The BlackBerry Storm 9500 is something of a departure for RIM, and not just because it's the first touchscreen BlackBerry. It's also a handset that has been jointly designed by its customers - the mobile phone operators Verizon and Vodafone.

BlackBerry Storm 9500: Web browsing

When it comes to web access, the fact that the Storm is a 3G handset really comes into play. The Vodafone network operates at up to 7.2Mbps, so access is really zippy. The Vodafone browser has been set up so Mobile versions of major websites are presented unless you tweaks the settings, but we had no trouble viewing content on the non-optimised PC Advisor website. To zoom in to items you can double-tap the area in question, or you can use the onscreen magnifier icons to zoom in and out. You can also slide a finger across the screen to scroll around.

While not quite as accomplished or as accurate as the web browser on the iPhone, this is easily the best BlackBerry web browsing experience so far and a huge leap forward for existing BB customers who have been frustrated about this key aspect. If you've got a non-3G BlackBerry phone and wondering whether to upgrade, the data connection and browsing experience alone should convince you to do so.

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