BlackBerry Tour Review

Michael Kwan
Woman showing off her BlackBerry

Before you jump onto a new Bold or Curve, it may be in your best interest to read through a BlackBerry Tour review first. This line of smartphones from Research in Motion may not be as well-known as some of its stablemates, but it offers many of the same features.

Who Sells the BlackBerry Tour?

The BlackBerry Tour is offered through two major wireless carriers in the United States, as well as through several other cellular carriers around the world. For Americans, the two options for buying and using a BlackBerry Tour are Verizon Wireless and Sprint. There are some minor differences between the two units, such as reception and cell phone coverage area, but the core hardware is identical.

The Sprint version of the Tour has a silver bezel all the way around the front side. By contrast, the version of the Tour being sold by Verizon has a charcoal-colored bezel. This is a cosmetic difference and it can be likely be changed with some minor modification. The Sprint Tour also has a smooth back battery cover, whereas the Verizon edition has a patterned texture.

Basic Features and Specifications

On the surface, the Tour looks a lot like a BlackBerry Bold or a BlackBerry Curve. That's because it shares many of the main features. The landscape oriented display has a HVGA+ resolution, meaning that it has 480 pixels by 360 pixels. It is not a touchscreen, but it is a clear, high resolution display that is capable of showing over 65,000 colors.

Below the screen are the four main buttons that you see on just about every BlackBerry device: the talk button, BlackBerry menu button, back button, and end/power button. In the center is the navigation trackball and below all of this is the full QWERTY keyboard. More than one BlackBerry Tour review on the Internet has said that this great keyboard, along with the fantastic email integration, are what make BlackBerry devices so appealing in the first place.

Unlike the BlackBerry Curve, the BlackBerry Tour is capable of connecting to a 3G network. This allows for faster web browsing and more expedient wireless downloads. Coupled with the data compression from Research in Motion, this makes for a very efficient wireless experience.

Other highlights include the 3.2 megapixel camera, enhanced media player, GPS capabilities, BlackBerry Maps, corporate data access, Bluetooth 2.0, integrated speaker, 256MB internal memory, and microSD expansion slot.

The provided SIM slot allows the BlackBerry Tour 9630 to be used internationally on global 3G networks. As such, it can function as a world phone for people who travel around the globe. You will, however, need to invest in an appropriate SIM card from your chosen international carrier; some will allow for prepaid plans, whereas others may not. The BlackBerry Tour does not have built-in Wi-Fi either.

A BlackBerry Tour Review

So, among the users who have had the chance to enjoy the device, what is the verdict on the BlackBerry Tour review? By and large, the reception has been positive. It is not the highest ranking BlackBerry device, but it is far from the lowest too.

The review posted on CrackBerry, a popular BlackBerry enthusiast website and blog, says that the BlackBerry Tour is almost a mash-up of three different phones. It has the same style keyboard as the Bold, the same "guts" (processor and radios) as the BlackBerry Storm, and an overall style that is close to the Curve 8900.

The "just right" size makes for a comfortable experience, as does the great Bold-style QWERTY keyboard in a slightly "tighter" package. Similarly, the ease of access to the BlackBerry App World opens up a world of opportunities for additional features and functions. Unfortunately, the apps cannot be saved to the memory card, so you are stuck with just the internal memory.The lack of Wi-Fi is also a shame.

BlackBerry Tour Review