BlackBerry Tour 9630 vs. its Shanzhai Cousin

Posted by Greg | September 20, 2010  |  2 Comments

We’ve discovered that there are tons of fun and interesting Shanzhai products in the treasure trove that is the Chinese Grey Market that deserve to go head to head with their genuine counter-parts. Many of these products are also available through Chinese companies looking to share their redesigns with you.

This week we pit the popular BlackBerry Tour 9630 against its Shanzhai cousin. If you were to only take a quick glance at the two phones you would barely be able to notice the differences between the two. Both have sleek contoured designs that would fit easily in to any pocket, and both come equipped with full QWERTY keyboards for quick and easy emailing and texting. But which one of these two will come out on top?


Dimensions Height x Width x Depth Weight
BlackBerry Tour 112 x 62 x 14.2 mm 130g
Shanzhai BB 9700+ 109 x 61 x 14 mm 104g

Most consumers these days are just as concerned with how a phone feels in their pocket, as they are about how the phone runs. Nobody wants a huge phone weighing down their jacket to one side, bulging in their pocket, or eating up all the space in their Prada purse manly bag. This presents somewhat of a conundrum. What bothers you more – the weight or the size? In the case of these two phones the Winner is clearly drawn. The Shanzhai 9700+ is only a sliver smaller than the genuine BlackBerry Tour, but the former is significantly lighter than the latter.

Winner: Shanzhai BB 9700+


Display Screen Size Resolution Screen Type
BlackBerry Tour 2.4 Inches Half VGA+ 480 x 360 TFT LCD
Shanzhai BB 9700+ 2.4 Inches QVGA 240 x 320 TFT LCD

When purchasing a Smartphone, another rather important feature is the display, as it is what you will most likely be spending most of your day staring in to while checking your Facebook and writing texts. Although both phones boast a 2.4 Inch TFT LCD Screen, the genuine BlackBerry a bit higher resolution. Although the difference in resolution between 240 x 320 and 480 x 360 isn’t a huge one, it’s still enough for the brand name version to win this battle.

Winner: BlackBerry Tour


Battery Talk Time Standby Time
BlackBerry Tour Up to 5 Hours Up to 336 Hours
Shanzhai BB 9700+ Up to 4 Hours Up to 400 Hours

With a battery that boasts a 25% larger battery than its opponent, the Blackberry Tour is the clear winning in this category. The one thing that helps to helps the Shanzhai versions case is the fact that it comes prepackaged with an external snap-on battery that extends the life of the phone by more than 5 hours of talk time. Of course the real battery life of the phone has a lot to do with just how you use the phone. Since the Curve knock-off comes WiFi enabled, chances are you’ll be spending time surfing the web using this feature and burning power.

Winner: BlackBerry Tour


Imaging Camera Flash Video Top Resolution
BlackBerry Tour 3.2 MP LED Flash Available 2048×1536
Shanzhai BB 9700+ Available LED Flash Available 640×480

The smartphones of today have evolved in to more than just phones, but into full media devices, being able to become your all-in-one life device. Cameras are one of the features that most people are using the most these days on their smartphones because they’re more convenient and much less cumbersome. Although the camera on the Shanzhai Tour isn’t bad, it still can’t compete with the BlackBerry Tour’s 3.2 MP camera. The Tour’s camera allows you to take pictures that look more than fantastic as a background on your phone, but fantastic as a background on your home computer as well.

Winner: BlackBerry Tour


Software Operating System
BlackBerry Tour BlackBerry OS
Shanzhai BB 9700+ No Name OS

When it comes to ease of use, one of the most important things about your smartphone is the operating system and the UI. Between the two of these it’s very hard to distinguish which one is lifting the title belt.

The BlackBerry Tour runs on the BlackBerry OS which, although sometimes confusing, is a very sturdy OS that rarely crashes. Unfortunately there aren’t very many applications that can run on this operating system and that keeps it accessing its true potential.

The Shanzhai copy runs a No Name OS that is pretty user friendly and easy to understand. The problem that it shares with the genuine Tour is the fact that finding and installing applications for the phone aren’t easy. In this case though, the genuine BlackBerry Tour wins due to the fact that its OS is cleaner smoother, and has more apps that it’s Shanzhai counterpart.

WINNER: BlackBerry Tour


Storage Onboard Memory Expandable Memory
BlackBerry Tour 256 MB Expandable with microSD Card up to 8GB
Shanzhai BB 9700+ 473 MB Expandable with TF Card up to 8GB

With both phones able to upgrade their storage capacity well beyond that of their onboard memory, neither one really has the upper hand in this battle.



BlackBerry Tour – US$ 199.99 with two-year Verizon Wireless contract
Shanzhai BB 9700+ – US$ 69.99 through Chinese wholesale companies, or (no contract required)

Price Amount/Contract
BlackBerry Tour US$ 199.99 with two-year Verizon Wireless contract
Shanzhai BB 9700+ US$ 69.99 through Chinese wholesale company, or (no contract required)

This is probably the most clear cut category between the two products with the Shanzhai BB Tour coming out way on top. The fact that it’s low cost and doesn’t require a contract signing upon purchasing means that you’re able to pick your service provider being pressured into a lengthy contract.

Winner: Shanzhi BB 9700+


As you can see both phones have their pros and their cons and at the end the BlackBerry Tour is on top with 4.5 points to 2.5 points. Even though the genuine Tour is ahead the Shanzhai BB Tour actually has a few special features up it’s sleeve that actually puts it in the lead. The phone comes equipped with WiFi, FM Radio, and can pick up analog TV via it’s small antenna, all of which the genuine BlackBerry Tour does not come with. Another great aspect of the Shanzhai 9700+ is the fact that they’ve added the popular trackpad, which is touch sensitive, as the primary means accessing the phone. This means that there’s no more need to worry about the trackball breaking, which would render the phone useless. All of these features along with the greatly reduced price makes the Shanzhai BlackBerry Tour our favorite of the two, and the Winner in this head to head.

WINNER: Shanzhai BlackBerry 9700+


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  4. Attack of the (iPad) Clones!


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