The BlackBerry 9520 Storm 2 has probably the best pre-release coverage of any cell phone in history. We’ve seen previews and videos and pictures and more videos of the upcoming cell phone for months. RIM and Verizon haven’t released a thing about the phone yet though so some key details hadn’t been revealed. That is, of course, until Walt Mossberg posted his Storm 2 review last night alongside the Motorola CLIQ review and Vodafone went live with its Storm 2 launch details this morning that happened to include all the phone’s specs for good measure. God bless the Internet.
Overall, I found the Storm2 worked well in my tests. Battery life was decent, with 5.5 hours of claimed talk time, and typing was much improved, though I doubt it will satisfy lovers of physical keyboards.
The browser is still inferior to Apple’s, Google’s and Palm’s. And the traditional BlackBerry interface cries out for a major overhaul in a touch device like this, especially when you add a lot of apps. RIM’s menu and folder metaphor seems tired on this device.
Verizon hasn’t set a launch date or price for the Storm2, but it’s likely to appear in November at around $200.
The Vodafone press release reveals the phone’s entire spec list. Thankfully RIM updated a few key areas like doubling the amount of Flash memory to 256 MB and equipping the phone with 2 GB of onboard memory. Also, the mechanically clicky screen has been replaced with one that gives electronic, tactile feedback. It also confirms that the phone is powered by BlackBerry OS 5 that hopefully *fingers crossed* along with the extra Flash memory will mean the phone will hang less and be oh-so-much-more responsive.
Vodaphone UK will be offering the phone free with pay-monthly contracts from £35 on up and will be available on October 26 in the UK, Ireland, The Netherlands, Spain, and Germany. The rest of the Vodaphone world should see the phone before Christmas. Now all we need is for Verizon to let us in on how much it plans on charging for the Storm 2. A release date would be cool too.
Update: RIM just launched a Storm vs Storm 2 interactive comparison chart. Have at it.