Saturday, November 22, 2008

Blackberry Storm, first impression

So today I was at BJ's and got a chance to use the Blackberry Bold at the Verizon kiosk. I thought at first that the clicky screen would make it awkward to use and after a few minutes I found that assumption to be pretty much correct.
Browsing menus felt a little strange. Maybe it's because I'm used to the way it's done on other touch phones like the iPhone, but it was strange anyway. Many times I found myself clicking when I didn't want to and not clicking when I did. The keyboard is even worse though. While they have found a sensible way to give tactile feedback on a touch keyboard, it doesn't really work. The blue glow you get from touching the keys doesn't do a great job of showing you which one you're touching, and since you have to let go of the screen between every key-press (you don't really notice it on other phones, but you typically don't give any time where you don't touch the keyboard between key presses). Because of the this, you have to type pretty slow in order to hit all the keys. It also tires your thumbs out to be clicking it like that. I think it'd be much better as a slider.
However, the touch part of the screen was very sensitive. I'm fairly certain it's the same type of touch surface that is used on the iPhone, since it works no matter how lightly you touch it with your finger but it doesn't work at all when you use anything else.
I also played with the browser a little, but I couldn't really do anything with it. Yes, it loaded a website and from what I saw, was displaying it correctly. Problem is, I couldn't navigate the site at all. In an attempt to click a button, it took it's time and then zoomed in. I was a bit confused, but figured it'd be easier to click it this way. Nope, it paused and zoomed in again. This kept happening until the button filled the screen and I still couldn't click it. That was when I gave up on this phone.
I bet it would be a much nicer phone if it didn't have that click-screen. That's pretty much what ruined it. It was a good attempt, I'll give them that, but unfortunately it just failed to live up to what it should have. Now normally after using something that's this new I'll end up with an impression that's sort of like "I think I could get used to this with time." This isn't the case though. With time, I might get used to navigating it. But I don't think I could ever get used to that keyboard. Plus, even if I did get used to navigating/typing, the click would just make it slower in general to navigate or type. For comparison, I had an "I could get used to this" impression with the iPhone keyboard, phone keyboards in general, the iPod click wheel, the Blackberry Pearl keyboard, and the Wii remote. And I got used to all of those fairly quickly. I think it would be a good decision on RIM's part if they'd just drop the click and ignore the "vibrate" feedback everyone else is doing. That could make this a pretty good iPhone competitor. Or maybe they could just make it an option to have it work without the click. That'd work too. By the way, it does have an accelerometer. There aren't any fancy animations like the iPhone has, but it works without lag and gets the job done. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did you test the Blackberry Storm or Bold or both?