iPhone 3GS vs BlackBerry Storm – Part 1

By on Mar 6, 2010 | 3 comments

I just recently changed jobs, and my new company has issued me an iPhone 3GS. So that being said, I thought a comparison between this device and my old BlackBerry Storm is in order. I’ve only had my iPhone for 5 days, so I will follow up this article in a week or so with part deux. Coverage: I have always had a Verizon cellphone (Smartphone or not) for years, so the thought of switching carriers did cause a bit of concern.  I heard multiple people say the AT&T coverage in my area (Pittsburgh) was not that great in comparison to Verizon’s.  Generally a few dropped calls would be  okay, and even understandable, however since this is primarily used for business I need to have a reliable network.  I don’t believe in the TV commercials for AT&T or Verizon, as they are playing the marketing game, and really only the individual using the phone can correctly assess the coverage.  As of now (5 days) using the phone, I have yet to see any situation that makes me believe Verizon is a better network. To test the AT&T commercial, I created a phone conference with two other phones.  Once  I had the phone conference going I began surfing the web and perhaps because of the network and the beauty of Apple everything just worked.  I could not make a phone call and browse the web on my BlackBerry.  I do not know how often I’d use this, but its fantastic knowing that I can. Email/Calendar/Contacts (Exchange): The first account I configured on this device was my Microsoft Exchange account from work.  Prior to the iPhone I was using multiple BlackBerry devices (VZW WE 8830, and the BlackBerry Storm), so I was used to getting my email very fast.  So far I have not noticed a delay in the delivery of my email.  Typically my phone has notified me of a new message either 1 – 2 seconds after my computer received the message, no major delays.  The calendar and contact synchronization has also been fast.  I have not seen a major delay yet in comparison to the BlackBerry platform. Email/Contacts/Calendar (MobileMe): I have now moved from using Gmail to MobileMe.  I have been using Gmail since the early days, when the initial invites had been in small numbers.  I knew what to expect from Gmail so once more, I was leery of the switch.  I tried using MobileMe a few months back on the 60-day trial, and noticed that the web interface was slow, and my contacts would randomly delete themselves, so I cancelled my trail.  My thought was even though the web interface was beautiful, I need reliability. Since getting the iPhone I figured, lets give it another chance to fully take advantage of the push technology.  I am not sure if Apple has changed their servers, or made an update but now my web interface is extremely fast.  Had the experience been this fast during my trial I probably would not have cancelled it.  The push for email is extremely fast, and I believe it works faster than my exchange account.  The updating of contacts and calendar is actually faster than Exchange.  I can move items in my web interface or on the phone, and almost in real time I see the update.  Exchange takes a little bit longer (10-20 seconds).   This is actually much faster than the BlackBerry platform again. I am actually loving the performance of MobileMe over Exchange and even the BlackBerry platform. Ease of Use: I have to admit using this phone is truly a dream.  Typing on the iPhone’s keyboard is a better experience than that of the Storm.  In a previous post, I mentioned how one had to touch, then physically click on the screen to input a character.  This is not the case with the iPhone. I am actually finding it faster to type email and SMS messages via the iPhone.  I have yet to try the landscape keyboard because I am so impressed with the portrait keyboard.  On the storm I was constantly producing spelling errors, due to the “SurePress” keyboard.  The phone would “think” I wanted to type one word when really I meant another.  This led to some embarrassing emails to executives as the overall grammar of the email made no sense. Battery: I’ve been charging my battery daily, but I believe the reason it is getting low is due to my constantly playing with the device.  Once the novelty slows down from having the iPhone I will be able to truly give both devices a fair comparison.  I do not want to give a opinion on the iPhone’s battery quite yet. Summary: I have been downloading applications like crazy this week, and the App Store has a far better selection than what I could find for my BlackBerry.  There are many applications I have found so far that will allow me to be more productive and aware of my servers at work while I am out of the office.  This is one of the reasons our company is actually removing all BlackBerries from our environment and moving to the iPhone.  I plan on following up to this post in a week or two once I have really tested the phone in more detail.  As I said both phones have been on the market for quite some...

BlackBerry Storm Review

By on Jan 15, 2010 | 3 comments

Today’s cellphones / smartphone have changed the way we communicate with the world, and  I’m constantly asked how do I like the BlackBerry Storm, would I recommend this for others to purchase.  I have had the BlackBerry Storm for several months now, so it is safe to say I’ve tested it enough give this a fair review. Hardware/Appearance At first glance, it is clear that your eyes are drawn to the front display.  This display is a 3.25 inch (480×360) touchscreen.  Below the screen are the four typical BlackBerry buttons (Phone/Send, Menu, Back/Escape, and End/Power), a micro USB port and convenience key are found on the left, while on the right a second convenience key can be found along with a volume rocker and 3.5mm headphone jack.  Along the top of this phone there is a single LED light to the right, and the lock and mute keys built into the case, almost as if it were to be a soft rocker. Side Note As of a few days ago (1/11/2010) all four buttons had fell off my phone. I pulled my phone out of my jeans and those buttons got snagged and fell off.  Verizon Wireless is sending me a replacement device, however I have yet to receive it.  This seems pretty common as seen here,  “BlackBerry Support Forums“ Edit: (1/16/2010):  Verizon Shipped me my replacement phone yesterday, I got it set back up.  I took a picture from my new storm of the old storm’s keys.  I super glued the send key in place so I could make phone calls during the week. Touchscreen The touchscreen is where most of the phone’s attention will be focused.  Unlike the iPhone, the Storm does not just have a wonderful display but it also utilizes a click technology called SurePress.  The purpose of this is to give the user a physical sensation of clicking when you type or navigate throughout the phone.  When I first began typing on the phone I hated this all together, and still today I find it annoying.   In my opinion, having to physically press down / click the touchscreen is really irritating in two ways.  The first is the fact you are physically limited to how fast you can type on this device.  The user has to click; lift finger and re click the screen. Since the touchscreen is one large button it is not possible to type as fast as a normal QWERTY keyboard.  The second reason the screen is actually floating on a button, and thus screen actually wobbles left/right and up/down, which makes the phone’s screen feel cheap for such an expensive phone.  I wish RIM chose to go  in the direction that Apple did with the iPhone for the screen. Camera The Storm’s camera is a 3.2 megapixel resolution with a flash built in. The flash is extremely bright; and  many people have commented how the light actually hurts their eyes when taking photos.  Overall the picture is great, although the response time was very slow when taking photos.  To resolve this I had to upgrade my OS to 5.0.328 as this fixed many bugs in the original OS (4.7)  The photo listed below was taken with the BlackBerry Storm (Click to view full resolution). Battery Life The storm’s battery is not the greatest; I typically make it about 24 -36 hours before needing charged.  I have my phone attached to my company’s BES so I am constantly receiving emails daily (110 per day on average), text messaging, Gmail (BIS Account) and general phone use.  I do not use the browser much just, every so often but when I do I noticed my battery takes a drain from this.  I keep a second charger with me at work, and a car charger with me in the car just because of the battery life.  In comparison, with my BlackBerry 8830 I can go almost 5 days before a recharge doing the same workload as the Storm. Phone Calls When it comes to sound quality and reception for phone calls I have had no complaints.  Being on the Verizon network I have not ran in many spots that I did not have coverage.  I’ve had some people tell me at first when I got this phone they had a difficult time hearing me talk, so I found myself speaking louder on the phone almost yelling at times.  An annoyance of the phone is if your face bumps the touchscreen while in call mode, the phone will actually mute the call. After several phone calls I had to learn how to hold the phone just right to stop this from happening.  I believe the iPhone has a proximity feature built into their device, and I would have hoped RIM would have done the same. Wrap-Up It was pretty clear when this phone launched both Verizon and RIM wanted to go after the iPhone’s dominance in the market.  The selling points of the device are great, however I think because of the click screen and other quirks the learning curve and complexity of the Storm may turn off the casual users.  Hopefully with the launch of the Storm2 RIM has fixed most if not all the little issues with this device and can give the Storm a better chance in the...

Pin It on Pinterest