The long-awaited firmware update for the original Verizon BlackBerry Storm 9530 has arrived, and OS 5.0 brings with it the promise of greater stability, new flick-gestures in the Storm's browser, and other usability tweaks. Early user feedback suggests that the new software makes the Storm a whole lot more usable, with noticeably reduced delay between application changes.
When Blackberry first unveiled its touchscreen only Storm it was hard to get away from the ads and commercials showing the new device off. Once the reviews came out and people realized that the Storm was one of the worst Blackberry devices ever, those who purchased were left with a handset that wasn't up to the typical Blackberry standards.
It's beginning to get a little ridiculous now: after Walt Mossberg reviews the BlackBerry Storm 2 ahead of any official confirmation by RIM themselves that the device actually exists, now Vodafone UK have announced that they'll be the first network to offer the second-generation touchscreen smartphone. Available to preorder from today, and with deliveries set to begin on October 26th, the Vodafone Blackberry Storm 2 9520 is priced from free with a new plan costing £35/mo ($56) upwards.
We'll let you into a secret: embargoes are the janky, frustrating glue that keeps the tech business rolling, and it doesn't take much to bring everything crashing down. Someone has obviously been fiddling with Walt Mossberg's clocks, as the AllThingsD writer and generally bearded-lovely has pushed out his review of not only the Motorola CLIQ - you can read our opinion on that phone here - but of the BlackBerry Storm 2.
The review comes on the heels of Verizon's CEO scooping RIM to their own Storm 2 announcement, as we discovered yesterday. There's no way of knowing exactly whether Mossberg had special dispensation to publish early - it wouldn't be the first time he's had privileged access ahead of everyone else - but since we're still hungry for Storm 2 details we'll forgive him anyway.
Just how many pre-production BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 handsets are there out there, waiting to be previewed ahead of the touchscreen handset's release? We don't know the answer to that, but phoneArena obviously have one since they've just pushed out a preview of their own. In it, they praise the Storm 2 for its much improved keyboard, but scold it for its dodgy stability, poor camera performance and "gimmicky" SurePress.
Listings for several new devices have appeared in Verizon's inventory database and been leaked courtesy of a phoneArena tipster. While the handsets include the BlackBerry Storm 2, HTC Touch Pro2 (XV6875) and Samsung Omnia II, all of which we've known for some time will be arriving on the network, also mentioned are the Palm P101 and Palm P121.
Nothing like a leaked carrier roadmap to whet the upgrade appetite, and going by the Boy Genius Reports' slice of Verizon's not-too-distant future there'll be plenty of CDMA handsets on offer to those bored with their current phone. As well as a fair sized dollop of BlackBerry detail, there's also a splash of Android and some feature-phones to be had too.
Considering picking up a BlackBerry or two? Like Verizon? Well you're in luck; Verizon are kicking off their "Buy One, Get One" promotion, and unlike last year they're apparently opening up the deal to cover not only a second BlackBerry but a netbook, PC card, USB modem or MiFi.
After a few good leaks of RIM's upcoming BlackBerry Storm 2 for Verizon, it's the turn of Vodafone's GSM version to appear in the wild. Spotted by the gang at Benezblog.de, the Vodafone Germany smartphone has that all-important WiFi connectivity in place, just as we've heard the Verizon model will.
Bargain-hunters in search of their next smartphone may have another reason to stop by their local Verizon store, with the Boy Genius Report suggesting that the US carrier is planning to cut prices of their entire existing smartphone range to $99. Billed as a reaction to the $99 iPhone 3G on AT&T, it's also speculated that it's preparation for at least two incoming devices.