Friday Fun Photo: Working on a Review of the Verizon BlackBerry Tour 9630... Any Questions?

Verizon BlackBerry Tour Review Prep!
By Kevin Michaluk on 10 Jul 2009 04:10 pm EDT
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As I sit in my office working on a review for the Verizon BlackBerry Tour 9630, I just took notice of the mess of BlackBerry smartphones around me and couldn't help but think they'd like to pose for a quick photo for CrackBerry Nation. Think you can name all the devices pictured above? If so, you definitely pass the "BlackBerry Enthusiast" test -- though there are a couple of tricks to naming them all right.

Being the Fearless Leader of CrackBerry Nation has its perks, like the ability to justify owning way too many BlackBerrys and getting away with the excuse of "I'm working!" when using them at totally inappropriate times. But there is a drawback too... sometimes I get too focused on the little techy/geeky stuff and forget about the BlackBerry basics and what it's first like to get hooked. Having already taken a solid look at a pre-release BlackBerry 9630 (review part I | review part II), for the "official device" reviews I wanted to go back to basics a bit more and really make sure we address the Tour from all relevant perspectives, ie. those looking to buy their first BlackBerry; those looking to update from a Curve 8330/8830; those contemplating a jump over from the Storm, etc..

So to that end, if you have any specific questions or concerns or items of interest you want us to tackle in our BlackBerry Tour Reviews, be sure to drop them in comments to this post and we'll be sure to cover them in the reviews. Have a good weekend everybody!! 

Reader comments

Friday Fun Photo: Working on a Review of the Verizon BlackBerry Tour 9630... Any Questions?

125 Comments

Kevin, how does the Trackpad feel? I really want a device with that thing! You gonna send me one ;-)?

BIG FAN of the trackpad. If you're used to the trackball there's an adjustment period, but once you start using it the trackball feels a bit "dated" in comparison. And I just like the look of the trackpad a lot. Though...trackpad isn't quite as accurate (harder for something like brick breaker) and have noticed that in super bright direct sunlight it doesn't like to work anymore (I think there's a threshold that if you pass it messes it up). But occassionally trackballs mess up too.. so looking at the trade-offs you can probably make an argument for either, but I'm definitely a trackpad fan.

errr... what's a Storm 2? I made that one in the bottom left out of paper mache and painted it up based on some photos I'd seen online somewhere ;)

Kevin, you have any info when a Trackpad-Device will come to Germany/Vodafone?
I cannot wait!!!
-Fabian

Come on.. whats up with the Storm 2. We have questions... you are supposed to have answers!

Does it boot up fully yet?
Does the screen work yet?
Does the screen still "click"?
Do you have dust under your screen yet?
Is it going to suck as much as the Storm 1?
WiFi?

We want answers!

Would it help if we said please?

whats the deal with all the storm bashing? i must admit, on launch date i hated this phone so much, had verizon send me a new one and updated the os. and now the phone is almost perfect. i love it . to the point that im gonna skip the tour and wait for storm 2

question on the tour.
how is the trackball working because in another review they said that sometimes it would take 3 or 4 swipes before it responded when in the main menu.

Seriously, how long have you had one just laying around. That's BS, you should at least do a photo session with it or something. Obviously the "leaked" photos that were posted with the CB logo on it was Kevin taking photos of it with his Bold camera. I'm upset that it's posted in this picture but nothing has yet to leak. I call shenanigans.

One of my fav things about the storm is reading news from ESPN, NYT, etc. If I got the Tour, will I be disappointed in the browser (compared to the Storm)?

YES! My number one reason to upgrade from the 8330 to the Tour is for a better web browser. How does the 4.7.x browser on the Tour compare to the browser on the 8330 Curve?

Hi Kevin, do you have a Sprint branded Tour in hand? Would really like to see a round of shots of how the final product looks.

Gemini, Pearl Flip, Bold, Tour, Curve 83xx, Gemini, 88xx, Onyx, Storm, Storm II, Tour, Gemini, Curve 8900

Im about to get a blackberry(my first one) and i think I am going to get the tour, however today I was doing some research and one phonearena.com I read about THE ATLAS, it said that it is the tour but has wifi. Do you think that it is waiting for? can you give me any info

I am in the same boat, but I am still thinking about getting the Tour in a week or so une\less more info comes out about this "Atlas"

didn't Sprint and Verizon realase a press realease saying that wifi on CDMA BB's will come after the Tour. Only Sprint said the Wifi version of the Tour will come next year.

Does youtube video play full screen as it does on a storm?

Have you done any speed comparisons of the tour browser vs iphone 3gs, bold, etc? I liked your original vids of the Storm vs the Iphone in the airport last year.

Thanks

from the storms browser, google search , google mobile apps . there you will see the youtube app. youtube will look just like it does on the iphone .

Since you're reviewing the first new non-touchscreen Verizon Blackberry in over a year, I'd love to hear how it stacks up to the Curve 8330. Differences, whether it's really worth it for me to upgrade, etc.

I can't tell if it would be called a Blackberry graveyard or some sci-fi episode where Blackberry meets J-K+8!!!!

Storm
Storm 2
Vzw Tour
Pre-release Tour
Sprint/Nextel Curve
2 - Gemini
Magnum
8330
8900 Curve
Pearl Flip
Att curve
Bold

Total 13 blackberries

Wow i think that this picture is a great example of why RIM needs to slow down a bit, and focus on only two or three amazing devices with a new great OS that has 3G wifi, gps, bluetooth etc rather than have 10 devices that all look very similar with different capabilities and a mediocre OS

please compare contrast the storm and tour

- mostly ... how is the browsing?
- media center changes
- lag
- video camera?

I'm thinking of switching from the Storm and would like to know how often or how little the hourglass thing shows up (it seems like the storm has this happen often) and if everything is noticibly quicker than the storm. My other question is with the lack of an accelerometer, are all pics taken in landscape mode or is the some way for the phone to know if something was shot in portrait mode and automatically adjust for that on screen?
Thanks!

thats alot of love right there... its crazy to have that many devices.. think I will pull out my bin of devices, have about 40 phones and ten berries..

I'm a bit of a newbie, but I've noticed that the Tour is supposed to have twice the flash memory of the Storm or Bold. How does this affect its performance? Memory leaks? I'm being lazy with these last three questions....but I assume that the Tour has a SIM card? Also, how much memory can be added via a microSD card and where does the card insert (on the side ala the Bold or under the back casing)?

more ram mean more apps, sim is only for traveling , so far the phone can support up to 32 gb of micro sdhc flash

Hi, Kevin!

As a first-time Blackberry owner-to-be, I'm really excited to take stock on my Tour this Tuesday. My first concern is about the browser, since I haven't had a lot of hands-on time with it.

I know the browser isn't stellar in most BB user's eyes, but can it handle flash animation? can you save files from web pages? Both questions are extremely N00B, I know, but they're sincere.

Furthermore, how many apps can you download (you, personally) before you've run out of memory? I can think of three I'll need right away; weather, (preferably from Weather.com/Weather Channel) AP, Twitter. I can assume I've got room for at LEAST three; probably more. I just don't know how many more.

Engadget spoke about a very sensitive screen in their review of the Tour. What do you think?

Anyway, thanks for your time!
Chris

Three Curve 8520s
Two Tour 9630s
One Onyx 9020
One Bold 9000
One Pearl Flip 8220
One Storm 9530
One Storm 2
One Curve 8310
One World Edition 8830
And one Curve 8900

Beat that! I bet I could name all of the carriers off the top of my head as well. =D

I hate you for your collection, love you for the site... it's caused quite the mental conundrum.

I'm switching... or thinking about switching, from a Storm. I like the touchscreen for selecting things, how large it is, and using my finger to scroll, don't like it for typing. I'm sure there are tons of Storm owners who've never had BBs before looking at the Tour, it might be worth investigating how easy/hard it is to wrap your head around going from touch to track (selecting menu items, web browsing, bringing up contacts to call, etc.)

It looks like RIM is changing the call/send button...it is on both the Gemeni and Storm 2.

But as a Storm owner I am most interested in the Storm 2. Tell more info!!!

im waiting on that storm 2 also. this is my third blackberry , with the updates i like it. i realy got the storm just to show off to all those iphone people , didnt think i would grow to like the whole touch screen thing, but here i am now waiting for the sequel

What themes come stock on the Tour? Is there a Today style theme? My wife's Pearl has a Today style them available out-of-the-box but my Storm does not.

Hey I appreciate you looking out for the first time BB owners like myself. I cant wait to get my VZW Tour on Sunday. What are some things you would reccomend for me to try out when I get my first BB. I hear everyone gets "hooked" and I am more than willing.....

Im comming from a curve 8330, nd wanted to know which would be a better fit. I have used a touchscreen phone before(lg dare) and had no problem with it, or the storm's. Im more multimedia than business, although i do get 3 email accounts on my curve. any suggestions?

go for the storm, it will take some getting use to . onece you have it . it kick the iphones ass. wait a minute , not on the multimedia side of things , but as a whole.

Can you explain/show how text messages work on Blackberry's? I'm used to threaded SMS so I wanted to see the difference. Also how notifications work. Does it alert you by a pop up or is it more like the unobtrusive way the Palm Pre handles notifications? Thanks!

Is the keyboard better then the 8800? To me the keyboard looks the same and the 8800 keyboard is reallly bad. I prefer the curves keyboard.

So...since the Storm 2 had been in the "mess of blackberry's around Kevin" it just happened to show up in this picture...something is up here. Was the post really about the new Tour or a tease to show us that a Storm 2 is in his possesion? Kevin - do tell...what is the latest on the Storm 2? I am waiting to upgrade from my first generation Storm bought last November and would really like to know more about the upcoming Storm 2.

Sprint/Nextel Curve 83xxi, Pearl Flip, Bold, Tour, Curve 83xx, Gemini, 88xx, Onyx, Storm, Storm II, Tour, Gemini, Curve 8900

I have a few questions:

1. The Tour apparently has no flash memory built in. And as the specs go on Blackberry.com there is no flash memory. Is this really true? Or could it be that is an extra tidbit everyone left out?

2. The Blackberry Storm 2. Is it true Surepress is out the window? I love my Storm and even though I am upgrading to a Tour I would like to know if this is still part of the package. The phone simply looks too thin to contain the award winning tech for Surepress.

3. The Onyx. Is it also coming to Verizon or is it just AT&T and T-Mobile? It is quite apparent that the optical track pad is a upgrade to Blackberry's period and would be nice to see maybe a kit for installation in older Blackberry models.

4. The Gemini/Aries Blackberry. I know the expected release is coming soon for T-Mobile, but any indicators on other carriers?

That Storm 2 is looking mighty nice right there.... lol, anyways I would like to know how the Tour compares with the Storm when dealing with lag, multi-tasking, and processing. The one thing I noticed with my Storm is that it will slow down sometimes for no apparent reason when I have no other apps running and with memory at 32mb. Thanks for your time.

So Kevin, hypothetically speaking, if I'm deciding between a successor to the Storm and the Tour... would you say that the Tour or hypothetical Storm successor would be a better choice for a current Storm owner? Would you say that this paper mache model pictured above in the lower left corner feels better or worse in your hand than the Tour?

BTW you're an outstanding paper mache artist. ;)

You're not fooling anyone...You took this pic so you could show you got that Storm2 in there, but try and fool us with all of the other phones....And notice, now he's stuck, he can't even comment anymore, cuz he's busted! Awesome pic.

By the way, that silver phone on the bottom is an ATT Curve 8300, old school original Curve. I had to rock that piece for way too long with no GPS.

And he didn't even try to hide it...had the Storm and Storm 2 been swapped it wouldn't have been so obvious...but we would have eventually noticed. This photo shoot was designed to get the Storm 2 on the home page.

Why? Is there news coming? Why do you have one which you are so proudly showing off. By now RIM has seen this thread and the picture is still there...so they aren't demanding it be taken down. There be something in the works...I hope. I am eligible for an upgrade and want to replace my Storm soon.

Kevin I will be getting the tour on Sprint as soon a it comes out. I use a Mac and will probably sync it with Missing Sync to get about a thousand of contacts and calender events on it. I have all my contacts categorized by client, friends, business, and etc. All of which are different color too. Will all my categories be synced to the Tour. I am not sure if it supports this function. In the past reviews I read about blackberries in general, contacts/calender events and how things get synced doesn't get much attention. Can you cover that at least to show the abilities or shortcomings.

Thank.

Here is a list of each BlackBerry in the picture (and their carrier in the U.S.):

Curve 8500 - TMobile (pre-release model)
Bold 9000 - AT&T
Curve 8310 - AT&T
World Edition 8830 - Verizon/Sprint (8820-AT&T)
Pearl Flip 8230/8220/8210 - Verizon/Alltel/TMobile
Tour 9630 - Sprint (note: silver edging around phone)
Curve 8500 - TMobile (pre-release model)
Tour 9630 - Verizon (note: gray edging around phone)
Storm II(2) 9530 - Verizon Wireless
Storm 9530 - Verizon Wireless
Tour 9630 (actual release model) - Verizon Wireless (note the gray edging around the phone)
Curve 8500 - TMobile (pre-release model)
BlackBerry Curve 8900 - AT&T

I am such a BlackBerry geek!

Come on Kevin!! Keep your Crackberry reputation with being the first to post a review on new devices!! How's the Storm2!?!?!?!

Agreed - don't hold back now. Let's get some information on the Storm 2. As one of the folks that stood in line last Novemeber to get a Storm on day one...I feel the early adopters need something as a reward...as many are now ready to get Storm 2 on day one!!

Can you confirm that the GPS is open to 3rd party apps on Verizon? Don't want to have to have triangulated GPS on ubertwitter and google maps

I'll take a crack at it.

Starting on the top stack clockwise from the left: Pearl Flip 8220, Tour 9630 non branded, GSM Gemini, Onyx, VZW branded Tour.

The bottom stack starting from the upper left: Gemini (CDMA/GSM?), Bold, AT&T Curve, Sprint Curve 8350i, Curvve 8900, CDMA Gemini, Storm 9530, Storm 2 9550(Odin)

I might have mislabeled a couple cause the ones underneath are kind of hard to see. I don't even know why I'm typing this. I guess I'm just bored.

From left to right on the top of the green disc, it looks like:
Gemini, Bold, 8310 Curve, 8800

On the bottom row still on the green disc it looks like:
Odin, Storm, Gemini, 8900 (Curve, formerly codenamed Javelin)

On the top of the pile towards the top of the photo it looks like:
Pearl Flip, Verizon Tour, Gemini, Onyx

And then on the top of the pile towards the bottom of the picture appears to be the Sprint version of the Tour.

Now, I am not sure which of those Gemini's is for which carrier, and I can't be sure whether the Sprint Tour is actually a wifi version one or not, but, those would be my guesses.

Kevin, that's a lotta rather new 'berrys! Gratz!

But ummmmmm, that touchscreen one on the bottom of the pile at the bottom left of the screen that I called the Odin ... is that really the Odin? :)

the green answer button on STORM2 makes since you are picking up the call and hang up putting down the phone logical..

Is there a real problem, i.e. lag or delay, with the trackball on the Tour? I noticed it on a review video (sorry, don't remember which one) and it seems to be a deal breaker for me until I know it has been corrected or is in fact not an issue. I will hold onto my 8330 until I know for sure. Please comment or advise.

Is it too recessed compared to other blackberry's in your opinion or not? I played with one today and it did not track as accurately as my wife's Curve due to the reduced surface area and took more effort to scroll the same distance.

Enjoyed your review of the Tour. Is the GPS unlocked so that Google Maps can be used in the Verizon carrier?

If I'm not wrong, the BlackBerry tour is a world edition smartphone which work on several CDMA and GSM bandwidth.
Does this also mean the tour could have a sim and a ruim simultaneously? Like a dual on gsm cdma phone?

So natch I just bought the app QuickLaunch and now you're giving a cool looking launcher away for nada. Am I bugged? As a former VP candidate and governor of a very cold state would say, "You betcha!"

That is Blackberry Heaven right there! I think I just died, lol.

I want to get the BB Tour, but I live in Asia and we dont have CDMA here, is it possible to use the 3G onboard, since its a world edition phone.

You guys in America have all the goodies, can't wait till Onxy or Storm 2 comes out.

Storm II/Odin
Storm 95XX (impossible to decipher which)
Curve 8900
88XX (again, impossible to tell which one, although likely 8800, does VZW offer black?)
Pearl Flip 82XX (same as above, no distinguishing which, likely 8220, VZW offer black?)
Curve 8310
Bold 9000
Gemini 8530 (possibly two)
Gemini 8520 (possibly two)
Tour 9630 (pre-release)
Tour 9630 (Verizon Branded)
Onyx 9020

I WIN. What's my prize?

Please tell me whats the deal with the trackball on the 9630? is it really that bad or is it overrated?
Also, is that the magnum middle right????????

Perhaps you should do a section relating to youtube. Is there a dedicated app, how well does the mobile youtube website playback. How well does Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc work? I think with consumers using these applications more, it would be a nice section to read up on.

Like many others, what I want is a dedicated comparison vs the Curve. I know the stats, but does it "feel" faster? Can it keep various apps open without slowing down or crashing? Battery life in real world situations vs Curve? Music, browsing, call strength, etc etc etc... there's a lot of us that just ignored the Storm, so this is a long awaited upgrade path.

I currently have a Palm 700p on Sprint. Have had various WinMo devices too, but Palm is my work horse.
I got the Pre but didn't like it due to battery life.
I'm thinking of upgrading to the new Sprint 9630 Tour on the 12th.
I've read tid bits about BB is not too compatible with Gmail and am concerned about it.
Can you address BB compatibility with Gmail. Is it true of all BB's? I also read of RIM improving Gmail compatibility.
Thank you.

Why is it the full keyboard bbery's like my new Curve don't have the smart type option like my Pearl did? I loved it, made typing easy, fast and saved a ton of typos. Will the Tour have the smart type option? Is there a download to get it on the full keyboard bberry's?

Cheers!

maybe instead of rubbing it in our face about the Storm2, he is showing off he has a Verizon branded final version tour already.

and is that other tour on rogers with 400+ emails?

I am currently using the 8830 on verizon. I use my bberry for work. I need to be on verizon since I live in manhattan And it's the only provider that works well here. I also travel out of the country for work and need my bberry to work there as well. Do I have any other options besides the tour? I like to have the bold but it doesn't seem to be an option. Thanks!

Kevin,

If you have any BB for the Sprint network that are laying around getting in your way feel free to send them my way!!! I'll be more than glad to pay shipping. On a more serious note thank you for keeping us up to date in the BB world. Do have one question for you and sorry if you have already answered it in the forums/blogs, but is the proposed Onyx going to be only a GSM phone or will there be a CMDA version as well?

Is it just me or is it super g@y of Kevin to post this picture and then not address any of the questions that people are asking? This is info we have all been waiting for and to be teased with it just isn't right.

Thank you for the opportunity to provide input to your review. I am the proud owner of a Curve 8330 on VZ, but am thinking about upgrading to the Tour or waiting for the Storm 2. I really don't need to upgrade, but it's kind of like when you're dating a really hot girl and you see one that's hotter and you want to tap that.

The only logical justification for my upgrade desire is speed. So, if you could tackle what the response is like when you load up the device and have multiple applications running, I would really appreciate that. I would also like to know how VZ Navigator runs on it - it seems to mess everything up. And, how often you need to do a battery pull.

Thanks for everything you do and the awesome site you run!

In no particular order,
Blackberry Curve 8520(Gemini) x3
Blackberry Odin (Storm 2)
Blackberry Storm 9530/9500
Blackberry Niagra (Tour Pre-Release)
Blackberry Tour 9630
Blackberry Pearl Flip 8220/30/10
Blackberry Curve 8900
Blackberry Curve 8310/30
Blackberry Onyx/Driftwood (Pre-Release, pre trackpad)
Blackberry 8830 WE
Blackberry Bold 9000.
I think I'm right. I just had to name them all.

Kevin I will be getting my first Blackberry in the Tour and I am excited to do so. I have been waiting for this phone to hit Sprint since the bold came out on ATT. I am a mac user and from what I read the Missing Sync by Mark Space is the app of choice for syncing with my mac. Can you tell me when syncing, will the categories along with colors of those categories get sync to the blackberry? I have never seen anybody test syncing of the blackberry on the PC let alone the Mac. I see a lot of blogs talking about it but no one has officially tested wrote a review about it. I have over a thousand contacts all categorized to stay organized and i want to keep them that way with the Blackberry Tour.

Thanks.

Hey Kev, I always wondered.... with you switching your BB's all the time... how annoying is it to have to update your BBM with all your contacts and send out your new PIN???? That drives me crazy everytime I get a new one and I only have about 10 solid contacts I talk to, but you must have 100's...

Hey there
you can send the clutter of Blackberry's to me i'll take care of them.
lol
wish that some one would send me a phone for free to test out.

dot't work so hard

Heya,

Any news on whether or not the Blackberry Tour (9630) is coming to the UK

Please say yes..... or can a US one be bought contract-free?

Thanks,

Mr DJJ

I'd be curious to know...
1. can the shutter sound on the camera on the CDMA Tour be disabled, yet?

2. if you happen to have a recording program installed, I'd love to know if the microphone on the Tour does a better job of recording meetings/lectures, etc. the microphone on the Curve 8330 does a terrible job of capturing voices in a room unless you're sitting right in front of the phone -- pretty useless when you need to record a lecture in a medium- to large-sized room.

Thank you for asking what we'd like to know.

Particularly the 8830, which it's replacing.

Also, it's been said (maybe here) that the back button is too close to the trackball--is that an issue?

I'm on opera mini on the berry so the pic is small & not so clear but I'll try: clockwise from top; 8350i, 9000, 8300, 8820 (or 30), magnum, 8900, 8520, 9630, storm1, storm2, 8220, onyx, 8530?

blackberry tour 9630- offered in 2 different shades of chrome and titanium
blackberry curve 8520-trackpad edition also available in white
blackberry onyx 9020 - pre-released model has trackball final model had track pad
backberry curve 8900
blackberry storm 9530/9500/9520
blackberry storm 2 (unreleased model series)
blackberry pearl flip 8820
blackberry curve 8300 / 8310 / 8320 / 8330
blackberry world edition 8800 / 8810 / 8820 / 8830
blackberry bold 9000

Hi there!

Could you tell us the measurements of the Tour's display screen?

From edge pixel to pixel?

Just picked up a Tour model today at Bell's booth,
and compared to my Curve .. it seems to be slightly *smaller*!!

I understand that the rez is higher, but am hoping that the screen is at least same size, if not bigger...

Thx!
:)

-Kor

any difference if you can tell in the media services provided by verizon vs the ones on sprint as in like TV and things like that

It is interesting that this picture of the Storm 2 is posted last week as today the news hits that the Storm 2 is going to be the 9550. Could it be that Kevin has more news for us and as we suspected the picture including the Storm 2 was a tease/preview of coming attractions?

Kevin - care to share a comment about this?

does the gps work with *any* gps-enabled app, or does it only work with gps apps tied into vzw's billing system?

AHHH Whats the deal?? That thing is epic I am loving it! I didnt realize it but I think I am in love, my Storm would be jealous.. I would love to try the track pad, seems spiffy, but that Storm 2... wow. We need some concrete specs on that thing, and I HAVE to know about the screen!!