Take the iPhone or Get a Blackberry Storm?
December 9, 2008 5:40 AM   Subscribe

Gift receiving etiquette: accept the iPhone that was promised me or go rogue and get a Blackberry Storm? Related: is the Blackberry really better?

A few months ago I ended a job and moved with my fiance to Pennsylvania. My former coworkers pooled money and got me an iPhone. The only problem was, my contract didn't run out until Dec. 13 so I've been waiting to "cash in" my gift. I loooove iPhones but I've been on Verizon for 6 years and like them, and have many friends/family who can call me for free because we all have Verizon. Of course, I also have a few friends on ATT now because of their iPhones. But now that the new Blackberry Storm is out, I'm intrigued, and thinking of getting one of those instead.

First of all, is it bad etiquette to say, "hey, I'm going with the new Blackberry instead!" The price is equivalent and so is the "gist" of the gift. My one friend is a real Apple guy and so he'll be disappointed, I think, but not mad. Second of all, is the new Blackberry really that good? I've only ever played around with an iPhone, but I love it. Last night I played around with a Storm for the first time, and it seemed fine. There are some features that I like better on the iPhone - the finger stretching/minimizing features, the graphics and buttons. But the Storm seems pretty much the same, and like I said, I actually like Verizon. If I could get an iPhone and stay with Verizon it'd be a no-brainer. Another question: do I lose my phone number if I got to AT&T from Verizon? Last question: are iPhones reliable/durable? I've heard some bad stories about the iPhone, but mostly in the context of pitches for the Storm.

Thanks, all-wise AskMe!
posted by billysumday to Society & Culture (20 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Warning - the Storm has been getting absolutely slammed. It's widely viewed as a pretty half-baked product. David Pogue's review in the NYT stuck out for me because of this sentence:
I haven’t found a soul who tried this machine who wasn’t appalled, baffled or both.
Really it's a question of how much you'd stand to lose by switching providers. If you really want a Blackberry, the Pearl or Bold might be a better bet in terms of functionality. If you really want a touchscreen, the iPhone you already have is a good bet (although it is lacking some key functionality like copy and paste etc).
posted by Happy Dave at 5:51 AM on December 9, 2008

Response by poster: Oh damn. I haven't read any online reviews, just have a few friends who swear by their Blackberries. Well, that makes the decision a little easier. Unless...

Is there a Verizon-supported phone that does most of the things the iPhone does, and is super kicking?
posted by billysumday at 5:54 AM on December 9, 2008

do I lose my phone number if I got to AT&T from Verizon?

Wireless numbers are portable. When you contact ATT to open to new account, you tell them you wish to port your number from Verizon, and they pretty much do all the work, as I understand it.
posted by owtytrof at 6:05 AM on December 9, 2008

No no no, don't get the Storm, my boss has played with all of the new ones and he agrees that the Storm is just not up to par with the iPhone at all. It is the first version from RIM to directly compete with the iPhone, as such it is not ready for primetime yet. In a few versions it'll probably be on par if not surpassing in some areas, but definitely not now. The BlackBerry Bold on the other hand is RIM's tried and true model with improvements, and was highly recommended.
posted by Meagan at 6:17 AM on December 9, 2008

Like the other posters, I have heard nothing but terrible terrible things about the new Storm. But -- the Blackberry Curve is a great, great phone. If I had to chose between the Curve and an iPhone I would pick the Curve hands down.
posted by kate blank at 6:34 AM on December 9, 2008

Best answer: Is there a Verizon-supported phone that does most of the things the iPhone does, and is super kicking?

No, sorry.
posted by unixrat at 6:43 AM on December 9, 2008

Purely anecdotal, but my boss wanted to be the first in line (so to speak) to get a Storm. The first hour or so was pretty fun, so I hear. After that, the Storm could no longer make calls (it could receive calls, but no sound would be in the receiver--as in, it would ring, no one's there). Texting also failed, somehow. (Email still works.) We called Verizon and they said it was a known error and that all of the reps had been getting inundated with reports of malfunction.

Personally, I'd stay away from any piece of v. 1 tech.
posted by Flamingo at 6:43 AM on December 9, 2008

The review that Happy Dave linked is easily the harshest review of the Storm. Here's a round-up of like 10 different reviews. Something else you should consider is that most of the reviews were under .65 instead of the .75 firmware which has started the process of fixing lag and bugs in the Storm.

I'll agree that the Storm isn't nearly as polished as the iphone but considering RIM's track record (and try and remember how buggy the iphone was at release too) I'm certain that if you give it some time they'll get it right. Even in it's launch form some of the reviewers say that the Storm is probably one of the better Verizon phones out there (which isn't saying much). Most of them agree that the Storm does messaging and email better than the iphone but doesn't offer the same browsing experience. You lose wifi with the storm but it arguably has the better network depending on where you live. And well the clickable screen is just something that you have to get used to.

I think it really comes down to whether or not you want to switch service providers or not since there's no way Verizon and RIM will let the Storm not be an iphone competitor in the near future.
posted by woolylambkin at 6:53 AM on December 9, 2008

Is there a Verizon-supported phone that does most of the things the iPhone does, and is super kicking?

A close friend of mine works at Radio Shack, he's a die-hard Verizon fan, and never fails to tell me (an iPhone user) of the latest and greatest coming out that's going to be an iPhone-killer. Without fail the conversation always goes like this:

"This thing is amazing and totally going to blow up the iPhone, except the interface is a little slow, and the touch sensitivity isn't quite there, and it doesnt' have a full browser, and there's no apps except Brew-based ones that aren't that great. But it looks awesome!"

Even he has admitted if they offered the iPhone on Verizon's data network (we only have Edge here and it sucks to be honest) he'd be all over it. In the end I think it's the interface that has no comparison with any other phone offered by Verizon (unless Verizon eventually releases a model running Android). I think you'll only enjoy a Blackberry if you're a current BB user and a die-hard one at that. Otherwise even that interface is likely to confuse you and leave you less than happy.

My advice: get the iPhone and you won't regret it.
posted by genial at 6:58 AM on December 9, 2008

Yeah, here are David Pogue from the NY Times reader comments on the Storm. Don't do it!
posted by hazyspring at 7:15 AM on December 9, 2008

I've only seen a couple bad reviews of the Storm. I can't really agree with those saying it's getting trashed. Most have been fairly positive, with most issues being with either not being used to the device, or with things that have been fixed in the firmware upgrade to .75. Mr Pogue's review did not sound professional at all to me. To keep things in perspective: "A BlackBerry without a keyboard is like an iPod without a scroll wheel" is another quote from his review. I leave it to you to judge his insight. In the meantime I'd check out Engadget and Gizmodo's reviews.

I agree that firmware .65 wasn't up to par, but since then, RIM has upgraded all firmware to .75 like woolylambkin said. Here's a link to Engadget's announcement of the upgrade and what the commenters have to say about it.

It comes down to what you want. If you want tons of features and wi-fi, go with the iPhone, but if you do lots of messaging, RIM is still the top of that category.
posted by WilliamWallace at 7:31 AM on December 9, 2008

providers do have a 14-to-30 day return policy (depending on where you are) - if you don't have to sell the iPhone to get the BlackBerry, you could always get the Storm, live with it for 2 weeks, and then decide. BlackBerries are still really more devices for people focused on email and business apps though - there's a lot more normal people using them, but the iPhone is a more consumer-oriented design, so unless you live and die by email, you'd probably be better served by the iPhone.
posted by mrg at 7:34 AM on December 9, 2008

I had to switch from AT&T because we had no service after we moved. It killed me to give up my iPhone. I miss it every day, especially the browser.

That being said, my Curve isn't too bad of phone. I would recommend it to someone who wasn't able to get an iPhone. I had a chance to play with the Storm briefly. I didn't like the clicky screen. YMMV.
posted by Silvertree at 7:58 AM on December 9, 2008

Seems as though everybody's recommending the iPhone, for good reason. It's fantastic. I don't have any type of cover for it, and it's holding up ridiculously well for the amount of clumsy abuse I put it through (point of reference: in the amount of time that I've had my iPhone, I had destroyed two Razr2s).

Now, to alleviate one of your concerns: AT&T has been absolutely fantastic to me. So, I wouldn't worry too much about switching from Verizon. Even if you're stuck on Edge (which shouldn't be for too long, AT&T is rapidly building out their 3G network), the thing is blazing on wi-fi, which is becoming more and more ubiquitous. I've actually been really impressed with their customer service as well.

And my boss got a Storm. He let me play with it a little. It's been returned, because it's absolutely terrible. If nothing else, steer thyself away from it. My roommate got a Curve at the same time I got my iPhone. He's wickedly jealous and regretful.
posted by General Malaise at 8:53 AM on December 9, 2008

I've had Verizon for about 5 years now and the main thing to hate them for is the ungodly things they do to the hardware that manufacturers give them. The software they load on some Motorola phones is pure garbage and the way they cripple any kind of value-added functionality really peeve me to no end. They not only charge the most for voice & data plans, they want you to pay extra monthly fees for GPS functionality.

I have a BB World Edition 8830 now with a Verizon-crippled GPS chip and GSM radio. I love having the Blackberry, I just wish it could do everything it is supposed to. I like having EVDO, but using the Blackberry Internet browser is excruciating, so the only thing that is really fast and useful is google maps (that I still have to manually locate myself with). I luckily have an EVDO aircard that is as fast as DSL in most areas.

I'm interested in the iPhone, but I'm not too sure about AT&T's coverage and call completion rates (meaning NOT dropping calls) in my area. And I'm sure as hell not getting 3G (but Wifi makes for a good trade-off) in my area any time soon. I say ask around about AT&T's service where you live and make the switch.
posted by ijoyner at 8:59 AM on December 9, 2008

My brother got a Storm right when it came out. We all played with it and tried to put it through its paces. I was disappointed that when I typed, the display couldn't keep up with me. I LOVED the button screen, however. I am the type of person who needs some kind of tangible feedback from a keyboard.

Anyway, I can't believe that I'm pushing you in the direction of an Apple product (so not me) but his Storm turned out to be rubbish. Within a week of owning it, he put it in his pocket and then went outside to move some vehicles around. When he took it out of his pocket, the screen was completely shattered. Knowing how baggy he wears his pants, that is NOT a lot of abuse. Disappointing, because I was hoping the Storm would be my next phone.
posted by bristolcat at 8:59 AM on December 9, 2008

I just made a similar decision. I wanted an iPhone but had to stay with Verizon; I ended up with an HTC Touch Pro which is surprisingly nice. I think it's got everything the iPhone has (except iTunes of course, but there are other media players). Its not as sleek as the iPhone (the Touch Pro has a slide out keyboard) but still looks pretty good. And it definitely has a full featured browser, Opera Mobile.
posted by miscbuff at 9:08 AM on December 9, 2008

The iPhone is over-rated but it's on a better network. Stick with the iPhone.

Verizon phones only work in the U.S.
posted by Zambrano at 10:30 AM on December 9, 2008

For some reason I feel compelled to jump on this dogpile...
Go for the iPhone. Seriously, it may have some flaws, but it's head and shoulders above anything else on the market, and I say this having played with a G1 as well as several blackberry models. Also, it's more durable than it looks, particularly if you invest a couple of bucks in a nice case, of which there are many.
posted by raygan at 11:48 AM on December 9, 2008

Verizon phones do NOT only work in the U.S.

I support over 50 Verizon phones and we've had users in China, Europe, and South America take their (certain) Verizon phones with them and use them without any hassles.
posted by Roach at 11:50 AM on December 9, 2008

« Older Groovy paranormal blogs   |   Restaurant recommendations New Malden, London? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.