Review of Reviews: BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Verizon ) Review

blackberry_tour_h.jpgBlackBerry Tour 9630  Rated 4 out 5 by Wireless and Mobile News' Review of Reviews

The BlackBerry Tour goes on sale today, while the band U2 is on tour, sponsored by BlackBerry. As we write this "Review of Reviews of the BlackBerry Tour"  we can tell people are reading reviews because many of the review pages of the BlackBerry Tour articles are slow. 

Two reviewers called the BlackBerry Tour "the best Verizon smartphone," while one just wrote that the BlackBerry Tour is the "no-brainer" choice for CDMA networks, where you can't get the BlackBerry Bold.

All the reviewers liked the QWERTY keyboard, sharp/crisp screen, standard 3.5 mm headphone jack, push email and the fact that the BlackBerry Tour is a world smartphone with a SIM that will work in 220 countries on GSM networks with a Verizon SIM that is pre-installed or an added SIM. Many reviewers also liked the integration of contacts/calendar with social networking services such as Facebook and MySpace.

The major fault of the BlackBerry Tour found by all reviewers was the lack of Wi-Fi, which should be coming in later models.  Although cal quality was rated good to excellent, the camera was not highly rated for shutter delay and quality of the auto focus. Video capture had a few glitches.  Most reviewers called the battery life good to excellent. One reviewer was super superlative and used terms like awesome, stunning, great and impressive for the BlackBerry Tour.

All the reviewers commented on the web browsing experience as being not as good as competitors. For better web browsing, we suggest to that you check out the fast BOLT mobile browser instead, which works superbly on the BlackBerry Storm. The operating system of the BlackBerry Tour is very similar to BlackBerry Storm therefore most of the BlackBerry Storm apps should port nicely to the the BlackBerry Tour.

BlackBerry Tour reviews reveal the  BlackBerry Tour to be an excellent choice for customers on the Verizon network, for email, music/sound, and social-networkers, who don't mind installing another browser. Of course, smartphone choice is subjective therefore you should choose the smartphone that is best for your needs.

Verizon  is selling the BlackBerry Tour for
$199 with a contract and mail-in rebate. You can avoid the waiting for
the rebate by ordering online using Wireless and Mobile News' Instant Phone Rebate Only Available with Online Purchase. On August 14, Verizon started a Buy One Get One Free BlackBerry deal reported to end October 22.

The cheapest best price we've found so far for the BlackBerry Tour is at Wirefly,
where the BlackBerry Tour for new customers to Verizon is $49.99 with a
contract. Once you click over to the Wirefly website, search for BlackBerry Tour, the default chosen voice plan will be $59 a month, but you can change the
plans to lowest priced plans if you prefer.

Bonnie Cha at CNET rated the BlackBerry Tour 9630 4 out of 5. She liked the compact great design with sharp display and usable QWERTY keyboard along with Bluetooh, GPS and 3.2 megapixel camera. She didn't like that the BlackBerry Tour lacks Wi-Fi, camera shutter lag, less than competitor's web browsing and inability to save apps to the data card. She thinks it is top smartphone for business and messaging use with pros outweighing cons. The UI is straight forward with programmable keys. The keyboard is similar to the BlackBerry Bold.

The BlackBerry Tour comes with a travel charger, 3 int'l adapter, USB cable, stereo headset, 2GB microSD, holster, CD and reference matter. It automatically switches from CDMA for Verizon in the U.S. and GSM for other parts of the world. Good features include vocie dailing, conference calls, sped dial, SMS and MMS. The BlackBerry Tour syncs with email with BES, Microsoft Exhange and Lotus Domino.BES allows 10 email accounts. Aso included Facebook, MySpace, and Flickr on the BlackBerry Tour She found photo quality to be fuzzy. Call quality was good. The processor was fast enough to work well. Web pages loaded quickly but the browser isn't the best.

Sascha Segan at PCMag rated the BlackBerry Tour 9630 4 out 5 and called it "a remix best BlackBerry features on the market today, packed into beautiful hardware". He sees the BlackBerry Tour as a great smartphone for business, music playing and social networking, He praised the keyboard, clear screen, and soft-touch textured back. He wrote that the BlackBerry Tour has the best voice reception quality of any Verzion phone with beautiful sounds.

The BlackBerry Tour  comes with a Verizon SIM card with high international rates, but  if you want to use a foreign
SIM card at lower rates, you ask Verizon to unlock your
phone's SIM slot after 60 days.
Talk time was very good for Verizon. Facebook contacts and dates now come into the BlackBerry Tour's contact and calendar. The BlackBerry browser is weak. Music sounded great. Videos were sharp.  The camera's autofocus is stunted by the slow 1.3 second shutter delay. He did have trouble with the BlackBerry Tour demo units he used and noted that, his rave review has to do with Tour's great bones but Verizon's weak smartphone line. In tests it was faster than the Blackberry Bold and a better choice than the BlackBerry Storm.

Todd Haselton at Laptop Mag rated the BlackBerry Tour from Verizon 4 out of 5. It has been named Editor's Choice. He also did not like the lack of Wi-Fi and the not-as-good-competition broswer, but loved the speedy processor, sharp display and global connectivity. He called the design chic and dispaly vivid. The size is pocket-friendly and has keys for muting and locking.  The keys are beveled and separated by frets like on the BlackBerry Bold, it is thinner, therefore, feels cramped but is better than most smartphones. The operating system works but is far from exciting, but does allow multitasking. Push email is first-class and the inbox can hold up to 1,000 messages.

The BlackBerry Tour's web browser tends to be slow and in high-res is hard text that is too small. Data speed and coverage was good. In their tests the BlackBerry Tour was faster than the Curve for data. Photo quality was sharp but slow, while the LED flash is a great addition. Video capture shows some blurring. Call quaility was excellent. Battery life was good and with moderate use shouldn't require more than every-other-day charging. He wrote the "BlackBerry Tour is easily the best smartphone on Verizon." "Overall the BlackBerry Tour is a Winner". BlackBerry fans who want to upgrade will be happy.

Boy Genius Reports', Boy Genius is super superlative about the BlackBerry Tour. The screen is stunning, the experience with Verizon was awesome, the speaker is great, the vibrator is strong, the hardware was great/perfect, the keyboard is a winner, the design is striking andbattery life is impressive,  The BlackBerry Tour excels as a biz smartphone. His major complaint is the lack of Wi-iFi but he still calls the BlackBerry Tour, "The Best BlackBerry on the Market" and a no-brainer choice for those on a CDMA network.

BlackBerry Tour smartphone Specs:

  • 3.2 MP camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording.
  • Full HTML web browser, including support for streaming audio and video (RTSP).
  • Advanced
    media player for videos, pictures and music, a 3.5 mm stereo headset
    jack and support for the Bluetooth Stereo Audio Profile (A2DP/AVCRP).
  • 256MB Flash memory.
  • Expandable
    memory via hot swappable microSD/SDHC memory card slot, supporting
    cards of up to 16 GB today and expected to support next generation 32GB
    cards when available.
  • Built-in GPS with support for geotagging, BlackBerry Maps and other location based applications and services.
  • BlackBerry® 
    Media Sync allows customers to quickly and easily synch music from
    iTunes® and Windows Media Player with the smartphone
  • Premium
    phone features including voice activated dialing, enhanced background
    noise cancellation, a low-distortion speakerphone, and Bluetooth (2.0)
    support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits, stereo headsets and
    other Bluetooth peripherals.
  • Preloaded
    DataViz Documents to Go,  allowing users to edit Microsoft Word,
    Excel and PowerPoint files directly on the handset.
  • Easy
    mobile access to Facebook, MySpace and Flickr, as well as popular
    instant messaging services including BlackBerry Messenger, Yahoo! IM,
    AIM, Google Talk and Windows Live Messenger .
  • Support
    for BlackBerry App World, featuring a broad and growing catalog of
    third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry
    smartphones. Categories include travel, productivity, entertainment,
    games, social networking & sharing, news & weather, and more.
  • BlackBerry Internet Service allows access to up to 10 supported personal and
    corporate email accounts, including most popular ISP email accounts.
  • BlackBerry
    Enterprise Server provides advanced security and IT administration
    features within IBM Lotus Domino, Microsoft Exchange and Novell
    GroupWise environments.
  • Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for 5 hours of talk time and 14 days of standby time.

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