Walt Mossberg of the WSJ is jumping on a trend of reviewing the Storm2 before it launches. While BlackBerry Cool has also reviewed this device before launch, it’s always best to wait for the launch date, and give both RIM and the carriers the benefit of the doubt that they may change something.
As you may remember from Walt’s conversation with Mike Lazaridis, he was not a fan of the first BlackBerry Storm. One of his questions to Lazaridis was “why wasn’t the Storm a better device?” Sort of a harsh dig considering it had one of the lowest return rates at Verizon. Yes, the device lacked WiFi, and the typing experience wasn’t stellar, but a touchscreen BlackBerry was much needed in the product line.
Well it seems Walt is convinced that the second time out the gate is a success:
“The Storm2 fixes all those [Storm 1] flaws. The screen now stays still when tapped, providing tactile feedback electronically instead of mechanically. This allows for faster, smoother typing. The new model also has Wi-Fi. And you can now use a full, albeit squeezed, virtual keyboard in vertical mode.
In addition, while the dimensions haven’t changed, the Storm2 looks sleeker and has a few user interface refinements, like an on-screen Send button.
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.”
So now when Walt interviews Mike Lazaridis he’ll say “thanks.”
On the issue of launch date, Walt says “it’s likely to appear in November at around $200.” This is interesting as many of the blogs are reporting late October. Will mainstream media beat the blogosphere to the punch? Or should they stick to reporting about the weather?