Storm vs. iPhone 3G: 8 reasons to pick the Storm

With the new BlackBerry Storm set to hit US stores, many smartphone enthusiasts looking to go the touch screen route will have to make a decision between RIM's first touch device and the iPhone 3G. In this second installment of a two-part series we offer up eight reasons to embrace the Storm

The BlackBerry Storm.

The BlackBerry Storm.

6) Expandable Memory

The BlackBerry Storm ships with just 1GB of on-board memory, but it also has an expandable microSD media card slot that can accommodate cards up to 16GB.

The 16GB iPhone sells for $299 on contract. The $199 Storm plus a 16GB media card comes to about $265, so the price is comparable. However, Storm users can buy as many media cards as they can afford, so they have more of their digital media collections on hand at any given time. (Keep in mind, microSD cards are small enough to fit into a wallet or purse. In fact, I've got three of them in my wallet as I write this.)

Whether or not an expandable memory card slot is for you largely depends on the size of your digital media collection, as well as how often you want to access it via mobile device. As stated in my "reasons to choose the iPhone over the Storm, some folks may value the iPhone's fixed 8GB or 16 GB memory because it means never having to mess with tiny cards.

5) Digital camera, video recording

The Storm sports a 3.2 megapixel digital camera, as compared to the iPhone's 2.0 megapixel camera. In theory, the Storm should be able to snap higher quality images than the iPhone, though we'll have to wait until the Storm is officially released to know for sure.

And though the iPhone has a digital camera, it cannot yet capture video clips, while the Storm can. If video capture is essential, you'll want to choose the Storm over the iPhone 3G.

4) Storm works as a tethered modem

Many smartphone owners, particularly business users, employ their handhelds' Internet connections to access the Web via otherwise unconnected PCs or laptop computers. The ability to tether can come in extremely handy while travelling and visiting various hotels, airports, lounges, etc. that charge for Wi-Fi access. In such situations, you can simply connect your smartphone and computer and avoid Wi-Fi fees.

Currently, wireless carriers determine which devices can be used for tethering. Though AT&T BlackBerry owners can already pay a premium for tethering functionality, iPhone users still cannot--at least without "jailbreaking" their devices. AT&T has said that an iPhone tethering solution is in the works—but no specific details are available, so it could be some time before Apple smartphone owners can legitimately tether.

Though Verizon has not officially said whether or not Storm users will be able to pay extra for tethering functionality, the carrier offers the option to all of its existing BlackBerry owners, so it's very likely Storm users will get the same treatment.

If tethering is a must for you, choose the Storm.

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Al Sacco

CIO (US)

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