As the saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed… that’s also apparently RIM’s moto. While they have launched new devices recently including this, the Storm 2, they don’t seem to be doing much in terms of design, just upgrading of specs here and there to beef up an existing device's appeal. You’ll hear no complaints, well not too many at least about that fact. It seemed like RIM just didn’t get the whole SurePress Touchscreen bit right the first time with the Storm, among other facets, so here we are with the Storm 2 that was designed to fill the holes it’s predecessor left. Here’s what’s new with the Storm 2.

Form Factor
A few subtle changes have been made to the overall design. The separated buttons below the display have now given way to a set of touch sensitive keys in their stead. The touchscreen display is still 3.25-inches with a 360 x 480 pixel resolution; however the SurePress panel has been replaced with a standard, fixed capacitive touchscreen. The technology for the SurePress, button like screen system is still very evident though. Thanks to the addition of a Wi-Fi antenna and the added 1GB (total of 2GB built-in) of internal memory the weight of the device has gone up by 5g to 160g. Speaking of memory, the predecessor was equipped to handle just 8GB of external memory while the Storm 2 can handle up to 32GB.

Even though the dimensions are almost identical, give or take a couple of millimeters in breadth, the Storm 2 somehow looks sleeker than the original. Instead of the chrome lines and buttons the Strom 2 is an all black handset with rubberized keys. The placement of the keys hasn’t changed though. The hot-swap microSD card slot is also still under the real panel near the battery compartment.

The good part is the screen doesn’t move when you shake it, the bad part is its a little heaver now. I liked the design then and I still think it’s an impress piece of hardware in the looks department.

Features and Performance

Upgraded to the new BlackBerry OS version 5 RIM has still retained the 528 MHz processor which was a bad idea. However they have upped Flash memory from 128MB to 256MB. There’s a visible difference in speed of conducting operations from navigation to start up and even just accessing and opening features and settings. The updated OS may not look all that dissimilar from the older one but if you’re transitioning from an old handset to one with version 5 you’ll notice the subtle changes. The accelerometer is quick but just a little too sensitive. I like the newer SurePress system. It’s got a certain stability to it and the whole button, haptic, touchscreen also makes typing a little easier than it was with the Storm.

The OS even though relatively finger friendly throughout, with stubby fingers like mine, the copy function can be a quite a hassle. It’s well designed but unlike the iPhone’s it will require you to have slim fingers even if you use large fonts. The virtual keypads occupy almost 50% if not more of the display so when it comes to chatting you have just a tiny window to see the text and forget about the history. The new auto-correct/complete functionality while typing is personally a little obtrusive but those used to it will find it speeds up your typing quite a bit.

There’s not a whole lot much introduced to the media section. The music player is still as good as it was and the EQ presets as well as Audio Boost option add considerable enhancement to overall audio for videos and music. The video player will read most of the popular video formats including .AVI (DivX, XviD). Playback is smooth and display is very conducive to watching full length movies with a strain on your eyes.

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