New BlackBerry a flexible, keyboard-free affair

The BlackBerry Storm is Research In Motion's (RIM) latest edition and its first all-touch screen phone.

The Storm is keyboard-free and is equipped with new innovative tactile touchscreen technology.

I was initially startled when I began to use this phone because the whole screen actually moves.

The 3.5-inch screen is effectively one large button and to select anything you need to press the screen about a millimetre.

The sensation is similar to clicking a mouse.

This took some getting used to, but I soon fell in love with this way of navigating.

However, the size of the menu items did cause some problems.

The Storm has the ability to detect whether it is in landscape or portrait mode and flips the screen to suit - sometimes swapping modes when you don't expect it.

But the ability to flip screen modes means the user has a choice of three keyboards to use when sending text message, emails or surfing the internet.

When the phone is in landscape mode a full keyboard is available with one button for each letter.

When in portrait mode you have the choice of the standard multitap or the sure-type keyboard which has two letters to every key - my personal favourite as predictive text is more accurate.

The lack of a permanent keyboard leaves an excellent screen for watching movies or viewing and showing off your saved pictures.

I personally could watch an entire season of Lost without getting frustrated.

For me, internet browsing on a phone is a last resort but I actually found using the Storm an excellent internet browsing experience.

The whole screen is used as a track pad so navigation was easy and its compatibility to view pages in HTML was an excellent bonus.

Another exciting feature was the already-installed BlackBerry Facebook application along with Vodafone compass.

Like all other BlackBerry Smartphones, the Storm has strong email functions and can be synched with a PC.

RIM has managed a unique combination of everyday consumer functions and the strong business focus the BlackBerry is renowned for. - Lauren Mackenzie

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