Despite a rocky launch, the RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 for Sprint is available now for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates.
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The BlackBerry Tour 9630 will replace the RIM BlackBerry 8830 World Edition, bringing the smartphone up to speed with an updated operating system and newer features while keeping the world-roaming capabilities.
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Sprint vs. Verizon
Design-wise, there is very little difference between the Sprint BlackBerry Tour and Verizon's version of the smartphone. We did have a slight preference for the latter, however, since it has a textured back while the back of the Sprint model is all smooth and feels a bit slick and plasticky.
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The BlackBerry Tour's design is a mix of the BlackBerry Bold and the BlackBerry Curve, taking good points from both phones. The 3.5-inch display is extra sharp and vibrant, so it was really great for viewing photos, videos, and Web pages.
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BlackBerry Tour's measurements
The Tour measures 4.4 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick and is 4.5 ounces, so it's slightly bigger and heavier than the Curve but definitely more pocketable than the Bold.
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Full QWERTY keyboard
While not as compact or sleek as the Curve, the trade-off is you get a more spacious QWERTY keyboard. The rectangular buttons are a good size and have a slight bump to make them easier to press.
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We found the Tour's keyboard quite easy to use, and the smartphone is packed with messaging capabilities, including support for personal and work e-mail accounts, instant messaging clients, and text and multimedia messaging.
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On the right side of the smartphone, you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack, a volume rocker, a customizable shortcut key, and a microUSB port.
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Sprint ships the BlackBerry Tour with a SIM card, which will allow you to make and receive calls while traveling overseas. You can also call Sprint customer service to unlock the phone for use with international SIM cards. Note that domestically, the BlackBerry Tour only operates on Sprint's CDMA network so you can't plug in an AT&T or T-Mobile SIM card and use their network.
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Murky photo quality
The photo quality of the Tour's 3.2-megapixel camera was OK. While images were fairly clear, we weren't pleased with the murky and dull colors.