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HolidayBuyer's Guide

RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630

3G world phone

BlackBerry Curve 8900 vs. BlackBerry Tour 9630

Right side

Pocket friendly

Quality build and sharp display

Excellent keyboard

Great messaging device

Roam where you want to

The Tour's camera

Little fuzzy

The RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 will be available from Verizon Wireless starting on July 12 for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after rebates. Sprint will also offer its own version of the Tour to be released on the same day for the same price. Nothing like a little friendly competition.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
As the replacement to the RIM BlackBerry 8830 World Edition, the Tour offers 3G world roaming capabilities and brings a number of improvements in design, features, and performance.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
The design of the RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 is a mix of the RIM BlackBerry Curve 8900 (pictured here) and the RIM BlackBerry Bold, inheriting some of the best traits of the two smartphones.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
On the right side on the smartphone, you'll find a 3.5mm headphone jack, a volume rocker, a user-programmable shortcut key, and a microUSB port.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
The Tour measures 4.4 inches tall by 2.4 inches wide by 0.6 inch thick and 4.5 ounces, so it's a bit bigger and heavier than the Curve, but much more pocketable than the BlackBerry Bold and the BlackBerry 8830.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
While heavier than the Curve, the BlackBerry Tour's extra weight gives the smartphone a satisfyingly solid feel. It also retains the high-resolution display of the Curve, so images and text looked smooth and vibrant.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
The BlackBerry Tour offers a 35-key QWERTY keyboard that is reminiscent of the one found on the Bold, which is a good thing. It features good-size buttons and a slight bump to the keys that prevent them from feeling too flat.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
As usual, the BlackBerry Tour excels at messaging. The smartphone includes Microsoft Exchange and POP3/IMAP e-mail support and even has expanded its IM client list to include Yahoo, Google Talk, AIM, and Windows Live.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
The RIM BlackBerry Tour offers dual-mode functionality (supporting dual-band CDMA and quad-band GSM networks) for world roaming capabilities and ships with a SIM card. In all, you'll get voice coverage in 220 countries and data coverage (e-mail and Internet) in 175 countries.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
On back, you'll find the BlackBerry Tour's 3.2-megapixel camera. It features a 2x zoom, auto focus, flash, and image stabilization. It can also record video and geotag photos using the phone's GPS.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
Picture quality was mediocre mostly because images looked fuzzy or hazy in some places. Plus, the camera has a bit of shutter lag. That said, we were impressed with the video quality.
Caption by / Photo by Corinne Schulze/CNET
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