The Blackberry Storm, Just Released from Verizon Wireless
In my previous blog "Taking the World by Storm...The First TOUCHSCREEN Blackberry" I wrote about the upcoming Blackberry Storm, the new touchscreen blackberry. I wrote about the features, benefits, and had great discussion about it. Today, however I got my hands on the brand new blackberry! Here is a quick review.
First off, I need to say that I have been looking for a replacement of my current PDA phone Audiovox XV660 Windows PDA for a while now, but nothing has gotten my attention, had the right features, or a large enough screen until now. I have loved these features about my phone: Slide out keyboard, LARGE touchscreen, Windows mobile (great for my IT needs-Remote Desktop Connections, software compatibility, email and internet browsing)
I have done ALOT of reading of reviews and specifications of the new blackberry. It is a really well built phone, there is a ton of excitement about it, and upon entering verizon today, I noticed several on display (all being gawked up). Several employees at the store already had the Storm and they let me demo their personal phones (you really get great support and information from Verizon--some of the best employee's around)
The size of this phone is amazing, slightly thinner than my XV6600, and slightly shorter, and since it has an onscreen keyboard (will discuss that in a minute) it stayed one size since it didn't have any parts that slid out or moved
A nice sleek black design, and with no moving parts, I knew this phone would be trouble free as far as that went (I've had many clients as well as myself who have had their phones replaced multiple times because of the slide mechanism failing or starting to fail...nothing is worse than trying to hold the phone up, and attempting to type a message at the same time)
The Touchscreen - WOW! the icons were very easily seen and clickable via their size--they were not super tiny like on the palms or the windows PDA's. There is no stylus to lose on this phone, everything is activated via your fingers. You also don't have to worry about pressing buttons while in your pocket because the phone's screen works off the electrical current in your fingers.
Typing on the touchscreen - Hmm this took a bit of getting used to, you really have to press down on the keys for them to actually work, and sometimes you hit other keys, but you learn quickly. Plus the associate also showed me that the sensitivity and speed can be adjusted for the screen/keyboard, which when I made a slight change I liked the keyboard much better. I will still miss my actual keyboard, but I am looking forward to using just the touchscreen.
Applications - there are a ton of applications on the phone and available for download, Social networking is great on this phone with built in apps like facebook for blackberry, making it very easy to keep in touch in the real estate and business world.
Video and Audio playback - WOW!! I watched part of a movie on this phone, and it was definitely HD quality, I have NEVER seen playback on a phone like this before! You will be impressed.
Email/Texting - It's a blackberry, enough said! Blackberries are world renowned for email and texting capabilities. There is no difference here with the blackberry storm!
Battery Life - They say 5 hours talk time and 15 days standby, and although I haven't played with one long enough, I have no reason to doubt them...blackberries always have good battery life
Overall Feel - I liked how the blackberry felt in my hand, very easy to use with one hand - just touch and click the application of choice.
Availability - Verizon Wireless only. Which is good for me, I love their service, I travel alot and go to many places outside of Metro area's and never have an issue. The phone however is mostly out of stock (big shocker there!) But you can put your name on a list, they usually come in within a few days, or you can order from Verizon Wireless online (like I will be doing within the next few weeks)
Should you get one now? Well as with any technology or software, I always say to wait a while for good reviews to come out, and for them to be widely tested and for bugs and kinks to be worked out. I will order mine mid december, that will give me a few weeks to really check out the reviews and make a full decision.
And another AWESOME feature: The data package. If anyone has a PDA from verizon other than a blackberry and you have the data package (most people do) you are spending $45 a month for unlimited. The blackberry however has the data package for $29.99 for unlimited, which will save $15 a month. Plus as with any PDA you can connect it to your computer and use it as a high speed modem (such as an aircard from verizon) without the extra cost of an aircard!
Finally the cost: $249.99 Minus a $50 mail in rebate makes the phone $199.99. If you are eligible for an upgrade (like me) you get a hundred dollars off the cost of the phone, making it only $99.99 You really can't go wrong.
Let me know what you think of the Storm or your current blackberry! Your comments are more than welcomed!
David Fox, The Real Estate Tech Desk - Technology Solutions for Real Estate Professionals