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Up close and personal: The BlackBerry Storm

A first look at the BlackBerry Storm.
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1 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Ah, nothing beats the smell of a new gadget in a shiny box in the morning.
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2 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Wow, them there's a lot of UPC codes.
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3 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
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4 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
I have to say, I was a bit disappointed when I opened the box -- it was kind of a mess, and the Storm was nowhere to be found. Not sure if this is how the retail version will actually arrive, or if the PR folks shifted stuff around a bit when they were getting devices ready for the media.
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5 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Ahhhh, there it is. And man, there's enough plastic around it to make it look like it's one of Dexter's victims.
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6 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
In addition to standard fare like a USB sync/charge cable, an AC power adapter, and wired headphones, the Storm comes with an array of international power adapters -- nice touch.
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7 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
The Storm is definitely not the most svelte smartphone on the market.
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8 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
It's still kind of bizarre to see a keyless BlackBerry, isn't it?
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9 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
The back of the phone sports a 3.2 megapixel camera -- with flash, as well as a remarkably loud speaker.
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10 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
The Storm home screen, which by default has eight icons...
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11 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Although it's remarkably easy to change basic features, including number of icons, wallpaper, and your default download directory.
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12 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
A close-up of the standard SureType keyboard, which you'll use if you hold the Storm vertically (in portrait mode).
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13 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
But if you prefer a full keyboard, simply rotate the device 90 degrees, and you'll find a full QWERTY keyboard.
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14 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
In additional to the standard Blackberry line-up of icons, the Storm has prominent icons for visual voicemail, VZ Navigator (GPS software) and an IM folder that includes Yahoo Messenger, AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk, and Blackberry Messenger.
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15 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
The pictures folder. Swiping your finger across the screen moves you back and forth through your photos.
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16 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
The Storm web browser. So far, I've been pleasantly surprised by Verizon's high-speed network, though I still wish the Storm had a WiFi antenna. (And yes, that CBS home page is the second shameless plug I've made for our corporate parent in this gallery -- in case you missed the Dexter mention earlier).
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17 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
The VZ Navigator home screen.
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18 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
The Storm's video player is excellent, although it pales a bit in comparison to the BlackBerry Bold.
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19 of 19 Josh Taylor/ZDNet
Depressing the Blackberry key bring up a scrolling shortcuts menu. You can also easily access all of your icons at once by depressing on the home screen. Lightly touching an icon shows you the name of the application; clicking in opens the application or folder.
Read: Hands on with the Blackberry Storm

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