I’ve had my blackberry storm for a little over a year now. I’ve decided to follow up on my previous posts regarding this phone and my opinion of it..

What this phone is good at:

Email, that’s about it.
Its interaction with BIS to handle email is pretty trouble free. Except if you’re setting up multiple accounts, I actually had to call Verizon and have them reset my login because the setup wizard creates a basically useless accound on the BIS, to add a second you here to get that unlocked. Which brings me to the relative stupidity of this email model. Yes, it works, and works well once configured, but why do things this way? Why can my phone not talk directly to my e-mail server? What is RIM protecting it from? I’m an e-mail administrator, in the case of every e-mail address I use, I am in complete control of both the server, and the client. Why can’t this be done on my phone as well? Instead RIM needs to put their server in the middle? Still, this aside, the blackberry does do email well.

What this phone is not good at:
Everything else.
Seriously, I’ve not found one other thing that this phone does well enough that I’m willing to look past its flaws.

Web Browsing
The browser is slow, clunky, and is actually painful to use. I rarely use the browser because of its difficulties.

I’d like to say that this phone has decent app support. But it doesn’t. If you want a phone with lots of apps, get an Android device, or an iPhone. No one seems to make decent apps for the BB. Yes, theres apps, you can usually find something to make your BB do what you want it to, but it’s never a fit and polished as an app for more popular devices.

Text input
For a Blackberry, the text input on this phone is actually rather horrid. The Surepress screen, while comforting at first, becomes clumbsey, and actually slows you down. At the point where you’d be getting used to touch-screen input on another device, you find that now you’re held back by this damned press screen. I use the SureType input method. This is similar to the BlackBerry Pearl’s input method, where you’re presented with a qwerty format, where each key is shared by two letters. Its the closest thing to a qwerty keyboard that you can use with one hand. In landscape mode, you get a true qwerty, but its even slower than Suretype because of this damned surepress screen. On top of that, you don’t get very good feedback on what key you’re about to press.

Overall performance
The phone performs ok, but not for long. After a few days the phone starts to slow down, and eventually becomes so painful to use that it needs to be reset by pulling the battery.

On top of all that, the phone lacks one of the things that I think all smart phones on the market today should have. ActiveSync support. Any business phone should be able to talk to an ActiveSync server if it wants to be a contender. RIM doesn’t want you to have this feature, because they want you, or your company, to buy a BES. I purchased an app, which adds ActiveSync, but running it in the background eats up resources like you wouldn’t believe. If i run it, i get about 3 days between reboots on the phone. If I don’t run it, i get about a week.

All that being said, I intend to upgrade to a Droid device as soon as I can.