Research In Motion has released its latest addition to the BlackBerry family: the BlackBerry Tour 9630 from Verizon Wireless and Sprint. Though the Tour's nothing revolutionary, it's sure to put countless smiles on the faces of CDMA-BlackBerry users across North America. Here's how to tell if the new BlackBerry Tour should be your next smartphone.
First, the most important factor of all: Do you live, work or spend most of your time in a "good" Sprint or Verizon wireless coverage zone? After all, no device on the planet is going to get the job done without sufficient wireless coverage, especially with no Wi-Fi, but I'll get to that shortly.
The best way to determine if you reside or work in an area with strong Sprint or Verizon coverage is to speak with a friend, colleague, neighbor, etc., who uses Sprint or Verizon on a daily basis. Get general impressions of each carrier's coverage in your areas. Then check out the appropriate online coverage maps. (Verizon here and Sprint here.) And visit a Sprint or Verizon store to speak with company representatives. In other words, do a bit of research.
If you find that Sprint or Verizon coverage isn't up to snuff where you roam most often, you'll probably want to avoid the Tour -- at least for now.
Next, the device itself and some quick technical specifications from RIM:
- 528-MHz next-generation processor
- Dual-band CDMA/EV-DO Rev A (800/1900MHz); World Phone, Quad-Band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900MHz); UMTS/HSPA (2100MHz)
- Built-in GPS
- High-resolution (HVGA+ / 480x360), light-sensing display
- Enhanced Web browser
- DataViz Documents To Go
- Advanced multimedia player with support for streaming video
- Support for BlackBerry Media Sync (iTunes playlist sync)
- BlackBerry OS v4.7
- Expandable memory slot for up to 16GB of storage
- 3.2 MP camera with auto focus, digital zoom, flash, image stabilization and video recording
- Support for the renowned messaging capabilities of the BlackBerry platform, including push e-mail, popular instant messaging applications and premium phone features
The features that really catch my eye here are the processor speed; the device's support for a wide array of wireless networks, both GSM and CDMA; the new BlackBerry software, OS v4.7; and the 3.2 megapixel, auto-focus camera.