The Storm senses physical orientation, automatically adjusting the screen to work best, as in the full QWERTY touch and tactile feel keyboard shown here.

The Storm senses physical orientation, automatically adjusting the screen to work best, as in the full QWERTY touch and tactile feel keyboard shown here.

This was an exciting week for BlackBerry lovers who secretly suffer from touch screen envy. The big surprise wasn’t that the new BlackBerry Storm (up to now, it was called Thunder) was out so soon, but that Canadian CDMA cellphone providers were carrying it.


This means that Telus and Bell have more clout than Rogers when it comes to getting the next hottest smart phone – even one from Waterloo-based Research in Motion – or that Rogers simply passed. What do you think?

The best news about the Storm to me was that it is a World phone with full GSM capabilities right up to 3G, so who cares who carries it? I know Rogers and Fido have a good thing going with being GSM, available even on the moon, but CDMA, for all its battery guzzling features, offer better quality voice. Did you know that the already impressive talk and standby time on the Storm is even longer when in GSM mode? You will actually get the best of both cellular worlds with the Storm.

Telus was first to announce the new Storm in Canada but it didn’t take long for Bell to play catch up with a “me too” release later in the afternoon last Wednesday. The two competing CDMA companies, who are also partners in implementing the 3G and future 4G infrastructures in Canada, got into a contest of sorts on who would be first to actually deliver the phone.

Like, who cares folks? They both will have it before Christmas, so what’s a week here or there?

The Storm will not have the two-finger pinch effect of the iPhone – that’s a killer patent feature for Apple – but it’s kind of funny that RIM is so going out of its way to make its touch screen Storm behave… like a real keyboard, with fewer touch mistakes. You will have to press a little harder once the letter highlights on the first touch to actually make that key work, accompanied by a tactile feedback sensation.

I hope the Storm gives a better HTML experience than previous BlackBerries that can’t play most of the online videos. Despite it being the newest gee-whiz RIM gadget, it should not sell for more than $200 (with a 3 year contract) if it wants to be embraced by everyday consumers. Don’t forget, it has a bigger screen but does not carry pricey items like a real keyboard, trackball or WiFi, the later being a let-down for me. Sure, I get a great deal with Rogers data plans, $25 for 500 MB, for my Bold (not long ago, Rogers would only give you 4 MB for the same money) but I find that in WiFi mode, the online experience is much faster than 3G cell mode.

Still, can’t wait to get my hands on it.

Google “BlackBerry Storm” for the online RIM, Telus and Bell sites. 



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