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CNET First Look
RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Sprint)Despite the lack of Wi-Fi, the RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 is a feature-rich and well-performing smartphone that will serve Sprint's globe-trotting customers well.
[ Background music ] >> Bonnie Cha: Hi, I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com and today we're taking a first look at the Rim Blackberry Tour 9630 for Sprint. We've already taken a look at the Verizon model and the 2 Smartphones are very similar but thought we'd give you a fresh look at the Sprint version and there are some slight differences between the 2. Starting with the design, the Blackberry Tour is like a mix of the Blackberry Bold and Blackberry Curve, taking good points from both phones. The 3.5 inch display is extra sharp and vibrant and so it was great for viewing photos, videos and web pages. And the Tour is slightly bigger and heavier than the Curve but as a tradeoff the larger size allows the phone to have a more spacious QWERTY keyboard which I found really easy to use. The rest of the design is pretty standard. Rim does a good job of including a number of controls on the outside that helps with 1 handed navigation such as the track ball navigator, volume rocker and a customizable short cut key here on the right side. And we're always happy when a phone has a 3.5 mm jack since you can use standard headphones for listening to your music. My only minor complaint about the Sprint version of the Tour is that the back cover is completely smooth whereas the Verizon model had a bit of a textured battery cover so it felt less slippery than the Sprint Tour. It's really just a small thing though and definitely not a deal breaker. Moving onto the features, the Tour will replace the blackberry 8830 Rogue addition so it brings the operating system and other features up to speed but it keeps the world roaming capabilities of the older phone. Sprint chips the phone with a SIM card so when you're traveling overseas it'll automatically switch over the international GSM network so you'll still be able to make calls and receive them as well. It also supports the 21 MHz UMTS HSTPA bands which means you can get 3G data overseas. Meanwhile, when you're here in the states the Tour will use Sprints network just like usual. Of course you get Blackberry's famous email capabilities and the Smartphone also comes with a number of instant messaging clients including Yahoo, AIM and Google Talk and there are even mobile apps for Facebook, MySpace and flikr and you can always download more through the Blackberry App World catalogue. Unfortunately, you can only save apps to the phones main memory and not the Micro SD card so that's a bit of a negative in my opinion. Sprint offers a number of its own services on the device including Sprint navigation, the Sprint Music Store, Sprint TV and its NFL- NASCAR apps. I used Sprint navigation with the Tours built in GPS and it always got me to my destination. It did a good job of tracking my location as well. I was also impressed with the smooth streaming of Sprint TV. [ Background music ] >> Usually am getting choppy or blurry picture but it flowed really smoothly on the Tour. Overall, I think the Blackberry Tour is a great Smartphone and offered good call quality and data coverage and it was a really fast device. The Tour is available now for 199.99 with a 2-year contract. I'm Bonnie Cha and this has been your first look at the Rim Blackberry Tour 9630 for Sprint.