BlackBerry Storm 9500 review: Berry-go-round

GSMArena team, 13 March 2009.
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Music player is OK

A few cosmetic changes here and there and touch-optimization is all that sets the Storm 9500 apart from its mortal BlackBerry siblings. Duly conservative looks and decent functionality is about what you'd expect of such a device. The business background of the Storm shines through but actually the all-about-music Nokia 5800 XpressMusic isn't much too far ahead and that should count.

The music player of the Storm sorts the music library automatically by artist, album and genre and you can search your tracks by gradual typing. You can also create your own playlists in no time.

BlackBerry Storm 9500 BlackBerry Storm 9500 BlackBerry Storm 9500 BlackBerry Storm 9500
The music player and its options

Album art is also supported and if you don't like the default sound of the device you can enhance it by activating one of the equalizer presets.

Quite naturally, the player can also be minimized to play in background. You can then go back to it via the task manager or through the main menu. In any case, some kind of desktop shortcut would have been appreciated but unfortunately they chose to leave it out.

Unexpectedly good audio quality

Now here is one that got us by surprise. The BlackBerry Storm 9500 has remarkable audio quality, performing well in every aspect of our test. It easily ranks among the best on the market in terms of audio output and this isn't what we really expected from it.

The phone flaunts really good frequency response keeping on perfect track for most of its range. The rest of the readings are also excellent with great Noise level and dynamic range and distortions kept well within standards. The stereo crosstalk reading is also remarkable. All in all, you will be enjoying some great sound with BlackBerry Storm 9500 and that's a definite plus for any multimedia device.

TestFrequency responseNoise levelDynamic rangeTHDIMD + NoiseStereo crosstalk
BlackBerry 9500 Storm+0.09, -0.39-87.689.50.0250.048 -85.8
Samsung M8800 Pixon+0.54, -1.25-86.485.70.0048 0.0165-38.3
Nokia 5800 XpressMusic+0.09, -0.77-92.292.10.0130.297 -75.0
HTC Touch HD+0.20, -2.29-86.789.20.0240.253-86.1
HTC Touch Diamond+0.35, -1.12-85.387.90.0270.267 -86.3
Apple iPod Touch 2G+0.04, -0.05-91.491.50.0027 0.012-90.0
Apple iPhone 3G+0.52, -1.05-89.990.10.0033 0.016-93.1

BlackBerry 9500 Storm vs Apple iPod Touch 2G frequency response graph
BlackBerry 9500 Storm matches Apple iPod Touch 2G's frequency response almost perfectly

You can learn more about the whole testing process here.

Video player is crippled

Watching videos on the BlackBerry Storm 9500 is OK too. The video player works in fullscreen mode and you can opt for portrait or landscape view. A touch on the display makes the virtual buttons appear so you can control the player.

There is lack of proper DivX and XviD support meaning you will have to convert your videos to MPEG-4 or WMV for them to play properly on the Storm.

BlackBerry Storm 9500 BlackBerry Storm 9500
Video player is quite acceptable

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