The BlackBerry Storm 2 is RIM's second touchscreen smartphone aimed at the iPhone market. (Updated October 26 2009.)
Updated, January 7, 2010:
In October 2008, RIM launched a touchscreen BlackBerry smartphone that fell short of the iPhone beater it had hoped for.
It was too large and heavy and we weren't convinced by the way the screen physically shifted with our every touch.
We could see what RIM was trying to do - namely, create a touchscreen handset that gave something back in response - but the need to press hard to enter every character made typing slow going.
For the Storm2, RIM has rethought the unresponsive screen, adding sensor pads that recognise nuances of touch and offer a degree of affirmative feedback. Typing is therefore a little faster.
Overall, navigation is faster. And the Storm2's slightly smaller, lighter design, integrating hardware keys into the main 3.5in touchscreen area and losing the weird, rocking display, makes it less clunky to carry around than its predecessor.
The Storm2 offers intelligent, threaded communication, so you can see who and from which applications incoming messages and conversation threads originate.
Solid business communication and connections are the BlackBerry's bread and butter and, as always, these are top-notch.
Business credentials sorted, the Storm goes on to make the most of that generous screen with beautiful depth of colour and crisp display when playing videos and a media player that supports multiple music, photo and video formats.
The web browser remains a little off the superlative execution of the iPhone, but the Storm2 serves up the real web with acceptably fast load times.
The 3.2Mp camera has a flash and 5x zoom, and you can name photos as you save them or MMS them straight to friends.
Aside from the iPhone, the BlackBerries are the only smartphones to offer significant numbers of apps. There are already several hundred: some frivolous, and some functional. These are searchable and can be organised into folders out the way.
NEXT: Original full review.