BlackBerry Storm: the five-minute fiddle

I reckon I'm dead good for typing on, me.

I reckon I'm dead good for typing on...

Those of you that have been reading my mini-mini-reviews of devices (the ‘five-minute fiddle’ series), will know that I’ve tried a bunch of devices recently – albeit in some cases for a very limited amount of time – hence the ‘five-minute’ part 🙂

So, devices I have checked out are the Nokia N96, Sony Ericsson C905, and BlackBerry Bold. But yesterday I got hold of the BlackBerry Storm – for a little while – and here’s what I thought:

  • build quality – felt okay in the hand -actually, a bit too light for the size that it is – feels like it should be a bit heavier, like a solid lump of metal, to give that ‘premium device’ aura…
  • key layout – there aren’t any (well, many), it’s a touchscreen 🙂
  • Speed of O/S – Um, a bit laggy if I were honest
  • Battery – well the unit I got hold of had low battery popping up. I am going to assume that was because it had been used a lot that day. However…… you never know!
  • O/S ease of use – well the UI looks nice at the top level (homescreen), and sub-level one (main menu), but I couldn’t get to grips with moving about in it, which brings me nicely on to….
  • touchscreen – er… sucked. Yep, I couldn’t get on with it at all. This whole clickthrough concept, where the screen moves, I found most unsettling. it’s like the whole screen is mounted on springs, and feels like you are typing on a wobble-board! Typing felt strange.
  • Email writing – well after some persisting I got the letters I wanted – key spacing good, but that touchscreen unsettled me. Compare with iPhone, which I had the same amount of time to try, and was at one with, within 5 mins. I assume that the push email function works perfectly.
  • Auto-screen-rotate – sucked too – very slow and laggy, not animated
  • media handling –no time to check 🙁

I’m sorry to say, this device didn’t impress at all, and the touch is just nowhere near the iphone. consider that if the screen is a moving part and depresses when you type each letter, how much durability is that going to need to have for a heavy texter/emailer….?

Compare overall with the Bold, and I’m disappointed 🙁

Overall rating: Disappointed!  🙁

Grade: C- / D+

  • jacob

    Yea, this guy is a total moron. Congrats on him being a tool.

  • Nate

    I love how these reviews never state that they are playing with a prerelease versions of the phone. Of course the OS will be buggy. A review is pointless unless you state the facts. The software you used was at least two versions old and will not be the release OS. There are NO reviews out of a CURRENT Verizon Storm OS (Even the UK Vodafone Storm OS, which released a few days ago is older than what will be on the VZW on release day!) As for the click screen, read any review of someone who has spent more than five minutes with it (like a day) and you will see they all say the click screen is way better than the Iphone, it just takes getting used to. Pointless review…. It’s like you drove a car that was still on the assembly line and said “this doesn’t go fast enough!” Do your research before posting your thoughts to the world…

  • Ray

    The author of this article has to be paid by either Apple or AT&T. People should not write stuff like this unless they have had ample time to investigate. 5 minutes is not enough. I agree with Nate prereleased versions usually do suck. In other words keep you mouth closed or in the case you blogging to a hult until you know what your talking about or until you have some information to go on. Bring on the Storm.

  • Chris

    Dude this reviewer must be on crack I work for Verizon Wireless and I have the phone and yes I have one of the test phones and not the Launch phone and yes it has some issues that he states but I just received the Launch Storm with the new updated software and it kicks ass everything is perfect

  • Senior Douche Bag

    This guy is the biggest douche bag of them all!

  • Gib

    This guy has to be on something. Either that or he is getting paid by the competition. What a douche.

  • Blackberry Storm Fan

    This guy probably works for AT&T.

  • Brian

    Worst review ever. I mean you had no time to actually use the unit. Didn’t have time to use the media part of the phone. lol, next time don’t waste your time and anyone elses that get the great misfortune of hitting this site. A very useless review…if I may review the review.

  • The One

    I find it interesting that non of the well known reviewer/review sites had as many negative things to say as you did in this 5 minute review. What discredits your review is that you had almost nothing positive to say. Even more interesting is that you even said it felt light, and not one other reviewer, or person who has handled the phone has said that. I've lost respect for this website, because this was obviously not a professional review. You actually used the words "sucked". The touch screen was that bad to you, but not like that for any other professional review from better known companies. You didn't even mention about how nice the screen is. For a review to not even try to say anything positive, shows the obvious bianess in it. Haha, even when talking about battery life, you mentioned that it already had the low battery life signal when you got it, so I don't know what makes you think it's even appropriate to mention battery life if you admittedly got a phone that already said "low battery". "I am going to assume that was because it had been used a lot that day. However…… you never know!" Why did you say, "however, you never know"? HAHA, this review was ridiculous, and you have completely lost credibility in my eyes, and in the eyes of anyone who reads this and has any common sense.

  • Ben

    Hey all,

    Thanks for your *great* comments 🙂

    Thought I would just clear a few things up:

    1) This was a final device, that was being retailed, not pre-release!!
    2) The O/S was laggy, screen rotation slow and not animated
    3) I didn’t like the keyboard at all – and I wonder about it’s durability if it’s going to be pressed a couple of hundred times per email
    4) I’m not paid by Apple or AT&T 🙂
    5) Again, the point of the five-minute fiddle is about *first impressions* – the Storm didn’t impress me at all, unlike it’s slightly less recent cousin, the Bold -which I thought was great.
    6) 5 mins is not enough for a full review, I quite agree – but then the post didn’t state it was a full review – that will come from our BBerry gurus in due time

    I would love for the Storm to be a great device, and perhaps in time, it will become one. If I get another chance to take say 2 weeks with a unit (preferably with some more responsive software in it), that would be the subject of another follow-up post. However, to say again, first impressions were not good for me (that’s not to say other people won’t love it though).

    Likewise, in the same five minute fiddle series, the N96 wasn’t that impressive, yet the C905 and BBerry Bold were. Some devices are just better than others 🙂

    Anyhoo, thanks for all your views, it’s great when readers get behind something or really disagree with it – and thanks for taking the time to post guys!

    Ben 🙂

  • Barry Bell

    Fer crying out loud people, what was the title of this review? Yep, "BlackBerry Storm: the five-minute fiddle".

    It's not a full review, it's someone's experience of it after using it for… yes, five minutes. So why are you expecting a full, 10 page, in-depth review of it?


    I actually think this is a great approach to handset reviews – those first few minutes are pretty damnned telling as far as I'm concerned.


  • Jeff

    Well both the Bold and Storm have get awful reviews in Europe , the only it have is e-mail all the other sucks.

  • Nate

    Ben, you say you played with a release version phone. I'm not calling you a liar but I find that hard to believe, as it's hard to imagine that the reviewer in the U.S. who got to play with a release version of the phone was Ben from "five-minute-fiddle". And not a major reviewer like CNET. There is maybe ONE post on all of Crackberry from an actual VZW employee who claims to have played with a release version (and says there is no glitches like you are mentioning). So I'm inclined to believe you were misled or mistaken in the version of the phone you were playing with. Believe me, everyone wants to know so bad what the release version is like, that if someone had REAL access, it would be viral on the net. EVERYONE who has reviewed or played with the phone has had access to a prerelease version. Once, again you may have been the lucky first, but I doubt it (mistakes can be made, after all, we are human) and I hope not, because I want this phone to rock 🙂

  • Simon Sage

    Nate, Ben is based in the U.K. He tried out the Vodafone version that was released last week. 😉

  • Simon Sage

    As the BlackBerry guy, I thought I should chime in here…

    First impressions count for a lot in your average consumer’s buying process, and I think that’s the real value of the five-minute fiddle series. It might not explore every nook and cranny of the device, or even give the user the full experience that the device has to offer, but the majority of shoppers are going to go with their gut and not read up reviews online. Ben’s series of reviews simply show what those people will walk away with after first trying a device out, although, as ever, your mileage may vary.

    In the Storm’s case, I can see how there would be a learning curve for the SurePress touchscreen that not everyone would have the patience to chew through, especially if comparing it to previous iPhone experiences. Of course, this is far from our final word on the Storm – I’ll be getting one next month for an in-depth review, so sit tight. 🙂

  • iphone hater

    @the One……..”Co-Sign”

    if the low battery pops up…It should go on standby and keep the reserve for last phone calls and emails if I read that correct.

    to me it seems the way you put it you have no friggin’ idea what the Storm is about.

    Ofcourse it’s in a state to need more tweaks/updates…no smartphone is perfect or even close when the needs mostly 2 or 4 updates(or more to make it run smoothly.

    Nokia has it with all N-series after a couple of updates you see it runs much better.

    The Iphone got its updates and it stil runs not good!!!
    Soo play with the Storm for like 48 hours then do a review.

    the overall sound I heard about the Storm is….Great Device, goooood, fantastic and I can go on and on.

  • MIKE


  • Ben

    Hey Nate,

    Thanks for the comment.

    I’m based in the UK, so I tried out the Vodafone SKU of the Storm. And genuinely, I can say this was a retail unit.

    One thing I will say, because there seem to be a LOT of haters out there (!), is that I was really hoping the Storm was going to be awesome. Having owned a BBerry before, I’ve got a lot of time for them. Push email is a boon, and something I’ve missed in recent devices I’ve had.

    Unfortunately, on this occasion, the device wasn’t up to scratch – whether it incurs the venom of the ‘fanboys’ of BBerry or not, there were things that I wouldn’t accept on that device if I were buying it.

    To re-iterate again, it’s that initial five-minute impression that I was giving – very likely there will be a number of later firmware versions that will fix most, if not all of the lagging issues.

    As regards the screen, I just didn’t like it – call that personal preference.

    I’m sure when you get to play with it you’ll love it, as will many others – and that’s the beauty of having your own opinion about it. Does me saying I didn’t like the device make it bad? No. Does everyone major reviewer saying it’s great make it good? No. It’s good or bad if you, and you alone, like it.

    As I’m in the market for a BBerry, I think my money is currently going for the Bold. And jfyi (not to you specifically), if I was an Apple fanboy I wouldn’t write posts hammering the email & calendaring on that device!

    Anyhow, good to hear from you, and good luck with the Storm when it becomes available over the pond 🙂



  • vincent mac

    I think most of us understand that it was a 5 minute review. The problem is this 5 minute review “sucked.” It does lose credibility when the reviewer states that a device is light when every other review put it as on the heavy side. And besides, since when was a light device a negative? Who really wants to carry a brick in their pocket?

  • Tom

    I compare the awarded best smartphone E71 with the Bold and the Storm, and I most say the E71 did win an easy (convincing) victory . The most funny thing is you get the super E71 for a cheaper prise to ..:)

  • Ben Robinson

    The device aesthetically appears lighter than it should be. Devices need to weigh an appropriate amount to how they look – otherwise you have the famous "this device feels cheap" syndrome. End of 🙂

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