BlackBerry Tour vs Nokia E72: The battle for business

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.

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.

Both phones will be on the market later on 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 (click to enlarge).

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 devie, 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). My colleague Ginny Mies talks more about this here. The E72 also features an FM radio, which the Tour doesn't.

The camera is yet another major differentiation point between the E71 and the Tour. The Nokia device features a 5-megapixel camera and a secondary camera for video calls, while the BlackBerry Tour has a 3.2-megapixel camera. Both cameras have autofocus, flash, and video recording capabilities.

Both the E72 and the Tour 9630 feature built-in GPS, which is used for navigation and for geotagging pictures taken with the phones. However, Nokia added to the E72 an electronic compass, for an improved navigation experience.

Lastly, both devices come with an application store: Nokia has its brand-new Ovi Store while Research in Motion launched the BlackBerry App World a few months ago. Both app stores are relatively young, but are offering more new and useful apps regularly, so I would call a tie in this department.

Of course, this is just a rundown through the devices based on the specifications released by the manufacturers so far. When both devices become available, we will put them through some extensive tests and report back to you as usual.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @danielionescu

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Daniel Ionescu

PC World (US online)
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