RIM rarely veers away from its classic screen and Qwerty keypad combo which has done so well over many years. Making sure that it doesn't fall behind though, RIM has produced the BlackBerry Storm that features a touchscreen. But, unlike any other touchscreen, this one clicks.
Read our review to see if a clickable touchscreen is the best thing to ever be invented or if you're better off with the BlackBerry Bold. If by the end of the review you think you want a Storm, then you can pick one up from Vodafone for free on a monthly contract.
Whether or not you're a veteran BlackBerry user, the first time you see the Storm you'll want to try it out. Its large touchscreen invites you to touch it and a sleek, curvy design slips easily into a pocket.
Similar to the BlackBerry Bold the BlackBerry Storm feels like a quality product made up of a combination of metal and high-quality plastic. It's solid enough to take a few tumbles and isn't too heavy or too light.
While many touchscreen phone manufacturers seem to borrow heavily from the iPhone's design the Storm manages to retain a strong BlackBerry identity and fits in well with the rest of RIM's portfolio.
The Storm's large touchscreen is one of the brightest and sharpest we've seen so far, providing a great video viewing experience. As touchscreens go, the Storm's is responsive to even gentle taps but you need to click it fully in order to select an option.
At first we found the clickable screen difficult to get to grips with, particularly when texting because you need to click each key and that can slow things down -- eventually we got used to it. Compared to the iPhone the Storm's clickable screen is definitely slower to use.
If you desperately want to make the transition to a standard touchscreen but like using mechanical keys then this could be the halfway house you've been looking for. We're not convinced that it's the best touchscreen system out there and feel it can be clunky at times.
Another concern we have regarding the Storm's screen is that there's a gap around the edge so that it has enough space to pivot, which we think will get filled with dust and dirt after a while and may cause aesthetic damage.
We're very glad to see that there's a 3.5mm headphone jack on the side of the Storm making it simple to plug headphones straight in and start listening to music -- a feature we would like to see on many more phones.
One area of the Storm's design that we weren't overly keen on are the mute and lock keys at the top that curve in and aren't always easy to find in your pocket, which is annoying if you're trying to silence a call in the middle of a meeting.
The BlackBerry Storm runs a touchscreen version of the BlackBerry OS with necessary touchscreen additions, such as an-on-screen touchscreen keypad that can be set to be a standard 'Multitap' keypad, put into predictive 'SureType' mode or a full Qwerty keyboard.