Well, i’ve had my storm for 4 days now. I’m going to try to put some of my initial impressions and experiences down in writing now.
So far, i very much enjoy this phone. I’ve had one or two little quirks that I’ll touch on, but so far, i like it.
How’s the sure-press screen work? I like it. I’ve even had an iphone user or two comment on how the sure press screen is nice. None of them are rushing out to get a storm, but they didnt puke when they tried to use it. I really like the feedback from the screen. Its subtle enough that it doesnt feel gimmicky, and it feels solid. Some of the apps that i’ve used dont work well with the touch screen. This is probably a compatibility with older apps thing, and not necessarily a flaw in this phone. I can see how that may have been a sticky subject at blackberry’s R&D lab. Do we reject the use of older apps, and make developers re-write every app on the market? Or do we tack on clunky touch screen usage for older apps? I can see both sides of that, and i can understand why they did what they did.
I’ve run into an issue or two with free resources on the phone. The phone will slow down to a crawl, and i’ll have to reboot it in order to free that up. I think this is more due to how i’m using the phone, and not necessarily a problem with the phone. It seems like if you exit an app by using the back button, it doesnt close, rather it goes to the background. I haven’t found a way to find out what’s running, but it seems that if i hit the bb menu, and select close instead of backing out, it works well.
I’m not crazy about how they handle e-mail. I know why they do it, but i dont really love it. When you setup your e-mail, they pass it all through their BIS. You put in some very basic info into a wizard, and it somehow guesses the information, and enters it into their service. Then your mail is passed through their service to your phone. Well, if you use this wizard, it apparently sets up your bis account, but doesnt actually give it a username! I had to call verizon’s support to get that worked out (which i just did). I tried to add my work account, with uses imaps, rather than clear imap. So it takes some advanced settings to get it working. You cant enter these settings on the phone, you need to do it on their site. Once i got into the site, it was actually detected properly, which surprised me. It also let me take the verizon branding out of the signature line of all of my e-mails, which is nice. I dont want my work e-mail being sent out branded.
I’ve dont some fiddling with about 50% of the stuff i see on the main menu of the phpne. I’ve also added a few apps. One of which with google maps, another was a media player which supports shoutcast streams. Pretty cool. Never thought i’d be able to play The Blast on the go. I’ve also run across a few cool free apps, like games and whatnot.
I’ve also been toying with a BES like open source package. It may, if i can get it working, get me my calendar from Zimbra sync’d on the storm. I got it working tonight for email, but it was buggy as hell, and kept crashing the phone. The contacts/calendar app (which is a separate sync app) seems stable, so i’m going to continue to pursue that. The app is called Funambol. I could probably post an entire entry on that later.
So far, i give this phone a big thumbs up. It’s cool enough to be a fun phone, but.. erm.. Blackberry enough to be a good business phone. Exactly what I needed.