BlackBerry Strom 2 Is Officialy Released

Most of BlackBerry smartphones shipped in the past few years received one of Research In Motion's (RIM) crafty "brand names" like Pearl, Curve, Bold or Storm. That's because the company realized somewhere along the line that its product portfolio was rapidly outgrowing its past model-number-based smartphone-naming conventions.

When you only sell a few different handhelds, it's acceptable--though not necessarily wise--to call one smartphone the BlackBerry 123 and another the BlackBerry 456, for example, because there simply aren't enough gadgets to cause much confusion. Especially when most of your end-customers are enterprises or organizations that buy in bulk through wireless carriers.

The problem comes in when you drastically jack up your portfolio and expand the target audience to include, say, millions of consumers--which is exactly what RIM has done since the fall of 2006, when it unveiled the BlackBerry Pearl 8100, the first consumer-oriented BlackBerry, PC World reports.

It was also reported, BlackBerry's next major update to its smartphone platform is the OS 5.0 which is set to arrive on newer and select older devices this very month. This month also marks the launch of the much anticipated Storm 2, an upgrade to the Strom launched just over a year ago.

Existing BlackBerry storm users, however, might be lucky to have the option to upgrade to the latest 5.0 version of the BlackBerry OS even before the Strom 2 is officially launched. This is because, starting yesterday, BlackBerry has issued an update meant for existing BlackBerry Storm's that is labeled OS

The update fixes quite a few issues that plagued the Storm over the past months. These include a largely improved browser, which now gets flick scrolling. Then, there is the threaded messaging and an overall improvement in the apps loading time. Unlike "normal" updates, note that this one will not be passed on via an over the air (OTA) update - so make sure you have a PC alongside you. If you have a Storm lying around, all you need to do is to Start the Desktop Manager and pray that it notifies you of an imminent upgrade availability, reports.

News agencies also report, the Storm 2 also boasts its "SurePress" clickable display. This new clickable screen is more responsive than the first generation Storm, and seems to support multi-touch recognition.

Though more responsive, the new screen still has some misses, which at times has left me wondering if there bottom four keys are broken due to my inability to click them. Additionally I've noticed the phone refuses to switch from landscape to portrait when it's laying on my desk.

Like the original, the Storm2 lacks a physical keyboard, instead offering an on-screen one. While this generally works fine, there are still issues. After pulling up a page that requires typing it's not always apparent how to hide the keyboard. Similar problems calling up the keyboard are apparent when trying to enter numbers during a call, Brighthand reports.

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