BlackBerry maker, RIM (Research In Motion) revealed this week that they were launching the new version of its touchscreen smartphone, the Storm 2, which will be in stores in time for Christmas.
The new Blackberry is is “a biggie for us,” RIM co-Chief Executive Jim Balsillie said in a recent interview.
According to a press release, the smartphone will retain its original clickable touchscreen interface, but improves with faster typing and “multitouch” capabilities, which allow users to type on more than just one part of the screen at a time.
It is also enabled for next-generation networks and has Wi-Fi capability like some of the other devices in the BlackBerry line-up.
The Blackberry phone was created to rival Apple’s popular touchscreen phone, the iPhone. However, it’s yet to pose a real threat to the touchscreen market.
PC Mag posted their five reasons why the Storm 2 has improved. Here’s their list:
1.) A vastly improved touchscreen: Let’s just say it: the first Storm’s touch screen was weird. When it came out, people couldn’t stop talking about its odd clicking touch screen that provided haptic feedback. It was like pushing down on a physical button, and yet it wasn’t. Not compared to a keyboard, anyway. The Storm2’s screen has a lot of similarities to the original, but now RIM has placed four electrical actuators under each corner of the screen, making it more responsive and better for typing.
2.) A lot less bugs: When the first BlackBerry Storm was released last November, the unit was buggy as heck. We ran into many problems during testing, and users complained that the software felt incomplete. Six months after the release, RIM and Verizon fixed most of the bugs with a massive software update. Fortunately, the Storm2 shouldn’t have this problem, and the subsequent bad buzz because most of the kinks have already been worked out. (There are still a few bugs, mind you, but nothing drastic.)
3.) Multi-touch: Since the iPhone 3GS is now the standard all touch-screen smartphones live up to, the addition of multi-touch to the Storm2 is important. It’s not full multi-touch, but it’s a good start. For example, you can copy and paste text by holding two fingers on both ends.
4.) Wi-Fi: While Verizon’s 3G network is pretty peppy and far-reaching, people complained when the first Storm didn’t have Wi-Fi while the BlackBerry Bold did. Most major devices these days add Wi-Fi to be taken more seriously as a computing platform, so it’s good to see it on the Storm2.
5.) Bottom-edge speakerphone: The original Storm had its speakerphone molded into its aluminum back panel. This was an unfortunate design problem; if you wanted to do anything on the touch screen while on speakerphone, well, too bad. The Storm2’s speakerphone is on the bottom edge of the phone, allowing users to talk on the phone while using the touch screen.