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BlackBerry Storm

October 8, 2008

You wanna see the new BlackBerry? Here it is: sleek, smooth and shiny. It’s the BlackBerry Storm, and it explodes across the planet today. Well, some parts of the planet.

I’ve been leaning towards a BlackBerry for some time now, even as the iPhone hype rolled over us. As a loyal iPod user, I should really consider going with the iPhone when my current contract runs out in March — but I’m just not convinced. Likewise the BlackBerry, or the Nokia, or any of the other smartphones.

I do know that my next phone will have a keyboard. I am at the stage now where I need 24-7 web accessibility, both for work, for pleasure and for the Weather Station. I also have to replace my dying four-year-old iPod soon, which is going to be a pain, and to be honest I think I would like to watch episodes of Lost on something I hold in my hand.

This guy Richard Smith keeps me up to speed on what’s what in the world of wireless telephony, as it’s something he knows a lot about and I do not. He said earlier tonight he was eyeing the new BlackBerry Storm, which gets its official launch today.

Here it is. Now, the cool thing about this new phone is BlackBerry has dumped its keyboard in favour of a “clickable touchscreen.” This means it’s tactile, giving the impression, sound and feel of real keys, but not, uh, with real keys. It sounds really impressive, and I am looking forward to trying it, because I liked the iPhone I tried out and I think touchscreens are neat, but I have never understood how they work. Hey, I don’t even really know what “3G” means, but this Storm thingie is also apparently 3G. It also has, as I have been told but do not fully grasp, a 3.2 megapixel camera, video camera, 1GB internal memory plus a slot for 8 gigs via MicroSD. That’s a lot of Star Trek episodes.

But the key feature is the touchscreen and its “clickability.”

“You feel it,” Research in Motion CEO Jim Balsillie told The Canadian Press last night, discussing what I guess is a virtual keyboard. “There’s a real click to it. It actually moves.”

Now, that can’t be right — how can a virtual key really move? Hmm. Well, if anyone can do this, RIM can.

The Storm will be carried by Verizon Wireless in the United States and Vodaphone in the U.K., the rest of Europe, Australia and India later this fall. In Canada, it will run on Bell and Telus, which is good news for me, the longtime Telus client.

As things stand now, this will be my next telephone. That may change. But I do believe Canadian-born, Canadian-owned Research in Motion has trumped everyone else (yet again) and created the next must-have device.

I’ll try one out as soon as I can and let you know how that goes.

UPDATE: I forgot I even wrote this. You want to know about the Storm? It bites weiner. That’s all I have to say. I haven’t ruled out a BlackBerry but it sure won’t be this weird thing.

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