On the Eve of a Storm…

Ok,

I have put this off for awhile and although it pains me as a blackberry addict I have to post a comparison that is fair and unbiased..  So lets talk about the Upcoming Verizon Storm..  You have seen the commericals, Verizon is hyping this phone to levels untold since the launch of another so called “jesus Phone” apples own Iphone..  Hell Verizon is so excited about this phone that they are opening at 7am to ensure that they can handle the load…  I have used the Apple Iphone 3g for a couple of weeks as my day to day phone and having used a pre-production storm and being released from my NDA its time to talk about it as the Crackberries out there wait with thumbs ready for Friday morning.. 

Let the battle Begin..... FIGHT!
Let the battle Begin..... FIGHT!

Screen

Both phones feature amazing Hi-Def quality screens which are just perfect for navigating web sites and watching movies on the go. The Storm however is not a true widescreen ratio, as its slightly shorter then the Iphone due to the buttons on the bottom of the unit. As it is shorter the draw back works somewhat in another way.. The Pixel count on the storm is actually denser then the Iphone giving the storm a crisper and better looking screen.  When I say its incredible I mean it!!

Keyboard

Storm’s keyboard is one of the best touch keyboards I have ever used. Text input is really simple, and after 10 minutes you can achieve pretty good typing speeds.  The storm uses Blackberrys Suretype mode in portirate mode and as I never used it before I thought I wouldnt like it.  I was surprised to learn that I could type faster in suretype then qwerty mode.  The Iphone keyboard takes time to get used to, and won’t allow you to input text in portrait mode which is a major flaw that you have to use third party apps to workaround.  If your a texting fiend and require the abilty to pound out emails on the go then the storm keyboard wins hands or thumbs down.

Email/Business Use 

When it comes to email and business use there is nothing better then the Blackberry, Apple may have been trying to get into enterprise and become the businessman’s best friend but they have along way to go… Storm wins hands down!

Phone Navigation

Both UIs are pretty good. The Iphone is simpler to use but it’s all about personal preference.  I find that the Iphone feels like a toy and find the Storm more intuitive as I have used RIMS OS for years.  The Iphone is alot prettier to use and the Iphone seems more responsive than the Storm which is a little laggy on the unit that I tested but I believe that a newer software version is loaded on the shipping models. While I have gotten used to having to update software on my devices I am prepared for early adaptor struggles.  I do see alot of people that run out to the store on launch returning the device because it doesnt look like the commercial.

Browsing The Web

The Iphones web browser uses Safari, while far from being perfect, is the best mobile solution available today. The Storm browser although being seen as the best blackberry one yet is still a joke: it’s sluggish, doesn’t support tabbed browsing and fails to correctly render many pages, including Blackberry’s own home page… A third party solution browser like Opera corrects this but there is no reason that it should be a given that you will have to look outside what comes on the unit.. 

The Camera

I’m not a heavy camera user, but its nice to be able to take quick shots and it’s good to have a camera-equipped phone. After using the Iphones 2 Megapixal camera with no flash its clear that its merely acceptable.  Unless there is alot of light and the subject doesnt move it takes decent pics.  The  Storm does a lot better in this area. Its 3.2 megapixel flash-equipped camera performs well although there is a bit of noise that isnt present on other 3 mp camera phones if you expect do take lot of photos with your phone, the blackberry is a better choice.

Media Player

While both devices feature advanced media players, the Iphone with Itunes comes in as the winner in this race. I found it more intuitive to use and alot faster to organize your media, it uses Coverflow which at the time was a groundbreaking way to view your media collection and still looks stunning today. The Blackberry player is minimal yet functional, displays long filenames which Iphone cuts off.  The Blackberry supports many video formats such as Xvid and divx that will make the internet video download crowd very happy.  I watched a few movies in HD xvid and they were amazing and less then 1gb in size, the same video from apple would run 3 gb.

 

Storage

The Iphone comes in different built in storage sizes, I used the 8gb model but there is a 16gb size as well. The Iphone’s storage is built in and not user replaceable and although 8 or 16gb is alot of size to average joes that can be eaten up fast with movies and alots of music loaded.  The storm uses Micro Sd cards and the production model will come with an 8gb one in the box as well as 1gb on the phone giving it a total of 9 at purchase.  The storm can support microSD cards up to 32gb so that gives the phone the room to grow with you as your media needs grow.  I have several micro Sd cards and I normally use a 8 gb for movies, a 4 for tv shows and another 4 for music as the cards are HotSwappable you can change them in and out without powering off the phone making for a built in media jukebox.

Wrapping it all up…

After testing both devices I cant see a place in the smartphone world for both devices, if your a heavy email and text user then the Storm will be your best friend.  If you would like to see email as an afterthought but really want a seemless media player and web browser then the Iphone will be the best phone you have ever used.

The only other thing to talk about when making your choice would be the Apple’s Apps Store.  The Iphone 3G launched with a built in way to try and load both paid and free apps directly to the phone and the amount of content is amazing, if you have a need that can be handled on a phone or ever have a “wouldnt it be cool if my phone could” moment… then I can tell ya some dude in kansas has made an app for that.

Blackberry is doing the same thing but as my unit was a testing unit there was nothing in the “app” store on my unit.  I believe that it will not be user generated as the apple one is but something that is carrier based which means that verizon will be raping customers on every purchase and the amount of free content will be more then likely next to none..

All in all both units have (iphone) and will (storm) change the way touchscreen phones are seen and used by the world at large.  There have been several phones from HTC and others that were all touchscreen but these phones are geared toward the masses…  But wait whats that I see coming on strong outta no where?  WHATS A G1???? 

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