in the world, the Storm seems like it will be the perfect traveling companion.

Then there's email and copy & paste (C&P) which go nicely hand in hand.  The iPhone lacks the latter, and does the former more clumsily than Blackberry.  And while the iPhone 2.0 has come a long way in terms of email from its predecessor, all signs point to the Storm offering the superior experience.

Another reason I think the Storm could unseat the iPhone is its unique button-style screen.  With every keystroke, the screen clicks like a key.  From early reviews I've ascertained that this will provide a superior typing experience among the screen typing-only smartphone crowd. 

Another advantage is the Storm comes with free software to read and edit MS Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Office 2007 documents.  The iPhone only comes with software to read these document types.

Finally, there's the better camera.  The iPhone sports a weak 2.0 MP flashless picture-only camera, but the Storm features a hearty 3.2 MP camera with zoom, auto focus, video, and a nice flash.  Again, just a small perk, but it’s nice.

Both the iPhone and the Blackberry Storm both have (or in the Storm's case will have) application stores, so this is a virtual tie (though Apple will win the tie-breaker for having more Apps).

What am I concerned about?  The biggest gripe I have is with RIM's browser.  Stuck in the browsing stone age, it does not feature tabs.  While it may get Adobe Flash before Apple, I'd pick tabs over it any day.  I'm hoping RIM remedies this -- and soon -- or else Opera develops a new version of its Mini browser (Blackberry compatible) which features tabbing.  I'm aware that there's a low-res browser named Minuet that does tabbing, but I think not having a modern tabbing browser is a serious omission for the storm.

Otherwise, the addition of Wi-Fi support would be nice.  A little more memory (1 GB currently) might be nice as well.  In all honesty I could care less about Apple's "slick touch interface" or such tripe -- some might call Blackberry's slightly-less-touch-perfect interface a negative, but I dissent.

In the end I am looking forward to the Blackberry Storm, which is now only three days away.  It looks to be shaping up to be the first true iPhone killer, from a pioneer in the cell phone industry.  I've seen other smart phones like the Voyager and G1 do their thing, and I haven't jumped, though I was tempted.  However, the Blackberry Storm seems to tempting to resist.

I hope to be able to do an exclusive review about my impressions on the phone in coming weeks and offer some insight to potential buyers.  And hopefully I'll be able to type it on the phone as an added perk (though that lack of tabbed browsing has me nervous). 

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Jason's Dumb Phone
By BlackBerryFan on 11/19/2008 1:41:49 PM , Rating: 3
This guy doesn't know what he's talking about with regards to the Storm versus iPhone—-starting with something so basic as the global GSM standard that the iPhone has always had and which only some Verizon phones, like the Storm, also have in order to also be deemed "world" phones like the iPhone.

Worse, this guy hasn't actually used either the iPhone or the Storm, which makes his "opinion" as valid as a preschooler's view on Victorian social justice.

Fact 1: The iPhone has surpassed BlackBerry as the No. 2 smartphone in the world in terms of marketshare.

Fact 2: The iPhone is now rated No. 1 in terms of quality and satisfaction by BUSINESS users according to the latest J.D. Powers survey.

Fact 3: The iPhone is also rated more RELIABLE than any BlackBerry by SquareTrade, PC Magazine (about as friendly to BlackBerry as they come) and other independent, third-party souces.

I'm a BlackBerry fan, and have used them all and still keep a couple. The Storm is an OK start into Apple's domain. But if the WiFi-less Storm is so great, then why has RIM already undercut it by leaking news of the Storm 2 and the Storm 3 next year?

Because they know what analysts, enterprise users and other who have already had their hands on a Storm for more than two days and have to live with it have found it comes up short:

1. It's no cutting-edge iPhone in terms of blazing fast and accurate Web browsing, media player, UI or OS, etc.

2. But it's also no BlackBerry either in terms of the physical keyboard BlackBerry users have come to expect and enterprise service businesses demand.

The Storm, in short, is a mutant, neither Apple nor Orange, er, BlackBerry. As such, it falls short for those of us who have had a chance to use it awhile.

Oh, and one more thing for the guy here who like to thumb his nose at the iPhone he hasn't used and give a thumbs-up for the Storm he hasn't used either:

The Storm ONLY allows the SureType format for typing with the device in your hand. The "full" QWERTY format for typing pops up ONLY with two hands holding the Storm in landscape mode. This is confusing for newbies who have to learn two ways to type, and limiting to those power users who need a full QWERTY and prefer to use their Blackberry with one hand more often than not.

But you'd know that if you actually had used the Storm before telling the world why its so much better than the iPhone and parading your ignorance in print.

RE: Jason's Dumb Phone
By omgwtf8888 on 11/19/2008 3:17:27 PM , Rating: 2
Wow! Your reply was very well crafted and nicely supported by enumerated facts. The article clearly stated he hadn't used either, and he was offering his opinion based upon his own fact set. What i don't understand is why you had to conclude your well done commentary with:

But you'd know that if you actually had used the Storm before telling the world why its so much better than the iPhone and parading your ignorance in print.

That ending makes you look petty and well... ignorant.

RE: Jason's Dumb Phone
By mvpx02 on 11/19/2008 3:28:55 PM , Rating: 2
I'm amused that you registered with the name BlackBerryFan when clearly it sounds like it should have been iPhoneFanBoy. Mick was merely sharing his thought process with those who cared to read about it and you've found a way to take offense.

You don't seem to really have anything constructive to say relating to the article other than that you disagree with his opinion.

Nothing you said even corrects a fact that Mick may have gotten incorrect, yet your rant is demeaning and dumb. Why even bother to post?

RE: Jason's Dumb Phone
By BlackBerryFan on 11/19/08, Rating: -1
RE: Jason's Dumb Phone
By mvpx02 on 11/20/2008 2:25:24 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I'm not a "fan" of either of them. I have a $50 flip-phone that suits my needs just fine.

I'm aware that both have their ups and downs, and I agree that it was probably a bit premature of Jason to pick a phone (and then publish those thoughts) without having handled both of them (I assume he had the chance to at least use a friend's iPhone prior to making his decision).

I was just surprised at how unnecessarily offended and angry your post seemed to be.

RE: Jason's Dumb Phone
By Gzus666 on 11/19/2008 5:50:00 PM , Rating: 3

Fact 1 is wrong. Nokia holds the largest. You misread the article that you used as a fact.

"Of course, worldwide, the picture is slightly skewed towards the undisputed handset champion Nokia. With over half of the smartphone market, Nokia is sitting quite pretty overall."

"Research recently published by Canalys on fourth quarter smart phone sales put the Apple iPhone, which has only been on the market for less than half a year, in second place for U.S. market share behind Research In Motion (RIM) and its BlackBerry."

Not only did the iPhone not overtake Blackberry, it is not the most worldwide by far.

You are clearly an Apple fanboy.

RE: Jason's Dumb Phone
By Parhel on 11/20/2008 12:19:36 AM , Rating: 2
I thought you loved the iPhone, Pirks?

RE: Jason's Dumb Phone
By UNCjigga on 11/19/2008 6:43:28 PM , Rating: 2
The Storm ONLY allows the SureType format for typing with the device in your hand. The "full" QWERTY format for typing pops up ONLY with two hands holding the Storm in landscape mode. This is confusing for newbies who have to learn two ways to type, and limiting to those power users who need a full QWERTY and prefer to use their Blackberry with one hand more often than not.
From someone who actually has a Storm--trust me, the SureType input method is the only one that makes sense in portrait mode, and I like having the flexibility to choose between the two. Believe it or not, I actually use SureType more than QWERTY for quick txts and emails. Also, it's important to note that at least the Storm allows you to choose between the two methods in pretty much any app--with the iPhone you're prevented from using a landscape keyboard in some apps.

A few other advantages of the Storm:

- Support for more than one "app store"
- Robust 3rd-party developer support (RIM's been in this game longer than Apple; more "real" apps vs. web 2.0 services, more APIs available to developers, standards-based via J2ME)
- Bundled 3rd-party apps (comes with every single IM client: AIM, GTalk, Y! Messenger, MSN), Flickr, Facebook, Docs to Go
- True turn-by-turn navigation with spoken directions
- 9GB of memory (1GB on device; 8GB removable on bundled microSD)
- removable battery (can't stress this enough!)

RE: Jason's Dumb Phone
By BlackBerryFan on 11/19/08, Rating: -1
Article Quality
By dBoze on 11/19/2008 11:44:39 PM , Rating: 2
I have been a long-time DailyTech reader. I never really post comments. I usually feel like I've lost a few brain cells after a half-hour of reading user comments. Thankfully, the article content is usually of a slightly higher caliber.

I am appalled by the quality of this post. There are rampant grammatical errors throughout, as well as poor/awkward sentence structures. The poor comma was ravaged here today.

I realize this is a simple "blog" post and not an "article" so I may be over-reacting, but I hold the entirety of the contents of this domain to a somewhat credible standard.

I feel like I'm reading the comments on for an unreleased product. If you're going to blindly endorse an unreleased product that basically has the same primary drawback as the number one celling cellular phone (lack of tactile keyboard), you could at least run the work by an editor.

I apologize if it seems like I'm flaming, but I guess I am somewhat. Sure, DailyTech is just a mish-mash of tech news from varying sources. But when dribble of this magnitude makes it to the presses, it damages the entire organization's credibility.

Also, I'm sorry to do this in such a public manner. There should be some sort of page that a user can use to send comments, feedback, and complaints to Anand or whoever is in charge here.

RE: Article Quality
By BlackBerryFan on 11/20/2008 12:08:18 AM , Rating: 1
At last another comment from a reader wondering, like I did, how this "review" ever got posted here on DailyTech.

To add for "flaming to the fire," I quote tomorrow's Engadget review on the Storm, which takes special aim at the Storm's alleged "strength" -- it's keyboard input — which I said was nothing of the sort, and that Jason the reviewer would have known himself had even bothered to use the device!

Here's the excerpt from Engadget:

"The slant from RIM's PR on the Storm is that the new clickable touchscreen delivers another high caliber typist's dream to their roster -- but that couldn't be further from the truth. Rather than the click making things easier, it actually makes them more difficult. As you press down to engage a "key," you're required to release before moving to another, which means that you can only type so quickly. In our tests, we were constantly frustrated by the staggering, laggy movement when trying to type with any speed. You have to let the click depress before you can strike another character, and that makes for a stuttery input process."

So when is Jason and Daily Tech going to retract or QUICKLY AMEND his "review" with something based on his actually using the Storm?

RE: Article Quality
By 306maxi on 11/20/2008 9:08:17 AM , Rating: 2
You don't seem to "get" this site. This is a blog post, not a review as such.

RE: Article Quality
By robinthakur on 11/20/2008 9:20:26 AM , Rating: 2
Firstly, I do agree that Jason has admitted that he is endorsing the Storm without having used one (or an iPhone) so that is a given. Compared to the LG Chocolate, either would be a big improvement, frankly.

Many phones beat the iPhone on specs, but its the software which is the technical selling point - both Apple authored and appstore vetted. RIM's strength is in the email domain and the standard format of their devices, but mainly its the email. The Storm seems more focused on non-corporate users for now as you do have to pay extra for things like Exchange support. The fact that this is not a day 1 go-live feature and that its also carrier exclusive point to the true enterprise Storm being to follow, depending on how well this phone is received. Still the lack of Wifi is a misstep in my mind as its a really useful feature on iPhone to seamlessly use wifi where available. Its when you go back to other phones that you realise how much Apple gets right and exactly why all the phone companies are racing to catch them up.

Personally, I'm happy with the iphone and didn't like the Storm's tactile typing when I tried it recently. It might improve in future interations, who knows. Genuine competition is a good thing in this space rather than all the manufacturers kitting out their phones with poorly performing touch screens and even worse designed software and badging them as 'iPhone killers'. This copycatting never fools the public, all being anxious to avoid purchasing a 'mexican non-union equivalent' iPhone without the brand cool.

Btw, the rule of criticising spellings, punctuation and grammar on the internet is generally "Don't do it". Case in point:

number one celling cellular phone

Lastly...its just a phone.

RE: Article Quality
By dBoze on 11/20/2008 1:35:29 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't criticizing the content of the post but rather the form.

Anyways, I don't remember criticizing his spelling. I'm allowed to make spelling mistakes... I'm posting a comment!

I'm a reader of this site. The owners and employees of this domain should respect their readers, as their readers are their source of income. Therefore, I will criticize content I believe to be below the standards of this site.

If you feel my actions are unwarranted that's fine. You're entitled to your opinion as well.

Oh, and here's my opinion just for fun:
The press has been quick to criticize the rocky road of the iPhone 3G launch. Let's face the facts though: Apple has gone from a 0% market share to a market leader in a very short period of time. You can attribute this to marketing hype and fanboyism if you prefer, but I personally chalk it up to a superior product. People want "the real internet" in their pocket and the iPhone delivers this better than any other product (though still with some major limitations). RIM has been in the smart phone market for some time and must now emulate Apple's products in hopes of continuing to compete. Now RIM is leaving its tactile keyboard + ball mouse combo and create a more iPhone-like devise. Other than features taken from the iPhone, it appears to be just like any other RIM devise: a great SMS/email tool. Don't expect the new system software to be perfect or the available software to be nearly as mature for some time. "iPhone Killer"? One major advantage in my mind however is that Verizon's 3G network should be much more mature than AT&T's upon the iPhone 3G launch. Also, I prefer Verizon over any other carrier as far as rates/coverage/service is concerned. My main gripe with Verizon is their overall lack of appealing phones at a reasonable price (I'm not much of an LG fan).

Attaway Jason
By Ryanman on 11/19/2008 9:11:06 AM , Rating: 2
Nice to see you're willing to try something else. I look forward to hearing your impressions.

Not sure I could get use touch screens to type - but that's just me. Does the Blackberry have an SD slot for memory expansion?

RE: Attaway Jason
By JasonMick on 11/19/2008 9:21:21 AM , Rating: 2
Yep, it uses the slightly more diminutive MicroSD, which plugs into normal SD slots via an adapter. Will be a nice shift up from my pain-in-the-a$$-tiny MiniSD card. I'm amazed I haven't lost it yet.

As to the touchscreen I'm with you, I'm just hoping the clicking motion helps a bit.

RE: Attaway Jason
By HaZaRd2K6 on 11/19/2008 12:18:57 PM , Rating: 3
I think you're getting them confused, Jason ;-)

MicroSD cards are the smallest (physically) format of SD cards available, with miniSD splitting difference between SD and microSD.

No idea why you'd be losing, it though. I've had one in my phone for almost a year and I haven't lost it yet. Maybe cuz I don't take it out of my phone... ;-)

By 3DoubleD on 11/19/2008 9:47:27 AM , Rating: 2
It is too bad the Storm doesn't support WiFi, but I wonder if it was intentionally left out for security reasons. I can't claim to know much about device security, but I imagine corporations would not appreciate their employees connecting to their local coffee shop WiFi. This may turn the tide on the iPhone's recent gains in the corporate world since now their is an iPhone-like competitor with businesses in mind. I'd be interested to hear the opinion of IT network security people on this.

RE: WiFi
By omnicronx on 11/19/2008 10:23:56 AM , Rating: 2
I really do not feel as though the lack of wifi is an issue. Just think about RIM's market in general and what kind of plans people will have with these phones. In the business market lets face it, most people do not pay for their plans, and most have unlimited data. While Wifi is nice, data plans are falling in price dramatically, and even here in Canada, blackberry data pricing has always been lower than WinMo (and iPhone) pricing, and we have been getting price gauged until the iPhone 3g was released. (there was basically no such thing as an unlimited plan before the iPhone 3G came along)

RE: WiFi
By 3DoubleD on 11/19/2008 3:00:30 PM , Rating: 2
Canada is still getting price gouged on cell phone plans. It is horrible how bad our plans are here. If you want an iPhone you are looking at a $75 plan that covers everything but minutes. Add some reasonable talk plans that are required to even use the iPhone as a phone and you are looking at a $120 bill with the shady $6.95 system access fee, overcharged 911 fee, and tax. For a similar price you can get nearly unlimited calling in the US. Plus, there is no long distance within the US, I can't even call my house from my work without being charged long distance. Even worse, back in high school, I couldn't call home from a pay phone to get picked up because it was long distance! It was a 15 minute ride!!!

Anyway, I can't comment on the state of the smart phone market before the iPhone, clearly it was bad. But it certainly isn't good now either. The phone companies in Canada, particularly Bell, have been raping the customer since before anyone can remember. Telecom industries in general are horrible in Canada and I dream of a day where we could consider ourselves on par with even the US, which also has a nearly-as-bad telecom industry.

I agree WiFi isn't necessary for business customers, and perhaps it is unwanted by businesses in general. However, I think the Storm was an attempt to re-capture the consumer smart phone market while maintaining expanding choices for the corporate world. On the consumer level, I think WiFi is greatly appreciated.

global roaming
By onlytemporary on 11/19/2008 10:38:10 AM , Rating: 2
You wrote: "Further, I do a lot of travelling and if I go overseas, say to Europe, I want to have a way of getting service -- something not possible with the iPhone. Working on any GSM HSPA 3G network in the world, the Storm seems like it will be the perfect traveling companion."

The iPhone has global 3G roaming as well.

RE: global roaming
By Ryanman on 11/19/2008 10:55:44 AM , Rating: 2
I think he was also referencing complaints about spotty coverage. I think Apple's patched them out a bit but I've heard a couple people talk about some issues. Whether it's AT&T's fault or Apple's is difficult to discern.

RE: global roaming
By UNCjigga on 11/19/2008 6:22:53 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, no, he was referring to global roaming, which the iPhone 3G is very capable of.

GSM networks in other countries (particularly Western Europe) provide MUCH better coverage than what we have here--no spotty coverage issue and it wouldn't be attributable to AT&T anyway.

It's pretty sad when...
By CrazyBernie on 11/20/2008 11:11:36 AM , Rating: 2
... you can't even post a blog about something you're interested in without some creeps telling you that you're an idiot because you didn't do all your homework.

Seriously, it's one thing to correct/inform someone about possible misinterpreted information, but to tell him/her that he/she is stupid and/or doesn't know what he/she is talking about is a bit beyond rude. If it were an actual article or review I could understand the nitpicking and the grammar nazis... it's a BLOG.

People need to lighten up.


RE: It's pretty sad when...
By BlackBerryFan on 11/20/2008 8:42:10 PM , Rating: 2
It is, except that Jason didn't just post a comment to some forum. He posted a "review" that wasn't, with a headline that was picked up by Google and right at the top of any page searching for "BlackBerry Storm." All the vast majority of searchers see is the headline about "Why I'm picking the Storm over the iPhone." Hmmm.

The headline wasn't: "Why I'm excited about the Storm" or "Why the Storm looks awesome!"

Nope. By inference it dissed the iPhone, implying the Storm was superior when the review hadn't even tried it or the Storm!

Fortunately, the decided mixed to negative reviews of the Storm are now pouring in by sources that have a history of being very pro-BlackBerry.

They all say what I said in the beginning of my "rant," which was a very simple truth: Anybody who actually TRIED using the new Storm clickable-touchscreen could tell tell you it's no iPhone!

Worse, it's not a BlackBerry! RIM has just sacrificed its strongest brand asset by eliminating the physical keyboard!

To quote PC World's Reviewer:

"Ultimately, the Storm's touch interface feels like a failed experiment. It's too bad, because the Storm has some nice features and makes a great first impression."

Get it? First impression good. User-experience bad.

If only Jason had said, "Hey, I'm psyched about the Storm and here's why" instead of telling the world "I pick it OVER the iPhone" and implying he had weighed both in the balance and found the iPhone wanting.

Instaed, it's the Storm that's been found wanting.

Or should we call it the Drizzle?

By Gzus666 on 11/19/2008 10:42:48 AM , Rating: 2
Gotta admit, this phone looks cool as hell, sounds very usable as well. My major reason for buying the G1 instead of the iPhone was lack of a tactile keyboard, granted there were many other reasons, but this was the major reason. I'm curious how these feel.

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