Typing on the BlackBerry Storm

I had a very brief hands on with a BlackBerry Storm last weekend at a Telus ‘roadshow’. The first touchscreen BlackBerry has been hyped pretty hard, so it had a heck of a lot to live up to.

Let’s just get it out of the way: yep, a bit disappointing. Now, I spent only around 10 minutes trying out the SurePress interface system and came away somewhat worried about the execution. The idea is absolutely marvelous and accuracy seemed more than fine (I was pleasantly surprised how nice it felt overall), but the rebound of the screen was a bit slow, limiting the speed at which you can type. I think this is the main issue many reviewers are coming upon, even if they don’t identify it as such. The ‘unresponsive’ description of the touchscreen has to do with the fact that a second action is attempted before the screen ‘resets’ itself. Think trying to double-click your mouse too quickly. Is this a big deal? Yeah, it sure can be. Perhaps RIM needs to consider an option to disable SurePress and let it function as with most other touchscreens, with the select and execute actions rolled into a single touch.

Some reviews and extended hands-on comments have said given time, one gets used to the new input method. I have no doubt of that. But the question for me is whether ‘gets used to’ is enough to actually enjoy using the device. I don’t want something I simply tolerate. I should be able to get an extended try-out with the Storm sometime this week or next, so hopefully I’ll be able to see if one indeed gets used to SurePress to make it a breeze to use.

One thing’s for sure; I’m looking for the device that melds the email and business features of the BlackBerry and the big-display usefulness of the iPhone. I need some more time to see if the Storm is the device I’m looking for.


5 Replies to “Typing on the BlackBerry Storm”

  1. Did you get a chance to check what OS was installed on the device? Many of the negative reviews so far have focused on UI performance when switching from portrait to landscape mode. There are huge improvements in the latest builds, but I’m not sure what Telus is preloading on their devices.

    (Disclosure: I’m a co-op student at RIM, but I’m not speaking on their behalf and my opinions are my own. I was a BlackBerry fan before I even applied for a position there. ;))

    You may also want to check out the Curve 8900 when it becomes more widely available at Rogers dealers. Reading your Bold review, I can see you’re more interested in large displays on devices (and 3G support) but it might be worth a look.

    Feel free to ping me if you have any questions about BIS or the software end of things.

  2. Nice bit of reading in this article so thanks.

    I own an Iphone for personal use and a blackberry storm for the office, and its just like comparing my home vaio pc with my office desktop.

    They both function well, but the Apple has the designer and style edge, same as the vaio does.

    I have no complaints with any blackberry product for office use, i find them great.

    Keyboard problems? well i type lengthy emails out several times a day on it, and find it to be adequate enougth not to be annoying

  3. actually just “got rid” of mine (my daughter decided to have it), agree the screen/keyboard response time was a bit annoying and as an earlier 9500 version i had no wifi on it, an issue for int’l travellers

  4. Just got a Blackberry Storm (literally got it today!). I imagine there is a learning curve………but are there any women out there with fingernails that are having trouble with this touch screen. HELP!

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