BlackBerry Storm

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BlackBerry Storm
Blackberry Storm.JPG
Manufacturer Research In Motion Ltd
Slogan Press and be Impressed
Availability by country November 14, 2008 (UK)
November 21, 2008 (U.S.)
December 4, 2008 (Australia)
December 11, 2008 (Canada)
Successor BlackBerry Storm 2
Form factor Candybar smartphone
Dimensions 112.5 mm (4.43 in) (h)
62.2 mm (2.45 in) (w)
13.95 mm (0.549 in) (d)
Weight 155 g (5.5 oz)
Operating system BlackBerry OS 5.0.0.419
CPU 528 MHz Qualcomm processor[1][2]
Storage

Flash memory:

  • 128 MB application memory
  • 1 GB device memory[3]
microSDHC slot: supports up to 32 GB
Battery 3.7 V 1400 mAh
Internal rechargeable removable lithium-ion battery
Talk time: 330 min
Standby time: 360 hours
Data inputs Multi-touch touchscreen display with haptic feedback, volume controls, proximity and ambient light sensors, 3-axis accelerometer[3]
Display 360 x 480 px, 3.25 in (83 mm), HVGA, 65,536 color LCD[3]
Rear camera 3.2 megapixel with video at 480 x 352 px, flash, and autofocus[3]
Connectivity Bluetooth 2.0+EDR,[3] Micro-USB, A-GPS, Quad band GSM 850 900 1800 1900 MHz GPRS/EDGE and Uni band UMTS/HSDPA 2100 MHz
CDMA version (9530) adds: Dual band CDMA2000/EV-DO Rev. A 800 1900 MHz[3]
Hearing aid compatibility M3[4]

The BlackBerry Storm is a touchscreen smartphone developed by Research In Motion. A part of the BlackBerry 9500 series of phones,[5] it is RIM's first touchscreen device, and its first without a physical keyboard. It features a touchscreen which reacts physically like a button via SurePress, a Research In Motion patented technology of providing haptic feedback. Its competitors include Apple's iPhone, the Palm Pre, the T-Mobile G1 by HTC[6] and the HTC Touch family.

The Storm has received mixed reviews from critics, with some[who?] finding the Storm's touchscreen difficult to use or discovering bugs and glitches with the phone's software and others[who?] praising the Storm for its call quality and its business-oriented features.

Availability[edit]

The BlackBerry Storm is available through Vodafone in the UK, Germany, France (SFR), Italy, Ireland, Australia, South Africa (Vodacom), The Netherlands and India;[7] Verizon Wireless in the United States; Telus, Bell, and SaskTel in Canada; Iusacell in Mexico.[8] and on lime and Digicel in parts the Caribbean.[9]

The BlackBerry Storm 9530 is an international and worldwide electronic communicating device, featuring CDMA with EV-DO Rev. A data, UMTS with HSDPA, and quad-band GSM with EDGE data access speed. The BlackBerry Storm 9500 does not include the CDMA module and is destined for use outside North America. However, the BlackBerry Storm only has European, Oceania, Asia and Brazil UMTS and HSDPA frequency bands. Therefore if the BlackBerry Storm is used with GSM wireless carriers in North America, the BlackBerry Storm will only be able to access wireless internet at EDGE data speed maximum. This is because GSM carriers in North America, namely AT&T, T-Mobile, Rogers and Fido do not operate on the same frequency bands for 3G as the rest of the world. If BlackBerry Storm is used in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania or Brazil, HSDPA wireless data speed can be achieved, provided that the local GSM network supports it.[10] The phone will use the primary network technology of its intended carrier (Verizon) when traveling domestically in the US, and rely upon the GSM/UMTS/HSDPA networks of Vodafone mainly when traveling abroad. There are currently no unlocked and unbranded versions available for the GSM Blackberry Storm however unlocking the phone will allow it to be used with any GSM service provider.[11]

Hardware[edit]

The Storm utilizes the MSM7600 from Qualcomm[1] a dual core CPU with ARM11 400 MHz and ARM9 274 MHz. The device features 1GB of onboard memory, 128MB of NVRAM and an expandable memory slot support for a microSD card of up to an additional 32GB. Verizon Wireless, Bell Mobility and Telus Mobility include a preinstalled 8 GB microSD card on board.

Screen and input[edit]

The Storm utilizes a 3.25 in (8.3 cm) TFT-LCD capacitive touchscreen with 360x480 pixel resolution, able to display 65,536 colours. The screen also incorporates technology developed by RIM known as SurePress, which allows the screen to press down like a button to provide physical feedback.

By default, the Storm uses a virtual keyboard implementing the SureType predictive text system used by other Blackberry phones when held vertically, switching to a QWERTY keyboard when held horizontally. Newer versions of the Blackberry OS for the Storm allow the use of the QWERTY keyboard when held vertically. Firmware package 4.7.0.203 (Verizon Wireless) removes the predictive text feature from the multi-tap keyboard configuration; the feature was reinstated in later updates. There have been reviews on reports of screen difficulties such as freezing and wrong buttons loading.

The device features a built-in 3.2 megapixel camera located on back which features a flash, autofocus, and has video recording capabilities with a maximum resolution of 480 x 352 pixels.

Connectivity[edit]

The Storm supports CDMA with EV-DO Rev. A data, UMTS with HSDPA, and quad-band GSM with EDGE data access speed. The BlackBerry Storm 9500 has a firmware-disabled CDMA module and is destined for use outside North America. However, the BlackBerry Storm only has European, Oceania, Asia and Brazil UMTS and HSDPA frequency bands. Therefore if the BlackBerry Storm is used with GSM wireless carriers in North America, the BlackBerry Storm will only be able to access wireless internet at EDGE data speed maximum. This is because GSM carriers in North America, namely AT&T, T-Mobile, Rogers and Fido do not operate on the same frequency bands for 3G as the rest of the world. If BlackBerry Storm is used in Europe, Africa, Asia, Oceania or Brazil, HSDPA wireless data speed can be achieved, provided that the local GSM network supports it.[10] The phone will use the primary network technology of its intended carrier (Verizon) when traveling domestically in the US, and rely upon the GSM/UMTS/HSDPA networks of Vodafone mainly when traveling abroad. There are currently no unlocked and unbranded versions available for the GSM Blackberry Storm; however unlocking the phone will allow it to be used with any GSM service provider.[11] The device also supports Bluetooth v2.0, Bluetooth Stereo Audio via A2DP and AVRCP.

Supported media formats[edit]

[12]

File Format / Extension Component Codec Notes RTSP Streaming

MP4

M4A

3GP

3GP2

Video H.264 Baseline Profile, 480x360 pixels, up to 2 Mbit/s, 30 frames per second Supported
MPEG4 Simple Profile Level 3, 480x360 pixels, up to 2 Mbit/s, 30 frames per second Supported
H.263 Profile 0 and 3, Level 30 Supported
Audio AAC-LC, AAC+, eAAC+ Supported
AMR-NB Supported
QCELP EVRC
AVI Video MPEG4 Simple Profile Level 3, 480x360 pixels, up to 2 Mbit/s, 30 frames per second Supported
Audio MP3

ASF

WMV

WMA

Video Windows Media Video 9 WMV3, Simple Profile, 480x360 pixels, 30 frames per second
Audio Windows Media Audio 9 Supported
Windows Media 10 Standard/Professional Supported
MP3 Audio MP3

Critical reception[edit]

The Storm was met with generally mixed reviews, some focusing on serious usability problems in particular. Many gadget reviewers, including Bonnie Cha of CNET,[13] Joshua Topolsky of Engadget[14] and Sascha Segan from PC Magazine[15] noted the Storm's much-improved web browser and impressive call quality, while also deeming the SurePress touchscreen difficult to learn and a hindrance to fast typing. Several reviews also noted that the web browser was still unable to handle complex webpages correctly, saying that the iPhone's MobileSafari is still a better mobile browser. A number of reviewers also ran into multiple software glitches during their testing, such as lockups, sluggish performance and refusal to switch orientation.[16] The lack of Wi-Fi support also irked a few reviewers, but as noted by Jeff Rauschert of MLive, Verizon's wireless network somewhat makes up for this.[17] David Haskin of the Reseller News noted that BlackBerry's major business features, such as enterprise e-mail integration and Microsoft Office document editing capabilities were on par with BlackBerry's previous offerings, noting that these features would likely make the Storm more popular with the business crowd.[18] David Pogue of the New York Times bashed the BlackBerry Storm calling it the BlackBerry Dud, particularly for lacking Wi-Fi and being prone to too many glitches.[19]

Sales[edit]

Blackberry Storm sales figures were 500,000 in the first month of release with 1 million sold through January 2009.[20]

Software updates[edit]

Ongoing firmware updates have been released since 5 December 2008 that addressed most of these issues; updates can be downloaded online or over-the-air, and can be installed by the user. The most current (official) software to date is:

Device Carrier Package Version Applications Software Platform
BlackBerry Storm 9530 MTS Mobility 5.0.0.808 5.0.0.419 4.2.0.179
BlackBerry Storm 9530 Verizon Wireless 5.0.0.328 5.0.0.328 4.2.0.128
BlackBerry Storm 9530 Telus Mobility 5.0.0.419 5.0.0.419 4.2.0.179
BlackBerry Storm 9530 Bell Mobility 5.0.0.419 5.0.0.419 4.2.0.179
BlackBerry Storm 9530 Iusacell 4.7.0.208 4.7.0.151 4.0.0.186
BlackBerry Storm 9500 Vodafone AU 5.0.0.742 5.0.0.451 4.2.0.198

Note: Unofficial OS updates are leaked from time to time, leading some users to possess newer builds than are officially available.[21]

SIM lock[edit]

The BlackBerry Storm by default is SIM locked, and can be subsequently unlocked on both the 9500 & 9530 Storm editions to use on any GSM network if the code is obtained from the respective provider. The 9530 is not compatible with AT&T Mobility's 3G UMTS/HSDPA network because its UMTS transceiver only works at 2.1 GHz which is a frequency not used in the United States for UMTS, but the BlackBerry Storm will still work over the slower EDGE network in the United States and respective EDGE network from Rogers Communications in Canada.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "BlackBerry Storm". Phonewreck. Retrieved 2009-08-24. 
  2. ^ Multi-touch support
  3. ^ a b c d e f Research In Motion. "BlackBerry Storm Specs". Retrieved 2008-10-12. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Official Specification of Blackberry Storm (VZW)". Retrieved 2009-10-21. 
  5. ^ The Boy Genius (2008-08-08). "BlackBerry Thunder gets 9530 model designation on Verizon, October 13th release date?". The Boy Genius Report. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  6. ^ Hamilton, Anita (2008-10-07). "BlackBerry's Storm Aims to Blow the iPhone Away". Time. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  7. ^ Vodafone Australia. "BlackBerry Storm Pre-register Vodafone Australia". Retrieved 2008-12-10. 
  8. ^ The Boy Genius (2008-05-13). "BlackBerry Thunder, the touchscreen BlackBerry we've all been waiting for". The Boy Genius Report. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  9. ^ Deborah Hoyte (2009-05-01). "Research In Motion introduces the Blackberry Storm to Barbados". Barbados Advocate. Retrieved 2009-05-01. Yesterday officials from Research In Motion (RIM) launched the BlackBerry Storm smartphone in Barbados at the Hilton Hotel, Needham’s Point. The stylish BlackBerry Storm is expected to be available from May by both of the major cellphone providers in Barbados. “We are very pleased to introduce the BlackBerry Storm in this country”, commented Mark Guibert, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at RIM. 
  10. ^ a b Arar, Yardena (2008-10-13). "BlackBerry Storm: RIM's Un-iPhone". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2008-10-19. 
  11. ^ a b "BlackBerry Storm Info". 
  12. ^ Research In Motion. "Media types supported on the BlackBery smartphone". Retrieved 2009-10-01. 
  13. ^ "RIM BlackBerry Storm (Verizon Wireless) Smartphone reviews - CNET Reviews". Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  14. ^ "BlackBerry Storm reviews - Engadget". Retrieved 2008-11-23. [dead link]
  15. ^ Segan, Sascha. "T-Mobile's G1 vs. the Smartphone Heavyweights - RIM BlackBerry Storm 9530 - At A Glance - Reviews by PC Magazine". Retrieved 2008-11-23. 
  16. ^ "BlackBerry Storm Review (Verdict: Not Quite a Perfect Storm)". Retrieved 2008-11-22. 
  17. ^ "BlackBerry Storm review: Inelegant touch screen doesn't live up to the hype - The Flint Journal Online News - Michigan Newspaper - MLive.com". Retrieved 2008-11-23. [dead link]
  18. ^ "BlackBerry Storm: not just an iPhone wannabe". Retrieved 2008-11-24. 
  19. ^ Pogue, David (2008-11-27). "No Keyboard? And You Call This a BlackBerry?". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-26. 
  20. ^ "BlackBerry Storm Doing Better Than We Thought". 
  21. ^ BlackBerry OS | CrackBerry.com

External links[edit]