June 16 2009
Talk About Timing!
Research In Motion (RIM), the makers of BlackBerry phones, couldn’t have timed their new phone better.
I know the BlackBerry isn’t as sexy as the iPhone, but until Apple and AT&T part ways, it’s what I’m sticking with. I’ve been using my BlackBerry 8830 since October 2007, and while I’ve loved it, I’ve been getting that upgrade itch. As I was looking around for my next phone, I wasn’t finding anything I liked, and was actually starting to wonder what I was going to do when my upgrade time was officially upon me.
Enter the BlackBery Tour.
Also known as the 9630, the BlackBerry Tour is the direct successor to my 8830 in that it is the next generation of world phone. This means that due to the multiple bands the phone uses, I can use the phone in 185 countries around the planet. For those who have not had the fun experience of travelling with your cell phone to other countries… they don’t work. The United States decided to be different from the rest of the world… just like that damned metric system. So your phone is pretty much useless outside of our country, so this makes life far easier. Not that I travel outside the USA that often, but it’s still nice to have.
They really went all out on this upgrade, and I am most excited about the camera as that has been one of the things I have really wanting in my next phone. Here is the official list from the press release.
- 3.2 MP camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording(i)
- Full HTML web browser, including support for streaming audio and video (RTSP)
- Advanced media player for videos, pictures and music, a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack and support for the Bluetooth(R) Stereo Audio Profile (A2DP/AVCRP)
- 256MB Flash memory
- Expandable memory via hot swappable microSD/SDHC memory card slot, supporting cards of up to 16 GB today and expected to support next generation 32GB cards when available
- Built-in GPS with support for geotagging, BlackBerry(R) Maps and other location based applications and services
- BlackBerry(R) Media Sync allows customers to quickly and easily synch music from iTunes(R) and Windows Media Player with the smartphone(ii)
- Premium phone features including voice activated dialing, enhanced background noise cancellation, a low-distortion speakerphone, and Bluetooth (2.0) support for hands-free use with headsets, car kits, stereo headsets and other Bluetooth peripherals
- Preloaded DataViz(R) Documents to Go(R), allowing users to edit Microsoft(R) Word, Excel and PowerPoint files directly on the handset
- Easy mobile access to Facebook(R), MySpace and Flickr(R), as well as popular instant messaging services including BlackBerry(R) Messenger, Yahoo!(R) IM, AIM(R), Google Talk and Windows Live Messenger(TM)
- Support for BlackBerry App World(TM), featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones. Categories include travel, productivity, entertainment, games, social networking & sharing, news & weather, and more
- BlackBerry(R) Internet Service allows access to up to 10 supported personal and corporate email accounts, including most popular ISP email accounts
- BlackBerry(R) Enterprise Server provides advanced security and IT administration features within IBM(R) Lotus(R) Domino(R), Microsoft(R) Exchange and Novell(R) GroupWise(R) environments
- Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for 5 hours of talk time and 14 days of standby time
I am really excited about how many of the new features used to be optional applications, so nice to see they are watching how their users are really using the phone out in the wild.
Rumor is the phone will be release July 13th, and even though my 2 year contract isn’t up until October, they’ve already approved me for the upgrade price of $199 (it probably helps we have five lines on our account at Sprint…). I’m ready for it, and thanks RIM for the unbelievable timing of the release.
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