- Bonnie Cha , CNET
The Tour offers 3G world roaming capabilities and brings a number of improvements in all three departments of design, features, and performance.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Reviews (8.3/10 Avg. rating)
Ideal for constant communicators
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, consider the new Blackberry Tour from Verizon. Its e-mail and social-networking features are ideal for constant communicators, though its web browser and voice calling leave something to be desired.
Designated as a the successor to the very capable Curve, the handset features a sharp 2.4-inch... Full review
Both a business and a consumer device
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 carriers offered a great deal like this.
The Tour is a fast device, running the stable BlackBerry OS. The addition of the 3.2MP camera and world phone capabilities make this device a must have. If you are interested in picking one up, you can head over to the CrackBerry Wireless Store where... Full review
The basic BlackBerry Bold recipe in more compact form factor
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 quality. The Tour compares well with the Curve 8900 if you don't mind the extra weight and have no need for WiFi. But for a BlackBerry user on a CDMA network, it doesn't get better than this. The fact that will function most anywhere in the world will make many business users quite happy with it, too... Full review
A must-have for any business individual that travels on a regular basis
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 for any business individual that travels on a regular basis. For those that text message or e-mail on a regular basis, be sure to check out the keyboard in the store, as it will be a love or hate item, depending on personal preference. For those that have always enjoyed the reliability and producti... Full review
A solid business smartphone with loads of messaging options
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-around choice. In fact, the phone has solid multimedia features with good music hardware and one of the best video players we've used on a smartphone. The screen is also fantastic, perhaps the best we've seen on a business device like this. Still, more and more the BlackBerry platform is showing... Full review
Looks like a Bold, feels like a Curve
We’ve been playing around with the TELUS BlackBerry Tour for a few days now and must admit that it’s a great addition to their lineup… a much need style change from the old Curves. This was just officially launched and can be your for a promo price of $229.99.
The overall design looks like a Bold, feels like a Curve 8900 but clearly a Tour 9630. The chrome outline looks great and rest assured like all BlackBerry devices it is probably the most reliable when it comes to your e-mails. This can also do your IM (Yahoo! Messenger, Google Talk and BlackBerry Messenger),... Full review
The finest CDMA BlackBerry to date
While the BlackBerry Tour lacks Wi-Fi and sports a slightly slower processor compared to the BlackBerry Bold, we can confidently say when it’s released later this month it will be the best BlackBerry on the market. We won’t look ahead, we’ll focus on what is in front of us and if we do that, the Tour is the top dog. It’s on a superb network, it’s extremely professional and durable, and it’s incredibly pocketable and versatile. 2009 BlackBerrys include 256MB of RAM and 3.2 megapixel AF cameras which are probably the only two things people would change abou... Full review
Far and away the best CDMA BlackBerry available
Put simply, the BlackBerry Tour is far and away the best CDMA BlackBerry available, and it could very well might be the best BlackBerry period if not for a few shortcomings. At this point in the game, we're still in denial that there isn't WiFi in this device -- it's inexcusable. We're well aware of Verizon's stance on the matter, and we still think it's ridiculous that they're allowing RIM to offer a device in this category that doesn't offer such a basic, universal feature, seemingly in an effort to increase reliance on WWAN data services and juice customers for a few extra bucks in data... Full review
The slimmed casing and rock-solid email functionality are a great combination to business-people
First impressions are good. In the box there’s a slipcase with belt-clip, an AC adapter, USB charging/sync cable, wired stereo headset and the battery. The phone itself is smaller than the Bold at 4.4 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches, though a little heavier than the Curve. Up front there’s a gloriously crisp, bright and high-resolution 2.4-inch 480 x 360 display and a backlit QWERTY keyboard; in-between there’s a familiar RIM trackball and the usual call-handling and menu keys.
Nonetheless, we won’t level that carrier criticism against the Tour. It does – noted excepti... Full review
A winning design and fast performance
in love with my tour!!
I LOVE THIS PHONE!
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