Digital Devicement: Part Three – BlackBerry Picking Time

The all new 9630 Tour replaces the silver 8830. Like its predecessor the Tour is dual mode, allowing the American traveller to access GSM networks when abroad. My Verizon Tour worked straight out of the box and with almost alarming speed.

For most users the modality of wireless protocol is no more central to their experience than whether their car engine is diesel or petrol these days. Never mind what goes on under the hood, what are the day to day differences between the Curve and Tour in terms of use? Well, aside from the fact that the Tour comes without WiFi but with 3G, the differences are really quite small: the same familiar candybar form factor, though with darker skirting on the Tour. They both enjoy the one physical feature of the Storm worth keeping, the  shiny black sloping ‘roof’ where the lock and mute buttons live. There is the same superbly bright and clear 480 x 360 display on each and the same 3.2MP camera (although there is the dazzling option of being able to buy a Tour without a camera which will undoubtedly impress your friends) and the same suite of bundled applications (give or take a network specific doodad here or there). The Tour is a mite heavier and a snidge thicker than the Curve and being 3G is more demanding on the (identical) DX-1 battery. I prefer the slightly more scalloped keys on the Tour’s keyboard. The sharper edges offer a better tactile feedback which imparts greater confidence and ultimately therefore, greater speed.

If I lived and worked in the United States and visited Europe from time to time I would certainly choose the Tour as my BlackBerry of choice. Meanwhile, in Europe there is no reason not to be drawn to the Curve. Just don’t even think of getting a Storm. Unless you enjoy swearing and throwing things out of the window. Which some people do.

Before the year is out RIM’s OS 5.0 should be available (it already is if you are prepared to hunt about and live with a beta) and we can also expect the possibility that at any moment they will offer a Curve with trackpad but no GPS and a Tour with WiFi and 3G but no trackpad and a Pearl with EDGE but trackpad and GPS but but no WiFi and another with …. oi, you get the idea.

Coming next … a look at the Palm Pre and LG Watch Phone.

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51 comments on “Digital Devicement: Part Three – BlackBerry Picking Time”

  1. Boog says:

    Thanks Stephen! Possibly the best written tech review I’ve read.

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