BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Verizon) Cell Phone Review

The Device

The Tour uses a high resolution 480 x 360 screen which is one of the clearest BlackBerry screens that we’ve seen.

The keys on the 35-key QWERTY keyboard, shown in Figure 4, are close together, but very useable. They are nicely backlit. The keys have an excellent feel allowing you to know that they are pressed without slowing you down. The number keypad is marked in red making  the keys easier to find for those with normal vision. However, as with other keyboards of this type, the red markings may be problematic for those plagued by color blindness.

The more emailing and web surfing that we do on mobile phones, the more we appreciate it when the keyboard has dedicated keys for the period key and the @key. The Tour has neither. On the Tour, you must hold down the Alt key to access the period or the at-sign, while the $ gets a dedicated key of its own. We found that impractical and something that we would like to see changed.

Above the keyboard are four function keys with a trackball in the center. The four keys are, from left to right, Send, Menu, Back (Escape), and End/Power. The trackball seems a little more recessed than some other BlackBerry’s we’ve tried, but it was still quite workable.

BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Verizon) Cell Phone ReviewFigure 4: The keyboard.

As shown in Figure 5, on the back of the Tour you will see the battery cover as well as the 3.2 megapixel camera and its flash. The back and sides of the Tour are a matt finish, which resist fingerprints. In Figure 5 you can also see that the battery cover has a different texture. It has a small checkerboard pattern. The 7 silver slivers near the top of the battery cover are simply a decorative touch. You will also see 3 silver bars at the bottom of the battery cover. The center bar can be moved upward to release the cover.  As seen in Figure 6, under the battery cover you can see the removable battery, the SIM card, and the place to insert a micro SD card.

BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Verizon) Cell Phone ReviewFigure 5: The back of the Tour.

BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Verizon) Cell Phone ReviewFigure 6: The back with the battery cover removed.

The left side of the Tour, shown in Figure 7, has only one control, an elongated silver button that is used for the voice control.

BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Verizon) Cell Phone ReviewFigure 7: The left side of the Tour.

On the right side of the Tour, shown in Figure 8, you will find the micro-USB port, a camera shortcut key, the up and down volume keys, and a standard 3.5 mm headphone socket.

BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Verizon) Cell Phone ReviewFigure 8: The right side of the Tour.

The bottom of the Tour does not have any buttons or ports. While the top, shown in Figure 9, looks to be button-less, both the left and right sides of the top are pressable. If you look carefully you will see icons on the top that indicate that you can press one side to lock the phone and the other to mute it.

BlackBerry Tour 9630 (Verizon) Cell Phone ReviewFigure 9: The top of the Tour.

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Author: Sandy Berger

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.

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