Verizon Wireless & Sprint Launch BlackBerry Tour

Verizon Wireless and Sprint both launched the BlackBerry Tour today. This smartphone from RIM offers support for both CDMA and GSM networks, making the phone compatible with various networks around the world. The Tour operates on Verizon’s and Sprint’s EVDO Rev. A mobile broadband networks and can also roam on other high speed HDSPA networks. When roaming, the phone offers 850/900/1800/1900 MHz GSM/GPRS/EDGE as well as support for 2100 MHz UMTS/HSPA networks.

The Tour offers a variety of business and personal features that take advantage of these high-speed capabilities. Personal features include access to social networking sites such as Facebook, Flickr, and MySpace. Users can also share pictures and videos via MMS and instant message. Business users will appreciate the Tour’s support for push email, calendar, contacts, business applications, and location-based services.

On the hardware side, the Tour offers an HVGA (480 x 360) display, trackball, and a full QWERTY keyboard. It also has a 3.2MP camera, GPS receiver, Bluetooth, and a microSD/SDHC expansion slot. The phone is similar in style to the BlackBerry Bold and the BlackBerry Curve 8900, though it’s slightly smaller, measuring approximately 4.4 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches and weighing approximately 4.6 ounces.

Other key features of the BlackBerry Tour smartphone include:

  • 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 Stereo Audio Profile (A2DP/AVCRP)
  • 256MB Flash memory
  • Built-in GPS with support for geotagging, BlackBerry Maps and other location based applications and services
  • BlackBerry  Media Sync allows customers to quickly and easily synch music from iTunes and Windows Media Player with the smartphone
  • 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 Documents to Go,  allowing users to edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files directly on the handset
  • Support for BlackBerry App World, 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
  • Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for 5 hours of talk time and 14 days of standby time

Verizon is offering the BlackBerry Tour 9630 for $200 with a two-year service agreement. Sprint is offering the phone for the same price after a $100 mail in rebate and a two-year service contract.