RIM has finally decided to cast away their QWERTY keyboard origins that their phones had been named after, and replace it with a touchscreen version for the Blackberry Storm.
Engadget has posted a review of the new Blackberry Storm that introduces this new innovative touchscreen. The screen is not only capacitive (multi-touch) like the iPhone, but also offers the ability to push in to the screen and create a "click" action. This technology called SurePress and allows a user to hover over an item before performing a decisive click.
A common problem with touchscreen smart phones was compatibility with existing web pages that use hover events to provide feedback. Up until now, such a smart phone would never see the on hover event, instead creating a "click" action.
Sadly, it appears that the Storm"s Blackberry OS 4.7 is only a small upgrade over Blackberry OS 4.6 to provide touch and multi-touch functionality. This may hinder RIM"s chances of competing against the iPhone"s touch-centric OS. The review mentions several problems that arise because of touch being an afterthought in the OS.
The review goes on to praise Blackberry"s industrial design, stating it is perhaps better built than any of their previous offerings. In competing with the iPhone, the Blackberry shuns proprietary connectors instead opting for a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as a micro USB port.