Verizon’s recent announcement of a new BlackBerry peaked our interest. Verizon fans have been clamoring for a new BlackBerry with a keyboard as an alternative to the touch screen BlackBerry Storm. While the BlackBerry Storm left us wanting a little more, the Tour looked great at first glance. We dug a little deeper to see how it stacked up against other BlackBerry’s as well as against the current competition.

The BlackBerry Tour 9630 comes in a typical black BlackBerry box, but as shown in Figure 1, it is encased in a white sleeve with a picture of the phone on the front. Figure 2 shows the content of the box which includes the Tour itself, the removable battery, a charging cable, several interchangeable electrical plugs for the charger, a USB cable, a 2 GB microSD card, ear buds with an inline control, and soft covers for the ear buds. Also included is a very nice case that comes with a magnetic closure and a rotatable belt clip.

BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Verizon) Cell Phone ReviewFigure 1: The box

BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Verizon) Cell Phone ReviewFigure 2: The contents.

The Tour itself is shown in Figure 3. This may be one of BlackBerry’s best looking cell phones. The combination of shiny and dull black surfaces, the slightly curved top and bottom and the smooth surface front all combine to be good-looking as well as to be comfortable in the hand. The entire curved surface is surrounded by a shiny black curved bezel that gives the Tour a smooth look that is not as gaudy as the silver bezel on some other BlackBerry devices like the Bold. The entire device is solid and sturdy. Although you may find more modern-looking cell phones, the design of the Tour does not disappoint.

The Tour is 4.4 inches (112 mm) high, 2.4 inches (62 mm) wide, 0.6 inches (14.2 mm) deep. It weights 4.58 ounces (130 grams), making it a nice comfortable size. Those used to BlackBerry’s will find the Tour slightly larger than the Curve 8900 and slightly smaller than the Bold. This will have many Goldilock-type comfort seekers declaring it “just right.”

BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Verizon) Cell Phone ReviewFigure3: The Tour.


Sandy Berger, respected computer authority, journalist, media guest, speaker, and author, has more than three decades of experience as a computer and technology expert. Her eight books include: How to Have a Meaningful Relationship with Your Computer, Your Official Grown-up’s Guide to AOL and the Internet, Cyber Savers –Tips & Tricks for Today’s Drowning Computer Users, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Better Living through Technology, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to the Internet, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Gadgets & Gizmos, Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Health & Wellness, and Sandy Berger’s Great Age Guide to Online Travel. Sandy’s newspaper column, magazine articles, feature stories, product reviews, and computer tips can be found at her website, Compu-KISS.