Review: Blackberry Tour Not Ready for Prime Time

Whenever I travel I always take my laptop, and thanks to a Verizon USB wireless modem I can stay connected pretty much anywhere, although twice a year when I am in Chicago getting any signal is a challenge.  While I am not such a dinosaur that I don’t have a cell phone, I had resisted the Blackberry temptation, at least right up until my cell phone found itself being left in the pocket of a pair of jeans that was then washed.  Not surprisingly, that was the end of the useful life for my Motorola Krzr, which had been extremely dependable.  So I decided it was time to at least consider a Blackberry, and when I went to Verizon I quickly gravitated to the Blackberry Tour, which is a handsome phone that allegedly offers a lot of functionality.  The key being the word “allegedly.”  I have since learned from several others that the problems I was experiencing with the Blackberry Tour are not unique, and indeed have been experienced by many. I realize this post is off topic, but attorneys and other professionals who largely make up the IPWatchdog Blog audience have to make up the overwhelming percentage of Blackberry customers, so I thought I would share my experiences, which were not at all good.

The first Blackberry Tour I obtained looked great, but just did not work very well at all.  To be perfectly honest, I can’t even offer an opinion regarding the features of this first model because it was completely unusable.  The trackball simply would not work, and it started having troubles just days after I acquired it and progressively got worse for the three weeks or so that I have the phone.  The trackball would take many revolutions to even move one space, and eventually it got to the point where no number of revolutions would allow the cursor to move up and down.

It does not seem that I am the only one who have had difficulties with an inferior trackball.  If you search Google using the phrase “blackberry tour trackball” you will find numerous articles and consumer complaints regarding the trackball just not working.  For example, the blackberry forum has many consumers complaining exactly about this very issue dating back to July 2009.  According to TownHall Investment Research as many at 50% of the Blackberry Tour units have been returned due to trackball issues.  Both Sprint and Verizon dispute this claim, and instead say that the percentage of returns is consistent with other new products launched, and that RIM is known for quality, but based on my own experience, the experience of other customers I spoke with who were also at the Verizon Wireless store returning the Blackberry Tour and the legions of complaints easily available online, it seems that TownHall Investment Research is closer to being correct than Sprint, Verizon or RIM, all of whom have a vested interest in the Blackberry Tour not being a lemon.  Interestingly, Sprint and Verizon will not confirm the return percentage, how interesting!

After returning my first Blackberry Tour, I got another, still not aware of the mountains of evidence that suggest the Blackberry Tour is the cell phone version of the Edsle.  This second unit was not any better than the first, but for different reasons.  The trackball never seemed to work as one would expect it should, but it seemed to work better than any of the other features of the phone.  This second unit simply suffered from terrible reception, dropped calls constantly and callers would call and go straight to voice mail even when I was not on the phone and had what appeared to be a strong signal.  On top of that, the pictures it took had a yellowish-green tint, which made every picture approximate the color scheme of a Van Gogh painting.  Powering down and powering up the phone would take an extraordinarily long time.  Downloaded applications never worked correctly, and then the last straw was the screen going blank and freezing on me, not allowing me to power it down.  In short, this version of the Blackberry Tour was completely unusable as anything other than perhaps a paper weight.

I was starting to wonder why anyone liked owning a Blackberry, because my experience was anything but stellar.  Nevertheless, when I returned this second Blackberry Tour I was not yet ready to give up completely, although I refused to accept another Blackberry Tour, which seems to be what many are finding to be the appropriate option.  The Verizon Wireless sales representative in the store was a real pain, and kept wanting to try and fix the phone for me or show me how to use it.  This went on, and on and on.  It would seem that he couldn’t understand simple English — “I don’t want a Blackberry Tour because they are junk!”  Finally, the manager agreed to take the Blackberry Tour back and exchange it for a Blackberry Curve.  So far so good with the curve, and I am starting to understand why folks like a functioning Blackberry.  They are quite handy when they work.  I am now getting phone calls again, not dropping the calls and the trackball seems fine (knock on wood).

For a very long time people have stayed away from buying the first version of many high-tech gadgets, and that seems to be the appropriate way to deal with the enormously problematic Blackberry Tour.  My advice would be to stay away from the Tour, at least until Research In Motion gets its act together and there is another version or two of the Tour that has worked out its many peculiarities.


Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of

Join the Discussion

43 comments so far.

  • [Avatar for logan]
    April 21, 2010 07:20 pm

    for qwerty phones this is my favorite unlocked blackberry. screen is big, it’s good for business. email is easy to use and facebook is great on it. very happy with it. got a couple for me and the kid at and they are awesome. 2 thumbs up

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 22, 2009 05:54 pm


    You are describing exactly the problems I had with the first Tour, it just took yours a few more weeks to present the problems. Apparently the Tour is now in an improved version, so perhaps you managed to get a unit that was left over from before the newer version came out. I wish you the best of luck. From what I could tell the Tour would be a great phone if it worked. I am happy with my Blackberry Curve though, at least for now.


  • [Avatar for Michael]
    October 22, 2009 05:51 pm

    I bought a Tour about 6 weeks ago and the trackball worked perfectly for a few weeks. Now it works nicely in the vertical plane, intermittently or not at all in the horizontal, rendering the phone irritating and useless much of the time. I’d check my messages, but I can’t reach the icon! It is very disappointing. I expect to get a replacement tomorrow, but I am not optimitistic. I would rather change it out for another model, but it didn’t fail until after my 30 days were up. On top of that, text messages from other Sprint users sometimes take up the 24 hours to arrive- probably not the phone per se, but another problem that began when I got the phone. I could Fedex them faster!

  • [Avatar for Bill.]
    October 21, 2009 12:42 am

    I should have said that , “Why did you not return it for another Tour”.
    you also said that EVERYONE you talked to has problems with their Tour. BS and you know it.
    Don’t bother with your reply because I won’t be back again to read it. EVER.
    By and good luck in life.


  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 20, 2009 10:02 pm


    Thanks. I wouldn’t say you are overly critical… you just like to keep me on my toes, and I can certainly respect that.

    Thanks for reading.


  • [Avatar for Bob]
    October 20, 2009 09:47 pm

    Well just to contribute to the article and not the arguing, I bought a Tour today and haven’t yet had any issues. Trackball works just as good as the Curve. Snappy OS. Same thing as the curve pretty much other than the look and a few new minor features. So I know that blackberry has a bad habit of releasing products before all the kinks are worked out but my personal opinion is that its now safe to buy one. see ya cuh cuh

  • [Avatar for Jules]
    October 20, 2009 08:44 pm

    Gene, I know I don’t always agree with you, not even close. But the recent story on vacating the rules, and now the one on the FTC guides were good. I guess I enjoy the ones that substantively apply to the law moreso than the opinion pieces. So although I may be overly critical sometimes, I do agree with you on occasion.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 20, 2009 07:56 pm

    Thanks for the comment Jules, and thanks for reading


  • [Avatar for Jules]
    October 20, 2009 04:16 pm

    Gene Quinn argues with a nineteen year old. That was my dose of ironic, stupid humor for the day. The nineteen year old was very clever, indeed, potentially experiencing some of that so-called “cognitive dissonance” himself being sick and with abundant use of nasal decongestant. But maybe Gene is right. Maybe the more stupid we are, the further we will go in this world. In my opinion, the answer is balance. All-in-all, a very insightful discussion.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 20, 2009 03:00 pm


    You say: “For the record, your little comment there basically not-so-cleverly, sarcastically told me it’s time for me to leave and you’re done. If you really wanted to keep the page views coming you would not have ended it here.”

    Whatever do you mean? I never stated or implied that you should stop or that we were done. It seems like you are cutting and running because you finally realized you were being played. To bad.

    As far as looking at the big picture, I certainly always do that. Love me or hate me, you read the post, and so did many others. You have much to learn Grasshopper… much to learn indeed.


  • [Avatar for ALH]
    October 20, 2009 02:52 pm

    You win (or lose?) – last comment.

    I have many friends. Don’t know why you’d think I wouldn’t. I also said I am sick. I’m wasting time because that’s all I can do. But now that you’ve resorted to claiming it has all been about site views and refresh buttons, and you too have been “playing me” all along, you won’t be any fun anymore. It’s pathetic that it normally comes to that; I’ll have to move on to a new pompous blogger, who will no doubt end with that same statement, as most do. Very predictable.

    For the record, your little comment there basically not-so-cleverly, sarcastically told me it’s time for me to leave and you’re done. If you really wanted to keep the page views coming you would not have ended it here. You said I have no friends, you said this was all you playing me (it took you quite a while to resort to pulling out that sad little fabrication!), and said I was wasting my time. This little triple-threat showed empty aggression, sad desperation, and another interestingly hypocritical ad hominem. Great way to sign off.

    You might reply to this last comment with you last word, and twist it all back to why you’re the winner and I’m the loser, or at least how your pride is untouched. It’ll be the most pathetic but entertaining ending your could give. You might, you might not. But it’ll happen in your head. That’s how the ego works. Cognitive dissonance, whatever you want to call it. You’ll continue on unblemished in your own mind, with a few page views, and I’ll have kept my mind active during a tough batch of the flu. Everybody is a winner, I suppose. Unless you look at the big picture. But I already know you’re not into that. Seriously, read King Lear or something.

    So, it’s been more fun than Daily Show reruns and flash games. I’m gonna take some more decongestant.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 20, 2009 02:20 pm


    You say: “All I can say is I’ve been laughing this whole time and you’re not sharp enough to understand why.”

    I get it, I really do. I hope you continue to waste your time commenting and continue to click refresh and come back and comment. It would be really helpful if you could get all your friends (assuming you have any) to do the same.

    Eventually you will realize I have been playing you all along, but hopefully not before you return to my site another hundred or so times. Keep up the good work!


  • [Avatar for ALH]
    October 20, 2009 02:12 pm

    So if you agree I had no clear counterpoint, then why do you think I would have done this in the first place if not to mess with you? It should be clear that I had no point to argue as concerns the phone article. I knew that you’d argue back nonetheless because your ego would feel somehow opposed by what might as well be petty schoolyard taunts.

    At first I was worried that you would act as an adult and that I was underestimating you, but it soon became clear I was not. I thought you might realize you could agree with my phone-related arguments and still be right. That’s what mentally healthy grown-ups are supposed to do, reconcile when possible. But instead, you conjured one up and then opposed it. Straight out of the psych books. Then I knew you’d be fun.

    It wouldn’t be ironic if you understood the irony. That’s generally how it works. Inconvenient, I know.

    The point of the article is that you had a bad experience with the Tour and are warning other people about the device’s failures. I didn’t miss the point, I just wasn’t interested in it. I just noticed from somewhat subtle hints you seemed quite arrogant and thought I’d play with you. Pompous people make good toys for someone as curious about psychology as I am. The point of the article itself isn’t what I’m dealing with here. I’m dealing with you. I set my own framework and my own point, while you remained oblivious. To use your terms, I “fooled” you. You don’t have to agree, and in fact it wouldn’t be funny if you did. All I can say is I’ve been laughing this whole time and you’re not sharp enough to understand why.

    You don’t have to keep repeating that I’m giving you page views. Contributing to something that is good for you is not a problem for me. I don’t know why you’d think it would be. Unless you don’t understand that I’m playing around here. Those little barbs must have had quite an effect on you. You seem to still think you’re my enemy or something. Man, you’re quite the case, even funnier than I had anticipated. I’m perfectly happy to have been helpful, and I’m glad you’re having fun too. I would imagine petting your own ego has been as fun for you as mocking your ego has been for me.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 20, 2009 12:27 pm


    I don’t know how much clearer I can be — you have missed the entire point of the article.

    I don’t know how much clearer I can be — I have said nothing hilariously ironic.

    I don’t know how much clearer I can be — this can continue to go on and on if you are interested, because you keep giving me more traffic and more comments every time you submit a new comment.

    As for your points not providing a clear counterpoint, I agree!

    So please do continue to play the game though, it has been exceptionally helpful, and so much fun!


  • [Avatar for ALH]
    October 20, 2009 11:38 am


    Now you’ve completely missed the ENTIRE point of my comment. I don’t know how much clearer I can be. I’ll try it again. THIS HAS ALL BEEN A GAME. I don’t care about the phones. I saw an arrogant guy who I knew I could get to say hilariously ironic things while staying oblivious, and since your article was about phones, I did it by talking about phones (though I wasn’t lying, I have a Tour). My comments PURPOSELY had no clear counterpoint, but you argued back in full force because I put some quick jabs in them. They positioned my as an adversary to your apparently large ego. I like to poke at arrogant people and let the delusional replies commence. I’ll sum it up another way: ME looking like a fool isn’t a problem, because a fool is exactly what I was supposed to look like.It’s part of the game. I was not taking this seriously, I was just poking at a guy who I knew would respond to petty jabs with some backflips in logic and ironic statements. Since I admitted that a couple comments ago, you have still argued about the phones and called me a fool. It’s pretty pathetic, and it shows you clearly don’t understand.

    I thought I had put my exact age, but looking back I just put “teenager” a couple of times. I’m 19, but “teenager” works the same way as far as I was saying. I like how you didn’t catch the point of the whole comment and honed in on that. I guess you’re more a “details” than “big picture” guy. The kind of guy who doesn’t understand the paper but can pick out grammar errors like a sore thumb.

    But seriously, learn some Shakespeare. You would have caught what I said the first time, or maybe even behaved in such a way that I couldn’t mess with you in the first place. The King Lear reference could have explained what I’ve been doing itself, but I figured I wasn’t dealing with someone with that type of education.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 20, 2009 09:00 am


    You say: “And once you learned my real age you…”

    Actually we do not know your name, or your age. If you care to share that information go right ahead.

    You say: “If you insist on continuing to frame this as an argument about phones, then I of course look like The Fool…”

    The article you commented on was about the Blackberry Tour, which is a phone. The fact that you look like a fool is a YOU problem, not a ME problem.

    You say: “The Fool has a purpose all his own.”

    Yes, indeed. And that purpose would seem to be to help drive traffic to Lots of comments always lead to more readers. Thanks so much!


  • [Avatar for Mike E.]
    Mike E.
    October 20, 2009 04:11 am


    Even if others are not having problems with their Blackberrys, you should not have to put up with a defective product. I would give any expensive electronic device 1 or maybe 2 chances (1 return) and that’s it. Otherwise, it’s junk to me. It’s too bad you didn’t try the Bold though. There’s a great hack for it that I really enjoy that I can’t really go into here.

  • [Avatar for ALH]
    October 20, 2009 01:06 am

    You don’t have to quote at me. Some argue that quote was actually Twain, whose quotes I know well.

    That quote does show that subconsciously you may have miraculously grasped what I clearly said at the end of the last comment. I said pretty clearly in that last comment that I’ve been playing The Fool here. I wasn’t trying to prove any specific point correct. I agreed RIM was at fault, but that you could have likely avoided it with research, to which you agreed. It was those little barbs at you that made you argue back, as I knew they would. And you said they wouldn’t go far with you! They went exactly where I wanted them to, just not where you thought I wanted them to.

    If you notice, the main pattern was just agitation. I NEVER expected to change your mind, or for anyone to. It’s impossible for a man who discounts at their bases all who think he is wrong to submit to any of them. I got what I wanted – entertainment. Some of what you said was as beautifully ironic and backwards as I had hoped. I don’t expect you to see it. After all, that’s the point: you won’t. People are fascinating.

    And even after reading that second half, you continued with the phone arguing! So you didn’t completely get it. I have no interest in making people like the Tour, or any stake in this argument at all really. The Curve would have been a better choice for you from the beginning anyway, as I said. Several times I admitted RIM was also somehow at fault, but then also poked at your pride in some way. You took the bait like a champ. People show their true colors when their ego is opposed.

    And once you learned my real age you (predictably) took on a different kind of superiority (you called me grasshopper – it’s all so perfect!). Could have called it.

    I merely noticed your subtle reluctance early on to admit personal responsibility for a bad purchasing decision, and knew you’d be fun to poke at. I knew I wouldn’t change your mind; that’s the fun of it. I like to have fun with people’s arrogance. The fact that I got you to sum it up so well in those last couple of sentences was my little victory, if you could call it it that. Not over you. I just met my goal is all.

    If you insist on continuing to frame this as an argument about phones, then I of course look like The Fool because I had no point in that frame at all. The point was to get you to jump through the hoops people so often do to preserve their ego. Bloggers are typically great for that. I need to keep my mind active while I’m sick, after all. And it was funnier than these late night standup specials to boot!

    The Fool has a purpose all his own. Don’t you know your Shakespeare?

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 19, 2009 09:06 pm


    Amuse yourself all you want, and thank you for continuing to come back to the page and increase the number of views. Traffic is a very valuable commodity!

    You say: “unreliable phones just after release are not representative of overall success.”

    Grasshopper… you have much to learn about life and business. A trademark is a valuable asset that take a lot of time to build and only a fraction of a second to tarnish. Providing a phone that has so many glitches, and glitches that are not related to core technology is unacceptable and does substantial damage.

    You say: “Therefore, they will not call the Tour a total bust when that expected bugginess occurs.”

    So you think a phone with a trackball that does not work at all is expected bugginess? Perhaps you do not know as much about technology as you think you do. A trackball is far from the height of technological wonders, and altering a configuration that works for no advantage is reckless and stupid.

    You say: “As you continue to whine about your bad decision I will continue to enjoy my perfectly well-functioning Tour from 3 months after release.”

    I am not whining about anything, just setting the record straight and informing any who care to know that the Tour is really quite deficient. Reviews are not whining, they provide information. The fact that you continue to defend a device that has as many flaws as the Tour is curious.

    You say: “you’re really just saying ‘I’m right, and the fact that you don’t think so tells me everything I need to know about you.'”

    Sort of. I am right and you are wrong. You should take the sage advice of President Lincoln… better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.


  • [Avatar for ALH]
    October 19, 2009 08:52 pm

    Tah-dah! You admitted you should have done more research. This is all I really needed you to say, because people who take a second to do the research you should have done will know that a few months of bugs is normal. Therefore, they will not call the Tour a total bust when that expected bugginess occurs. They will know that on informed terms, unreliable phones just after release are not representative of overall success. So, through the eyes of someone with such knowledge, your facts do not support your conclusions. Namely, (1) significant issues in the first few months do not (2) make a smartphone “the cell phone version of the Edsle [sic].” This is plenty logical. (1) does not equal (2), therefore you have “jumped to conclusions” so they say.

    It can’t be obvious I didn’t read your article, because I did. Why would I do all this writing and not read the short article, no longer than the posts I’ve been writing? And by the way, don’t overuse “obvious” (it makes you sound arrogant). That’s a commonly-taught trick we teach to fellow college students when editing their papers in our tutoring office. So, by your standards of so-called logic, I can “obviously” say you didn’t go to college (see what I did there?). That was sarcasm, by the way. I hear lawyers have a special school just for them.

    It appears both Amazon and CNET both have an average of 3.5 star reviews by customers. Not great, but not a bust. The reviews themselves are mostly very high or very low, with little middle ground. Though, if you check there is an upward trend after the first few months, when more careful (dare I say intelligent) customers bought their phones. This pattern occurs normally, even with the Curve. So, not only do the reviews ultimately come out arguably favorable (DEFINITELY not overwhelmingly negative as you say), but I still believe they are overly representative of the negative side anyway.


    You said barbs and insults don’t get far with you. Nevermind that you got personal before anybody else did. Why would insults work for anyone above middle school? I didn’t expect them to. They’re for enjoyment. Though I would never make the preposterous statement that anything I’ve read here told me “all I need to know about you” or anything, I have learned that you are stubborn, arrogant, and likely none-too-bright (you’re arguing with a bored teenager stuck in his dorm with the flu about how you were slow enough to be fooled by a smartphone ad campaign!). I expect neither barbs (which you ironically mentioned first) nor logical arguments to affect you. Why would I care if I changed your mind anyway?

    I’m just AMUSING myself to see what hilarious things I can get arrogant internet people like you to say. I’m sick, I’ve watched every video on Hulu, and now I feel like arguing with a stubborn guy with a blog. Without the little insults it’s no fun. I could tell from your article you would really get into it. I even got you to sign off with this little gem:

    “I base my views on facts and reach logical conclusions. The fact that you do not see that tells me all I need to know about you.”

    Isn’t it beautiful how these sentences contradict each other? And plus, you’re really just saying “I’m right, and the fact that you don’t think so tells me everything I need to know about you.” If that’s not painfully arrogant and ironic, I don’t know what is. I love the internet.

    Anyways, as you continue to whine about your bad decision I will continue to enjoy my perfectly well-functioning Tour from 3 months after release. Must feel great to know that a teenager is a more efficient consumer than you.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 19, 2009 07:29 pm


    I read your comment, I just didn’t think it worthy of a detailed response. You throw in barbs and insults, which will not get you far with me. You can make fun of lawyers if you like, and claim I should have done research, etc. I don’t dispute that I should have done some research first and not rely on the Blackberry name or perceived quality of RIM, but my review was fair, honest and 100% truthful.

    I don’t think you really read the entire article you commented on, which is obvious in your original comment above when you said I am jumping to conclusions and basing my views on “what you have heard from people also returning Tours.” Obviously, you are wrong and that is not the case. I based my opinions on my own experiences, factored in what others were telling me, took into consideration the legions of complaints online and a marketing research study that suggested that 50% of consumers have returned the Tour. It is clear you do not like the facts or my conclusions, but to say that I am basing my views on second hand information is disingenuous and intellectually dishonest.

    You are correct to point out that those who appreciate a product don’t write reviews as much as those who are unhappy, but the only positive reviews I could find were from reviewers and not consumers. There is ample opportunity for consumers to write positive reviews, and the lack of positive consumer reviews is exceptionally revealing. The overwhelming evidence from reviews of the product is that those who had bad experiences significantly outnumber those who have positive experiences. I will also note that I don’t see you providing evidence of positive reviews, rather you are trying to explain away the absence of positive reviews. You are fighting an uphill battle.

    Unlike you, I do not tip-toe around coherent replies and exploit the irrelevant. I base my views on facts and reach logical conclusions. The fact that you do not see that tells me all I need to know about you.


  • [Avatar for ALH]
    October 19, 2009 03:34 pm

    NOTE: Try replying to me this time, not these trolls.


    I can’t help but think you didn’t read my entire comment. Your assertion that there are “few if any” positive customer reviews of the Tour is absolutely untrue. Like I clearly said in my first comment, I looked up many reviews before buying my Tour, and found the majority to be positive. Also, I mentioned how the people you talked to who had problems with the Tour are not a representative sample. You either didn’t understand or ignored me.

    Your replies have all been general and hazy at best. You’ve replied to these posters who made short, unsubstantiated comments instead of my detailed reply. I admitted most of your assumptions in my reply and still explained that you come across rather ignorant in your conclusions. But hey, attorneys are taught to tip-toe around coherent replies and exploit the irrelevant, so I can’t be surprised.

    I said that RIM’s glitchy phones are a problem, and your discontent is, at its root, THEIR fault. But I also said that with some research you could have avoided this easily. I knew you should have gotten a Curve or some other older phone right off the bat. A little internet searching would have told you the same thing. You failed to do this simple reasearch, and instead of crying for change in the large company RIM, maybe you could just stop being pigheaded and do your own consumer research. This is CAPITALISM. The consumers make the choices in buying. You made the wrong one. Criticism of RIM is fine with me. They could have fixed these glitches in the first place and we would be in the clear. But you still made a mistake here.

    I am not a Blackberry worshiper. I was VERY unhappy with the Storm, but I admit I bought it after knowing about mixed reviews. I was not outraged or extremely surprised. If I wanted to, I could have never bought a RIM product again. But, knowing the risks, I found my gain to be worth it. I knew the risk from simple internet searches. You are clearly capable of searching the internet, so you must have just overlooked this.


    P.S. You said there are “many hundreds of consumers who have experienced the same problems.” There are many more than “many hundreds” of Blackberry Tour owners. The satisfied ones don’t generally post about it, while the unhappy ones more often do.

  • [Avatar for David]
    October 19, 2009 11:41 am

    Oddly enough, the “Essex” (Tour 2) has a trackpad, which will replace the defective trackball.

  • [Avatar for Peter]
    October 19, 2009 09:57 am

    Why not just get an iPhone 🙂

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 19, 2009 09:15 am

    The comments here are really astoundingly ridiculous. When did we as consumers start accepting defective products and then blaming the people who purchase them?

    It would seem that the RIM mafia are out in force, seeking to call any criticism into question. My review was fair and accurate, and anyone who wants to run the risk of buying the Tour be my guest. I have had problems with 2 phones, others I know have had problems and I think it is fair to say that there are few (if any) positive consumer reviews of the Tour, while there are many hundreds of consumers who have experienced the same problems.

    I understand for those who are brainwashed and in love with RIM and Blackberry it is impossible to believe the great and worthy has come out with a product that is so horribly defective that consumer research indicates 50% of the units have been returned.


  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 19, 2009 09:09 am


    Thanks for your very unenlightened comment. Obviously the fact that you have had a tour since September, obviously making it a second or third generation Tour, means that NO one else could have possibly experienced any problems. The lack of logic in your argument is astounding!


  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 19, 2009 09:06 am


    Obviously you either cannot read or you chose not to read the article before you commented. I did return the Tour and now have a Blackberry Curve.

    Thanks for suggesting I do more research next time. I would like to suggest you read before you comment next time.


  • [Avatar for Alan McDonald]
    Alan McDonald
    October 19, 2009 07:46 am

    I traded in a 8830 for a Tour with Sprint right after it came out, since my 8830 was having memory problems.

    My only problem was not with the Tour itself, but with Sprint setting up the mailboxes properly. Once this was fixed, nothing but good things.

    Still wish someone would release a Flash player for Blackberry.

  • [Avatar for Bill.]
    October 18, 2009 11:53 pm

    Also, why didn’t you return the second one?
    I am on Crackberry and there are people that had to return the phone multiple times but are now more than
    happy. By the way, what other Blackberry models are you referring to? All blackberries have had problems upon first release. Do more research next time.

  • [Avatar for Bill.]
    October 18, 2009 11:46 pm

    All the people you talked with that have a tour have problems. BS.BS.BS.
    I know 5 people at work with Tours and not a single problem.
    I got my Tour on Aug 20th and have not had a single issue.
    Is some one making stuff up here? Sounds like it.
    New phones always have issues when they come out. Look at the iphone, all three versions had some sort of problem.


  • [Avatar for ALH]
    October 18, 2009 10:59 pm

    Gene: Here is a reply I think this article deserves. Please read the whole thing.
    NOTE: I am in NO way a phone expert. I just always do my research before I buy.

    It’s true, smartphones can be glitchy (sometimes VERY glitchy), especially in their first few months. I wish that wasn’t the case, and perhaps if RIM had a more thorough testing process we wouldn’t have to face these issues. They likely rush these phones onto the market faster than they should, because they want to see the profits come rolling in. That’s irresponsible.

    That being said, it seems you might be jumping to conclusions. You are making your conclusions based generally on what you have heard from people also returning Tours, and what you’ve read about the Tour’s problems after searching for such articles on the internet. It may be what scientists call a “non-representative” sample. The Tour made you unhappy, and it seems you may have searched for other people who were unhappy with it. Naturally, you found them. That is not necessarily representative of overall consumer satisfaction. I have not found it to be.

    After I got my Tour (with which I am very satisfied), I went on various tech forums looking for good 3rd party apps and themes to download. These forums are full of very, very picky tech nerds who pinpoint many problems that users like you and me would never notice. They are not afraid to call flashy new phones pieces of junk.The majority of them had favorable reviews of the Tour, even after pointing out the issues. I did my research before buying my Tour, and after making non-biased searches for reviews (searching “Blackberry Tour reviews” and not “Blackberry Tour problems” or “Blackberry Tour trackball”), I found most reviews to be favorable and bought the phone. I do not regret it.

    Of course, I knew to wait until the beginning of October to get one. Honestly, at least three months is a good rule to follow in general, but for someone like you I would recommend more like a year-old model. All Blackberry phones are glitchy for months when they come out. Had you got the Curve when it had just come out, you would have possibly ended up writing a review much like the one above. It’s not necessarily about the inherent quality of the Curve vs. the Tour. The Curve has had much more time.

    Lastly, there’s the matter of perspective. More savvy smartphone users will understand that getting the newest phone on the market is taking somewhat of a risk. We know there are glitches and rough spots until the software is updated over time, but it’s worth the risk to us because we want the newest technology.

    For someone like yourself, who is obviously much more interested in ease of function than tech goodies, I would have recommended an older version, like the Curve, right off the bat. Had you done a little more research, you may have learned that yourself. Instead, you “quickly gravitated” to the Blackberry Tour, as you described it. Doesn’t sound like an intelligent/discerning process.

    I’m not saying this is all your fault or anything. RIM obviously doesn’t make the risks of getting the newest phone readily apparent. They make you go looking to learn about such things. BUT, I find it ironic you did the research you needed to make this article, but not the research you needed to know you shouldn’t have bought that phone when you did.

    So, for someone like me, who informed myself a little more before making an investment in one of those pricey little phones, the surprises you named in the beginning of the article are no surprise. Yet, your assertion that the Tour is a bust overall seems quite unfounded if you consider some easy-to-obtain knowledge about the smartphone market. To someone who knows these basics, your review seems to miss the point. It looks a little ignorant, to tell you the truth.

    To sum it up: It’s RIM’s fault for letting their phones be glitchy. But, with some more caution and effort on your part, none of this would have happened. Instead of just condemning RIM, maybe realize what you’ve learned. I and many others could have told you that you would have preferred an older, more stabilized model. Instead, you quickly went with the flashy new phone and fell a little short on research. RIM is not blameless. But haven’t you learned something here?

  • [Avatar for Joel Rodriguez]
    Joel Rodriguez
    October 18, 2009 10:58 pm

    Learn how to use a blackberry before writing a review like this one. Have had a tour since September and no issues at all. Again go take a lesson or two about blackberries and cell phones in general.

  • [Avatar for Jared]
    October 18, 2009 10:34 pm

    Just got the Tour this weekend and have not had any of the problems you have described setting it up and using it, so there very well may have been a revision to the product. All I can say is that it works very well Now and as an iPhone user for my personal life the Tour is the perfect professional smartphone.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 18, 2009 08:45 pm


    How is it possible that you have been using a phone for a year when it has only be available for 3 months?


  • [Avatar for James Blake]
    James Blake
    October 18, 2009 08:10 pm

    Been using for a year now. Been a satisfied customer.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 18, 2009 07:29 pm


    That was another problem I had. I was able to synch my bluetooth earpiece with the first Tour, but was unable to synch it with the second Tour.

    As far as I can tell the only thing that didn’t work on the first Tour was the trackball, and the only thing that worked on the second Tour was the trackball. Maybe they are great phones and I just got two bad ones in a row, but based on the litany of problems so many are reporting I feel extremely comfortable saying this phone is not yet ready for prime time.

    If I were you I would return the Tour while you still can and go with a Blackberry that has a long track record and few glitches.


  • [Avatar for Anita]
    October 18, 2009 06:50 pm

    Just curious -have you been able to synch the bluetooth to other blue tooth enabled gadgets – e.g. hands free phone in car? Can’t get mine to work and I have the Tour also..

  • [Avatar for Mike E.]
    Mike E.
    October 18, 2009 05:04 pm

    I’ve had the blackberry bold for over year (on ATT’s network) and it works fantastic. It’s had none of the issues you cited.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 18, 2009 04:37 pm

    Perhaps the issues have been addressed, but that doesn’t explain why the second one I got in mid-September was extremely flawed as well. In talking with other people who had the Tour they all have had issues. It is one thing for RIM, Sprint and Verizon to say that the problems are resolved, but that actually means they need to be resolved. If the folks I am talking to are any indication the Tour has lingering problems. So if RIM addressed the problems that is great, but the phone still doesn’t seem to work very well even after addressing those issues. This is not surprising given that there has been a new version of a very new phone. Making changes and modifications so quickly frequently leads to more problems.

    Folks can do what they want, but consumers are not satisfied that the Tour has resolved its issues, so buyer beware.


  • [Avatar for Marco]
    October 18, 2009 04:30 pm

    Sounds like you had one of the early versions. Many of the issues you mentioned have been addressed. Too bad.

  • [Avatar for ecoblue608]
    October 18, 2009 04:06 pm

    well i have to say well never had any of these problems with my blackberry tour i mean trackball get stuck here and their but not like whats being mentioned. maybe its cause i got my tour like the last week of august when all the problems got fixed.

  • [Avatar for Gene Quinn]
    Gene Quinn
    October 18, 2009 03:57 pm

    The One-

    Of course the article has credibility, and the complaints online are well documented. I can say for sure that the trackball issue was not fixed by when I got the first Blackberry Tour in about the third week of August. I used it for about 3 weeks, then returned it, then tried the second version for a couple weeks, and have now had the Blackberry Curve for a couple weeks.

    You are entitled to think the article is BS, but I think your comment is BS and rather uninformed. CNET did a story about the Blackberry Tour describing the trackball issue in the middle of September, so I don’t know where you are getting your data from, but the Tour has serious problems that are lingering.


  • [Avatar for The One]
    The One
    October 18, 2009 03:25 pm

    This review would make sense if you had gotten your Tour back in July when it first came out, as their were issues with the first batches. I’ve had mine replaced as well. However, since then, RIM has supplied Verizon and Sprint with an updated Tour, without the trackball issues. THe dropped call issue that you had, would be just that phone. However, if you are saying that you recently, in the last few weeks had an issue with the trackball on the Tour, unless you somehow, got a first batch Tour, this article has no credibility. The issue was back in July, and has definitely been fixed by mid-late August, and to see this article in mid October, this article reeks of bs.