RIM BlackBerry Storm2 9550 Preview
Keep in mind that this is a preproduction unit we are previewing in this article. There is likely to be software changes before the retail unit is released, and therefore our experience is subject to change.
After a lackluster debut into the touchscreen arena RIM’s second effort aims to right the wrongs of SurePress with the BlackBerry Storm2 9550. The clickable screen has stayed, but undergone major reconstruction. There are now four sensors registering your input, as opposed to just one on the original. This allows for multiple inputs to be registered at the same time, which greatly improves the typing experience. Otherwise the device remains very similar to the original Storm 9530.
Visually there isn’t a lot of difference between the 9530 and the newer Storm2 9550. The overall feel is very much the same, and again one of the first things to catch our attention was the weight of the device. We unofficially measured it at 111.1 x 60.3 x 14.3mm which is comparable to the original’s 112.5 x 62.2 x 13.9mm. The battery door latch mechanism is similar to the one found on the 8520, which is a welcome change. The side keys are now rubber instead of silver, again taking their design cue from the 8520.
The largest design difference is the function keys below of the screen. On the original these were four physical buttons, separate from each other. This time around these are using the same technology as the screen. We’re hoping that our prototype unit is still working out some kinks, but those buttons drove us crazy. We were only able to activate them about a third of the time; we’re not sure if it’s the Piezo technology or just a defect, but most of the times we tried to press them they were rigid and unmovable. At other times they gave way very easily however, just like the rest of the screen, so it seems the Piezo is at work not allowing us to select. Any improvement in screen technology is negated by these keys, which made our experience maddening. We have to believe that this will be fixed by production.
The screen is indeed better to use. The wiggle is gone, and we can no longer see the circuit board along the edges of the display. It is less tiring to use (or perhaps our thumbs have just gotten stronger!) and the multiple input sensors make typing much more accurate. This time around autocorrect was able to fix most of our mistakes, but not quite all. In a typical message we’d have to manually correct one or two words, which is leagues better than the original. It also does a better job of replicating the feel of a physical keyboard, but it is still well behind the Tour’s physical keyboard.
1. vulgar (Posts: 10; Member since: 04 Sep 2009)
Resetting? I really hope thats fixed. I would never get the storm 2 just because of how troublesome the first one was. But you would think blackberry could handle touchscreen a little better. No flash in the browser either? Yep, just gonna hop aboard the android train.
10. Quemical (Posts: 162; Member since: 14 Jul 2009)
" In our opinion, even if RIM nails SurePress perfectly, it’s simply a technology we aren’t much interested in." And that right there sums this preview up pretty well. You decided you didnt like it before youd even touched the phone. Phone arena should remove this article from the site, it is inaccurate and unprofessional.
13. tonyc_42 (Posts: 61; Member since: 18 Aug 2009)
i agree. they should get someone to preview/review this with an unbiased opinion of it and give it the attention it needs to get an accurate review, not just someone who already hates one of the main features of it. shame on you phonearena...
16. jherz6 (Posts: 215; Member since: 23 May 2008)
Or maybe how much trouble you had with it sounds like operator error to me. I didnt have ane problems with Storm and Im looking forward to the Storm2.
2. corymcnutt (Posts: 13; Member since: 01 Oct 2009)
I am not sure what pre-production model you got your hands on...but other respected forums have tested their pre-production models and are reporting wonderful results. NONE mentioned the rebooting issue, the problem with the menu keys not responding, or sluggishness of the O/S. They report the screen as "rock solid." What O/S was yours running? I hope you got a VERY early one and the others received later models!
3. pimpinmcd53 (Posts: 11; Member since: 01 Oct 2009)
yeah this is definatley phone arenas version because if you gotohttp://www.salomondrin.net/ he has a video of how his old storm 2 clicks and how his new storm 2 that he just got is and its like night and day and listen to the sounds phone arenas makes the same sound that salomondrins old one did but his new one sounds more the like the original storm. once again phone arena makes a great phone, soon to be, sound like a piece of garbage before its released. only reason i come on this site is to get a good laugh about how bad of a job they do at reviewing their phones. its really funny and that guys voice is even better hahaa
4. j1109 (Posts: 3; Member since: 10 Jun 2009)
I have been so looking forward to the Blackberry Storm 2 and am THOROUGHLY DISAPPOINTED about Blackberry's decision to continue with the SurePress screen!!!!! The SurePress screen is the #1 reason I passed on the original Storm and its inclusion in the Storm 2 may be the reason I may choose a worthy alternative. After some experience with the the HTC Touch Pro and iPhone touch screen interfaces, I completely enjoy the feeling of lightly tapping and getting a response. I don't know about most people, but for me THE AWE IN A TOUCH SCREEN IS JUST THAT: YOU TOUCH IT and it works. If I want to press, then I'll buy a phone with buttons, thanks. I don't know if it's the shortsightedness of some Blackberry executive, the insistence of a design engineer that the technology will catch on like a wildfire, or the desire of Blackberry generally to feel like they've innovated on an already amazing concept, but either way they need to push their big egos out of the way, and just let this phone be great!!! If somebody can't make this screen work in a way that allows a generally pleasing customer experience, such that the screen is not a liability for the phone, then that person needs to be replaced with someone who can do that, someone more customer oriented and less ego oriented. That will get my business!
5. msb175 (Posts: 14; Member since: 09 Apr 2008)
Was the reviewer reading from a piece of paper? Sounded like a 12 year old reading his book report in front of a class.
6. cellconnection (Posts: 6; Member since: 11 Aug 2009)
No Flash Player? Come on, I have the original storm and i am one of the lucky ones who hasn't had any problems. But come on, what are the perks of this new storm? Nothing on it is earthshattering enough for me to get it. It needs flash player
7. pkcable (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Oct 2009)
Just for the record they have fairly old software, the OS is now in the late 230ies if not 240ies. :)
9. vzw fanman (Posts: 1968; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
mines .230...have you found anything more recent?
8. jcom86 (Posts: 10; Member since: 09 Jan 2009)
Phonearena; If you're going to PROPERLY preview a new phone that is due some hype then you should do so with the phone that is CLOSEST to the production unit. BUT you didn't. The OS version on this phone, as ALREADY noted is outdated and is the route of all the problems you noted. Salomondrin has already previewed this phone several times and each time with a better OS. If you really wanted to do this the right way you would go and get a phone with a newer OS and see that the bugs you experienced are all gone. Otherwise this review is COMPLETELY useless and you should remove it from your site. If you're thinking of buying this phone then don't read this preview, the problems Phonearena encountered no longer exist.
11. mr. anderson (Posts: 92; Member since: 16 Apr 2009)
im not in the business or anything, but id assume pre-production units arent exactly easy to come by. they made it a point to say things are subject to change several times, and that they were not using a final unit. imo they did the best they could with what they had. im sure there will be a proper review when the retail unit is released
12. corymcnutt (Posts: 13; Member since: 01 Oct 2009)
The problem is, things ALREADY have changed and they've made many improvements since the model they have AND THEY KNOW THAT, but they still report on it. It's OK for them to say we have our hands on an early model and to comment on it, but to cal it a "review" is bending the truth, making it sound as though, this phone has many things that need fixed and we thought RIM would do a better job. Wait until a production model or at least a very late pre=production model come out before you start calling it a review of a product. Too many people read that as gospel...let's wait for a "proper review."
14. mr. anderson (Posts: 92; Member since: 16 Apr 2009)
they dont call it a "review," they call it a "preview." notice there is no conclusion, and they dont give it a score. @11 and 13...to me it seems that theyve come to this conclusion after using the devices, not that they went into the review biased.
15. jherz6 (Posts: 215; Member since: 23 May 2008)
I totally agree with opinions here Phone Arena is completely biased in there opinions as far as BB's. All the problems with typing they bring up I have never experienced with my Storm 1. They talk about misspelled words and how bad they are because of typing issues, yet then they say in the video how the auto correct software will fix it and how great it is. I wonder why thy didnt bring up how the Storm 2 will wifi?, and what a truly clear crsip picture it takes. I wonder how the would review a new iphone? Well theyll get there chance with the VZW version in 2010.
17. lsutigers (Posts: 558; Member since: 08 Mar 2009)
@jherz6 You say you have never experienced any issues with the Storm 1 but if thats even true, you are probably less that 5% of Storm 1 owners. I work for VZW and trust me, the original Storm was very problematic, and in many was it still is, even with all the software improvements. To this day, we are having many people return them because of the touch screen/software issues, mainly unresponsiveness. So Phone Arena is just stating the truth that MOST Storm 1 owners encountered. The Storm 1 has been a nightmare for us and internal return numbers prove it. However, I can say the Storm 2 is much improved so try it out before you buy it.
18. campka3 (Posts: 2; Member since: 14 Oct 2009)
the storm was a great device it had some flaws like almost anyother device out there. people are just spoiled and complain about everything. nothin is perfect especially not a man made device. anyways i cannot wait for thr storm 2 i do wish it looked a little different only because i like colors but i just but a faceplate and the improvements seem great, cant wait to get one.
19. lennydude (Posts: 23; Member since: 06 Jun 2009)
This type of "review" is basically worthless. I really think Phone Arena does the worse job of any regular site! For crying out loud Phone Arena, get someone who is at least a Blackberry fan to take a look at this. He started out in a negative flow and it never got any better!