RIM’s first touchscreen BlackBerry is proving to be one heck of a media-darling, the likes of which the iPhone would be proud. Some shower the BlackBerry Storm with praise, while others belittle the BlackBerry’s SurePress click-able touchscreen. Needless to say, it’s been a stormy ride (excuse the pun) for the Storm.
The latest pundit to sound off on the polarizing BlackBerry Storm is the New York Times‘ David Pogue. His take on the Storm? Disappointing, at best. A downright failure, at worst.
Pogue highlights his frustrations with RIM’s seemingly unpolished touch-based BlackBerry interface. He says the SurePress touchscreen, while innovative (and definitely interesting), is more awkward than intuitive. If you don’t know, the SurePress touchscreen uses light finger touches to scroll, zoom, and highlight keyboard keys. A harder press on the touchscreen yields a tactile click that registers a keypress. But, rather than exploit the touchscreen’s two-stage touch input setup, the SurePress touchscreen seems tailored for keyboard use only.
Mr. Pogue accuses RIM of over-extending themselves with multiple headlining handset launches over a few short months, leaving the company with fewer resources that might have more fully developed the Storm’s touch interface. Using a virtual keyboard opened up the possibility for the Storm’s keyboard to be more flexible than a physical keyboard – serving up all kinds of characters and “hot keys” like “.com” or the “@” symbol.
Continuing his Storm bashing, Pogue cites major bugs with the touch-based BlackBerry OS. Storm-plaguing bugs range from issues like the camera application spontaneously starting up in the middle of an email to excruciatingly long screen rotations and application launches.
Perhaps Pogue’s stance on the BlackBerry Storm can be summed up with his statement:
“I haven’t found a soul who tried this machine who wasn’t appalled, baffled or both.”
Agree? Disagree? Sound off in the comments section!