Host of Cellular Radios

By Jason Brooks  |  Posted 2008-11-20 Print this article Print


Next to the new touch-screen, the Storm's most distinctive attribute is the host of different cellular radios with which the device is studded, which combine to provide the Storm with support for 2,100MHz UMTS/HSPA, 850/900/1,800/1,900MHz GSM/GPRS and 800/1,900MHz CDMA/EvDO (Evolution Data Optimized) networks. All told, according to Verizon Wireless, the Storm should be able to keep its users connected in most spots around the world.

Verizon Wireless is a CDMA shop, but the Storm ships with a built-in, remotely provisionable SIM card for use with the GSM-based networks the device supports.

I found call quality on the Storm to be about average.

In addition to its bevy of cellular radios, the Storm sports both Bluetooth 2.0 and GPS radios. Notably, however, the Storm lacks a Wi-Fi radio. According to RIM, there was no space left for Wi-Fi with the unit's complement of world phone radios. For now, users who value Wi-Fi in their smartphones will have to stick with keyboard-based RIM devices, or jump ship to the iPhone or G1.

RIM's BlackBerry Storm by the numbers.
Click here for a complete spec sheet.

However, the Storm does offer a set of smartphone amenities that the iPhone does not, beginning with an SD card slot (prepopulated with an 8GB card) for peripheral expansion beyond the Storm's slim 128MB of built-in Flash storage.

Also, the Storm features a removable battery, which the company rates at up to 5.5 hours of talk time and up to 15 days of standby time between charges. In my tests, the Storm's battery lasted through just over 6 hours of talk time.

What's more, the Storm offers all the enterprise-oriented characteristics for which BlackBerry devices are prized in many organizations, and which the consumer-focused iPhone lacks. For one thing, the Storm can handle upgrades to its software over the network, where the iPhone needs to be connected to iTunes for this to work.

Also, the Storm offers encryption of data, both for its built-in storage and for memory cards. And the Storm comes with a "memory cleaning" feature that deletes sensitive data from the unit's temporary memory in certain circumstances, such as when you insert your device in a holster, lock the device or synchronize with your computer. In addition, the Storm offers an optional content protection feature that will, for instance, block a calling contact's name from appearing on the display of a locked device.

The new touch-screen BlackBerry also provides granular support for controlling third-party application permissions, such as allowed network ports, levels of access to other applications on the device, and control over Bluetooth, GPS, Phone and USB access.

eWEEK Labs Executive Editor Jason Brooks can be reached at

As Editor in Chief of eWEEK Labs, Jason Brooks manages the Labs team and is responsible for eWEEK's print edition. Brooks joined eWEEK in 1999, and has covered wireless networking, office productivity suites, mobile devices, Windows, virtualization, and desktops and notebooks. JasonÔÇÖs coverage is currently focused on Linux and Unix operating systems, open-source software and licensing, cloud computing and Software as a Service. Follow Jason on Twitter at jasonbrooks, or reach him by email at

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