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BlackBerry Storm 2 review: first look

The latest member of the BlackBerry family, the BlackBerry Storm 2, was unveiled today. We got to play with the handset briefly to bring you this first look review.

Brain food

Memory is also much improved, with RIM offering double the memory as standard than the Storm. Some 256MB of Flash memory is on offer, in addition to 2GB of internal memory that can be boosted by microSD storage up to a whopping 32GB. As with the original Storm, the microSD slot lives under the casing, which is something users will just have to live with and doesn't make the device unusable.

Another welcome addition on the Storm 2 is the presence of support for Wi-Fi. This is likely to prove a boon for business users and consumers alike who are hungry for connectivity on the go. The browser also proved speedy and easy to use during our brief tests, with pages rendering well and load times on a par with other handsets of this ilk. CSS and Javascript support have also been tweaked for the better.

Multimedia support, as with the original Storm, is excellent, with video and audio playback a superb experience. The 3.2 megapixel camera, while not breath-taking is pretty good, allowing users to easily share their snaps via email, SMS and other installed apps (such as Facebook and Yahoo Messenger) with a mere tap.

Audio is good quality and the speaker has moved from the back of the handset to the bottom, which could come in handy for conference calls where a quality speaker phone experience is pivotal.

Let's not forget that BlackBerry App World was a mere twinkle in its parent's eye when the Storm one burst onto the scene. Now that it's here, any piece of hardware RIM releases has the same additional value that users can benefit from from the likes of the Apple App Store, Android Market and now the new Palm App Catalog and Windows Marketplace.

All in all, BlackBerry has served up an impressive successor to the Storm with the Storm 2. It has all of the familiarity of the original Storm, but none of the contempt for features that hindered rather than helped. And for that we are truly grateful.

Check out the official promo video below for more details of what the BlackBerry Storm 2 has to offer.

Verdict

The BlackBerry Storm 2 shows a lot of promise. We're keen to get our hands on a review unit to put it through its paces properly, but from what we've seen so far, the Storm 2 is likely to become a firm favourite with consumers and business users alike.

Dimensions: 62.2x13.9x112.5mm Weight: 160 grams Battery: 1400 mAh, 5.5 hours talk time, 270 hours standby Display: 3.25in , 360x480 pixels Camera: 3.2MP camera Memory: 256MB (ROM), 2GB Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11b/g, Bluetooth, A-GPS

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