The backside is where the 3.2 megapixel camera lens is located. A LED flash is built-in but, as usual, it fails to make a big difference.
The other noteworthy element at the back is the loudspeaker. Located just below the nice metallic battery cover it hides under a pretty robust - in mobile phone terms - grill.
The battery cover itself is removed by squeezing the two release latches. Underneath lays the memory card slot, which luckily is hot-swappable. You will have to remove the cover every time you want to replace it but at least you won't need to turn the phone on and off. And you have our word here - powering the BlackBerry Storm up does take bloody ages.
Another good news is that the Storm can easily handle 16GB microSD cards which is the largest capacity currently available on the market. Furthermore the handset managed to scan the contents of a 16GB card quicker in a few seconds, which is just amazing.
The Li-Ion battery itself is pretty promising with a capacity of 1400 mAh. It is enough to get you through two days of hardly giving the phone a break or four days of mild usage and that's a really good achievement however you look at it.
We have no reason whatsoever to complain about the build quality of the Storm 9500. All the parts seem durable and sturdy enough, and the phone is built to last, keeping looks intact in the long run.
As we already told you, the BlackBerry Storm 9500 is a pleasure to handle never mind its hefty size and weight. It fills your palm much more than a Samsung M8800 Pixon or an LG KC910 Renoir and the solid feel is quite similar to what you get from the overweight Nokia Arte handsets.
Now, this certainly is the most interesting part of the BlackBerry Storm 9500. The display of the handset is so strikingly different from any other touchscreen that the learning curve for proper handling is likely to be quite steep at first.
The whole display of BlackBerry Storm 9500 is one giant button, which you press to confirm your selection. In addition, the display uses the capacitive technology for a very smooth and responsive touch action.
This gives you the chance to make a selection without confirming it and only press the display when you are sure the item is the one you want. In some parts of the user interface this proves to be a very welcome benefit, reducing your mistakes to the minimum.
Some might argue that this two-step selection slows you down but on most occasions they will be wrong. There are of course some cases where having to press this giant button takes its toll but those are not that frequent.
A certain issue of the display is that it's not seated firmly in place like it doesn't fit its frame (quite strange, we know) and it tangibly slips sideways leaving large crevices, which will inevitable start to fill up with dirt and dust.
While this side-sliding thing was no real obstacle to usability at this stage, the side wobble gives a somewhat cheap feel that you wouldn't expect of a handset in this price range. They simply could have cut the frame to match the screen dimensions more precisely.
Despite that flaw, the guys over at RIM have put some extra effort in balancing the feedback of the screen and the regular keys making it quite consistent and thus switching seamlessly between both controls is seamless.
The quality of the display is also really impressive with nice vibrant colors, good brightness and contrast. The legibility under direct sunlight is also faultless making up for a very impressive unit overall.
There is really little to complain about the display of the BlackBerry Storm 9500. Right on the contrary - it manages to provide users with a very different touchscreen experience, which in this increasingly competitive market is anything but easy.
Now, we can see how some people may smell a major contradiction here: why add the burden of press to an already fluent and responsive capacitive touchscreen. Here's what we think.
Even if the novelty of the system only boils down to a self assertion stunt, the SurePress implementation is still secure and fluent enough to impress.
You can look at it this way: the Berry has the iPhone screen (plus some extra pixels on top for pure 4:3 aspect ratio) and the click thing is an extra bonus in certain scenarios and almost never a liability. Typing (once you get the hang of it) on the virtual QWERTY keypad is as close to physical as we've seen. Incidental hitting of links in the browser is completely ruled out - touch won't do, a gentle press is needed.