BlackBerry Storm 2 has issues too

The first version of the BlackBerry Storm was widely panned for its shortcomings, but the Storm 2 has its own set of issues.

The first version of the BlackBerry Storm was widely panned for its shortcomings, but the Storm 2 has its own set of flaws, based on my extended use of the phone.

The four buttons at the base of the screen sometimes don't work.
The four buttons at the base of the screen sometimes don't work. Research In Motion

The updated Storm was announced back in October of last year so the phone has been out there for a while. And long enough for me to realize that it has a couple of fairly serious issues--at least the particular phone that I use does.

Let me be clear, I am a longtime user of both the original Storm and now the Storm 2. And I actually had fewer complaints about the original, frequently criticized Storm than the relatively well-received Storm 2.

Buttons: What's my beef? The most persistent problem is with the four buttons at the base of the screen (see photo). Simply put, sometimes the buttons don't work. This can be an annoying problem because these buttons must be used constantly.

As one example, the buttons used to make and end a call often don't work. Only after poking repeatedly on a precise location on the button (or tapping on the main screen, then tapping the button) can I make or end a call.

Again, that's only one of the more pesky problems but there are more examples of other buttons not working. And, in my experience, the problem is only fixed temporarily by rebooting the phone. That is not an acceptable solution for me since the "fix" is fleeting.

And I don't subscribe to the advice, offered in some forums on BlackBerry Storm user sites, that apps have to be uninstalled to fix the problem. Adding apps is part of the joy of having a phone like the BlackBerry or the iPhone. I have installed only a few widely used apps such as Yahoo Messenger and Google Maps. If these are causing any problems, then I would prefer to use another phone.

Camera: The other persistent problem is the camera. Starting up the camera will crash the phone, causing it to arbitrarily reboot. This typically happens after a few days of not using the camera. Because I don't use the camera every day, this happens almost invariably when I try to start the camera application.

Finally, let me say that because the Storm is my everyday phone, like anyone, I tend to zero in on the negatives. But the negatives described above are not run-of-the-mill issues.

And, yes, the Storm 2 has a lot of positives, and that's why I have continued to use it: a great interface, unparalleled e-mail, a pleasant typing interface (what RIM calls "SurePress"), a solid set of basic applications, and Verizon's stellar network.

Research In Motion declined to comment for this report.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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