RIM BlackBerry Storm2 9550 Review

On paper the Storm was a success for RIM and Verizon.  In the flesh, not so much.  It was plagued by software issues that were eventually ironed out, but more so by the utter failure of RIM’s SureType technology.  The screen was cumbersome to use, tiring and inaccurate.  An iPhone killer it was most certainly not, and we dubbed it the worst BlackBerry ever made.  So, how does RIM fix it?  A new screen, now with four click points and Piezo technology to prevent accidental clicks.  We have to admit we are much more impressed this time around.

In the box you’ll find:
•    Li-Ion battery
•    AC Adapter
•    USB cable
•    Stereo headphones
•    16GB microSD card


Visually, there isn’t a lot of difference between the 9530 and the newer RIM BlackBerry 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.  The Storm2 measures in at a nearly identical 112.5 x 62 x 13.9mm compared to the Storm, but weighs in at 5g more.  The battery door latch mechanism is similar to the one found on the 8520, which is a welcome change, and the speaker has also moved from the back to the bottom of the phone, making it easier to hear when laid down.  The side keys are now rubber instead of silver, again taking their design cue from the 8520.  All of them offer plenty of travel and reassurance when they are pressed.

You can compare the RIM BlackBerry Storm2 9550 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The largest design difference is the function keys below of the screen.  On the original these were four physical buttons, separate from each other, but this time around these are incorporated into the screen itself.  Our preview unit had all kinds of issues that prevented us from actually pressing these buttons most of the time, but on this latest unit everything is great.  The Piezo technology is definitely in effect, and is very cool.  When the power is off the screen is not clickable, but it doesn’t end there:  RIM has blended Piezo and capacitive technologies so that when the screen is turned on it is only clickable with bare skin.  This prevents accidental key presses and is a very cool addition.

The display is again gorgeous, measuring in at 3.25” with a resolution of 360x480 at 184ppi but just 65K colors.  We’re not sure that this is any better than the screen on the Storm, but then again that was a very pretty panel as well.  More importantly it is much better to use.  The wiggle is gone, and we can no longer see the circuit board along the edges of the display.  Now with the new SurePress technology, it is much easier to click and the multiple input sensors make typing much more accurate.  This time around autocorrect was able to fix most of our mistakes, though not quite all.  In a typical message we’d have to manually correct only one or two words, which is way 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.

We have to think that this is what RIM was going for the first time around.  The difference is so night and day that we really feel RIM should have dropped the Storm name, even if the two devices are extremely similar.  This new implementation of screen clicking is worthy of a new brand name.

RIM BlackBerryStorm2 9550 360 DegreesView:

More content with (Storm2 9550 and Storm2 9520)



1. secondcor517

Posts: 94; Member since: Oct 06, 2008

i think it's slightly moronic to make one of your cons that "It works now, but we’re still not sold on the whole clickable touchscreen idea". This is supposed to be a review of the phone, it should be impartial. the fact that you included a feeling as a pro or con, clearly shows that your review is anything but impartial. if it didn't work, then that would be a con. leave your personal beliefs out of the equation so that we as the reader have a chance to decide for ourselves.

9. Iphone User unregistered


2. shgam2

Posts: 42; Member since: Sep 08, 2009

Most of the phones have the threaded messaging.. so nothing special about it

3. DF334

Posts: 36; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I own the 1st Storm and I could always use the screen. I think that a lot of people that used the phone saying that it was unusable is a very subjective statement. I have gotten to use the Storm2 and it is a HUGE improvement. I do agree with the comment above from secondcor517, because saying that the clicking part of the phone IS working, and then saying it is a con is a personal opinion. Great Review otherwise! OH....5.0 is really good by the way!!!

4. krusenkevin

Posts: 7; Member since: Oct 29, 2009

It's a minor point, I know, but... the schizophrenia when stating dimensions and weight in reviews (Phone Arena and elsewhere) drives me n-u-t-s. Sometimes it's stated in metric terms, other times in Imperial terms. Can't we get it BOTH ways? 5 grams means nothing to me.

6. koustik

Posts: 4; Member since: Nov 02, 2009

This may be hard to take in all at one time but.............Your not the only person in the world. JKLOL I would like to see both dimensions too.

5. narley

Posts: 357; Member since: May 14, 2009

there is no way to classify how much better this phone is in words.... you HAVE to try it in person to fully appreciate how much better it is.

7. theo14461 unregistered

I've been using the Storm 2 for about a week. In the past, I've owned a BB Bold, Curve, and a Tour. I'll take the Storm 2, over them all. The camera has a very slight lag, but the pictures look great. I would like to be able to see the characters above my finger, as I type. Display is bright, and looks good, not too sensitive. Very pleased with this phone.

8. corymcnutt

Posts: 15; Member since: Oct 01, 2009

Just for the record...in the PHONE area, the Storm2 DOES locate contacts by starting to type the name of the contact on the line; you just have to push the contact icon on the dial screen. You can also click on the Inc/Out calls icon and simply highlight a recent call and push dial. If you have the Phone icon pushed, you can only type a phone number in. The way they organized that phone area is very nice; I just wish RIM would allow a larger contact photo...we have a large screen, so why use a photo as small as the Pearl uses?

10. shilpa unregistered

Storm2 9550
  • Display 3.2" 360 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 3.2 MP
  • Storage 2 GB
  • Battery 1400 mAh(5.50h talk time)

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