Gadget Guide: The New Blackberry Storm―Believe the Hype!

Do you drool over your friends' iPhone? Do you dream of sleek touch pads, speedy internet service and MP3 capability? Yeah, so do we. We just refused to accept the fact that we'd have to switch over to a more expensive, less customer-friendly cell service. So, we decided to wait it out, until our trusty Verizon Wireless gave us a phone that would let us hold our loyal heads high. And we waited and waited...and our prayers were finally answered in the form of the brand new Blackberry Storm!

It's being released today, and sorry to say, if you don't have it yet, you probably aren't going to get it for a few weeks. Phone stores were preparing for loooong lines and were fearing what might happen when they inevitably sold out. So, you can imagine how excited we were to get out hands on this beautiful jewel of a phone.

The touch screen alone on the new Storm is enough to inspire oohs and ahhs, with it's cool three dimensional feel you can be sure that you are pushing the right button. It also provides you with a myriad of ways to access the number pads (with standard alphanumeric coding) a QWERTY version of a keyboard, and for all of you die-hard Blackberry junkies, even a version of the traditional layout currently available on their phones. Add to this the fact that Verizon is selling the new phone preloaded with an 8 gig micro SD card and it seems like it just couldn't get any better. Oh, but it can―a unique feature making its debut on the Storm called visual voicemail allows you to view a read out of the messages in your mail box. This gives you the ability to reply to the messages either by voice or text and lets you email, save and/or archive voicemails in text format.

Also upgraded on the Storm is the international coverage, so you can stay on top of your emails and voicemails in the Caribbean and South America—perfect for those of us heading home to visit Mami over the holidays! While your there, be sure to play all your new favorite tunes for her since the Storm is also loaded with the Roxio Media player. In 2-3 weeks, you'll even be able to convert and download music files wirelessly using the traditional VCast/Rhapsody program.

Included on the list of applications you never knew you needed but will soon find you can not live without? The Traffic Navigator/Integrations program which will help you navigate around a jam or find the closest (and cheapest) gas available. All and all, the new Blackberry Storm is definitely worth all the hype!

Blackberry Storm, available at (Full retail $500, or $200 with new 2 year service agreement & $50 mail-in rebate)

-Mariela Rosario