UPDATE: We haven’t just taken photos of the Storm, we’ve jotted down our thoughts on the hardware, software and everything else too! Wondering whether it lives up to the hype? Check out our First Impressions of the BlackBerry Storm here!

It’s swish, it’s clicky, but it has no buttons: it’s RIM’s new touchscreener, the BlackBerry Storm, and we’ve just had an early play with it. Come and see the snaps inside!

RIM may have the business market sewn up with their QWERTY keypad email wizards, but the company looks set to crack the personal market too if the Storm is anything to go by, juggling as it does email, media and internet all on a luscious 3.25 inch screen.

The real breakthrough here is that you can really feel what you’re typing, as the screen pushes down with each tap – think Apple’s new glass trackpad/buttons and you’re not far off. We had a play with it on the Vodafone bus this morning in central London , and it didn’t disappoint – see for yourself in the gallery below.

Out Friday | Free from £40 per month | Vodafone

  • http://www.gravatar.com James Holland

    I’m still lamenting the lack of Wi-Fi. If it had that I’d seriously consider swapping my iPhone for it!

  • http://www.photopositive.co.uk Photopositive

    I’m about to get an upgrade on Vodafone and since my contract is ending, I can’t decide whether to stick with them and go for the Storm or switch to O2 and get an iPhone. As a Mac user with an iPod touch already and apps for it, the iPhone looks like the winner at the moment, but I want to see some more in-depth comments on the Storm beyond the “it looks lovely and that screen is nice”. Come on ElectricPig, get to it!
    Anyone else have any thoughts?

  • http://www.photopositive.co.uk Photopositive

    …and the lack of WiFi is a bit of an issue for me :-(

  • http://www.gravatar.com James Holland

    Oh, we’re all over it! We’ll be posting our first impressions first thing tomorrow morning, so you’ll know whether it’s worth slapping down the cash. A sneak preview? It’s better than the iPhone in many ways, but RIM still has a lot to learn from Apple. Most notably, in the speed department.

  • http://gravatars.com jbc

    If your contract is ending, then I’d suggest it’s about time you jumped ship and turned left down iPhone street. You can’t release a device like this and not include WiFi, it’s just bloody stupid. BlackBerry have dropped a major ball on this one. And, if the speed is an issue too….

  • http://www.photopositive.co.uk Photopositive

    Having seen the latest update on first impressions, it will be iPhone street to which I turn now. The speed and lack of Wifi are the major storm-killers for me.

  • cgsmith

    I don’t see how the lack of wifi could be a deal braker… I live in London and it’s the most frustrating thing running around looking for wifi…. it’s scarce and patchy… unless you spend your day in Starbucks and pay TMobile a fortune… seriously, if there was wifi everywhere we’d all take our laptops everywhere.
    this reminds me of when the first iphone came out where the speed was the deal braker (hence everyone started looking for wifi spots) but even Apple turned to 3g to solve the wifi problem… the fact that the storm has 3g AND HSPA is a major advantage!!!

  • http://www.gravatar.com James Holland

    For me, Wi-Fi is a major issue since I use iPlayer at train stations and airports all the time. That needs Wi-Fi to work, the BBC simply blocks it if you’re using 3G. Likewise, many podcast services, again, such as the BBC’s, are too slow over 3G, especially if you’re trying to buffer them before your train departs!

    Also, I’m still wondering if there’s an issue with using Wi-Fi to help with location-sensing. The iPhone uses Skyhook technology and Wi-Fi signals from nearby hotspots (even if you can’t actually log on to them) to nail down its location quickly, and even without GPS.

    I’ll reserve judgment until we get our review unit, but I suspect the Storm will suffer slightly when it comes to locking onto a location quickly.

  • cgsmith

    Hmmm I hear ya… in general I hadn’t used portable devices to watch any films/media (although did donwlaod many video clieps and video podcasts but enjoy them on my laptop or tv screen now… so again it’s not a deal breaker for me to not to have wifi (although I see your point of view). For instance, my iPod touch that only has wifi was the fiasco of last year! it connects great when there’s wifi but there’s no wifi anywhere… well, not enough to satisfy me! there are hardly any free public ones (i know there are guides that say there are but no, they don’t work) so you have to find a BT phone box and loiter outside it or spend all day at Starbucks (connection there is patchy because of people’s coming and goings but at least it’s there all day). I’m just really concerned about the speeds of 3g and HSDPA. I should have my Storm around Friday but I won’t be shy to return if I don’t fall in love with it!

  • Ben Sillis

    I can see how you can well cope without WiFi – you’re right that it’s not actually free in most places, and it’s not like you’d want to get an expensive phone out in McDonalds. But, you do need to have top 3G speeds to make up for that, and from my what I saw Vodafone simply wasn’t up to it. In the middle of London. That doesn’t bode well for many, especially given mobile companies’ track records of forgetting that people live in the countryside too…

  • cgsmith

    would you say that the 3G on the iPhone much much faster though?

    is WiFi in MacDonalds free? :) honestly wasn’t aware of that…

Hot chat, right here!

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