Verizon Wireless, Vodafone and Research In Motion (RIM) announced that the BlackBerry Storm will be available later this fall, exclusively to Verizon Wireless customers in the U.S. and Vodafone customers in Europe, India, Australia and New Zealand.
The BlackBerry Storm smartphone combines the communications features, global connectivity and personal productivity advantages of the BlackBerry platform with a touch-screen technology that enhances the touch interface and enables easy and precise typing. The “clickable” touch-screen responds much like a physical keyboard and also supports single-touch, multi-touch and gestures for intuitive and efficient application navigation.
The BlackBerry Storm smartphone comes with a touch-screen that depresses ever so slightly when the screen is pressed. The user distinctly feels the screen being pressed and released with a gentle “click,” similar to the feeling of a key on a physical keyboard or a button on a mouse. The “clickable” touch-screen gives the user positive confirmation that they have made a selection and the result is an enhanced touch interface and a highly-intuitive typing experience.
In addition to the familiar navigation keys (“phone,” “menu” and “escape”) that are common to other BlackBerry smartphones, the new BlackBerry Storm adds support for multi-touches, taps, slides and other touch-screen gestures, so customers can easily highlight, scroll, pan and zoom for smooth navigation.
The BlackBerry Storm smartphone also features a built-in accelerometer, allowing its touch-screen to automatically switch between landscape mode and portrait mode as the user rotates the handset – RIM’s SureType keyboard layout is available in portrait mode and a full QWERTY keyboard layout is available in landscape mode. Other relevant features, such as cut and paste, are only a touch away for the ultimate smartphone experience. An ambient light sensor automatically adjusts backlighting for ideal screen viewing.
The BlackBerry Storm measures 110 x 60 x 6.3mm and is capable of HSDPA connections of up to 7.2Mb/s. In the U.S., the BlackBerry Storm 9530 gives Verizon Wireless customers 3G EV-DO Rev. A/CDMA technology – and (2100Mhz) UMTS/HSPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM for global use. The BlackBerry Storm 9500 from Vodafone supports (2100Mhz) UMTS/HSPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks.
Built-in GPS supports location-based applications and services, as well as geotagging of photos.
Customers will enjoy a full HTML high-performance browser that works in either portrait or landscape orientation. Navigating Web sites is fast and easy with the touch-screen interface that lets users double tap to zoom in and slide their fingers to scroll and pan.
Icons along the bottom of the display allow for quickly accessing Web sites, switching between “Page View” and “Column View” as well as the ability to toggle between “Pan” mode and “Cursor” mode. The enhanced browser supports file downloading, streaming audio and video (RTSP), and with its built-in RSS support, new content from supported Web sites can be automatically pushed to the user.
The 3.25in display has a 480 x 360 resolution. Also on-board the Storm is a 3.2-megapixel camera with variable zoom, auto focus and a powerful flash that also provides continuous lighting when recording video.
The phone supports MPEG4 H.263, MPEG4 Part 2 Simple Profile, H.264, WMV video formats, and MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, WMA ProPlus audio formats. Media player that can play movies in full-screen mode, display pictures and slideshows and manage an entire music collection; playlists can be created directly on the handset and there is an equalizer with 11 preset filters.
All the content can be stored on 1 GB of onboard memory. The phone features a microSD/SDHD memory card slot that supports up to 16 GB of additional storage.
The BlackBerry Storm smartphone also includes BlackBerry Internet Service, BlackBerry Unite!, BlackBerry Professional Software and BlackBerry Enterprise Server support. Preloaded DataViz Documents to Go allows users to edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files directly on the handset.
The BlackBerry Storm smartphone supports personal and corporate e-mail and text (SMS), picture (MMS) and instant (IM) messaging on the most prevalent consumer and enterprise platforms, as well as easy access to popular social networking sites.
A 1400 mAhr battery provides approximately six hours of talk time on 3G networks and 15 days of standby time.
Additional details related to availability and pricing will be announced in the coming weeks.