Verizon has an extensive array of smartphones, arguably the greatest selection of any other cellular carrier. Many smartphone users have converted to the brilliant touch screens of the Android based phones, such as the DROID Incredible. However, many diehard BlackBerry users are also getting a range of new smartphones to choose. Two of the most popular on the Verizon is the new sleek BlackBerry Bold 9650 and the BlackBerry Tour 9630 world edition. In this article, we will look at the differences between the two phones to help you decide which one is right for you.
BlackBerry Bold 9650
The BlackBerry Bold 9650 features an optical trackpad, 512MB of onboard memory, a sleek new design and new “soft touch” keyboard. The newest Bold, the 9650, shares many of the same features as the highly popular Bold 9700. The Bold runs the newest BlackBerry 5.0 OS, which features a slightly cleaner menu bar and integrated messaging.
• 3.2MP digital camera- The built in 3.2MP digital camera with auto focus and video capture is decent for a small smartphone, however, lacks detail even on the superfine setting. Video capture is acceptable, but again the video lacks detail compared to the HD competition Android phones.
• Memory- One feature that we enjoyed over the BlackBerry Tour is the additional 256MB of internal memory. Internal memory is important to keep in consideration when choosing a BlackBerry device because applications from the BlackBerry apps store can only be downloaded to the device memory, not an additional memory card.
• World Service- Similar to the Tour, the Bold 9650 has worldwide 3G data and voice service. This service is great for travelers and vacationers, but comes at an additional cost to your plan.
• Trackpad- Having used the Tours trackball and the Bolds trackpad, the trackpad is the clear winner. The smooth service is easy to navigate with, does not get dirt or dust stuck under the ball and provides a clean look to the design of the phone.
• Keyboard- The “soft touch” keyboard on the Bold is incredibly easy to type on, does not sound as loud when typing and provides a sunken in look that accents the overall design.
• Bluetooth 2.1- Unlike the Tours Bluetooth 2.0 capabilities, the Bold features the newer Bluetooth 2.1. What does this mean to the average user? A greater variety of Bluetooth headsets and speakers will work with Bluetooth 2.1, and because Bluetooth technology is backwards compatible, Bluetooth 2.0 products will work with the Bold.
• Wi-Fi- One vital difference is that the BlackBerry Bold 9650 comes with built-in Wi-Fi, whereas the Tour does not have this feature. Although it is worth noting that unless you make calls via your Wi-Fi network to avoid using your minutes, Wi-Fi is not very useable on BlackBerry devices. The 3G data speeds are similar in speed to data speeds over Wi-Fi on BlackBerry devices.
The BlackBerry Tour 9630 was the first BlackBerry with worldwide 3G capabilities. It features a clean appearance, trackball, 256MB of onboard flash memory, high-resolution 480×360 pixel screen (same as Bold) and is updateable to the new BlackBerry OS 5.0.
• Weight- Because the BlackBerry Tour and Bold are so similar there are only a few varying features. The weight on the Tour is 4.58oz with battery as opposed to the Bolds 4.8oz.
• Trackball- Some users still prefer the trackball for navigating because it is slightly easier to scroll down with than the trackpad. However, the differences are marginal and the preference comes down to personal choice.
• Design- Although both phones are almost identical in looks, it is hard for the Tour not to stand out. The sleek faux chrome design paired with the black keyboard and body of the phone looks phenomenal and stands out above many similar smartphone designs.
• Price- The Tour costs a mere $99.99 with a two year contract from Verizon, whereas the Bold costs $149.99 with the same plan.
The BlackBerry Bold 9650 has all of the same features as the Tour with a few minor updates. The newer trackpad and soft keyboard are much-loved features by BlackBerry veterans, such as myself. The primary differences between the two phones are subtle design differences, memory and the trackball vs. trackpad. Our recommendation? If you have the extra $50, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 is the obvious choice, but if you were on a budget and want a premium BlackBerry smartphone, then the Tour 9630 would still be a great choice.
Personal experience with both phones