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What’s brewing

RIM SurePress Touchscreen is again back with few subtle changes.

tech reviews Updated: Apr 06, 2010 20:16 IST
Shayne Rana

It seems like RIM didn’t get the SurePress Touchscreen bit right the first time round with Storm. So here comes the Storm 2 to set things right. Let’s see if it does.

Form
A few subtle changes have been made to the overall design. The buttons below the display have given way to a set of touch-sensitive keys. The touchscreen display is still 3.25” 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 evident.

With the addition of a Wi-Fi antenna and 1GB internal memory (total of 2GB built-in, now), the weight of the device is up by 5g to 160g. The Storm 2 can also handle up to 32 GB of memory. Even though the dimensions are almost identical, the Storm 2 looks sleeker./

Interface
While the handset has the new BlackBerry OS version 5, the processor is still the old 528 MHz. However they have upped Flash memory to 256MB. There’s a visible difference in speed of the operations. The accelerometer is quick but just a little too sensitive. I like the newer Sure Press system. It’s more stable and the whole button-haptic-touchscreen also makes typing a little easier than it was with the Storm.

The OS is relatively finger friendly throughout but the copy function can be a quite a hassle. The virtual keypads occupy almost 50 per cent, so when it comes to chatting you can see just a tiny window for the text — forget about the history. The new auto-correct function while typing is a little obtrusive but those used to it will find it speeds up your typing quite a bit.

Media
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 reads most of the popular video formats including .AVI (DivX, XviD). Playback is smooth and the screen is very conducive to watching full length movies.

Connectivity
Being a business handset, the BlackBerry has all the necessary connectivity you’d need.Storm 2 comes with everything from 3G to EDGE/GPRS, WAP support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth (upgraded to 2.1 + EDR) and of course USB 2.0 for PC connectivity. The three browsers still lack Flash support. Setting up emails is not an issue. Messenger services include Facebook, G-talk as well as MSN Messenger and BlackBerry’s own messenger services. For more, head to BlackBerry’s AppWorld. The handset’s camera supports Geotagging but all you’ll see is a blank slate of a location as Blackberry Maps still don’t support India.

Features
All the basics are covered from calendar that syncs your Google and Facebook accounts to alarm clock and Memo Pad. Documents to Go allow you to open MS document files but you won’t be able to edit them or create new files unless you get the Premium edition. This is something RIM should seriously consider providing, considering the price tags the handsets come with. There’s still no PDF reader although PDF attachments can be read. BlockBreaker and Word Mole are the only two games. You can download more from AppWorld.

Camera
The 3.2MP autofocus camera has an LED flash and image quality is great. It offers a close-up mode, which is handy for macro shots and other basic features like White Balance, Image Stabilisation and a few colour effects are also available. It records video in 480 x 352 resolution. Videos are also quite clear and easy to view on the handset and PC.

Battery
The Storm 2’s 1400mAh battery can deliver up to a day and a half of usage if location services and Wi-Fi are active. Shut them down and that’ll boost it up to 2 days. Talktime averaged at about 4 hours which is pretty decent although one expects more.