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RIM Intros BlackBerry Storm 2

The second touch-screen BlackBerry adds Wi-Fi and a refined typing experience to the original's enterprise-friendly features.
BlackBerry Storm 2
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BlackBerry Storm 2
Research In Motion has revealed its next-generation touch-screen smartphone, and the BlackBerry Storm 2 aims to fix issues customers had with the first version.

The first touch-screen BlackBerry met with mixed reviews due to some launch software bugs, missing hardware features, and a new input method. The Storm 2 essentially maintains the same form factor and design, but it adds Wi-Fi, boosts the on-board memory to 2 GB, and doubles the flash memory to 256 MB.

The original Storm had a virtual keyboard that used a suspension system with the screen to simulate the feeling of hitting a physical button. The typing experience was generally hit-or-miss for most users and the BlackBerry maker is aiming to refine this experience with the Storm 2. The handset can now handle multiple inputs while typing, which means users can type a letter with one finger even when another finger is touching a different letter. RIM said the screen also has improved overall sensitivity.

The Storm 2 retains all the enterprise-friendly features of its predecessor, which means it can receive push over-the-air e-mail, calendar, and contact information from companies with Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, and Novell GroupWise setups. The handset will also work with corporate Google Apps thanks to the BlackBerry Enterprise Server integration, and users can get personal push e-mail from Web-based providers like Gmail.

While it's not quite the multimedia device that the rival iPhone is, the Storm 2 has the ability to play various video and audio files and customers will be able to use iTunes to sync multimedia files with certain software. The handset also has 3G capabilities, GPS, Bluetooth 2.1, expandable memory with a microSD slot, and the ability to add new programs from the BlackBerry App World. IT departments will be able to control what apps users are able to download within their corporate deployments.

The Storm 2 has only been announced for Vodafone in the United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, and Spain, but Verizon Wireless' CEO has already said it will come to the U.S. market before the end of the year.


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