Storm clouds over the iPhone

When I was supposed to upgrade my phone late last year,my wife suggested that I buy a new BlackBerry.

Written by Gagandeep S. Sapra | Published:February 22, 2009 10:09 pm

When I was supposed to upgrade my phone late last year,my wife suggested that I buy a new BlackBerry. But I decided to wait for the BlackBerry Storm to come to India. Though,in the meantime,I changed my mind on getting a new BlackBerry,I still wanted to review the Storm to help you decide whether it was better than the iPhone. I am not covering the other competitors,because I think only these two have got it all right — music,phone and email.

The Storm clearly looks like it was inspired by the iPhone. Research in Motion (RIM) has replaced its popular QWERTY keyboard with a 3” touchscreen,but not at the cost of the BlackBerry mission.

RIM has always been building serious business phones and the Storm does not change anything. If you are looking for email and messaging as your first use on the phone,the Storm wins hands down. I know some of you will say the iPhone has a better text input,but I think it is a matter of getting used to the phones.

But if you are looking for a phone that will be good with music,games and browsing the Internet then it is the iPhone that you should go for. The Storm does not live up to expectations on this front.

Like the iPhone,the Storm’s screen flips from vertical to horizontal as you rotate the phone. This is a brilliant feature,and the Storm’s new browser makes Internet browsing a good experience,but it does not match up to the brilliance of the iPhone. But I liked the click on the Storm. It uses a touchscreen,as well as a pressure switch matrix at the back of the screen to give a good tactile feedback.

I have been using a BlackBerry for years now,and the biggest plus for me has always been the QWERTY keyboard. So the touchscreen is a no-no for me. However,it works fine and has a keyboard layout similar to that of BlackBerry Pearl and Bold.

The Storm’s best feature has to be the battery,which lasted more than a day. The iPhone on the other hand had to be charged by mid-afternoon.

I am confused how ultimately BlackBerry turned out to be the iPhone killer. Apple should be making plans to make a BlackBerry killer.

While the Storm is available only on Vodafone now,most service providers have the iPhone in their stables. But what wins it for the Storm is its price of Rs 27,990. However,the BlackBerry services will cost you about Rs 1,000 a month,while the iPhone package costs just Rs 500. But,I will still stick to the BlackBerry.

Gagandeep S. Sapra is the Chairman and CEO of System3 group of companies,gagandeep@system3group.com

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