RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 for Sprint Review

Impressions on Sprint’s BlackBerry Tour

We have published a detailed review of
 the RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 for Verizon Wireless.
Check it out here.

Impressions on Sprint’s BlackBerry Tour

A few weeks ago we took a look at the Verizon Tour, and both major CDMA carriers launched the device on July 12th.  By and large the two devices are the same.  Both software versions clock in at 4.7, the styling is nearly identical (the chrome trim is a bit brighter on Sprint’s variant) and the feature sets are identical.

Preloaded software again differs between the two.  Predictably you’ll find features like VZNav and Visual Voicemail on Verizon’s offering, whereas Sprint includes Sprint Navigation, SprintTV, Sprint Music and their NFL and NASCAR applications.  TV is a shortcoming of the VZW Tour; Verizon’s TV service offers better quality, but Sprint’s offers better selection and VCast TV is not available for the Tour.  Sprint also preloads the MLB Mobile Premium app (available for a fee) and Pandora, though VZW hit us up last week to let us know that Slacker was pushed to their Tour.  All three of these applications are available to any BlackBerry, but much like we saw with the Curve it’s a matter of preloaded software and ease of use for the consumer.

The biggest flaw we found with the Verizon version was call quality.  We tested two separate units in many areas to make sure it was not an anomaly, and the second unit was indeed better than the first, but still not good.  The Sprint version, we’re happy to report, is much, much better.  In a blind test we used the same tester in the same location, and they rated us an 8.5-9 out of 10.  After telling them that it was another Tour they were amazed in the quality difference between the first two units and the third.  For the record, in our main place of use VZW offers excellent coverage while Sprint lists their service as “good” on sprint.com/coverage.  We realize bars aren’t a totally reliable measure, but Verizon gives us a full six while Sprint gives 2-4, though we have never had issues with call quality.

As we said before the Tour is a great device, and the Sprint unit addresses the biggest flaw we had with it the first time around.  In a curious move Sprint has already announced that they’ll be offering a Wi-Fi equipped Tour early next year (we’d expect VZW to do the same) which may definitively cement the Tour’s status as the best BlackBerry ever.

RIM BlackBerry Tour 9630 for Verizon Review | Specifications

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