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BlackBerry Tour vs Nokia E72

The smartphone battle for business

Forget Apple's new iPhone 3G S or the Palm Pre, two new business-oriented smart phones are about to the hit store shelves: The latest in Nokia's line of business phones, the E72, and the long-rumoured BlackBerry Tour 9630.

Rumours have been swirling around the blogosphere for months, but now it's official: the latest RIM BlackBerry device, the Tour 9630, is out this summer. And from what we've seen from pictures and specs, this might be the best BlackBerry to date.

In appearance the Tour looks somewhere between the Bold (the other 9000-series phone) and the Curve 8900. It actually has the same dimensions as the BlackBerry Storm, though, measuring 4.4 by 2.4 by 0.5 inches.

BlackBerry Tour vs Nokia E72

It weighs an ounce less than the Storm at 4.6 ounces, but it is slightly heavier than the feather-light 8900. The Tour's display has the same 480-x-360 pixel resolution as the Curve 8900, but its size has not been confirmed. And like the 8900 and the Storm, the 9630 sports a 3.2-megapixel camera with geotagging.

BlackBerry Tour vs Nokia E72 shoot out

Both phones will be on the market later this year, with the BlackBerry 9630 available this summer on Sprint and Verizon, while the Nokia E72 will be available in the third quarter. Here's a head-to head comparison of these brand new business phones.

For a full rundown on the specifications of both phones, check out the chart I have put together.

And read on for an outline of the main pros and cons of the BlackBerry Tour 9630 and the E72.

In terms of appearance, the E72 and the Tour 9630 look quite similar. The BlackBerry Tour 9630 is slightly wider and thicker than the metal-encased E72, and both phones weigh just over 4.5 ounces.

Both business smart phones feature a 2.4-inch display, but the BlackBerry Tour is the hands-down winner in this category, with a brighter and crisper display, packing more pixels per inch than the E72 (see chart for resolutions).

The Tour 9630 features the now famous BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard, but Nokia is also catching up in this department; the E72 has a roomy keyboard inherited from the previous model, the E71.

When it comes to navigating the device, the BlackBerry uses the trackball found on previous models. But the E72 brings something new to the table: an optical trackpad, which, judging by this demonstration video, looks easy to use. For a new user, either navigation solution will take some getting used to, so this comes down to personal preference.

As for connectivity, the Nokia E72 looks like a good all-rounder, with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an Infrared port. The BlackBerry Tour features Bluetooth as well, (with A2DP) but is somehow lacking Wi-Fi (just like the much-derided the BlackBerry Storm).

The BlackBerry Tour 9630 sounds like the perfect BlackBerry device, but there's one catch: No Wi-Fi. Imagine an Apple iPhone without Wi-Fi.

It is a familiar and sad story with RIM CDMA devices and honestly, we don't understand the omission this time around. The BlackBerry Storm 2, which will also debut on Verizon in the US in coming months, is rumoured to have Wi-Fi, so I don't get why they didn't include it on the Tour.

The E72 also features an FM radio, which the Tour doesn't.


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