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Print 33 comment(s) - last by quiksilvr.. on Oct 16 at 9:35 PM

Just in time for Christmas shopping

Smartphone maker Research in Motion is unveiling the BlackBerry Storm2. Model 9520 is being distributed for European customers, while North American carriers will offer model 9550. Its predecessor was the first BlackBerry to eschew a physical keyboard in favor of a touchscreen. It launched with mixed reviews, definitely not a good thing when you have competition like Apple's iPhone and the Palm Pre.

The Storm2 uses a similar 3.25 inch display. At 360 x 480  pixels, images and text look pretty good at its effective 184 ppi resolution. However, the Storm2 ships with the new BlackBerry OS 5 as opposed to OS 4.7 of the previous generation.

RIM claims that there are hundreds of enhancements in the new software, some of which will increase image quality of icons and text. An updated BlackBerry Browser boasts faster JavaScript and CSS processing, as well as support for Gears and BlackBerry Widgets. Applications developed for the original BlackBerry Storm are fully compatible with the Storm2.

On the hardware side, the Storm2 uses the same 528MHz MSM7600 CPU from Qualcomm as in the original Storm and BlackBerry Tour. The Storm2 uses a 1400 mAh battery that provides approximately 6 hours of talk time on 3G networks and 280 hours of standby time. A built-in 3.2 megapixel camera features variable zoom, autofocus, flash, video recording, and image stabilization. NVRAM and flash storage are both doubled at 256MB and 1GB respectively. The Storm2 will also support microSD/SDHC cards up to 32GB in size for extra storage.

The big news though is 802.11 b/g WiFi support, a feature that was sorely missed on the original Storm. The Storm2 will work worldwide, thanks to frequencies on UMTS/HSPA (2100Mhz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM.

Both Verizon Wireless and Vodafone are targeted the lucrative Christmas shopping period. Vodafone customers in the UK and Ireland will be the first to get  the Storm2, after which it will make its way to Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. It will also be made available in France, Italy and South Africa in time for Christmas.

Verizon customers in the U.S. will have to wait for the company's official launch.

Update: We have received updated model numbers from RIM, as reflected in the first paragraph.



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Seems more like a minor upgrade...
By jskirwin on 10/16/2009 2:12:40 PM , Rating: 2
I have a Verizon Storm and the Storm 2 looks like a dot upgrade. The biggest difference is the WiFi according to the article.

Why would I upgrade?

What I want to see:
1. A more responsive touch screen. Typing on the virtual keyboard is slow and tedious. Even selecting an icon is tough sometimes.

2. A more powerful antenna. Signal strength is a constant problem for this unit; my son's LG gets better reception than both my wife's and my storms.

3. Faster d/l speeds. This is not the phone's fault, but Verizon's 3G network reminds me of the bad old days of dial up where you click and wait. And wait. And wait.

4. Battery drain. It's bad but that's what you get for having what is essentially a 486 in your pocket.

The screen renders beautifully, and the camera is better than most. Apps are relatively plentiful although nowhere near as good as the iPhone selection.

Would I buy the phone again? Given that VZ has the best coverage in my area, probably. But I'd rather have seen RIM have fixed the Storm 1 before releasing what appears to be a half-baked Storm 2.




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