Rumored for some time, Research in Motion (RIM) recently unveiled their newest mobile phone – the BlackBerry Storm. Clearly positioned as a direct competitor to the Apple iPhone, the Storm is RIM’s most consumer-oriented BlackBerry yet.
The Storm stands out as the first touch-screen BlackBerry, yet there is a twist – the Storm features a touch-sensitive display that’s unlike displays on any other touch-screen smartphone currently available. Called “ClickThrough” the display mechanism includes a suspension system that lies beneath the display. When you select an application or enter text, you actually push down on the screen like you would any other tactile button.
Featuring a SureType keyboard when the smartphone is in portrait mode, the Storm switches to a full QWERTY keyboard in landscape mode. With a built-in accelerometer, the Storm will automatically rotate the screen depending on how the phone is being held – vertically or horizontally. The keys also glow blue when typing.
The Storm is about the size of the BlackBerry Curve, but slightly thicker measuring 4.4 inches high, 2.4 inches wide, 0.5 inch deep and weighing 5.6 ounces. It’s equipped with a 3.5mm headphone jack and has four shortcut keys – Talk and End, Back, and BlackBerry menu. Battery Life is listed as 15 days (Standby time) and 5.5 hours (Talk time).
The Storm will run the latest BlackBerry OS (version 4.7), providing an updated interface while still including support for multiple e-mail accounts from a range of sources, along with wireless synchronization. It comes with 128MB of flash memory and 1GB of onboard memory that is supplemented by a microSD/SDHC expansion slot supporting cards up to 16GB. In addition to an attachment viewer, you can also do some light editing on Microsoft Word and PowerPoint files.
The phone comes with a number of multimedia capabilities and can handle various music and video formats, including MP3, AAC, WMA, WMV, and MPEG4. Also included is Media Sync software that will help with synchronizing iTunes files with the Storm. The Storm’s camera is 3.2-megapixels with video recording, auto focus, and flash.
A specific release date and pricing were not announced, but indications are that the Storm from Verizon would be out by the holiday season with “competitive” pricing. There is a lot to like about this newest BlackBerry. Visit the RIM web site – and eventually the Verizon Wireless web site – for additional details.