BlackBerry Tour Smartphone to See the World This Summer
On June 16, Research In Motion announced that its latest BlackBerry CDMA
smartphone, called the BlackBerry Tour, will hit the North American market this
The Tour is a "world phone" and will support 3G EV-DO Rev. A networks in North America, as well as 3G UMTS/HSPA (2,100HMz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad.
(One wonders whether the name is intended to jog the brain of the fact that RIM-despite, or perhaps because of, the band's having rocked out in Apple iPod commercials-is sponsoring U2's 360 World tour, kicking off in Barcelona June 30. Will Bono use a Tour on his tour?)
The Tour is the traditional BlackBerry shape, much like the Bold and the Curve, though a bit slimmer and lighter than the Bold, measuring 4.4 inches long, 2.4 inches across and 0.6 inches deep. Its weight is 4.58 ounces-just a bit less than the Bold's 4.8 ounces.
The finish is chrome and black, and the bright, 2.44-inch display has a 480-by-360 resolution, at 245 pixels per inch-a not unimportant feature of a device that would like to appeal as much to consumers as to enterprise customers.
BlackBerry devices are renown for their secure and speedy e-mailing and messaging capabilities, and the Tour plays to its major audience, including BlackBerry Enterprise Server technology for interacting with IBM, Lotus, Domino, Microsoft Exchange and Novel GroupWise environments.
It can support up to 10 personal and corporate e-mail accounts, and it's preloaded with DataViz Documents to Go, allowing Microsoft, Word, Excel and PowerPoint files to be edited on-screen.
Beyond the more buttoned-up features, however, the Tour also includes Media Sync, for syncing with iTunes and Windows Media Player; a full HTML browser that supports streaming video; and quick access to popular messaging and social networking sites, as well as to the BlackBerry App World.
There's also a media player for videos, photos and music, with a 3.5mm stereo headset jack and support for the Bluetooth Stereo Audio Profile, plus a 3.2-megapixel camera with flash, auto-focus and video recording. GPS is built in, and 256MB of flash memory is included, along with a microSD/SDHC memory card slot for up to 32GB cards, once they become available.
RIM says the Tour will be "available this summer," and Reuters reports that the Tour will launch with Verizon and Sprint in the United States, and Telus and BCE's Bell unit in Canada.