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BlackBerry Storm Review

BlackBerry Storm 9530 6

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The new 4.7 OS is gorgeous to look at, and keeps the same design philosophy as the Bold’s 4.6 OS.  It is basically the same OS found on past devices such as the Curve and Pearl, only with redesigned icons and different input method.  Each application has its own icon, and the users can still arrange, organize and categorize them as they wish.  The menu can be navigated in both portrait and landscape mode.  When in landscape the user always has the full menu, in portrait there is a standby screen with two rows of four semi-transparent icons at the bottom.  There is only one theme preloaded.

Standby - BlackBerry Storm Review
Portrait - BlackBerry Storm Review
Landscape - BlackBerry Storm Review




In past reviews we’ve lamented the lack of a touchscreen and were never totally sold on the trackball, but unfortunately we got what we asked for.  When holding the device horizontally we especially felt that a trackball would be perfectly placed and useful.  We still feel strongly that RIM devices should utilize a touchscreen, just not at the expense of a physical keyboard and definitely not a clickable one.

As always, simple things are more complicated then they need to be, where complex things are as simple as can be.  Setting up an email, for example, is a wonderful and painless experience.  Changing the volume, not so much.  While the number after the 4. keeps getting higher, the core OS remains basically unchanged which isn’t a good thing.

The performance has noticeably improved after the .75 update, especially in regards to accelerometer performance.  The lag has been reduced greatly as well, though is still present to a small extent.  Had it been like this at launch we most likely wouldn’t have minded, as the speed is on par with previous BlackBerry offerings 90% of the time.  The accelerometer for some reason still lags somewhat when switching to landscape, but in general it now works as expected.  It has not locked orientation on us since the upgrade.  The device on the whole continues to lock now and again; at times it will recover after 10-30s but if not a battery pull is required.  Why RIM didn’t address this before launch we have no idea, but at least they released an update fairly quickly that resolved many of the issues.


There isn’t anything new about the phonebook, which is a good thing.  It’s as simple and straightforward as ever, and you can store virtually an unlimited amount of contacts.  Each contact can hold three email addresses, two work phone numbers, two home numbers, a mobile, pager, fax and “other” number as well as a space for a BlackBerry PIN number. There is a slot for both a home and work address, as well as dates for anniversary and birthdays. Contacts can be sorted by user definable categories, each entry can have a custom ringer and picture ID, and there is a section for a webpage and notes.

Phonebook - BlackBerry Storm Review
Phonebook - BlackBerry Storm Review
Phonebook - BlackBerry Storm Review
Phonebook - BlackBerry Storm Review
Phonebook - BlackBerry Storm Review


Homescreen contact search has been cut on the Strom.  The keyboard is accessible when in the full menu, but it will not search the contacts by either name or number.  Instead, when you click on any letter it will take you to the phone application.

BlackBerry Storm Review
BlackBerry Storm Review
BlackBerry Storm Review
BlackBerry Storm Review

Voice dialing is handled by Nuance (formally VoiceSignal) and is excellent.  The left softkey is still preprogrammed to activate it, and it is still slightly annoying but the higher button placement leads to much less unintended presses.


Calendar - BlackBerry Storm Review
Calculator - BlackBerry Storm Review



Again, nothing is really new here.  Like the phonebook, the calendar function is very robust. It can be managed either on your phone or on your PC, and when paired to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) it can be remotely managed and synced over the air. Creating an appointment is simple, and options such as reminders and recurrence are present. Appointments can also be marked as private for added security.

Other basic PIM functions are available, such as Tasks and a Memo Pad. Tasks is very basic, but reminders can be set and they can also be grouped into categories. The Memo Pad is a basic notepad, no bells and whistles. A Voice Note Recorder is present for taking notes on the go, and a basic calculator is also available.

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. Jae (unregistered)

Wow, I'm actually very surprised, it got so low of a rating, whether it be 7.5 or a 5.5. I was defnitely going to get this phone until the Omnia was announced, and then I had trouble deciding between the two. But now all my doubts have been cleared up, and it looks like the Omnia will be my next phone.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 10:52

2. (unregistered)

I am also surprised the top Blackberry has so much problems. Lets hope the Omnia is as good as the European model

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 14:06

24. (unregistered)

I still cant believe some many people expected it to be good~~~u guys officially overrated it~~it lagggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg XDDDDD

posted on 26 Nov 2008, 13:55

80. (unregistered)

It's better. It has 3G!

posted on 26 Nov 2008, 13:56

81. (unregistered)

VZ Omnia has 3G.

posted on 01 Dec 2008, 21:00

121. leo.brazuca (Posts: 4; Member since: 11 Aug 2008)

I Have the blackberry Storm since November 22. I already Had the iPhone and used the HTC Diamond Pro. I don't see how you can make a comment saying that the Storm typing is bad, how the phone is not even close to be the iPhone killer. The phone is heavy but it doesn't feel that heavy in hands and guess what? Once I pass my finger across the screen the selection will follow my finger, on the main menu screen or on the home screen. Typing is not a problem AT ALL for me, actually it was a problem with the LG DARE and the iPhone but with the Storm no problem at all. VZ Navigator, for me is one of the best GPS comparing to all the carriers, I've used the Sprint's TeleNav and i could never find my own house. YES, THERE IS AN OS UPDATE FOR THE STORM...i Got it last night and the phone got even better. The Link bellow will take to the upgrade, you can e-mail me a leo@from-brasil.com for instructions on how to proceed and I will send you an e-mail back with the step-by-step on how to UPDATE your OS.http://www.ndnguyen.com/bbstorm/9530AMEA_PBr4%5b1%5d.7.0_rel107_PL4.0.0.94_A4.7.0.75.exe I really think that phonearena.com is the only website where I was able to find someone saying that the Storm is not a good phone and has problem on the touch screen.

posted on 02 Dec 2008, 14:50

124. (unregistered)

Not sure where you look for your reviews, but the first three sites I looked at (Phonescoop, CNET, and this one ALL have complaints with the keyboard in their reviews. Granted, phonescoop and CNET don't trash the phone like phonearena does, but they all cite the keyboard as an issue.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 10:56

3. (unregistered)

This is probably the most biased article I have read on here. A soft reset to the device fixes some issues right away after it has been activated. If you dont the device is aweful. The lag is their but it isnt terrible. Really the device is too heavy? Seriously? It feels solid and a good weight. The sure type isnt bad at all. You can adjust the sensensitivity as well as a few other factory setting that help the phone run smoother. Once the settings are adjusting the "clicking" isnt really that different than physically having to push down on keys like with the curve. I HATE the typing on the Iphone or dare but didnt mind the Storms keyboard. Once again change some of the default setting. I guess what should I really expect from a site that constantly has misspelled words and improper grammer on articles it releases. I can say the hype was more than the phone had to offer but what device hasnt? I would think that a site of "professionals" would look at what the device is, instead of what the hype made it to be. After playing with the device for a few days, I would give it and 8... maybe 8.5. It still has bugs to work out but I expect issues to be worked out in the near future. I just cant get over how hard you guys were on this phone. Then again, the way you advertise for employees is by writing an article on working for phonearena.... I guess maybe my expectations were too high....

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 11:16

4. (unregistered)

you really think that any major site don't know what a soft reset does? ive played with the storm for about 30m in the store (yes, i did reset the device) and would agree with most of what was said here. the keyboard just isnt good its also also pretty clear that they have an american group of writers for american devices and a foreign set for european ones, the latter of which sometimes struggles with english for sure. this was obviously written by the former.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 11:40

9. (unregistered)

just maybe your biased for the phone, and your angry that it got a terrible review. if your gonna come out with the " IT " company and the " IT " phone to manhandle the iphone, than you better bring "IT", dont ya think,why half a** it in a hurry. It could have been way better.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 11:44

12. (unregistered)

you know, these articles don't make or break a phone. this certain reviewer might not have liked the storm. oh well, he didn't like it. big deal. if you do, great. i personally like the storm, but this review does make a lot of good points. think about it, what phone do you know of has come right out of the gate absolutely PERFECT? none. i own an LG Voyager, i love it, it works for me, but it doesn't work for some. there are people that hate it. but I love it. and I like the Storm as well, but again i agree completely with this review. It's got a lot of problems. Fixable problems, but still, problems that could've been taken care of before it was launched. I don't necessarily think that the phone was rushed, i just think that maybe RIM and VZW spent a little too much time on advertising it, when really they should've been fixing obvious problems. They'll fix it, it's inevitable. But for now, there are problems that make it hard to get through the day with the phone. And again, a bad review means nothing to the masses. Think about it like movies, just because a movie gets a terrible review, doesn't mean it's a terrible movie. It's just one person's opinion. Great phone, lots of problems, let's hope they fix it soon so that it can work like it should.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 11:49

15. (unregistered)

well said, says an iphone owner. =)

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 13:13

18. (unregistered)

agreed. an avid apple fanatic will support an iphone, no matter how good or bad it is, as well as crackberry addicts. a review is just what it is - an opinion, no more, no less. best thing to do - test before you purchase. enough said.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 16:57

37. (unregistered)

that's exactly what i was saying. like i said i have a Voyager, and it really works for me for everything i need but there are people on here who will bash the phone. does that affect my opinion? absolutely not. it amazes me that there are people who freak out at the reviewers on here for being "biased" when they prove that they're even worse by complaining about a phone they think is awesome getting a bad review. if anything i've found this website to be totally truthful with their reviews. yeah it might seem like they love apple and the iphone, but it's because of it's public-appealing features. i would KILL to have the appstore on my voyager, it's so killer. but at the same time, they don't let the iphone's flaws go unnoticed. just like they didn't leave the Storm's strong points out of this review. so good review phone arena, now let's pray for some updates

posted on 07 Dec 2008, 23:28

148. (unregistered)

its more than just reseting the phone, you have to download new software updates, and mess with the settings....

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 11:23

5. (unregistered)

Some of what was said I can agree with, but VZ Navigator being the worst carrier-branded GPS? Come on man, I've tried them and the newest version of VZ Navigator flat out CRUSHES any of them, and my opinion is backed up by reviews from Consumer Reports, among others. I see the assertion that it doesn't hold up in a lot of Phone Arena articles, and honestly it makes me wonder if the writers do have a bias, because you are clearly not using the same program I am. Navigator is better than a lot of the Garmin and TomTom units I have tried.

posted on 26 Nov 2008, 13:05

73. (unregistered)

I totally agree. I have no idea where they are getting their basis for saying that VZ Navigator is the worst GPS out there. I recently was on a trip with my brother when his brand new out of the box Garmin got us lost and decided the highway we were on mysteriously ended and that we were now on top of a mountain. Needless to say, I pulled out my Dare and loaded up VZ Navigator and it knew exactly where we were and how to get to our destination without a problem. Its similar to a bunch of AT&T users telling everyone how great there phone is and what great features it has, while the only thing it cant do is make a phone call that doesnt get dropped. Same thing with VZ Navigator, it might not look as pretty as the others, but it actually works and in the end that is the most important thing.

posted on 26 Nov 2008, 13:43

74. (unregistered)

they said CARRIER BRANDED. use sprint/att navigation and youll understand

posted on 26 Nov 2008, 13:45

77. (unregistered)

I agree with both of you 100%!!!!! Not because I work for VZW, but because I too have tried other navigation systems and Agree VZ Navigator WORKS!!!

posted on 26 Nov 2008, 13:49

79. (unregistered)

I have used Sprint's TeleNav and at times it was not accurate at all. Its delayed at times and also if you dont have a good signal it does not work at all, or update your route if you go the wrong way until you get a signal again.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 11:24

6. JonD (unregistered)

I am still getting used to the device, but overall, I am pleased. This is my firsst "uper-end" phone so I can say I do not have much to compare it to. That being said, the design is fine to me. The weight isn't bad. The screen wiggle isn't that strange in my opinion, afterall, the thing has to move for it's main feature. As stated above, if you change some of the default settings, it works really well. The keyboard does take some time to get used to, as does looking for certian functions in the menus. There is some lag time at times, but not consistently. The browser wasn't as messed up as the original reveiw mentioned...at least not to me. The original review says that the battery life is excellent, however, I do not agree. Mine lasts one day with mixed use. Not a lot of talking, but some playing around on it trying to learn it. Trying to use sparingly today to see how much that helps. The accelerometer does get stuck sometimes, but if you just lock the phone and unlock it, it'll work fine. I have not had any issues to where I had to reboot the device, although I have read on here, and elsewhere, that folks are having to pretty regular. Maybe I'm just too simple to care about some of it's bugs. Who knows? Afterall, there will be software and firmware updates in the coming weeks and months. If you want a phone that will do everything for you because you're too lazy, then this phone isn't for you, but if you want a good phone/PDA for business and personal use, plus an added "cool" factor, then try it. There will never be a phone that is completely perfect, especially for techies, so I will accept any faults the Storm has and go about my day. Over all, I agree with the above poster about the phone. 8-8.5.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 11:26

7. JonD (unregistered)

Just wanted to add that I cannot comment so much on the Verizon features and services. I have changed carriers to due to a wedding and she wasn't going to change.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 11:47

13. (unregistered)

you just pointed out everything wrong with your phone, was also pointed it out on the review, and your gonna say that theres no problem your obviously bias on this phone to keep it with everything thats wrong with it. hey whatever floats your. boat.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 13:28

20. (unregistered)

a lot of people keep phones even if they have problems with it that doesn't make them biased. there are other reasons people may keep a phone. It sounds like you are biased against this phone.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 16:35

34. JonD (unregistered)

Yes, I might have pointed out the same issues, however, I do not feel as though they are as severe as the reviewer made them out to be. I've never had to wait 10 sec. to complete a picture on the camera. I cannot see the circuit board. tha gaps on mine are not room enough for 2 crdit cards to fit in. It does not freeze up every time i switch applications. I have not had to reboot the phone. I have not had to constantly look at the little clock that shows it's working between applications. I have no bias for this phone either. I waited to join the fiance'e's contract until I could play with this phone to see if I'd like it. Not a BlackBerry guy by any stretch, but this one works for me.

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 18:17

42. (unregistered)

no no no, i like blackberrys, i messed with the storm, sorry to say that BB dumped on the storm. view it wile off and youll notice the screen entirely moves. makes me feel like one drop of it will pop the screen right off. again not biased, just extremely,extremely disappointed.

posted on 26 Nov 2008, 10:45

68. (unregistered)

I am curious what if any issues we will see down the line with the "Click" screen. Bottons wearing out is a common problem with some phones and the fact that this button must be pushed to do just about eveything may cause it to wear down even faster. You can at least add insurace to the Storm unlike the iphone can't you?

posted on 28 Nov 2008, 23:09

101. tofast30 (Posts: 16; Member since: 21 Nov 2008)

You have lost some flavor in your reviews. You spoke to expose the device and not show the people what it is all about. There has been some great up grades in many areas that were overshawdowed by your comments. I thought your review was very stuck up and you need to get back to how you use to do reviews. It just lacked tack. You mentioned the bold 15 or more times which sends the wrong message to your readers, as if you were paid to say that. Finailly you made a bold statment that this was one of Rims worst phones. Och!!! That was overboard. Good Luck with your career!!

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 11:37

8. PhoneArena Team (Posts: 258; Member since: 27 Jun 2006)

To clarify, we are aware of the different tap settings and have experimented with them. In our opinion we didn't see much of a difference in overall performance, and only slowing the typing speed improved accuracy. And yes, we did soft reset the device many times ;) Thank you for your comments, we understand that people have different views and appreciate your input!

posted on 25 Nov 2008, 18:12

40. (unregistered)

how is it a 5.5 rating? when you take the average of all fo the them it comes to 8.1 rounding down. So, ummm how 5.5?

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Display3.2 inches, 360 x 480 pixels (185 ppi) TFT
Camera3.2 megapixels
Size4.43 x 2.45 x 0.54 inches
(112.5 x 62.2 x 13.9 mm)
5.47 oz  (155 g)
Battery1400 mAh, 5.5 hours talk time

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