Unlike Riz, who has the good fortune to try new products often, I’m usually a smartphone or two behind our experts. But, as it turned out, managing this blog came with a set of perks all its own — I get to play around with new products too!
A few weeks back I got to play with the BlackBerry® Tour™ smartphone, which today we announced is expected to be available from carriers in North America beginning later this summer. I also managed to wrangle an interview with Shaun, one of the many brains behind RIM’s latest smartphone, because let’s not kid ourselves, you’d much rather hear his views on the BlackBerry Tour than mine (I know my place *sigh*).
So Shaun, did you have direct influence over anything particular for this device?
As the Product Manager for the BlackBerry Tour smartphone you get to see the product from concept to launch. I was able to help shape the BlackBerry Tour smartphone to what it is today. Looking at the smartphone market and the features that the users were looking for, I worked with our R&D team to ensure that we produced the best possible product.
What are the feature(s) you are most excited about?
The multimedia capabilities are fantastic. With a brilliant display, watching videos and viewing pictures is crystal clear. The upgrades we have made to our software from even just a year ago have made the music experience outstanding. Connecting my BlackBerry Tour smartphone to my Bluetooth® Music Gateway is a great way to get my music at home.
How does it compare to other smartphones out there?
With the introduction of the BlackBerry Tour smartphone we’ve really stepped up our game. As I mentioned above, the display is simply incredible. At 480×360 web browsing is awesome and pictures and videos are amazingly crisp and clear. There is a 3.2MP camera, 256MB of memory and international roaming capabilities. With the support of EVDO Rev A, quad-band EDGE and 2100 MHz HSPA/UMTS you can take the BlackBerry Tour smartphone pretty much anywhere in the world and be able to stay in touch.
Just because I’m nosy, how have you made it unique to you?
For me it’s all about folders. I like to have a very clean homescreen and only have the main apps that I use most often readily available:
Since it works pretty much anywhere in the world, have you been anywhere outside of North America with it yet? If not, any plans?
I haven’t been traveling outside of North America yet. However I am heading to New Zealand for my honeymoon so I can’t wait to still be able to stay in touch family, friends and work (if needed). Although my wife might not be too happy with the work part. :)
Thanks Shaun! And now a question for our readers…Where will you take the BlackBerry Tour smartphone?