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BlackBerry Storm Review

BlackBerry Storm 9530

Posted: , posted by Ray S.

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Multimedia:

This is an area where the Storm really excels. We liked the Media Player found on past devices such as the Pearl, but the Storm’s large, high-resolution screen makes it that much better. The music player is pretty much an iPhone clone, and even though it isn’t original it is still great. The video player is very similar as well, though we had serious issues bringing up playback controls. Like the iPhone, a simple tap of the screen brings up playback controls in the music and video player.  The .75 update has fixed issues we were having with this in regards to the video player. That’s really the only complaint we have though. Videos look fantastic despite only 65k colors and the music player read all the ID3 tags and album art perfectly. Music plays in the background allowing the user to do anything from email to messaging and web surfing.

Music player - BlackBerry Storm Review
Music player - BlackBerry Storm Review
Music player - BlackBerry Storm Review
Music player - BlackBerry Storm Review

Music player


The camera performance was less than stellar however.  Images were dark, even those taken in our light box, and there was a lot of noise.   On top of that color representation was poor; our candy apple red fire hydrant turned out orange, for example.  The shutter lag was horrific, upwards of five seconds after the autofocus was set, which took 3-4 seconds itself.  Combine that with a startup time of around two seconds and the user is looking at at least ten seconds before a picture can be snapped, which makes it unusable for the spontaneous shots so many people use their cell cameras for.  Another gripe is that there is a bar at the bottom of the screen when taking pictures, which obscures part of the viewfinder.  As you can see from our one picture this leads to fingers getting in the frame accidentally.  The QVGA videos were appropriate for YouTube, but similar to the camera the overall performance was lackluster. One cool feature is that the Storm geotags pictures.


Camera interface - BlackBerry Storm Review
Camera interface - BlackBerry Storm Review
Camera interface - BlackBerry Storm Review
Camera interface - BlackBerry Storm Review

Camera interface


Sample shots - BlackBerry Storm Review
Sample shots - BlackBerry Storm Review
Sample shots - BlackBerry Storm Review
Sample shots - BlackBerry Storm Review

Sample shots



Software:

The Storm runs on 128MB of RAM and 192MB ROM, with 1GB of internal storage and an included 8GB microSD card that is expandable up to 16GB.  With the latest software the Storm generally runs smoothly, and when it does hit a hiccup we don’t think the memory is to blame.

GPS has been unlocked for BlackBerry Maps, but not Google Maps. Windows Live Search downloaded, but would not run. VZ Navigator is still the worst carrier branded GPS solution, but it gets the job done. We’ll use it because it’s our only option, but AT&T and Sprint Navigation, nee Telenav, is a much better product.

Other included applications include Flickr and Facebook, as well as Documents to Go for Word, Excel and PowerPoint viewing. The user is given a 30 day trial of the premium service which allows editing as well, but after that must purchase the product. Nuance provides their fantastic voice dialing software.





Included applications - BlackBerry Storm Review
BlackBerry Maps - BlackBerry Storm Review
Google Maps - BlackBerry Storm Review

Included applications

BlackBerry Maps

Google Maps


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PhoneArena rating:
6Average
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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