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Form Factor

The 9500’s build quality exudes a certain sturdiness with slim chromed lines and its brilliant 3.5-inch SurePress touchscreen display, which is anything but conventional and clearly visible even in broad daylight, is difficult to miss. It sports a resolution of 360 x 480 (184ppi) pixels and 65k colors with an accelerometer for screen rotation. Though it's 3G ready, video calling might be a bit of a problem considering there’s no secondary camera. The 3.2 megapixel AF camera comes with a single LED for a flash and is located at the back.

On one side of this slim device (that we thought to be a lot thicker from the previews) is a 3.5mm standard earphones socket, volume keys and a dedicated camera key. A customisable key that’s usually set to Voice Command is located on the other side with a micro USB port. Even though there seemed to be plenty of place for a hot swap slot, the Storm, like all other BlackBerry devices has its microSD card slot located under the rear panel (1GB card included with support for up to 16GB). Below the display are the traditional BlackBerry menu and Escape keys in between the call take (also used to access the dial pad) and the call end keys.

It’s a bit on the heavy side though (155g) and if shaken, you can hear the display move. There’s also a slight visible gap all around the screen. Nevertheless, it’s still a good looking piece of hardware.

Features and Performance


Running on a BlackBerry OS with a 624 MHz CPU, the Storm is decently quick, but like most other touchscreen handsets, it does have a few kinks that need to be worked out. There’s sometimes a bit of lag when it comes to typing in certain fields. The display uses what we’d like to call ‘Tap-Screen’ technology that basically implies you’ll have to actually press keys on the screen just like you would on a normal physical keypad with buttons. You can still swipe your finger over the screen for navigation though and this is one of the better features of the handset.

It has no support for handwriting recognition as it has no stylus for the same but there are three types of keypads – sure-type, alphanumeric and QWERTY that will by default show up when the handset is held in landscape. The accelerometer is not erratic but it is a bit too sensitive and there’s no control for that. It took us a little while to get used to the tap-screen display when using the keypads and like other similar touchscreen handsets you may end up hitting the wrong keys quite often till the action is mastered. The screen orientation will shift to landscape if turned to the left or the right.
The 3.25-inch screen of the Storm could've made way for a biger one for better display.

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