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Archive for November 2008

RIM BlackBerry Storm reported as sluggish

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BlackBerry StormCNET, the well establish tech site has posted a review on the soon to be released BlackBerry Storm. They have a lot of positive reviews on Storm. But some of the negative feedback may force you to delay your purchase of the BlackBerry Storm.

In a nutshell the Storm may have some great features like the SurePress Touchscreen, Assisted GPS, 3.2 MP (2x) Camera with Flash and Video Recording Support, full HTML browser, Enterprise email support, Data Streaming support, Application Downloads, GSM & CDMA Auto-switching support, Stereo Bluetooth support and a wide variety of other amazing features.  

But it seems to have a few issues (reported by CNET) just like all first generation phones out there:-

 

  • The Storm is equipped with an accelerometer (so the screen orientation will switch from portrait to landscape mode when you rotate the phone from a vertical position to a horizontal one, left or right) which sometimes may take a few seconds to kick in, sometimes to the point where we might think the system is frozen. 
  • The SurePress Technology Screen  (when you select an application or enter text, you actually push the screen down as you would any other tactile button) on the BlackBerry Storm has a bit of a gap at the top and bottom of the screen, which allows for the suspension system but this makes the phone look a little cheap. The touchscreen display may not seem as impressive as the screen on BlackBerry Bold
  • The Camera on the Storm (with a 3.2-megapixel camera with video-recording capabilities, as well a flash, auto focus, 2x zoom, and image stabilization) takes pictures which may be subpar. While objects can by identified in the picture, they may look a bit soft and the colors may look completely washed out. 
  • The keyboard buttons seem to be a bit too small and cramped. One can only imagine it would be worse for people with larger thumbs.
  • The software seems a bit buggy. When the camera is activated the screen would sometimes freeze a bit before switching over to the camera viewfinder mode. Also, there are some inconsistencies with the toolbar that appears along the bottom of the screen, which shows the zoom levels, flash, and more. If the camera is activated with the Storm in the vertical position, the toolbar gets slightly off center. This also happens a couple of times when the phone in a horizontal position, and while it didn’t affect the camera at all, it’s still noticeable.
  • Unfortunately, the speakerphone does not fare all that well. Both sides seem to experience choppy call quality as words occasionally gets cut off. There seemed to be a slight voice distortion. Overall, they were able to carry on full conversations and volume was not a problem, but they definitely had to ask their callers to repeat themselves on more than one occasion.
  • As far as general performance, they found the BlackBerry Storm to be a little sluggish. Also, there seemed to be lag when launching applications, particularly the camera and multimedia applications. When trying to view a slide show or take a picture, they were often met by a ticking clock (processing indicator).
  • Music playback through the phone’s speakers seems to be sounded blown out, though there was plenty of volume. Video performance does not seem quite as dazzling as the BlackBerry Bold’s.

 

Source: CNET

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Written by vsa1977

November 20, 2008 at 8:58 am

BlackBerry Storm a safer bet than the iPhone

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BlackBerry StormiPhone from Apple has developed a new standard for the smartphone industry. With it’s amazing touchscreen, full featured html browser, google maps with GPS, enterprise email support, ipod, stocks, weather, calendar, application store, etc etc, it has wooed millions of people from across the globe.

But even with it’s extensive feature list, there are a few key elements missing from the iPhone, some of which the BlackBerry Storm may do better than the iPhone thereby making it a safer bet than the iPhone.

For all those Californians out there, ever tried using you iPhone while driving? All is fine, when you get a call, but ever wanted to make a call to someone? Yep, it can get a bit messy. Or how about trying out the Google Maps with GPS on your iPhone when you are driving alone. The ease of use may be the best in the market, but when you are truly lost, your iPhone can just get you into a terrible accident.

It’s nice to have a smartphone which does all those neat things like what the iPhone does. But it takes a nasty turn when you try to truly use some of the main features that enrolled it into the smartphone category.

(For all the iPhone lovers out there… you may not want to read on….) BlackBerry Storm has addressed some of the features that are missing or under-utilized in the iPhone making it a safer bet as listed below

  1. Voice Dial:- Many of you may argue that we do have the same functionality in iPhone. It’s just a matter of downloading an App (like Who or VoiceBoxDial) from the App Store. But all these applications are not truly integrated like in the BlackBerry Storm. A dedicated button on the BlackBerry Storm makes this functionality better and eventually safer than the iPhone while driving.
  2. VZ Navigator by VerizonTurn by turn navigation: – This is one feature I am yet to see on the iPhone. I have not seen any application on the app store that can do this for the iPhone. But guess what? BlackBerry Storm does this right out of the box. It’s true that Verizon would charge for this kind of functionality. But it’s safer than what Google Maps can do for the iPhone right now.
  3. Bluetooth Support – Phone Book Access Profile(PBAP):- Phone Book Access Profile allows exchange of Phone Book Objects between devices using Bluetooth. This feature would allow a compatible Car Kit to extract contact information from the phone. You would be able to see the caller information on the Car kit before you decide to pick up the call. BlackBerry Storm supports this profile where as iPhone does not. So, if your iPhone is kept in your pocket or purse, good luck trying to navigate your car in traffic with one hand on the steering wheel and the other hand in your pocket or purse.
  4. Multitasking – Imagine if your neighborhood is a victim of fire or is in the path of a wild raging fire. Or if you are driving on a freeway and there is a police car chase just a few miles behind you getting closer and closer to you, wouldn’t it be nice if your phone could alert you? Well, if iPhone did support Multitasking, then applications could be built that could alert you regarding an impending fire in your neighborhood or a police car chase a mile away from you. BlackBerry Storm does support Multitasking and this feature can be available to BlackBerry Storm but not the iPhone.

iPhone 3GThere are other unsupported features that make the iPhone less smarter than the average smartphone out there. While some are said to be in development either by Apple or AT&T, the others may not be supported by iPhone at this time.

  1. Cut and Paste: – How smart can a smartphone be without this feature?
  2. Tethered Modem: – This feature would allow you to use your phone as an Internet Modem. AT&T may have this feature out for iPhone but as of now, you will need to hack your iPhone to get this working.
  3. Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) via Bluetooth: – This profile is designed to transfer a uni-directional 2-channel stereo audio music to a compatible headset. While BlackBerry Storm supports this, iPhone does not and there is no news of this being added to iPhone as of yet. 
  4. Serial Port Profile(SPP) via Bluetooth:- This profile emulates a serial cable to provide a simply implemented wireless replacement for existing RS-232 based serial communications applications, including familiar control signals. This profile would allow a device to wireless send/receive files via Bluetooth. iPhone at present is unable to send/receive any data (applications, contacts, files) to another phone using Bluetooth. BlackBerry Storm supports this right out of the box.
  5. bbstorm-cameraDownload files via built-in browser:- While iPhone allows only images to be downloaded, BlackBerry Storm is said to allow downloading of files including Microsoft Office files like Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
  6. Video Recording Support.
  7. Built-in Flash.

Of course BlackBerry has made a blunder by not providing Wi-Fi on the Storm. I know I would prefer Wi-Fi especially because at my home the 3G Signals suck. BlackBerry has to hope that Verizon has a better Network than AT&T if they want to sell their Phone without Wi-Fi.

In the end, it all boils down to what you would do most with your phone. But if you are paying the price to get a smartphone, you should get a phone that is smart enough to do all that you want to do and maybe more….

Written by vsa1977

November 18, 2008 at 3:19 am

Things you didn’t know about BlackBerry Storm

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It’s good news for all the BlackBerry fans out there, Verzion Confirms November 21st as the Release Date for BlackBerry Storm. But before you go out and get your new smartphone, you may want to know a little bit more of what the Storm would be capable of doing for you right out of the box.

 
Listed below are the features for BlackBerry Storm as defined by Vodafone (UK) on their website http://shop.vodafone.co.uk/shop/mobile-phone/blackberry-storm#hoverID600059.

 

Data Support and Connectivity
3G   HSDPA  
GPRS   Wi-Fi Support  
Bandwidths 7.2 MBPS Bluetooth  
Infrared   Modem  
 
PC Synchronization
Contacts   Contacts & Calendar with Outlook  
Calendar   Lotus Notes  
Apple Mac   PC Systems compatibility  
Mass Storage   Backup/restore my files items to/from PC  
 
Navigation
Built in GPS navigation        
 
Specification
Dimensions 112.5 x 62.2 x 13.95 mm Screensize 3.25
Weight (g) 155g Phonebook memory  
Talk time (with standard battery) 15 Days Stand by time (with standard battery) 6 Hours
Internal memory 1GB Memory card slot Yes, MicroSD
Touch screen   Qwerty keyboard On-screen
 
Calling and Messaging
Speed dialling   Conference calling  
Call waiting/hold   Call divert/transfer  
Vibrating alert   Voice activated dialing  
Voice activated commands   Record sound clips or memos  
Built-in speaker   SMS/MMS  
Picture and video   Predictive text  
 
Internet and Email
Mobile Internet   Email  
 
Entertainment
Games   Supports java games and application  
Preloaded java applications   MP3 player  
Stereo FM radio   Dedicated music keys  
Poly ring tones   Real tones  
Other ring alerts   Mobile TV compatible  
 
Camera / Video
Direct camera key   Image resolution 3.2 Megapixel
Flash or light   Picture mode selection – Night mode/automatic etc  
Camera self timer   Camera/video zoom  
Camera autofocus   Camera anti-shake filter  
Video calling        
 
Other
Alarm clock   Stopwatch/Timer  
Calculator   Web browser  
Calendar        

Written by vsa1977

November 16, 2008 at 10:31 pm

BlackBerry Storm Vs. Apple iPhone – Detailed Comparison

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It’s good news for all the BlackBerry fans out there, Verzion Confirms November 21st as the Release Date for BlackBerry Storm. But before you go out and get your new smartphone, you may want to know a little bit more of how the Storm differs with Apple iPhone 3G.

Listed below is a detailed comparison between Apple iPhone 3G and BlackBerry Storm.

Technical Specifications
  iPhone 3G BlackBerry Storm
Size and weight    
Height 4.5 inches / 115.5 mm 4.43″ / 112.5mm
Width 2.4 inches / 62.2 mm 2.45″ / 62.2mm
Depth 0.48 inch / 12.3 mm 0.55″ / 13.95mm
Weight 4.7 ounces / 133 grams 5.5 ounces / 155 grams
 
Color 8GB model: Black 1GB model: Black
  16GB model: Black or white  
 
Memory    
Expandable Memory No Yes, MicroSD card (upto 16 GB)
Onboard/Flash Memory 8GB or 16GB flash drive 1 GB (Onboard) / 128 MB (Flash)
 
Cellular Networks    
UMTS/HSDPA – 850 MHz Yes No
UMTS/HSDPA – 1900 MHz Yes No
UMTS/HSDPA – 2100 MHz Yes Yes
GSM/EDGE – 850 MHz (North America) Yes Yes
GSM/EDGE – 900 MHz (North America) Yes Yes
GSM/EDGE – 1800 MHz (Europe/Asia Pacific) Yes Yes
GSM/EDGE – 1900 MHz (Europe/Asia Pacific) Yes Yes
CDMA2000 1X Ev-DO – 800 MHz No Yes
CDMA2000 1X Ev-DO – 1900 MHz No Yes
 
Wireless    
Wi-Fi (802.11b/g) Yes No
Bluetooth Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR Bluetooth® v2.0; stereo headset,phone book access profile, serial port profile supported
Headset support to handle calls Yes Yes
Stream music to bluetooth headset No Yes
Transfer files to other phones using bluetooth No Yes
Transfer files to computer using bluetooth No Yes
Transfer contacts using bluetooth No Yes
Synchronize Data to computer using bluetooth No Protocol supported. Depends on software provided.
 
GPS (Built in) Yes, Assisted GPS Yes (Rumors are that Verizon have disabled built in GPS to promote their VZ Navigator Service)
Map Software Yes, Google Maps BlackBerry Maps
Turn by turn directions No Yes, VZ Navigator (expect paid service)
 
Display    
Screen Size 3.5-inch 3.25-inch
Resolution High resolution 480 x 320 pixel color High resolution 480 x 360 pixel color
Ambient light sensor Yes Yes
Multi-touch Yes Yes
Clickable No Yes
Accelerometer Yes Yes
Proximity sensor Yes Data not available
Support for display of multiple languages and characters simultaneously Yes Data not available
 
Multimedia (Audio)    
Audio Frequency response 20Hz to 20,000Hz Data not available
Audio formats supported    
AAC Yes Yes
Protected AAC Yes No
MP3 Yes Yes
MP3 VBR Yes Data not available
Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4) Yes Data not available
Apple Lossless Yes Data not available
AIFF Yes Data not available
WAV Yes Data not available
WMA No (use iTunes to convert) Yes
WMA ProPlus Data not available Yes
AAC+ Data not available Yes
eAAC+ Data not available Yes
Ringtones (Polyphonic)    
MIDI Yes Yes
MP3 No Yes
AAC Yes No
User Downloadable Ringtones Yes (must purchase from iTunes @$1.99) Yes
Sync Songs with iTunes Yes, using iTunes (Windows & Mac) Yes, using BlackBerry Media Sync with iTunes (Windows Only)
     
     
Multimedia (Video)    
Video formats supported    
H.264 H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
H.264 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats
Yes
MPEG4 MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats H.263
Part 2 Simple Profile
WMV No Yes
 
Input / Output    
Screen    
Touch Screen Yes Yes, SurepressTM
Copy and Paste data No Yes
On screen keyboard Yes Yes
Portrait SureType® and Multi-tap, Landscape QWERTY
 
Audio / Microphone    
3.5mm Stereo headphone jack (Standard headphone jack) Yes Yes
Speakerphone Yes Yes
Voice dial No (download custom applications) Yes, dedicated button provided
Record voice notes No Yes
 
Video / Camera    
Built in camera Yes Yes
Camera resolution 2.0 megapixels 3.2 megapixels
Digital Zoom No Yes, 2x digital zoom
Flash No Yes
Cature Picture Yes Yes
Capture Video No Yes
Photo geotagging Yes Data not available
 
 
Power / Battery    
Standby Time Up to 300 hours Up to 15 days
Talk time Up to 5 hours on 3G
Up to 10 hours on 2G
Up to 5.5 hours
Internet use time Up to 5 hours on 3G
Up to 6 hours on Wi-Fi
Data not available
Video playback time Up to 7 hours Data not available
Audio playback time Up to 24 hours Data not available
User removable battery No Yes
 
Communication    
Email, Messaging and Chat    
SMS (Text) Yes Yes
MMS (Multimedia) No Yes
Email Integrations    
Microsoft® Exchange Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
IBM® Lotus® Domino® Data not available BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
Novell® GroupWise® No BlackBerry® Enterprise Server
Personal email account Yes Yes
POP 3 Connectivity Yes Yes
IMAP Connectivity Yes Data not available
Push Email Limited availability
Yahoo
.Mac (Mobileme)
Data not available
Chat Application Support Downloadable custom applications (push support in development) Yes
Windows Live™ Messenger No Yes
Yahoo® Messenger No Yes
AOL® Instant Messenger® No Yes
ICQ® No Yes
Email attachment support Images – .jpg, .tiff, .gif
Documents – .doc, .docx, .pages
Web Pages – .htm and .html
Presentation – .ppt and .pptx, .key (Keynote);
Excel – .xls and .xlsx, .numbers (Numbers);
Adobe – .pdf (Preview and Adobe Acrobat);
Text – .txt
Contact Info – .vcf
JPEG,
Adobe® PDF,
Microsoft® Word
Microsoft Excel®
Microsoft® PowerPoint®
Other formats: Data not available
Edit Documents No Microsoft® Word and Microsoft Excel® (limited functionality: Copy and paste, change font size, colour bullets, numbering and more)
Synchronize Data with PC    
System Requirements PC with USB 2.0 port         

Windows Vista; or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later

iTunes 7.7 or later

PC with USB or serial port
With a USB port: Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista™ including x64 bit support         

With a serial port: Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows Vista

Optional Bluetooth® connection on computer with Windows XP Service Pack 2 or higher

Multimedia (music, videos, photos) Yes, using iTunes only Yes, using iTunes with BlackBerry Media Sync
Business (calendar, contacts) Yes, using iTunes only Yes, BlackBerry Desktop Software
Applications Yes, using iTunes only Yes, BlackBerry Desktop Software
Synchronize Data with Mac    
System Requirements Mac computer with USB 2.0 port         

Mac OS X v10.4.10 or later

iTunes 7.7 or later

Data not available
Multimedia (music, videos, photos) Yes, using iTunes only Data not available
Business (calendar, contacts) Yes, using iTunes only Yes, BlackBerry for Mac
Applications Yes, using iTunes only Data not available
Browser file download support No Yes (limited)
Browser Flash files support (.swf) No Data not available
Background processing support (run multiple apps at the same time) Limited only to iPod feature in iPhone Yes
 
Hardware (Input / Output)    
Data transfer (computer) 30-pin doc connector Micro usb port
Built-in speaker Yes Yes
Built-in microphone Yes Yes
3.5mm audio out jack Yes Yes
Volume up/down Yes Yes
Home / Escape key Yes, Home Key Yes, Escape Key
Call key No Yes, dedicated key
Menu key No Yes, dedicated key
Sleep key Yes, dedicated key Yes, dedicated key
Mute Key No Yes
Voice dial key No (Voice dial not supported natively) Yes
Camera key No Yes
Lock key Yes Yes
 
Security    
Password protection and screen lock Yes Yes
Sleep mode No Yes
Support for AES or Triple DES encryption when integrated with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server No Yes
FIPS 140-2 Compliant (FIPS Validation in Progress) No Yes
Optional support for S/MIME No Yes

Note: The above mentioned technical detail is for information only. This data is not to be used to for decision making.

References:
1) http://blackberry.vodafone.co.uk/storm/specifications/
2) http://www.apple.com/iphone/specs.html
3) http://www.blackberry.com/blackberrystorm/specifications.shtml

If you find something missing or wrong, you could post a comment and I will make sure I will update the same.

Written by vsa1977

November 16, 2008 at 10:18 pm