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BlackBerry Storm2 9550 Phone

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The sequel to RIM's first-ever touch screen Blackberry Smartphone, the unlocked Storm2. Not only does it include the business/multimedia features that made the first version popular amongst executives and entrepreneurs'. RIM further enhances the Smartphone with increased memory, the latest SurePress technology, and Bluetooth technology. This is Smartphone will definitely make you shine amongst others at the next board meeting. From organizational tools to social networking applications, this phone does it all with style and simplicity.

The next generation SurePress technology on the BlackBerry Storm2 Smartphone, combined with SureType technology, provides better typing accuracy and a more tactile feel. Type on a virtual, full QWERTY keyboard in portrait or landscape mode. Touch two areas of the screen at once to select multiple items.

Link to wireless networks or hotspots with Wi-Fi connectivity.

With a powerful battery and removable back plate for easy battery swapping, the BlackBerry Storm Smartphone helps you do what you love, longer.

Built for speed and endurance, the BlackBerry Storm offers fast, reliable browsing and communication coverage.

Snap pictures like a pro with the built-in 3.2 MP camera featuring auto-focus and auto-flash, or catch the sound and action, then share it with friends with the video camera function.

The familiar BlackBerry phone buttons are at the bottom of the BlackBerry Storm, ensuring an easy transition from browsing to call taking, without compromising current on-screen data. 3.2 MP camera 3.5mm stereo headset capable Talk time - up to 5hrs. Standby time - up to 12.7 days BlackBerry Maps Integrated GPS with assisted-GPS capabilities Bluetooth v2.1+EDR1 Bluetooth stereo audio (A2DP/AVCRP) Quad-band - 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks 2 GB Embedded Multimedia Card 256 MB Flash Memory SMS/MMS W

Stay connected to the people, places, and things that matter most with the BlackBerry Storm2 from Verizon Wireless, the second generation of RIM's innovative and award-winning touchscreen smartphone. Featuring the BlackBerry OS 5.0, the Storm2 is enhanced with an improved touchscreen platform, larger internal memory (now 2 GB), Wi-Fi networking capabilities (802.11b/g), and hundreds of hardware and software enhancements. And whether traveling to Europe or Asia, the Storm2 provides globetrotters the freedom of reliable global connectivity with the reliable Verizon Wireless high-speed 3G CDMA network here in the United States, and compatibility with GSM and 3G UMTS networks abroad.

The BlackBerry Storm2 offers an enhanced SurePress touchscreen display, Wi-Fi capabilities, and a solid BlackBerry smartphone messaging experience.

Enjoy fast cellular connectivity with the reliable Verizon Wireless 3G network and global GSM/3G connectivity when traveling abroad.
The Storm2 significantly improves the touchscreen interactivity with new SurePress technology, which is based on an electronic system that provides the user with tactile feedback when the touchscreen is pressed. The new system responds equally to gentle pressure applied anywhere on the surface of the screen and makes clicking the display practically effortless. It also offers multi-touch support, allowing you to type a letter with one thumb even while their other thumb may still be touching or resting on another letter, thus enabling faster typing and multi-key actions such as Shift or Alt-key combinations.

This mobile multimedia powerhouse is compatible with the V Cast Music with Rhapsody service, which enables you to purchase songs through your phone and download them via the fast Verizon Wireless 3G EV-DO data network, and the V CAST Video on Demand service that enables you to watch full-length TV shows plus news, sports, weather, and live entertainment video clips.

You'll stay on course thanks to the VZ Navigator GPS turn-by-turn direction service, and be able to find your way in foreign destinations using the VZ Navigator Global service. And with the optional Visual Voice Mail service, you'll be able to quickly and easily scroll through your messages and pick the ones you want to listen to. See more details on optional Verizon Wireless services below.

The elegantly designed Storm2 offers a smooth design and premium finish with sloped edges, chrome accents, glass lens and stainless steel backplate. Other features include a 3.2-megapixel camera/camcorder, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free devices and stereo music streaming, included 16 GB microSD memory card (with 16 GB maximum expansion), support for up to 10 personal and corporate email accounts, easy access to favorite social networking and instant messaging services, support for BlackBerry App World, and up to 5.5 hours of talk time.

Key Features

  • Fast 3G connectivity thanks to the reliable Verizon Wireless EV–DO, Rev A network
  • Global roaming capabilities with data access in more than 185 destinations
  • 3.25-inch, high-resolution capacitive touchscreen with multi-touch support and integrated functions including Send, End, Menu, Escape (480 x 360 pixels, 184ppi)
  • New SurePress technology makes clicking the display practically effortless and provides greater consistency with tactile response across the whole screen. Use natural gestures such as pointing and clicking to interact with the features and applications.
  • BlackBerry OS 5.0 includes typing accuracy and selection improvements, as well as usability and visual enhancements such as inertial scrolling, spin boxes that make it easier to set dates and times, gradient shading on buttons, and more use of animation.
  • Support for BlackBerry App World featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones. Categories include travel, productivity, entertainment, games, social networking and sharing, news and weather, and more.
  • BlackBerry Internet Service offers easy access to up to 10 supported personal and work email accounts and one BlackBerry email account.
  • Compatible with BlackBerry Enterprise Server for advanced security and IT administration features within IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange, and Novell GroupWise environments. Customers running BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 will gain the ability to set follow-up flags, manage email folders, access remote files (Windows Shares), forward appointments, view calendar attachments, and more.
  • View attachments including JPEG, Adobe PDF, and Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  • Social networking apps include Facebook for BlackBerry, Flickr Photo Uploader for BlackBerry, and MySpace for BlackBerry
  • 3.2 megapixel camera with 2x digital zoom, autofocus, Image Stabilization (IS), and flash and video recording capabilities
  • Digital audio and video playback
  • BlackBerry Media Sync is built right into your BlackBerry Desktop Software and lets you sync your desktop iTunes or Windows Media Player music files with your BlackBerry smartphone. If you're a Mac user, just choose the "media" option and you're ready to sync your iTunes music collection from your BlackBerry smartphone onto your Mac.
  • Integrated GPS for use with the BlackBerry Maps applications as well as other location-based applications and photo geotagging.
  • VZ Navigator and VZ Navigator Global capable for voice-guided turn-by-turn directions and location services both in the United States and Western Europe.
  • Wi-Fi networking (802.11b/g) for accessing home and corporate networks as well as hotspots while on the go
  • Bluetooth 2.1 connectivity with stereo music streaming (A2DP) capabilities as well as hands-free headsets and car kits and tethering with your PC (with optional tethering plan). (Learn more)
  • Full messaging capabilities including SMS text, MMS picture, and IM instant messaging (via popular services)
  • 2 GB of onboard media storage
  • Included 16 GB microSD card and compatibility with optional microSD cards up to 16 GB in size
  • Improved BlackBerry Browser with faster JavaScript and CSS processing as well as support for Gears and BlackBerry Widgets.
  • Voice dialing capabilities
  • Airplane mode allows you to listen to music while the cellular connectivity is turned off
  • Speakerphone for hands-free conference calling

Vital Statistics
The BlackBerry Storm2 weighs 5.5 ounces and measures 4.4 x 2.4 x 0.53 inches. Its 1400 mAh lithium-ion battery is rated at up to 5.5 hours of talk time, and up to 269 hours (11.2 days) of standby time while on the Verizon Wireless CDMA/EVDO Rev. A network (800/1900 MHz). When accessing GSM networks (850/900/1800/1900 MHz) while abroad, the Storm2 offers up to 5 hours of talk time and 305 hours (12.7 days) of standby time, and up to 6 hours of talk time and 281 hours (11.7 days) of standby time when running on a 3G UMTS network (2100 MHz).

What's in the Box
BlackBerry Storm2 handset, 16 GB microSD memory card, rechargeable battery, microUSB international charger with international clips, USB cable, wired 3.5mm stereo headset, pre-installed SIM card, quick reference guide, documentation kit, global support kit

Verizon Wireless Services

  • Global Roaming Capabilities: With this mobile phone, you can connect to wireless networks from Europe to South America to Asia thanks to its quad-band GSM/EDGE/GPRS connectivity as well as high-speed 3G HSPA compatibility (2100 MHz networks). It comes pre-installed with a SIM card, so customers who plan to travel abroad can activate global service at the time of purchase or by calling Verizon Wireless prior to leaving the U.S. For those who travel abroad frequently, the Verizon Wireless Global Value Plan offers discounted roaming capabilities with data access in more than 185 destinations.

  • VZ Navigator with Global Capability: With this GPS-enabled phone, you'll be able to access the Verizon Wireless VZ Navigator service (additional charges applicable) for voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions, heads-up alerts, local search of nearly 14 million points of interest in the US (such as landmarks, restaurants and ATMs), and detailed color maps.

    Additionally, this phone is compatible with the VZ Navigator Global service, which enables you to find locations and access turn-by-turn directions in North America and Western Europe, including Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom (with more being added). Helping to alleviate stress or confusion caused by reading road signs or directions in an unfamiliar language, VZ Navigator Global allows you to choose either English or Spanish as the default language, and miles or kilometers to mark distances. You'll also be able to find restaurants, gas stations, banks/ATMs and other popular spots in these countries using Local Search.

  • V CAST Music with Rhapsody: Access this exclusive digital music service for RealNetworks and MTV Networks, which delivers unlimited monthly access to music on up to three Rhapsody-compatible mobile phones and players and online on multiple PCs and Web browsers. For a monthly fee (billed on your Verizon Wireless bill), you can load and reload your subscription songs from your PC to your V CAST Music with Rhapsody phone as often as you want, and take your music on the go.

    On PCs running the Windows XP or higher operating system, you can also browse, preview, and purchase music using the V CAST Music with Rhapsody software, which is available as a free download from the V CAST Music with Rhapsody download website. Additional subscription charges applicable.

  • V CAST Video on Demand: This optional service enables you to watch full-length TV shows plus news, sports, weather, and live entertainment video clips. It features more than 100 full-length programs from leading broadcast and cable networks, ranging from highly-rated drama and comedy series to reality programs and children's programming. V CAST Video on Demand also delivers live sporting events, including NHL hockey games and an upcoming slate of college football games

    The service offers unlimited viewing of Basic Videos and the ESPN MVP channel. You can choose from 14 categories, including Entertainment, Kids, Music, Sports, Comedy, News, Pop Culture, Information, Women, Latino, Home & Leisure, Multicultural, Cutting Edge, and Hollywood. Additional subscription charges applicable.

  • Visual Voice Mail: This innovative service enables you to delete, reply and forward voice mail messages without having to listen to prior messages or voice instructions. Visual Voice Mail is the ideal tool for the busy mobile professional who may need to prioritize which messages he or she listens to first. Features include on-screen access to voice mail message status, the ability to save up to 40 messages for 40 days (or archive permanently), 10 different caller ID-based greetings, and reply via call back, text, or even voice mail.

  • Mobile Broadband Connect: Use your smartphone as a modem for your notebook when you connect the two using a USB cable--or open a Bluetooth connection--enabling you to access the Internet or your company intranet. The Mobile Broadband Connect tethered modem capability is ideal when you're traveling and need to use your notebook to check email, access corporate networks, or download large files like presentations and reports. And with Mobile Broadband Connect, you won't have to buy an extra PC Card or other devices.

Learn More

Wireless Freedom with Bluetooth

This p
one provides Bluetooth wireless connectivity (version 2.1+EDR), and includes profiles for communication headset, hands-free car kits, and file transfer. With the A2DP Bluetooth profile, you can stream your music to a pair of compatible Bluetooth stereo headphones or speaker dock. You can connect your laptop (either via Bluetooth or wired USB) and enjoy dial-up networking--surf the Internet, send email, and access files from a server (additional charges applicable and subscription to Mobile Broadband Connect service required).

Technical Specifications

  • Memory: 2 GB internal storage, 256 MB flash memory
  • Memory expansion: microSD/SDHC cards (up to 16 GB); one 16 GB microSD card is included
  • Digital audio compatibility: MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA
  • Digital video compatibility: MPEG4, WMV, H.263, H.264
  • USB 2.0 connectivity (microUSB)
  • 3.5mm headset/headphone jack
  • Hearing Aid Compatibility = M3
  • Password protection and screen lock
  • Ring Tones: Polyphonic (MIDI/MP3) and vibrate mode
  • Multi-lingual support: English, French and Spanish

Use spaces to separate tags. Use single quotes (') for phrases.

  1. Garbage!!!!!!!!!!!!! Review by mskawinski707

    I bought this phone at a verizon store after upgrading from my motorola rapture (also not very good). I didn't even cross the parking lot to my car when i discovered that when trying to access the phone feature (what a concept!) that the calendar opened. I went back in and they replaced it (costing another 30 minutes for start up/activation). So I was on my second storm 2 in one hour. Since then it has been replaced several more times on the insurance plan. I can also sympathize with people who complain of the startup time - a good 5-10 minutes. I have also experienced the phone "tying itself in knots", you hit a command and when the phone doesn't respond you press it again, maybe a couple times, and when it comes to, suddenly you're making a call. Also my phone randomly looses the blackberry icon, which indicates you have internet, requiring me to reboot the connections which hopefully fixes it when i reconnect - taking about a minute. If that doesn't work then it's another 10 minute reboot. One more thing - the 3g speed definitely compares to dial up, lightning fast my @$$. In short buy an android, haven't heard any complains from my friends who have them. I've already ordered mine. (Posted on 3/13/2011)

  2. Awesome phone! Review by Jenna D. Mcclure

    I had ordered the BlackBerry Storm 2 along with the HTC Droid Incredible, not knowing which one I was going to keep, and which one to give to my husband. I am so happy I chose the Blackberry! While the Droid is neat with its trendy apps, and could be great for an avid linux user or a developer to play with, but I am not that fond of his phone. Its neat, but not as user-friendly. It's kind of glitchy and testy. The BlackBerry is not like that at all! It works great! I have 4 email accounts, 3 IM accounts, a facebook, a myspace, a twitter, and a blogger account synced to it. Its amazing. I LOVE how it alerts me of all my messages, and makes it easy and quick for me to check everything at once. This is truly a multi-tasking phone. I have been running a lot of apps at once, 6 yesterday, and it hasn't frozen up on me or slowed down at all. Also, the customization features on this phone are awesome. There is some awesome blackberry developer software available at that makes it really easy to customize your interface. Pretty sweet. Here is a list of pro's/con's that I have come up with that may help:

    ~Awesome menu structure and ease of navigation
    ~Slim design that is still sturdy and rugged (also has screen lock)
    ~Syncing email and social networking accounts is super easy
    ~TONS of free apps are available!
    ~Intuitive keypad. Best touchscreen keyboard on a phone I have ever used.
    ~Great "feel" to it.
    ~Fully customizable
    ~Good camera for a phone, flash is good, and auto focus is awesome.
    ~Awesome video quality, both taken from phone and internet streaming.
    ~Comes with 16gb sd card, plus 2gb phone memory, so theres lots of room for apps, pics, music, and documents.
    ~Create, view, edit, and send word, excel, powerpoint, and pdf documents. Huge time saver for me, plus the phone doubles as a backup device, or flash drive.
    ~Auto-adjusting backlight is intuitive to light, and will dim or brighten to improve readability and save battery.
    ~Great sound quality for a small device.
    ~Comes with international adapters for the wall charger.

    ~Battery life is about a day with moderate use. Its not so bad, but a heavy user with constant notifications could have problems with this.
    ~When you sync to facebook and email, the contacts are automatically added to your phone's contact list. For a person like me with 500 friends most of which I havent talked to in years, I dont want them all in my phone book. I had to delete manually. It is a minor pain, but a pain nonetheless.

    Overall, I am super impressed with BlackBerry. I am definitely sticking with BB from now on! I can't believe I lived this long without it! (Posted on 1/2/2011)

  3. The Best Business-Class Handheld, Period! Review by Vincent E. Martin "Darkbard"

    Pros: Fast network access; integration of data and voice; lovely display.

    Cons: Display is a little small; no separate phone send and end buttons.

    Bottom-Line: The BlackBerry Storm 9550 may take some getting used to, but as a business messaging platform it excels like no other, including Windows Mobile and iPhone handhelds.

    I have carried a Research in Motion (RIM) BlackBerry Storm 9530 for the last two years and I have established a love/ hate relationship with the Smartphone. So when it came time to upgrade to the new iteration of the iPhone wannabe, the BlackBerry Storm II 9550, I jumped at the opportunity.

    The Smartphone

    The RIM BlackBerry Storm II 9550 is a multi-frequency broadband (3G) handset that offers anytime/anywhere access to corporate (and personal) e-mail, contacts, calendar information, a Web browser, broadband, and a full touch-screen QWERTY keyboard. And oh, yes, it makes calls as well.

    In addition to the above mentioned feature-set the black BlackBerry Storm II 9550 offers a beautiful high resolution color 480x360 TFT touch, light-sensing LCD screen; Bluetooth wireless technology and polyphonic ring-tones, all bundled in a sleek, lightweight, and stylish handset. Other features of the unit include a 3.2MP digital camera, built-in GPS, a media player, a calendar, contact list, Instant Message clients, including Facebook, an alarm clock, a calculator and a plethora of other useful applications; pretty standard fair for today's technology rich smart-phones.


    One of the first things I notice about the Storm II 9550 is the weight; it is noticeably lighter than its predecessor. Another item: it is much easier to type on the Storm II 9550, the on-screen keyboard is much more responsive and the phone offers a plethora of words from which to choose as you type; nice. Another noteworthy change: the mircoSD card memory has jumped from 8GB to 16GB.

    Like the original Storm, the Storm II 9550 brings a lot of functionality and usability to the Smartphone table and quite frankly it remains the most useful business-class handheld I have ever used, and that includes Windows Mobile devices. The Storm II 9550's display is sharp, bright, crisp, and readable in any lighting condition. Phone quality is more than adequate and the speakerphone is the best I have ever encountered.

    The Storm II 9550 excels at its chief functional queue: that is delivering business-class messaging functionality to the palm of my hand anywhere, anytime. My Storm II 9550 is connected to our corporate network via a BlackBerry Enterprise server and the Verizon Network. Emails are delivered in a timely manner--in some cases even before they hit my Microsoft Outlook inbox, and synchronization between the device and my calendar is seamless. And with the newest version of RIM's BlackBerry Enterprise Server for Microsoft Exchange (5.0) I can even lookup employees in the Exchange Global Address List (GAL)! Sweet! Can an iPhone do that?

    Problems or Dislikes

    There isn't a whole lot not to like about the BlackBerry Storm II 9550, but there are a few things. The annoying problem the original Storm has with flipping from horizontal to vertical viewing, depending on how you turn the device is gone. I am happy to report that the BlackBerry Storm II 9550 switches rather seamlessly between horizontal to vertical viewing. There is notable delay in the hand-off between the two orientations.


    All-n-all I am very satisfied with the performance of the BlackBerry Storm II 9550. Out of all the BlackBerry devices I have used over the last three years I still like the Storm the most. RIM took to heart the complaints users had about the original Smartphone fixed them and introduced a better product. And the BlackBerry Storm II 9550 far and away outperforms comparably priced Windows Mobile devices like my Moto Q, Palm 700w, or HTC.

    The BlackBerry Storm II 9550 is small, lightweight, offers outstanding battery life, superior business-class functionality, touch-screen ease, a laudable 3.2MP digital camera with flash, and a class-leading TFT display. And while the BlackBerry Storm II 9550 may take some getting used to, in the end it's all good, because the main objective is email, contacts, and calendar access and in this BlackBerry devices have always excelled. (Posted on 11/19/2010)

  4. Sunny Skies for the Storm2 Review by Tracy L. Needham "Marketing Copywriter & Stra...

    The Storm2 does so much more than my previous Blackberry 7130 did--web surfing is much better, the application selection is much better, it's easier to operate, email is still great, call quality is great, and even a devoted iPhone fan admitted my built-in camera was much better than his when we were taking photos with an author one night at an event.

    I do sometimes miss having a static keyboard. For example, when you're making a phone call and you need to enter passcodes in or choose an option from those customer service menus most companies seem to use these days. You have to press for the keyboard to come up and then enter in your numbers or whatever. Occasionally, it counts the tap for the keyboard as a number.

    I also wish it had better battery life. I know that's partly caused by how many and which apps or functions you've got running. But it definitely drains faster than my old Blackberry. I'll admit I'm bad about remembering to get the charger and plug it in, you really need to do that every day with Storm2. I also think that getting a dock that stays plugged in may make it easier.

    But overall, I really do love my Storm2 and wouldn't trade it for all the iPhones in the world. (Posted on 11/18/2010)

  5. Stormy Storm Review by Ms. Huggy

    I purchased a storm 2 in Feb 2010, I just got rid of it Jul 2010. There is quite a bit of Lighting and Thunder in the Storm. The weather was too bad, so I moved to another model. I was excited about the idea of a totally touch-screen cell phone, but it didn't work out for me. (Posted on 7/7/2010)

  6. Not perfect but better than many say. Review by Candace Dainty "Always learning"

    Hi I got my Storm 2 last weekend. Beautiful little phone. My hands are always dry and the phone IS a little slippery.

    Now to issues I've read in other reviews--

    Battery life- Lith Ion batteries need to be drained completely before recharging and gradually build up a longer charge. The battery recharges very quickly but charging overnight is best.

    Reception- I'm in a sketchy area-- lots of bluffs and valleys, many poor signal areas. I had some trouble in the beginning and called my service provider. They reprogramed my phone with great results. On the other side I realized I was blocking the microphone with my little finger-- lol. Also, I needed to hold the phone with the mic away from my face.

    Keyboard- OK-- well that's something I'm still getting use to. It doesn't help that I'm a LOUSY typist!

    Email- One commentary liked the single mail box on the Storm 2. I did NOT. However- I called my phone provider who connected me to [...] and showed me how to set up my own mailboxes so my outgoing email would be from the person they thought they were emailing instead of "MY Blackberry--"

    Hope this helps some folk. CED, WI

    Definite PROs-- I'm a Mac user and the Storm 2 screen is like my Apple, smooth flowing and easy to follow. (Posted on 5/14/2010)

  7. Phone Locks up - do not take a chance on this phone Review by Coach10

    After only two months the phone locked up and could not be used. Tried everything with Verizon Tech Support and cannot fix it. Now here is the worst part - if the phone is over 30 days old (mine is 2 months) Verizon sends you a refurbished phone not a new one! Verizon will not let you change the Storm2 for another Blackberry, so you are stuck with the Storm2 for the length of the contract. Therefore after two months I would get a used phone to replace my new one that locked up. If you do business on your Blackberry as I was trying to do, do not take a chance as I did with this phone! I did have a Blackberry Pearl and that worked great; should have not upgraded to the Storm2, stuck with a lemon now. (Posted on 5/4/2010)

  8. Bottom part of touchscreen unresponsive Review by R. Chae

    Before I bought this phone, I heard of previous issues with the first storm. Then I have a friend who convinced me to get the storm 2. He said that blackberry worked out all the problems and this phone was much better. Having the phone himself, he swore that I would love this phone.
    Well, only a few days after I bought this phone, the touchscreen became unresponsive.
    I returned it and replaced it for another one. I am now kicking myself in the rear to not have gone ahead and exchanged it with a totally different phone. Under two months later, this phone's touchscreen is again unresponsive. Meaning that it is worthless. As for my friend's storm 2. Do a google search on "blackberry 2 unresponsive", and you will see that I am not alone. (Posted on 4/13/2010)

  9. Awesome Phone. Minimal Flaws Review by TribeInNinetyFive "TribeInNinetyFive"

    - Great touch screen, typing does have a learning curve but is not very difficult.
    - Good Resolution,Good size, Great Clarity
    - HTML email is great, not sure why the complaints??
    - Internet browser is also great, Especially with WIFI. Disabling JavaScript increases speed greatly.
    - Not sure why the browser is considered second rate, i can load any page, full html or mobile, with both speed and reliability. Touch zoom and panning is also great.
    - AutoFocus Camera
    - GPS and turn by turn navigation. Subscription thru verizon or FREE through google maps
    - World Phone


    - BlackBerry App World is overpriced trash, there's no way around this. Terrible apps at a cost that is far greater than the Iphone or Android Market
    - 3.2mp Camera is great for my use, however the competition is on to a 5mp camera.
    - BlackBerry Desktop Manager is also trash. Removing MicroSD necessary to transfer music.


    My previous phone was a BlackBerry 8330 I was looking for a faster phone with more internet capability with the same reliability of a blackberry (both network and quality of phone). This has not been a disappointment in anyway as i had the same complaints regarding app world and desktop manager.
    If you want a quality touch screen phone and are more business oriented than play, i would recommend this phone. If you are app obsessed then i would wait for the I-Phone on Verizon in Late 2010. (Posted on 4/11/2010)

  10. It's smart alright. Review by J. NELSON

    It's smart enough that it makes up it's own mind. It seems that most of the positive reviews I've read come from people who use Blackberries as business tools. The kind of people who can give their troublesome phone to their IT people. Unfortunately, I bought this phone as a consumer who wanted access to Verizon's 3G network. In my experience it is perversely obstinate, balky and weird. It ties itself in knots regularly and the only solution is to remove the battery and reboot it. I wish I could I describe some of my problems in more detail but they're never the same problems. Blackberry ownership is an endless game of " What is it now???" The over all impression it gives is that it is run by delicate mechanisms involving springs and gears that need constant readjusting. I am a little afraid that a valve might stick, causing the boiler to explode in my pocket.

    Having said all of that I have to add I'm happy with the network. When I can trick the phone into doing something it can amaze me, only to leave me wondering how I can make it do that again. Please don't mention the words "learning curve". It's a phone, a troublesome phone.

    Update: I've owned the phone for two months now. It continues to do things for reasons of it's own. The other day it decided to do a reboot of itself. Unfortunately I was trying to use it when it suddenly decided to do that. The browser is pretty much useless, unless you like reading weird error messages. You're almost never going to be able to use it to access the internet. There's always a problem loading the page or a problem with the radio or a problem with something.

    I will concede that the phone itself, the physical object, is well made and sturdy. The software kind of reminds me of my first computer running windows 95. It's buggy and weird and absolutely no thought seems to have been given to the user.

    Final update. Less than 3 months after purchase I've given up. Between the phone and Verizon's notoriously lousy web presence I spent two hours trying to pay my bill. Every time I pressed '3' on the keypad the phone hung itself up and opened the calendar. (not even on that day's date). At the end of this ordeal I turned off the Blackberry and reactivated my old phone. The Blackberry is for sale on Craigslist, unfortunately activating the Blackberry left me with a two year contract with Verizon. Because I bought a 'smart phone' it will cost me $340 to buy myself out of the contract. The worst money I've spent in some time. (Posted on 3/20/2010)

  11. USED THEM ALL - STORM2 THE BEST Review by Netzen7

    I've used a lot of smart phones - as a technology professional, my career requires knowledge of several. I've used and owned windows mobile, palm, several blackberries - old 7XXX, 8XXX, then curve, and storm 1, an iphone, a stint with the moto droid, and now I've landed happily on the storm2. It is more than preference, it comes down to needs. If you need your email (calendar, tasks, and notes), and you need it reliably, a blackberry may still be the only game in town. If you have access to Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES), then you have no comparison in any other phone. They all fail in one way or another. Push services means your phone gets the email faster than your computer in most cases. Consumers may choose the icing other models offer, but the blackberry still takes the cake!

    The storm 2 is a huge improvement over the storm 1, which was functional, but also frustrating at times. There is a learning curve to the surepress screen, but once you've learned it, even it makes other phones feel incomplete. The screen "click" is refined in this model, so much so I now hate the storm 1, and I used to tolerate it. I left the blackberry line for a brief time to see what the iphone and droid had to offer due to frustration with the storm 1. I played with some windows mobile phones, I considered the palm pre, remembering my treo days...I suffered through the immaturity of the end coming back home to blackberry knowing nothing compares. The storm 2 is rock solid, dependable, fast and feature rich. The additions of hardware graphics acceleration, a redesigned hardware "surepress" interface, more memory, and minor cosmetic changes to the case have made this 10x the phone of the original storm. Folks who bash the blackberry operating system don't understand it. It is built for function - it is one of the reasons batteries last twice as long on berries. The built in security is why blackberries are the phones you see used in government. The web browsing experience may suffer a little, but the ability to use (abuse) my phone all day into the evening beats running out of juice in under 5 hours on competitor's models. The droid wouldn't make 4.

    Load Opera mini or Bolt if you need something better, you have options, many more than you might think. There is the official "app world", but many mobile application vendors have built their own catalog stores to run on the phone as well.

    In the end, my storm2 just works where and when other phones might. I can have some fun with it too. Videos play without pausing, and music sounds great through regular headphones, or streamed via bluetooth to my car's audio system. Games and gadgets are abundant. You can also "theme" a blackberry in ways other phones only wish possible. Not only the front screen, but almost every element can be changed to look the way you want with hundreds (probably thousands) of themes out there, many free. It has a decent camera, and it will shoot video. (Posted on 3/20/2010)

  12. Not an improvement over earlier version Review by Steve Van Landingham "Vangrady"

    I made the mistake recently of believing some of the hype that the Storm 2 was an improvement over the earlier version. It is not true. You still need to pull the battery on a regular basis, and it is so sslllooooowwwwwww. It is especially problematic if you want to interface with google aps. Neither Verizon or Blackberry will provide assistance as they don't interface with google, and google doesn't have customer support, so good luck.
    I heard from people with the droid, and they are much happier. I made a huge 2-year mistake! (Posted on 3/11/2010)

  13. If you like BB, stick with the rest of the line Review by Eric R.

    To each their own of course... but coming from an 8900 I was really hoping for more. I found the touchscreen to be very challenging to use for even casual messaging. (Why own a blackberry if you're not into data entry on your phone?)

    I also was disappointed in the resolution of the screen, again being used to a razor sharp 8900 and after having test-driven the Droid in a store.

    The OS clearly isn't built for a rotating touchscreen. Many apps don't support rotation or even touch input.

    And the keyboard. You can't see what letter you're pressing as it illuminates UNDER your finger. I found the auto-dictionary slow and not nearly as quick on the Droid. I tried multi-press, suretype, everything to no avail.

    And let's face it people. RIM's browser is poor. I returned the phone and got a Droid - which I'm using to post this review. That would have taken HOURS on the Storm.

    If you're a blackberry user, stay with the fine Curve or Bold lines. Leave the touchscreens to Apple, HTC and Motorola. If only VZW had the 9700... (Posted on 3/4/2010)

  14. BB Storm 2 review Review by Zachary Zink

    I recently purchased the Storm 2 for work. I would have preferred a Droid or I phone but needed to get a BB phone for security reasons. I ordered my Storm 2 from amazon at less than half the price of the cost from Verizon and received it with 2 business days. The storm 2 that I received was junk! the call button didn't work and the phone kept resetting on me. It was completely unusable. I sent it back and figured that i would get the tour instead even though it lacked Wifi. After using it in the store i realized that the buttons on the Tour were kind of small for me so I ordered another storm 2. The second storm 2 that amazon sent me arrived in 1 business day and worked perfectly. It is very responsive and easy to type on. I am much faster on it then on the tour because of my finger size. I also like the suretype option when typing one handed. The e-mail capability of this phone is very impressive as was the call quality. After using this phone for a while I can honestly say that I am very glad that I gave the storm 2 another try. the storm 2 is not a multimedia machine, like the droid or the iphone, and the Black Berry app store is both pathetic and expensive; But, it handles emails, scheduling, and contacts better then any phone I have seen. The picture resolution is fantastic and it is loaded with features.

    Overall I think Blackberry's second Storm it a vast improvement over the first. As long as you dont get a broken one. (Posted on 2/11/2010)

  15. Surprised by how much I like it Review by mjlnyc "mjlnyc"

    I have used BBs for business for years. I never thought I would like a touch screen but my company switched to Verizon and rather than get the Tour I got the Storm 2. I thought, what the heck, I can send it back in 30d if I don't like it. The first day I had it I hated it. Then 2 things happened: I installed the leaked OS .428 found on [...], and I started to use Suretype. The former fixed the issue with the 4 convenience keys being hard to press, and the latter made typing emails (my #1 use for the BB) a breeze. Now I would never go back to a traditional physical keyboard BB. It is so intuitive to navigate by touch. Also I actually watched a whole movie on my phone - something I would never consider with my old 8800 BB. I strongly suggest as your first accessory the Otterbox Defender case. It makes the phone so much more functional for me because it is very well-protected and also easier to grip. Now that I'm not worried about an accidental drop, I actually use the phone much more! BTW I am also so happy to have switched from AT&T to Verizon (I'm in NYC). Much better voice and data signals. If you are on the fence about this phone, check out the Storm 2 forums on [...], ask questions, and consider giving it a try. You have 30 days to send it back if you don't like it. But give it a few days before you give up on it - you may learn to love it like I did. (Posted on 1/28/2010)

  16. Good for a touch screen Review by deadbirdgolf "Len H"

    I own the Storm 2 and being a blackberry it is a great phone in many areas. Like other BB's it is easy to use, built solidly and has great reception. The Sure Press mode on the virtual keyboard is very easy to use. The only negative I can give this phone is the vibration mode. It is the WORST of all cell phones I have ever owned. Do not count on this phone vibrating strongly enough for you to realize a call or message is coming through. Won't happen. Keep the ringer on and you will be ok, but for people like myself that like using vibration mode, forget it. Go buy a Droid. That will give you a massage with it's strong vibration mode. (Posted on 1/9/2010)

  17. Perfect for work/personal use Review by P. Mallon

    I purchased this phone about 3 weeks ago, and I'm more than satisfied with its performance. I upgraded from the old bb worldphone, and wasn't sure if I wanted to go touchscreen, but since the vendor from whom I bought it allows returns within 30 days for any reason, I decided to take a chance on it. I will not be returning it. So far, I've found the upgraded surepress technology to work like a charm. Apparently they changed from having one mechanical button, to 4, located in different quadrants of the screen. Typing a message with this phone is just as fast as typing with my old keyboard-based blackberry. That's what I needed to switch to a touch-screen: typing capability that matched that of a keyboard-based phone.

    The operating system is intuitive and fast. There is little-to-no lag time switching from one application to the next and switching from regular to landscape view. The browser is acceptable (better than my old bb's browser). BB has always had trouble with its web browsers, but from what I hear, RIM is coming out with a Webkit browser soon. Once that happens, I expect the browser to be superb.

    Of course, the thing that sets this phone apart from other contemporaries, is its ability to handle email. My firm currently runs Office through an exchange server, and BB and Outlook are best friends. My firm's IT guy also prefers BB's because he feels (I don't know if this is true) that they are more secure when connected to a server. In addition, my gmail account was simple to set up, and sometimes emails show up on my phone before they do online. I did not get the Droid because of its trouble synching with Office, and particularly Outlook (I was willing to give up a little screen size and browser capability to ensure my emails were easy to get, read, and respond to).

    I don't use the phone much for games, but I have watched some youtube videos on it and the visual and speaker are very good for a smartphone.

    The phone and speakerphone are great: crisp sound, no echoes. Simply put, this is a great phone that will enable you to stay connected and message using any type of program at lightning speed. (Posted on 1/3/2010)

  18. I finally found the phone of my dreams.. Review by Wayne Jordan

    I've been looking for a new phone for ages and wanted a touch screen. Despite, this I wasn't too sure about the touch screen. I had to decided between a BB Bold 9700 and a Storm 2 and after much reflection and reading reviews, I decided to go for the Storm 2. I've had it since Christmas Eve and love it...

    My only complaint would be the loading on web-based apps which take forever, but that would be a result of my local network's not the BB.

    I'm amazed at the negative reviews, since this is an awesom piece of technology. (Posted on 1/2/2010)

  19. find another phone Review by Stephen Mankowski "Steve M"

    Verizon sent me the Storm2 after having ongoing problems with the original Storm taht had also been replaced. It only took 1 day before issues started to surface with this phone. In fact, Verizon is now supposedly going to replace the device with another Storm2. Since early November, I've already logged close to 50 hours with Verizon and RIM tech support. Don't get me started on the "lightning fast" 3G system. It's virtually dial-up.

    After 3 months of fun, I'm ready to go back to a basic phone. (Posted on 12/30/2009)

  20. Right up there with the iPhone. Powerful and efficient. Review by Matt Stevens

    My wife's iPhone is the coolest thing around, or it had been, until now. Because of AT&T's pathetic coverage I have stayed away from the iPhone, but longed for something similar. The first Blackberry STORM looked like it would be perfect, but early reviews kept me away and we all know it turned out to be a disaster

    However, I have taken the plunge with the STORM2 and it is not only my first Blackberry, but I no longer envy the iPhone. I've been with Verizon for more than a decade and was able to get the phone with a 2 year renewal for $49.95. That really is an insane price for what is Blackberry's most premium phone.

    Let's get the bad out of the way. The touch screen is more prone to attracting fingerprints and skin grease than the iPhone. I am constantly cleaning it. The iPhone still cannot be touched as far as internet browsing with its easy and precise zoom feature. With the Storm2 you can zoom in stages and that is not all that hot. My only other gripe is when you flip the phone to landscape it sometimes takes too long for the keyboard to flip as well. A minor gripe.

    What I do like is everything else. Net browsing seems faster than my wife's 3GS iPhone. The ease in which I set up my email was a surprise. Kudos to Blackberry for the simple interface and how easy it is to learn. The touch screen is different than any other on the market and I love it. Having to press down for applied pressure results in my not screwing up while typing or clicking the wrong buttons. It took some getting used to, but the learning curve was not long and hard. Nope, despite this being my first Blackberry, I am in love and no longer desire an iPhone.

    Ringtones are a snap to move to the phone and the 16gig sized card means I will never run out of space. Picture quality for the camera isn't all that hot unless lighting conditions are perfect, but that is to be expected from any camera phone. Shooting video is a snap and yes, it's only YouTube quality, but again, no surprise.

    I already called Verizon and had them unlock the phone for when I travel internationally. No need to pay Verizon's sky high foreign rates. Just slap in a local SIM and you are good to go. Awesome feature!

    Because this phone would not survive a drop onto a hard surface I have purchased the Otterbox Commuter case. It's the best fit for me. Not too thick and certainly robust enough to protect the phone. I dropped the phone yesterday and it just bounced (corners of the case are all exposed rubberized). No harm done.

    Battery life on phones such as this is always a subject of complaint, but seriously, for a power user, this phone will suffice. It's flat out superior to the iPhone. No, it won't last as long as a non-touch screen phone like the Razr, but how could it? I typically charge the phone at night and it lasts me all day. I have yet to run out before it's time to pass out at night. Not even close. In fact, if I don't go crazy all day with the Storm2, I can go two days without charging.

    Over the next two years I hope Blackberry makes the few changes needed to be the complete iPhone killer. Fix the internet browsing issues and I truly do feel that this baby will be the bomb. (Posted on 12/14/2009)

  21. Blackberry out of their element Review by R. Wahl

    I had one of these for about a month through work and was more than pleased to get rid of it. Rim does not make very many mistakes when it comes to smartphones until they try working outside of their comfort zone and the blackberry storm 2 is just that, another incantation of a reputable company trying to hard to be something their not. After the original storms poor showing it was only obvious that they would try to rehash and fix all that was wrong with the original, sadly they didnt fix much if anything in terms of how slow, unreliable and buggy the original was. Yeah they added wifi and thats kinda cool, but they didnt fix the terrible touch screen that is nearly impossible to type on and they added goofy features like the multi-touch (again, out of their element) but then only added it for really strange applications like copy and paste and even their it barely functions correctly. If you want a good blackberry go with the 9700, its perfect in everyway and it is RIM at their pinnacle. Blackberries are not toy phones and dont deserve to be cursed with a touch screen so skip the gimmicks and go with the real deal. (Posted on 12/8/2009)

  22. Hands down the best smart phone out there. Review by Mohamed Lmouden

    This BlackBerry Storm 2 makes all the other touchscreens look like kids toys. Solid platform, design and support. The SurePress screen works great for me. Unlike the iPhone, the SurePress takes care of the accidental clicking that happes all the time on other touchscreens. Very very happy with the phone. (Posted on 12/4/2009)

  23. By far best smart phone available Review by Douglas C. Trenor

    Went from Storm 1 to Storm 2 and I can not believe how awesome the 2 is. The typing and user friendly nature with e-mail and texting is perfect. I really feel this phone gives me awesome business usage with all the fun extras you need. Anyone who gets one I promise you will not be let down. (Posted on 11/24/2009)

  24. My First Touchscreen Review by Tony ""Medic Ricci""

    This is my first touchscreen phone and I'm really having fun with it. In my line of work, I need to be able to access medical and hazard material data immediately and reliably, while being able to call any number of public and private agencies. The reason I say this is because my number one requirement is reliability, and that is closely followed by usability. I've had Palm PDAs for my reference books (no more bags of books needed) and progressed through the blessing of phone/pda combinations beginning with the Treo 700 and 755 to the Blackberry Curve and then the Blackberry Tour. I now have the Blackberry Storm 2 and have no regrets. I was quite nervous about making the jump to touchscreen because I was so used to a keyboard, moreover the history of the Storm wasn't stellar. I did my research, played with various devices, read the reviews (Amazon included) and bought the phone. In doing so, I bypassed the Droid, the Eris and LGs.

    The good:
    1)The BB9550 has been phenomenally reliable without a single glitch or hardware issue.
    2)It is very fast and opens up my medical reference texts faster than my Tour did.
    3)The bigger screen makes it possible for me to read attachments (big reason for switching to a full screen phone)
    4)Email is blackberry awesome with multiple accounts managed easily
    5)As a music player, photo album and video device is is excellent
    6)Keyboard is great--I love the feedback "click". I cannot understand the whining about tired does one type on a regular computer keyboard or use a pencil without some muscle? All I can say is that if you're tired from the miniscule effort of texting, perhaps the issue is wimpy fingers
    7)Memory availability is fantastic.
    8)Touchscreen is reliable, solid...the entire phone feels solid and well built.

    The bad:
    1)Learning curve using the keyboard configurations with my fat fingers--am getting quickly better and more efficient
    2)Battery life does suck--I charge continually by habit (always have, regardless of device)

    Bottom line, I really like this phone and am very glad to have gotten it. Am giving my excellent Tour away as a gift!

    As you can see, the "bads" are relative and not really factors for such a powerful device. (Posted on 11/24/2009)

  25. One of the best smart phones I have owned Review by Paul Osborne

    While I do agree with some of the things mentioned in recent negative reviews of this phone, overall, I don't see anything to complain about. I really feel Blackberry has finally made a phone that can seriously compete with the IPhone. The only difference is, I feel, the IPhone is more of an entertainment device that is also a phone, where as the Storm 2 is a true communication device. I love the keyboard and the fact that Blackberry stayed consistent with it's tried and true software and user options. I will be sticking with this phone for quite awhile. (Posted on 11/23/2009)

  26. BlackBerry can NOT get it right Review by ZIGI (Boston, USA) "ZIGI"

    Once again I was disappointed with Blackberry's touch screen phone. Here is only couple. of the reasons why I was disappointed:
    1) You can NOT see what's written on the screen if there is a bright sun. (I tried the phone only in the Boston area)
    2) The Internet search is SLOWER than in the older models.
    3) Typing on the screen, when the device was vertical, was difficult. (my figures are slim)
    4) Typing on the screen, when the device was horizontal, was NOT easy.
    I can go on and on, but these are enough reasons why I gave this model 1 star.... I understood why last year RIM had to quickly introduce an inferior touch screen phone (the Storm). RIM needed to quickly respond to the release of the IPHONE, and did not have the time to design a device that is in par with their reputation.

    However, since the introduction of the first touch screen, Rim had enough time to improve their product... and they did NOT managed to do it.
    Rim should aim at perfection or else people will switch to AT&T to get the IPHONE.

    I end up getting the Tour, which is very good. However, it is NOT a touch screen. (Posted on 11/21/2009)

  27. It just may be the perfect STORM!! Review by Hummingbirds

    I have both Storm1 and Storm2, and love them both. However, the Storm 2 is a definite improvement in terms of responsiveness, speed, and memory. I have never had to reset the Storm 2 at all, it has not given me any memory problems, battery life is fine, and the wi-fi is awesome! I have lots of music and videos loaded onto the media card in my Storm2, and it sounds as good as the iPod! I had the opportunity to try out the Droid, and after having apps and other screens opening all over the place (just from handling the phone normally!), I decided the Storm has a lot more control of itself than the droid --thanks to the "clickable" screen. I also make far fewer typing mistakes on my Storm 2 than I did on the droid. Also in comparison, the Storm 2's camera is great (unlike the droid's which is having major issues). The Storm 2 has tons of apps available, and plenty of memory to hold/run them!

    Some comments I saw posted below are severely skewed, and most likely posted by one who hasn't had enough time to learn the advantages of the Storm 2. I can vouch that the Storm 2 NEVER requires a battery pull, as I have had to do on the Storm 1 in the past -- and that was only due to the massive number of apps I had installed. I now have tons of apps on my Storm 2, and NO memory issues, NO battery pulls. Not sure which "clunky app store" the post refers to either, as there are many app stores! I do not find the Crackberry app store clunky in the least, and their support is second to none. And as far as multitasking apps slowing the device down, once again, that is simply not true. I have at least 6 apps that run 24x7 in the background and I can open many more without any ill effects on my Storm 2. So "picking what 5 apps" you want to use must be the poster's personal preference, certainly NOT a limitation of the device. The 16GB app memory is fantastic, and I've calculated that I could probably load 100 apps on this new phone! In addition, I do have the GPS navigation, which does NOT require a subscription, and it works great. I am very glad I decided to upgrade my Storm 1 for the Storm 2, instead of the roid!! (Posted on 11/19/2009)

  28. Huge Improvements..Amazing innovative phone Review by L. Zema "NYuzerBB"

    I previously owned the STORM 9530 and decided to go for the STORM 9550. MASSIVE IMPROVEMENTS MADE over the first storm. The first storm was a pleasure to use after OS updates, but this one is unbelievable. The touch screen is so easy to use with better multitouch capabilities. You can type at the speed of a regular keyboard now. The high resolution screen is the best I have seen yet. I love the weight and slick design. I cannot be happier with this phone. I have used DROID and IPHONE and feel this phone is the easiest to use with MANY updates (OS, browser, 3D graphic capabilities) coming in the future. A GREAT BUY AT THE PRICE!! (Posted on 11/9/2009)

  29. Better than Storm 1, but still garbage Review by Desert Dweller "Gamer"

    Easily the worst touchscreen on the market. Impossibly hard to type on. Screen still clicks and floats which means light bleeds, dust under the screen and inconsistent pressure to register keys. Garbage.

    If you're going with Verizon, get the Droid instead.

    The Droid really outclasses the Storm.

    - Vastly better browser
    - HTML email (let's not pretend the Storm had usable HTML email)
    - much more responsive
    - far greater app memory, so I don't have to pick what 5 apps I want on my phone
    - GPS navigation (that doesn't require a monthly subscription)
    - greater multitasking ability (I've had well over a dozen apps running on the Droid at once with no perceptible decrease in speed)
    - much better selection of apps with a far less clunky app store
    - ability to download files larger than a couple megs directly to the Droid (i.e. podcasts)
    - larger, higer resolution screen (so websites and emails are much more readable)
    - physical keyboard AND virtual keyboard (yes, I like them both)
    - no battery pulls, memory watching, and application juggling
    - ability to access my entire gmail account, not just the emails that have come through since registering with BIS

    There is no comparison. (Posted on 11/9/2009)

  30. Apprehensive At First Review by snohman

    A little intro first: I received my Blackberry 9550 (Storm 2) on 11/9/2009. I played with the phone physically at a Verizon Wireless store, along with the Motorola DROID. Although I did love the snapiness of the DROID and its ease of use, I am a Blackberry user at heart (and it does help that work will only compensate Blackberry phones).

    I had previously been using the Blackberry 8830, so my primary concern was typing without a physical keyboard. I had already tried typing on my friend's Storm, and did not enjoy that experience at all. However, the 9550 has made a very significant improvement where it does not feel cumbersome and "bulky" when typing. This is most likely due to the now four actuators behind the screen, that creates a MUCH MUCH better haptic feedback experience. Although I am not going to convince you or myself that you will type faster than on a physical keyboard, it has been a more than pleasant experience from physical to non-physical.

    The physical aspect of phone also seems just better than the previous storm. It looks sleeker, especially as the screen sets in better at the bottom due to the addition of the four "physical" keys now actually being touch screens on the menu. The display is beautiful, and is the primary reason why I purchased this phone.

    I highly recommend the Storm 2 if you are looking for a Blackberry touchscreen (see what I did there, you don't really have much of a choice otherwise). But really, I was pleasantly surprised at the overall performance and look of the phone. (Posted on 11/8/2009)

  31. Excellent Buy Review by KR "Tall Guy"

    I bought this phone on the day it came out and I have to say that I am not disappointed at all. If you like a pull-out/physical keyboard, then this phone is not for you. But if you like the touchscreen, this is an amazing phone. I find the new sure-press screen very comfortable to type on, and the phone's capabilities are terrific. I've already synced my iTunes music to the phone and no longer carry around an iPod.
    The network speed when using the Internet is great, but of course that's because Verizon has a solid network. (Posted on 11/7/2009)

  32. I'm smiling. Finally someone got it right. Review by Alex Alexzander "Alex Alexzander"

    I didn't buy the Storm 2 from Amazon, so I don't know if my review of it will stick here or not. I'm a recent Verizon switcher (from the 8310 AT&T to the Verizon Tour) a few months ago.

    Truly there are two kinds of customers. There are those looking for their first smart phone, and those that have owned quite a few smart phones while looking for some kind of smart phone nirvana. I fall into the latter. I've owned, and in this order, a Blackberry PDA fortified with Yahoo. A Treo 650. A Blackberry 8800. A Blackberry 8310 Curve. An iPhone (1st gen EDGE). An iPhone 3G (second generation). A WinMo 6.1 (MotoQ). Back to my old AT&T 8310 Curve. Then switched to Verizon for the Tour. And now I have the Storm 2.

    So why so many phones? Recently my employer bought his first smart phone. A WinMo 6.1 device from Samsung. He would watch me go from smart phone to smart phone before my contracts expire, spending full price for the switch. Often $579 for the change. Finally he asked me, "Why all the switching?" I tried to explain this to him, and I will try to explain it here. But I think you know the answer if you've owned a smart phone already. You see my employer didn't own one when he asked me this question. Now that he does he's been trying the iPhone and considering a switch to that. Now he saw the Moto Droid with Android 2.0, and now he is considering that. I just bought the Storm 2 and now he is considering that. What you can take away from this is the following. Now that he owns a smart phone, he is already considering several other smart phones, and I think now he understands why people switch smart phones.

    The answer is this. Once you own a smart phone, you truly will find the value of such a device. I am an office worker. I guess Bill Gates would classify me as a knowledge worker. Much of office life is held together via communication with clients, manufactures, my tasks, calendar, and even memos. Email is perhaps even more important to me that the phone itself. I have to save every single email I send and receive because I make agreements via email. I ask partners to manufacture things via email.

    I work on projects that involve multiple corporations and consume many months. I have a phone number here in San Francisco, New York and Hong Kong. I work with partners through the entire day and evening. It is only because of smart phones that I can walk around and not sit in front of a computer 24 hours a day 6 days a week. My smart phone is my freedom, though I am sure it sounds like it is my prison it's not that at all. Not having a smart phone would be my prison.

    I'm a business customer. I use Exchange and Blackberry Enterprise Services. That gives me instant over the air sync between Outlook / Exchange and my Blackberry. If I so much as add a contact to my Outlook client, it just pops into my Blackberry instantly. I don't have to sync it because Blackberry Enterprise Services just updates my Blackberry instantly and immediately.

    When I am talking to a new partner or client, I add them as a contact into Outlook. And just like that, I know I have them in my Blackberry if I need to call them. That's a powerful thing to know I can count on them being in my phone. As you might have realized by now, watching videos and listening to music is not my primary use of the Blackberry. My primary use is the email, calendar, tasks, notes, contacts and the phone itself. All the tools that make the Blackberry perhaps the best business-class phone on the planet. I have Documents2Go 2.0 and a few other tools as well. All geared to help me with attachments in email or some other feature so I can truly remain as mobile as possible.

    So you see the value of the phone. Now it's all about the hardware. The phone you choose affects the value. If you had to type a long email on your smart phone, would you be able to do it and be professional about it? What I mean by that is this. Would you use proper punctuation, spelling, words etc? With business clients and partners I can't send emails that look like this, "How R U". Kids can get away with that between themselves However, in the business world that's simply unacceptable. The smart phone you choose will really help you craft those emails with minimal effort. Blackberry phones have an auto text feature. You can set it to do things like substitute "blaex" to "Kind regards, Alex Alexzander". I have a much longer signature if I type "calex". That will change to the full signature which is my name, my company address, phone, fax, cell, mailing address, etc. Virtually all my contacts will capitalize themselves. If I type "lisa" or "armando" I get "Lisa" and "Armando". I set these changes in auto text. If I type "teh" a common misspelling of "the" the phone changes it to "the" for me. I have all kinds of auto text substitutions set up in my Blackberry designed to allow me to type very fast and still keep it professional.

    So now that I have the best business phone and I have setup auto text to help me keep my emails professional as well as fast I have the issue of the keyboard itself. Why choose the Storm 2 with touch screen over the Tour which has physical keys?

    As I wrote previously, I had a Curve which has physical keys. They keys on the Blackberry Curve do you touch one another. Each key is an island onto itself. And in my humble opinion, the Curve represents Blackberry's best tactile keyboard efforts. Other Blackberry devices such as the Bold, Tour, and the older 8800 series all have keys that touch each other. Your fingers and thumbs are larger than these keys. When you go to press them, you're going to feel perhaps 3 ~ 5 keys under your finger or thumb. Pressing the right key is something that you must learn. It doesn't take long to develop this skill, but if you've owned a smart phone you know that this is where the mistakes take place via typing. It doesn't happen a lot but it does happen somewhat often. At least once or twice in every short email, and more in longer emails. You'll press two keys, or press the wrong key. In order to keep the phone device small and yet still have a full qwerty keyboard, you'll have to deal with this issue. There is no way around it; Or is there?

    It is the question, "Is there a better way?", that causes smart phone users to switch phones so often. Should you buy a smart phone with a portrait keyboard or a landscape keyboard, such as those in the Sidekick or the new MotoDroid.

    If you buy a landscape keyboard, and you try to hold it and type on the device in a bus or something that is really bouncing around, you'll grow to dislike it, and perhaps even drop it. There is a right way and a wrong way to hold these devices. And little things, like being able to operate the device with one hand become a sought after feature. Blackberry devices were designed to be operated with one hand.

    I bought the Storm 2 because of a YouTube video I saw. A guy was reviewing it and he had it in SureType mode. What is SureType? Remember that question all smart phone users ask? "Is there a better way?" That's what SureType is trying to answer. Imagine for a second that you only have 5 keys from left to right, and only 4 keys from top to bottom. They'd be huge keys. Q and W are the same key. E and R are the same key. T and Y are the same key. Now, before you tell yourself you want nothing to do with tapping a single key once or twice to get the key you want, I have to tell you that you don't have to do that. Let that sink in. How in the world can a shared key know which key you intended to type? And that's what SureType is all about.

    Think of the word, "the". On the SureType keyboard, that would the the following, "TY" "GH" and "ER". If you hit those 3 keys in the right order, SureType knows you meant to type "The" or "the". You can shift the first press just like you would normally do and it knows to cap the first letter of whatever this world will be in the end. Pretty slick huh? You can type whole sentences with this technology and it knows what you mean. I have little or no editing to do with this method of typing. It's is so good it is shockingly simple. And because the keys are shared 2 at a time most of the time, they are huge and easy to strike.

    Is there a better way to type? Yes. I have found a keyboard that is easier to use than just about anything out there. The keys are huge by smart phone standards. And because there are fewer of them, you type faster. It takes perhaps a day or two to get used to this concept. Your brain understands right away, but your muscle memory needs to learn this new tool. SureType is awesome. It's perhaps the only real advance in keyboard technology I have seen yet. No one else is doing this. Surely Research in Motion has patents like crazy for this technology.

    The Blackberry Storm 2 uses three methods of typing input to cover everyone's preference. You can use SureType (shared keys), Portrait Full, or Landscape Full. If SureType is not for you, then you can switch it to full. The keys will be smaller, much like those on the iPhone, but you will have a 1:1 relationship just like any other smart phone.

    The Storm 2 has 3G, 1xEVDO and WiFi. Essentially it is a world phone. Visual Voice Mail is one of the better business tools in voice mail I have seen in a long time. You have that here but it's a subscription. I think $1.99 or $2.99 a month with Verizon on your bill.

    What about the phone? Like all Blackberry devices there is a phone button. This launches the phone keypad. These keys are huge as they are just 3 across and 4 down. Standard call pad. When you make a call, you see other features show up to help with what you might want to do during a call. You see 4 large options. Speaker, Mute, Flash, and add participant. Under that are other tools you might need during a call as smaller buttons. Note pad, keypad, home button, calendar and contacts. These are the tools you might find you need access to during a call. It's also the kind of thinking that went into the Blackberry Storm 2 with OS 5. I can't write this enough. This is easily the best business class phone I have ever used. The interface is what makes it so great. And it has the software features that truly complete the whole package. Why do we call people in the first place? To make arrangements. We need to take notes or schedule an appointments and this interface anticipates that.

    Touch Screen is what makes the above functionality possible. In order to make a phone truly simple to use, the whole interface must be context-based. Meaning that if you are typing an email, the screen is a keyboard. If you are on a call, the screen is a serious of buttons designed to make that call as productive and simple as possible. The phone changes what its interface displays depending on what task you are using it for.

    With that in mind some touch screens are better than others. We know that the old Treo used a stylus or your finger in a pressure sensitive way. This was okay for pressing buttons. When the iPhone launched, Apple ushered in a capacitive touch screen. Just making contact with the screen with your finger is equal to pressing a button. As a result, you can flick (or swipe) the screen upward or downward to cause a list of contacts to zip past the screen dimensions so as to allow you to quickly find the contact you need even if you have 200 contacts. But there is a problem that was overlooked with capacitive touch screen. The slightest touch is pressing a button. It is very easy to launch things you had no intention of launching at all.

    SurePress technology solves this on the Storm 2. You have the same capacitive screen technology, but even more than that. The screen has multiple sensors under it so you can do two things with the screen that mimic a physical keyboard despite it being a capacitive touch screen. You can drag your finger all over the screen, and nothing is pressed. You're merely highlighting items as your pass them to show what you are touching. When you highlight the one one want, you press down on the glass, and this is sensed and acted upon.

    Does this sound like extra work? It isn't. In my experience it reduces errors dramatically. With its new multi-touch you can do more than one key at a time even with this SurePress technology. I can for example, hold shift, and then hit another key to get a capital letter. The screen knows you are pressing two locations. You can find videos of this on YouTube and I encourage you to see it for yourself. When I saw it, I was very interested. When I saw how quickly and easily the guy in the video typed a sentence, I couldn't believe it. I thought they sped up the video or something. This Blackberry, by that video, was simply too good to be believed. And then I asked myself, what if it were true? What if after all these years someone finally made a real breakthrough in keyboard technology? Research in Motion has done it.

    Take the best business phone with the best feature set and tie it to the first real technology advancement I've seen and what you are left with is phone that is finally worth every dime and then some.

    Because I like this phone so much, I even added my MP3 music to it. I downloaded a software application called, 7digital, which is an MP3 music store where each song costs just $0.77 for a very high quality 256k MP3. The phone has a stunning 3.2 mp camera for still pictures. It can record video. And to round it all out I bought the best BlueTooth headset money can buy; the Plantronics Voyager Pro. This is the headset they demo in a convertible car with the top down at 50 mph. And with that extreme wind you just hear what is being spoken and nothing else.

    I now have the phone to die for. The best business phone with the best keyboard I have ever used and of course the best headset money can buy. I've come down pretty hard on RIM in the past for failing to x or y correctly. I just have to say that if I could give you guys a 6th star I would. Research in Motion really did something truly great. I feel like my search for smart phone nirvana is finally answered. It's been quite a quest and expensive, too. After two days with this touch keyboard, I'm amazing myself with it. (Posted on 10/30/2009)

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