1. WarER4X's Avatar
    I know, I know, the whole "Tried a demo today..." threads are getting old to some of you, but I just can't resist. I finally have my shot and I'm takin' it!

    At any rate, I went over to the VZW store closest to my office today. They had not one, but two Storm demos out. They were official demos with the security tethers on them, so I can't really say I got a good "feel" for the "feel" of the phone in-hand. I will say that it felt a hair lighter than my 8830, but then again, the 8830 has real metal edges, which might be part of the reason.

    The first demo I tried was running OS 4.7.0.65. I set the web browser to emulate Foxfire just for kicks. I noticed that the web pages (one for a local radio station and Crackberry.com) loaded really slow. I'm not kidding, it was slower than the 8830. I chalked it up to the fact that it was emulating a PC instead of running in mobile browswer format. I'm sure that had some to do with it, but more importantly, I noticed that it was only running on a 1X network connection. D'oh! Oh well. No big deal.

    Typing wasn't bad. I liked it, but then again, I've only been a BB user since July, so I'm not full-on dedicated to the QWERTY way. For those of you who are (and those who aren't for that matter), the trick to smooth typing on the Storm is rhythm. Using the QWERTY on my 8830, I will often queue up one thumb for the next letter before the other thumb is done typing it's letter. You can't do this on the Storm because it won't allow the screen to rebound from the first letter to the next. In other words, there has to be a brief moment of no-pressure on the screen between letter. Experience, I think, will help with that, getting a rhythm down so that you next thumb isn't pressing before your last thumb has let off. To make up for that seemingly type speed hindering issue, though, the keys are very easy to hit. Look, I'm a large man and I have some serious sausage fingers, but I had no trouble with accuracy on these keys. I would recommend that you turn up the keyboard speed setting in the options, though, otherwise it seems the blue halo around the touched keys will lag behind your actual typing speed, which is annoying.

    At times, the phone was chunking quite a bit, switch from one app to another or between portrait and landscape. It is akin to when you are trying to use a computer that is running a bunch of process-intensive operations (like, IDK, a large FEA analysis or something) in the background. Things respond, but it takes several seconds. And, if you get impatiant and try to do other things while waiting, it only gets worse. I attributed this to the fact that (a) lots of apps were running in the background (including it trying to load a webpage with Firefox emulation over a 1X network connection) and (b) the need for an OS update (I really hope that's coming like some say it is).

    To the other demo phone. It was running OS 4.7.0.61. Also, it was hooked onto an EVDO network connection. I didn't bother to check if the browser was set to emulate IE or FF, but I did load a couple pages. They were way faster than the first demo. Streaming YouTube worked great. Unlike my 8830, the picture was big enough that it wasn't too graining. It actually made the YouTube video worth watching on the phone. Unlike the first phone, this one didn't seem to have as much going on in the background. Also, it was behaving more smoothly than the first. In both cases, I think there is definitely room for improvement with the next update.

    Some other notes.

    • As mentioned by someone else earlier, the screen does "wiggle" a tiny bit (basically, sliding in-plane). I originally pictured the screen as riding in a vertical track that would hold it steady but allow it to float up and down. Now, I think I picture it as more a panel, floating inside a pocket and being supported underneath by the frame (which actuates the button, of course). The wiggling is the screen moving around on top of that frame in the confines of its pocket. I can say that it didn't bother me, though. Just a product of the design.
    • Scrolling on a webpage is limited in directionality. While I expected the page to scroll in the exact direction my finger dragged it, it did not. Instead, the screen will only scroll in one direction at a time. You have four direction from which to choose: up-down, left-right and the two diagonals. For example you can't go 20% to the right and 80% down at the same time. You either go right-then-down or down-then-right or throw in a 45 degree diagonal and some more down. Make sense?
    • Menu item selection accuracy was not a problem for me. I didn't notice any options or tools that allow you to re-digitize the screen in order to calibrate it (think Palm Pilot), but then again, I didn't need to. Where I put my figure is what was highlighted. It was unambiguous and not an issue.


    Well, after that big mouthful, this is what I have to say in conclusion. For people who know what RIM is capable of producing (i.e. quality products) and who have experience with the fact that RIM stands behind what they make by providing support and updates when they're need, taking a chance on the Storm is a no-brainer. We know from experience that RIM has a track record of making good stuff and fixing what is broken and we have faith that the Storm will be no different. So, myself being included in that bunch, I have no problem going out tomorrow and buy a Storm for me and my wife. People who have never owned a Blackberry before and don't have the confidence that the bugs will be sorted in short order, may be disappointed if they have the same demo exerience that I just did and might decide not to buy it.

    Like I said, though. I'm excited to buy mine, still. I can't wait until tomorrow and I feel confident that RIM will sort out the bugs before my 30-day trial period expires. That's good enough for me. You be the judge for yourself.

    -SR-

    PS: I almost forgot... watching the Babylon movie trailer on that screen was nothing short of PHENOMENAL. This phone definitely has the power to cure the long layover blues!
    Last edited by WarER4X; 11-20-08 at 11:56 AM.
    11-20-08 11:54 AM
  2. DurangoJim's Avatar
    Nice review. I agree with you.
    11-20-08 12:06 PM
  3. JRSCCivic98's Avatar
    I'm glad as more people are putting their eyes on this device, they will slowly realize what I was talking about in regards to the screen design and how it wobbles a bit on the Y axis. You can't imagine how hard it is for people to get that until they actually see and feel it first hand. This again is a slight byproduct of the screen gap. Yeah, I know it's getting old, but it's the truth, like it or not. While not a killer, you can't deny it and pretend it's not reality... let's be realistic here, even BGR mentions it, so I'm not alone on this. Shame it took this long for people to come to terms with it.
    11-20-08 12:11 PM
  4. KINetics's Avatar
    (like, IDK, a large FEA analysis or something) in the background.
    FEA analysis. Isn't that like saying Finite Element Analysis analysis.

    LOL, just busting your chops.

    Good in-depth review.
    11-20-08 12:22 PM
  5. WarER4X's Avatar
    FEA analysis. Isn't that like saying Finite Element Analysis analysis.

    LOL, just busting your chops.

    Good in-depth review.
    Yeah, ya got me. Fun thing is, I often point that out to other folks when they say "PIN number" or "ATM machine" (much to their annoyance, I think).

    -SR-
    11-20-08 12:27 PM
  6. kstro135's Avatar
    I appreciate your thoughts on the device.
    11-20-08 12:30 PM
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