Hands-on with BlackBerry Storm software upgrade

Hands-on with BlackBerry Storm software upgrade
After nearly 6 months of waiting, Verizon Wireless finally released a firmware upgrade for the BlackBerry Storm on Sunday. Was it worth the wait? The answer is a strong affirmative. After upgrading a Storm 9530 from .75 to .148 using the OTA update sent to our device by Verizon, the first thing that we noticed is the much quicker responsiveness of the main menu, especially when scrolling. While the accelerometer still lags a little, it is a major improvement over the orientation changes prior to upgrading. A major fix was made to the camera. Now, when the shutter is snapped, instead of seeing a white screen, you see the actual finished photograph on the display almost instantly. This is something that is going to please Storm users greatly as the white screen would lead to a delay from the time the picture was taken to the time that the display would show the snapshot. Browser speed was slightly improved, but was nothing to write home about. The key improvement here was to make the browser much more stable. Before the upgrade, certain sites would load, and then re-load by themselves a few times before stopping. So far, this has not been an issue. Pictures and text on web sites appear clearer. The QWERTY keyboard in the portrait mode looks cramped, but typing on it produced very few mistakes and the overall experience beats using the SureType method. The updated copy and paste functions made highlighting text to duplicate, a much easier and precision process.

Even minor changes appeared to be useful. The green "Go" button in Browser mode will help newbies figure out how to get to a web site. We haven't had the opportunity to check out any changes in battery life, but the issues the phone had with the back light automatically going to the "high" setting seems to be gone, which alone should lengthen the time between charging the handset.

So is the BlackBerry Storm a new phone like we heard it would be after the upgrade? It certainly is a much better device and it seems that Verizon was able to get rid of the little bugs that made the device hard to use. Those who had trouble with the menu screen will be very happy. In fact, all Storm 9530 users should be happy after downloading the new OS. And while we wouldn't call it a new phone, we think that it is a strong enough release that we can say that this is much closer to the phone that the early adapters thought they were buying last November.

BlacBerry Storm 9530 Specifications | Review



1. faldain

Posts: 2; Member since: May 21, 2009

It's a pretty good upgrade. But it should be since it took 1/2 a year to finish!!!!! I think the battery life is a little better my phone doesn't die after 4 hours like it did before. I like the look of the text too it's smaller but clearer. The "Go" button is neat but once you figured out the "enter" button is the way to make the browser go vroom well you are all set. I like the fact that if click the screen it doesn't turn on if you locked it. Just the buttons so that's pretty great. Well you were late you didn't seem to care but thanks verizon you pulled through as you always do.

2. xmguy

Posts: 38; Member since: Feb 12, 2009

They can send FOTA for the Storm but OTHER feature phones (or dumb phones) that have FOTA are left in the dust. hmm

3. Razeu187

Posts: 17; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

I have version .132....but when I try to do the OTA update it says no updates are available....can anyone help?

4. lornogram

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 01, 2009

If you have done a previous 'unauthozied' update like .132, you will not be able to do an OTA update.

6. jskrenes

Posts: 209; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Do you have Verizon? The upgrade can only be done to phones that currently have an approved software version. So you probably need to downgrade the software back to .75 (or whatever the last official one was) and then do the upgrade.

16. jherz6

Posts: 217; Member since: May 23, 2008

I agree with lornogram, so what I reccomend you do is go back to .75 and try again. If it still doesnt work you can download it directly to your pc from vzam.net/blackberry. But I really think if you remove .132 and reinstall .75 and try again you shouild be fine.

21. Kiltlifter

Posts: 742; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Why don't you just download it online and install it via BBDM... OTA can take 2 hours, with Desktop manager... 20 minutes...

5. ddripp

Posts: 63; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

Still wack. Iphone killer wanted to be. NEXT?

7. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

BB storm ftw. this update is awesome.

8. LS1150 unregistered

Well after 6 months they still cant get it right cant down load tells me u need to remove 5 MB of data to complete down load whats up with that? also dont have anything to remove

10. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

move some stuff to your memory card..

12. zbfoxyladie

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 01, 2009

just back up all your stuff to your computer using the blackberry desktop manager then do a master reset. after the new os is installed just restore your stuff back to your blackberry

17. jherz6

Posts: 217; Member since: May 23, 2008

fanman is absolutely right. the storm uses a shared memory for storage and operation so move some stuff to your memory card and youll be fine, you dont have enough available memory.

25. Dood

Posts: 269; Member since: Mar 23, 2009

I had a customer with the same problem. I just popped his memory card out and put mine in his and it went through fine.

9. ccruse1112

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 01, 2009

I didnt know that people where still using 0.75. There has been so many updates "leaked" by RIM since .075 (which itself was leaked a week after the Storm launched), that I feel you have to be living in a hole if you didnt get one. I guess if someone has been using .075 and are finally going to .148 then it seems like a great improvement. But for someone like me who went from .065 to .075 to .085 to....etc....to .148 this upgrade is long overdue and only a minor improvement over 0.132. Regardless this phone is still a much better phone than the Iphone.

11. The Godfather unregistered


13. zbfoxyladie

Posts: 2; Member since: Jun 01, 2009

most people were scared to update to unofficial sw because there were rumors going around that it could possibly brick (to leave phone inactive) your phone. thats the only reason i stuck with 0.75

14. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

i bricked mine. but crackberry.com is very helpfull when that happens!

15. jssllgt

Posts: 2; Member since: May 12, 2009

How long does it usually take for the OTA update?? I've tried twice already and it's taking forever. 1st time it just stopped at 33% and I cancelled. Now I'm at 52% and its just stopped even though it's saying "downloading in progress." Could people calling and texting be affecting the download?

18. jherz6

Posts: 217; Member since: May 23, 2008

Absolutely, when you try again do it you can perform the upgrade and be undisturbed.

19. mattyp2930

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 01, 2009

I started the upgrade about 24 hours ago, and it kept giving me messages to delete 21 MB of space for it to download, and there was nothing on my phone. It was a major P.I.A. I finally got it to download about 3 hours ago. and it works just fine now. i can definitely notcie the difference in some things. such as the camera. video camera doesnt freeze up on me now. and it moves a tad bit faster when i tilt the screen.

20. YouLostTheGame

Posts: 441; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

I woldn't know how the upgrade is...I've downloaded and installed the damn OS on THREE different occasions through OTA and each time after it finishes "restoring" the screen just goes back to my home screen and the updated OS is nowhere to be found. I've tried pulling the battery, but that hasn't worked either and the VZW tech support told me that since I don't have access to a Windows computer to try it through the DM, that I'm plain S.O.L. I've never had any complaints about VZW until now. The total and utter lack of support for this phone is absolutely ridiculous! And when I bought the Storm I specifically asked the sales person if Mac support was available to which he said "yes"...and well I've come to find that the "yes" he gave me only applied to a SMALL portion of support. Since I'm SOOOOO frustrated right now, the hope of a new iphone to be announced and released is looking more and more appealing by the minute! ARGH!

22. vzw fanman

Posts: 1977; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

why dont you have access to a windows computer

24. YouLostTheGame

Posts: 441; Member since: Dec 11, 2008

UPDATE: Finally got the upgrade to go through last night at midnight and needless to say I'm in love again. This is the phone that I should have been able to buy back in February! Just a few MINOR tweaks and this thing will suffice for me til my next upgrade in Oct. 2010.

23. thegodfishy

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 02, 2009

upgrades great my phone is like 10 times better then what it was plus i can now install apps and actually run them and be able to Use more theams now its tottaly the best now Thank you verizon :D my phone is once again the best :D

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