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The BlackBerry Storm was a headline grabber when it was first released, as it really broke away from the traditional screen with QWERTY keyboard underneath, that has almost become BB's trademark. With its all-touch-screen design it was expected to be a big winner for RIM, as on the face of it, it measures up with the big boys in the market as a good-looking touch-screen device. Sales didn't really bear this out though, so it was with bated breath we awaited RIM's next touch-screen device the Torch -- this time though you get the best of both worlds with a touch screen and a slide-out physical keyboard.
How do the two measure up side-by-side?
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Look and Feel
The BlackBerry Torch and the BlackBerry Storm are the same weight and dimensions, so if you're looking for something a little less bulky than the standard BB, you may well have found it in these two models. The blatant difference is the flip-style keyboard on the Torch and remember those call and hang up buttons that were eliminated by the Storm 2? They are now back on the Torch.
The Torch touch screen is a vast improvement on older Storm models. There is less of an impact required to get the phone to respond to clicks, and the menus are designed very much like the Apple iPhone.
The chrome trimming of the Storm is now a more subtle metallic grey; the soft keys on the sides are rubber as well, creating a more ergonomic feel, and this is great news for those accident-prone users as it's great for grip.
The home screen menu lists the four most accessed icons. There is a newly featured toolbar on the Torch to navigate via all folders or to view via favorites etc.
The camera has greatly improved on the Torch at 5 megapixels compared to just 3.2 megapixels on the Storm. So if a camera on your smartphone is important to you then you'll definitely want to opt for the Torch, as the difference between the two is distinctly noticeable.
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The Torch comes with pre-installed apps which cater for the kinds of things you are likely to be using most often -- Facebook, YouTube, MySpace and Twitter for example. There is the same facility as the Storm to download further apps if required.
Once you connect your Torch to your PC, you now have three options compared with the Storm which automatically charged with an option to enable mass storage. The Torch options are:
- USB drive
- Sync media
- Charge only
It's great to have a choice of whether to sync your device or not, which is a definite plus in the Torch's favor here. If you start to download a good few apps or music to your BlackBerry then syncing it all to your computer is always a good idea. However, if you just want to keep your computer free of all that and keep your phone as a stand-alone device then it's really handy to have the option to just "charge only" if that's what you want.
There is a new desktop icon on the Torch to view any new updates via text/messaging etc, which is a handy way to view everything at once.
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Wireless technology is available on the Storm 2 and the Torch, allowing you to connect to work, home-based or other wireless networks. You can also send and receive email and use the browser over the wireless network once you have negotiated a plan with your service provider.
To set up wireless, go to the manage connections icon, Wi-Fi needs to be set to on. Once Wi-Fi is on, you can select the option to setup Wi-Fi network, this will scan for available ones in your area.
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End of Life Storm
It's obvious that the limitations of the Storm, and the fact that the Storm 2 did not do well in the market, means this model is near end-of-life.
The Torch seems a marked improvement on both of these predecessors in the BlackBerry touch-screen range, offering features that were lacking in the much awaited Storm 2 release.
Compared with the Storm 2, the Torch looks, feels and performs better. Compared with the number one on the market, the Apple iPhone, the technology and design has still got a long way to go.
No matter who your winner is in the Torch vs. Storm battle, BlackBerry still hold the advantage on the business user market at the moment as the data uses better encryption via BES. This will surely change over time and we will see the iPhone enter the business world. For now find out why the BlackBerry is still better than the iPhone for business users.
- Image credits: http://demos.blackberry.com/9550/na/us/gen/