Before Apple and Android - Blackberry was the smartphone front runner (albeit for a very short period of time) They were the phone of choice for business users (and in some cases still are) and built up a very loyal following with their communication-centric handset - that could pool all your email, messaging and BBM into one place - ontop of a sturdy typing system meaning the phones were great for not only receiving email, but sending too.
Soon after the touchscreen boom kicked off - Blackberry had a go. Everything was touchscreen - a hardware keyboard seemed a thing of the past. Most smartphones at around the same time as this phones release suffered the same problems - they were unreliable and clucky. Moving from menu to menu was a chore, they would all crash often and the touchscreen simply wasn't nice to use. Nothing like today when smart phone functionality has finally started to be fun, easy and reliable.
The Storm was no exception, infact in my experience is was the worst of the bunch. I picked this up on a 18 month contract and it was a long 18 months. I had also had an Android and Apple phone at the time - and predictably the Apple phone came out tops of the three.
Anyway, back to the Storm. This model of the Storm was the second touchscreen phone Blackberry launched - and this builds only marginally on a very poor product. The big selling point of the phone is the touchscreen also acts as a button. Rather than touch the screen to action something (like click on a link on a website) you actually have to push the screen in and it then clicks. Blackberry were trying to address a problem they were wrongly foreseeing - that people didn't like a full touchscreen experience and wanted some kind of physical addition to the screen. Fast forward to 2012 and its generally considered the smoother and easier the touchscreen is, the better.
The phone itself suffers from two big problems - Blackberrys poor build and Blackberrys poor operating system - both are still firmly routed with buisness users in mine, not everyday smartphone users.
The phone itself more of less works as a smartphone. You have a camera, you have average battery life. It works as a MP3 player, it works as a web browser. You can make calls, send texts and emails and its a fairly nice design. However, it does non of these things well. Connecting to the internet is slow and browsing pages is a very poor experience. It plays can store and play MP3s, but the player is chuggy and not really that fun - a million miles from even Apples first attempts on the iPhone. The camera is poor, but expected as it is now 4 or so years old, but the actually functionality of the camera is not that good. No flash, no editing features and transferring images from phone to PC, and sending images via email is not the flawless experience it should be.
Apps apps apps. A smartphone cannot live without them. And they have to be good too, and part of a huge range. Blackberry, and therefore the Storm fail here too. The Apps that Blackberry provide are in some places adequate and do the job. Facebook and Twitter apps for example serve there purpose, but there is no real range of apps. The Apps on Blackberry seem to be very functional rather than enriching the experience of a Smartphone.
Its as if they have made a phone with lots of compromise. Wanting to keep fans of Blackberry happy but not changing much - not taking the big steps in innovation to become a real contender in the smartphone market. This phone is not a product worth buying in 2012, a quick search and I was shocked to see it going new for £300, or £85 secondhand. Even second hand that is far too much to pay. Opt for a one of the Samsung 'budget' smartphones, such as the Galaxy Mini at the fraction of the price.