BlackBerry Tour 9630, the latest BlackBerry from Research In Motion is coming. RIM is expected to launch the BlackBerry Tour 9630 in July,
the latest CDMA Blackberry to hit the market. The BlackBerry Tour 9630 is pegged as a World Phone, meaning you can use it in CDMA and GSM
networks across the world. Blackberry already has a World Phone, a CDMA phone which can roam in GSM networks as well.
BlackBerry Tour looks like a mix of the popular BlackBerry Bold and the BlackBerry Curve models. The Tour is not a touchscreen phone. Though it resembles the Bold a lot, it is thinner, and more feature packed. In the US, Verizon will sell the BlackBerry Tour for $299. It is not known when the Tour will be available in India.
We expect Blackberry Tour 9630 to come to India in a few months from now
The BlackBerry Tour is a 3G phone. However, the tour doesnt support WiFi, which is present in many earlier Blackberry models. There is an
inbuilt 3.2 camera with video capabilities and an LED flash. Reviews indicate that the camera performs well, though the video facilities –
and this is not a BlackBerry fault – arent as good as one would like.
Most cellphone cameras with a video camera fare poorly while shooting fast-moving scenes. The BlackBerry Tour camera can also geo-tag the photographs.
The BlackBerry Tour has a built-in onboard memory of 256 MB, and the model comes with an extra 4GB memory card. However, dont forget that
the programs you’d like to install ion your BlackBerry Tour can be loaded only on the onboard memory – not the memory card.
BlackBerry-specific applications from BlackBerry AppWorld can be downloaded and installed on the Tour.
The BlackBerry Tour screen has a clear, high-resolution display. It is half VGA+, and the display is 480×360 pixel. BlackBerry says the
screen displays over 65,000 colors. The BlackBerry’s USP is still its email client, which beats iPhone and Palm Pre by a mile. However, this user-friendliness is still not reflected in the Blackberry browser, which despite several modifications still cant keep up with the mobile browsers in the iPhone, Palm Pre and many Nokia phones. The BlackBerry Tour can display normal and HTML-rich pages, but the display is not as good or as fast as iPhone’s Safari.
The Tour keyboard is similar to the one on the Blackberry Bold. It has 35 keys, apart from the unique trackball, flanked by the menu and escape keys as in all modern BlackBerries. The Blackberry Tour comes with GPS.
BlackBerry Maps are preloaded in the Tour, though BlackBerry Maps are not usable in India. Those in India who want to use the GPS functionality can purchase GPS Maps and software from MapMyIndia, SatGuide and several other map makers. You can also download Google Maps and use it for portable navigation. Assisted, Autonomous and Simultaneous GPS are enabled in the Blackberry Tour.
RIM claims that the BlackBerry Tour 9630 is a fully-functional World Phone that supports global roaming on 3G networks. It works on quad-Band: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks; Single-Band: 2100 MHz UMTS/HSPA networks and Dual-Band: 800/1900 MHz CDMA/EVDO Rev A network. However EVDO is a 3G networking technology, which is not available in India so far.
We are disappointed with the fact that the BlackBerry Tour 9630 doesnt have WiFi access. More and more companies and home are turning to WiFi
hotspots, and theres no reason why the Tour could not have rolled out with WiFi. Especially since India doesnt have 3G yet, WiFi could have been a good way of cheap, fast and instant connections. The Tour, though, has Bluetooth capability. The headphone slot for the BlackBerry Tour is located rather oddly, towards the bottom on the right hand side. It would have been far more accessible had the Tour come with a slot on the top or the bottom, or even the top left or right. However, the stereo quality on the integrated hands-free speaker is impeccable, which is at least as good
as in the 8800 series, and the BlackBerry Storm.
The BlackBerry Tour is capable of multi-tasking, which means you can play music or video files and use it as a portable media player, even as you check webpages and send mail. BlackBerry claims that its 1400 mAHr removable/rechargeable cryptographic lithium cell battery has a talk time of 5 hours and a standby time of 14 days.
In sum, the BlackBerry Tour is definitely a better-looking upgrade over the Bold, but is still not a game-changer. It helps that the phone can roam in CDMA and GSM networks, but the absence of WiFi is inexplicable. We hope next upgrade will be a Blackberry Tour with touchscreen and WiFi.