Quick Look: BlackBerry Tour

I had an opportunity to work with a Verizon Wireless BlackBerry Tour for several days recently.  If you are a Verizon or Sprint customer (Sprint has a nearly identical device) and want something a little nicer than your Curve but are not interested in the full-touchscreen of the Storm, the Tour is worth your consideration. The Tour is BlackBerry's latest phones on the CDMA networks of Sprint and Verizon.  It is almost the same size as the BlackBerry Bold found on AT&T, but just a tad smaller, as shown here:

[caption id="attachment_82" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Bold vs. Tour Size"]Bold vs. Tour Size[/caption]

Not my best photography work, but you get the idea.

The Tour's keyboard is more like the Bold's, where the keys touch each other, rather than the Curve, where each key is separated.

I found it to be a nice device.  The screen was bright and clear and the keyboard, while smaller than I was used to, was quite usable.  The trackball seemed smaller, but I think that is because it doesn't extend out as far as what I'm used to on the Bold.

I liked the fact that the memory slot was under the battery door, but not under the battery.  Much better than the annoying memory slot door on the Bold.  I also liked the standby button on the Tour, which seems like a carry-over from the Storm. It is much easier to hit than on the Bold.

Sound quality was good and battery life was decent.

My main complaint and its consistent with Verizon phones is the lack of WiFi.  I know you have a good network Verizon, but its NEVER going to be faster than my wireless home network! Let my WiFi loose!

All-in-all, a solid phone.  Of course with Verizon, you'll NEED to pay for a BlackBerry data plan, because that's just how Verizon rolls.  Which sucks, because with the Google Sync and some other apps, you don't really need to touch a BlackBerry server if you're using this as a personal phone.

If you like having a full-QWERTY keyboard on a solid device, the Tour is worth checking out.  Enjoy.