Research in Motion’s next attempt at an entirely touchscreen smartphone, which may end up being called the BlackBerry Touch, looks like it could finally make us forget about the failed BlackBerry Storm series, judging from Boy Genius Report’s early hands-on with the phone.
I’m sure that’s what RIM wants. The Storm was widely criticized for its clunky SurePress feature, which tried to replicate the sensation of physical buttons by having the screen physically move when users interacted with the touchscreen. It was an interesting idea, but in practice it led to the Storm being a bear to type on. The BlackBerry Touch avoids the mess of SurePress altogether, and it’s also faster and thinner to boot.
BGR says that the Touch is currently going by the code names Monaco (for the Verizon Wireless version) and Monza (for the global version). It will run BlackBerry OS 6.1, and will also require a BlackBerry ID to login. BGR speculates that it may be a way to tie cloud services, including file and contact synchronization, to the Touch.
Physically, it looks more attractive than any previous Storm phone — RIM may finally have a touchscreen competitor that can take on the better looking Android phones (it still doesn’t hold a candle to the iPhone). There aren’t any pricing details yet on the Touch, but I expect it to go for the standard $200 with contract like most other smartphones these days.
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