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BlackBerry Tour 9630 review

8.2/10 AVG.
RATING



8.2/10
Informr score
The BlackBerry Tour 9630 currently has an Informr score of 8.2 out of 10. This score is based on our evaluation of 18 sources including reviews from users and the web's most trusted critics.

The long-awaited BlackBerry Tour has arrived, and to much deserved fanfare.

The Tour is the CDMA version of the Bold, successfully building on the strengths of prior models, and features a number of improvements and enhancements. This is a world-capable phone with a built-in SIM card.

Lets run through some of the specs to show just how much of a punch the BlackBerry 9630 packs.

Display:

The 2.4” screen is glorious. With a 480 x 360 pixel resolution (as compared to the Curve, which had a 320 x 240 resolution), images are extremely crisp, colors are true, well differentiated, and text is easy to read.

Prior models had to play funny with color, since the resolution simply was not high enough to provide true-to-life colors, presenting instead a kind of color gray scale. This display provides vivid colors from a large pallet that can reproduce over 65K colors, and virtually eliminates any bleeding at the edges. The Tour’s display is one of the best available on any phone currently on the market.

Processor:

The Tour is powered by a 528 MHz Qualcomm powerhouse processor aided by 256MB of onboard, dedicated RAM. Like the Tour’s display, the processor is one of the fastest, most powerful on the market.

What this means to the user is that response times are much quicker. Whether you are loading an application or browsing the web, you will be pleased to find the device very responsive. Also, where some BlackBerry models have suffered from freezing and lag, the Tour does not. Loading the BlackBerry App Store, for example, takes only a few seconds, whereas with both the Curve and the Storm it took considerably longer.

HTML Web Browsing:

The moment you pull up a web page you’ll notice that the Tour provides a far richer internet experience. This is because you can now view pages as they were meant to be seen, rather than a watered-down, “mobile version”. Navigating a web page is easy with the Tour, because you simply scroll up and down, and left and right, zooming in on whatever you want to read. I also found interacting with web pages jitter-free. A real pleasure.

Form Factor:

The Tour measures in at 2.4” x 0.6” X 4.4” inches and weighs 4.6 ounces. It feels extremely comfortable in the hand, not too big or small, and one is immediately impressed with the quality build materials. Nothing cheap to be found on this device.

The now legendary full QWERTY keypad is near perfection. While it’s true there are no spaces between the keys, the ingenious manner in which RIM blends subtle frets between the rows of keys, combined with the heavily-contoured/sculpted keys themselves makes typing a true joy. The firm, sure response the keys provide when touched adds an additional level of confidence and pleasure when typing.

The microSD card slot is located under the battery. Some folks make a stink about this, but the fact is, most people rarely interact with the memory card once it’s installed, so why not keep it out of the way?

The left spine contains a convenience key and external speaker, and the right spine houses the 3.5mm headphone jack, volume buttons, a second convenience key and the charging port. This charging port is a new, micro design, and you’ll want to be careful when placing the cable as there is a small, thin wafer just inside the port that could chip and break if you shove the cable in too quickly.

Features and Enhancements:

The Tour boasts an excellent 3.2 megapixel camera that includes flash, image stabilization and auto focus, moving the whole “camera thing” from an afterthought to a true, well-designed, meaningful feature that users will love. The clock has been enhanced too, allowing you to select between analog, digital, flip and LCD digital. There is also a stopwatch and timer.

With the launch of the Tour comes the launch of BlackBerry Messenger 5.0, also included, which is an enhanced messaging service that lays the groundwork for an upcoming social networking service.

Another nice touch to the Tour is that they’ve added a volume icon on the display, set at the top by the battery strength indicator. Scrolling to the icon makes adjusting the volume simple. And speaking of volume, the external speakers are excellent. Much louder than prior models. This makes phones calls on speakerphone as well as music more enjoyable.

Talk time is rated at five hours, and standby time is up to 14 days, both an increase over prior models. Keep in mind that these ratings are very subjective and depend entirely on how you use your phone.

RIM has cleaned up the display by adding an Application folder which stores all the apps you’ve downloaded, such as Viigo and Ubertwitter. Instead of every app being on display, requiring a lot of scrolling, now all you have to do is click the folder and select the application you want.

What’s in the Box:

While what you receive in the box may differ from carrier to carrier, I can at least tell you what I received when I purchased my Tour from Verizon. It came with various international adapters, a nice leather case, a 2G microSD card, home charger, headphones, and a well written manual filled with tips and shortcuts.

Final Thoughts:

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a huge fan of BlackBerry and recently sold my Curve and bought a Tour. I am immensely pleased with how it feels, looks, functions, etc. This really is the new flagship device for BlackBerry and if you have been curious about the Tour you’ll love what you’ll find. If you have been considering upgrading to a smartphone, I highly recommend the BlackBerry Tour 9630.


Operating system
BlackBerry
Processor
528 MHz
Screen Size
2.4"
Camera
3+ MP


What the Critics Are Saying...


Wired

You're craving a smartphone. But maybe you, I don't know, want to send multimedia messages, not just 160-character texts. Or tether it to your notebook for wireless internet access. Or use it for more than a few hours before the battery goes dead. You know what phone you don't want. Instead, conside...

- Kelsey Hazlewood, Wired
CrackBerry

My final thoughts on the BlackBerry Tour 9630 are that it is awesome! If you are on Sprint, or thinking about joining Sprint, this is the BlackBerry you must have. Combine this awesome BlackBerry with Sprint's Simply Everything plan and you'll be set for just $99.99/month. I honestly wish all carrie...

- David Boyd, CrackBerry
MobileBurn

When you look at the offerings from Verizon Wireless (and Sprint) today, there is no doubt that the Tour is the best CDMA network BlackBerry smartphone on offer today. It has some updated features when compared to the Bold, but lacks the elder BlackBerry's sex appeal, rich looks, and call audio qual...

- Michael Oryl, MobileBurn
PhoneDog

The Tour 9630 is a fantastic device, and is the best CDMA BlackBerry to date. Verizon and Sprint users will no doubt be pleased to own a device in the same league as their GSM friends. Strong signal strength, combined with good battery life and world capabilities will make this device a must-have fo...

- Aaron Baker, PhoneDog
InfoSync

The BlackBerry Tour is a solid business smartphone with loads of messaging options. Thanks to diligent work by RIM building some very useful apps to connect to the major social networking and instant messaging services, the BlackBerry Tour isn't too buttoned up for business, and it makes a solid all...

- Philip Berne, InfoSync


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Quick view

Screen Size
2.4"

The BlackBerry Tour 9630's screen size is 2.4 inches with x pixels resolution.

Processor
528 MHz

There is a Qualcomm 528 MHz processor (CPU).

OS

The phone runs on proprietary operating system firmware.

Camera
3+ MP

You can take photos or capture video with the phone's onboard 3+ megapixel camera.

There's no secondary front camera.

Storage
No

Internal memory is No. An external, MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 16 GB) expansion slot is available for increased storage capacity.

Battery
1400mAh

The phone is powered by a Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion), 1400 mAh battery. BlackBerry's performance ratings are 14 days standby time.

Tour 9630 Specs

Overview
Release date June 16, 2009
Regions available USA, Canada
Mobile / Cellular Data
Networks
GSM:
850/900/1800/1900 MHz
CDMA:
800/1900 MHz
UMTS:
2100 MHz
Data:
GPRS, EDGE, 1xRTT, EV-DO Rev. A, HSDPA
SIM card size
Yes
Dual SIM No
Operating System No

Compare BlackBerry Smartphones

Processor Qualcomm 528 MHz
Internal Storage No
RAM 256 MB
ROM 256 MB
GPS Type A-GPS
Hearing Aid Compatible Yes
TTY/TDD Yes
Noise Cancellation No
SAR Head: 1.43 W/kg
Body: 0.53 W/kg
Languages No
Manufacturer Warranty 1 Year
Accessories Included AC Charger, Data Cable, Manual, Standard Battery
Power & battery
Battery Type Lithium-Ion (Li-Ion)
Battery Capacity 1400 mAh
Removable Battery Yes
Wireless Charging No
Fast Charging No
Video Playback Time Unknown
Internet Use (Wi-Fi) Unknown
Internet Use (Celluar) Unknown
Talk Time Unknown
Standby Time Up to: 14 days
Physical Characteristics
Design type Bar
Multi-Use Smart Phone / PDA Yes
Colors Black with chrome accents
Dimensions [H x W x D] 11.2 x 6.2 x 1.4 cm (4.4 x 2.4 x 0.6 in)
Weight 130 grams
Water Resistant / Waterproof Unknown
Rugged design No
IP Rating No
Display / Screen
Type Color
Technology LCD (TFT)
Colors 65k
Resolution x pixels
Pixel density Unknown
Size 2.4 inches
Secondary Display No
Graphics Yes
Themes Yes
Backlit Illumination Yes
Zoom / Magnification No
Screen Orientation Lock No
Multi-Touch No
Fingerprint-Resistant Coating No
Additional Display Features -
Input / Navigation
Sleep / Wake Key No
Home Key No
Mute Key No
Input Type QWERTY
Navigation Type Trackball
Predictive Text Entry Yes
Physical keyboard No
Voicemail Key No
Any Key Answer Yes
Voice Commands Yes
Keypad/Screen Lock Yes
External Volume Control Yes
External Media Playback Controls No
Fingerprint Sensor No
Call Management
Wi-Fi Calling No
Voice over LTE (VoLTE) No
Contact List Capacity Depends on system memory
Multiple Numbers Per Contact Unknown
Contact Groups No
Auto Answer Yes
Voice Activated Dialing Yes
Photo Caller ID Yes
Web / Email / Messaging
Web Browser Yes
Email Client Yes
Email Protocols POP3, IMAP, SMTP, Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino, Blackberry Connect
Additional Email Features -
Messaging SMS, EMS, MMS, AIM, Windows Live
Push-to-talk (PTT) No
Connectivity
USB Yes
USB OTG Support No
Infrared No
Bluetooth Yes
Bluetooth Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, DUN, OPP/FTP, HFP, HSP
Bluetooth Audio Codecs SBC
WiFi No
WiFi Encryption -
Mobile Hotspot No
WiMAX No
Memory Expansion Slot Yes
Expansion Slot Info MicroSD, MicroSDHC (up to 16 GB)
PC Synchronization Yes
TV Out No
DLNA Support No
NFC No
Data Tethering Compatibility Yes
Java Applications Yes
Brew Applications No
ECML / Digital Wallet No
Camera
Main Camera
Aperture
Unknown
Resolution
3+ megapixels
Multi-camera
No
Zoom
2x digital
Flash
Yes (LED)
Additional Rear Camera Info
Auto focus, Geotagging, Image stabilization
Video Recording Formats
3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Video Recording Parameters
Front Camera
Zoom
Unknown
Additional Front Camera Info
No
Video Recording Parameters
Audio / Video
Audio Playback Yes
Audio Formats MP3, eAAC+, AAC+, AAC, WMA
Radio No
Video Playback Yes
Video Playback Formats 3GP / 3GPP, H.264 / AVC, MPEG-4, WMV
Streaming Video Yes
External Speakers No
Headset Jack 3.5mm
Custom Ringtones No
Vibration Alert Yes
Downloadable Ringtones Yes
Ringer ID Yes
Haptic Feedback Vibration No
Speakerphone Yes
Apps
To-Do / Task List Yes
Calendar Yes
World Clock No
Alarm Yes
Stop Watch No
Timer Yes
Calculator Yes
Currency Converter No
Viewable document types No
Weather Yes
Stocks Yes
Maps Yes
NotePad Yes
Voice Memos / Recorder Yes
Games Downloadable
Apps
Included Software / Apps -
More
Additional comments Other Names (AKA): BlackBerry Niagara, BlackBerry 9630

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Related Links Manual (PDF)
BlackBerry Tour 9630 Reviews
Where to buy BlackBerry Tour 9630
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