The Best QWERTY Android Phones in 2011 Compared

March 10, 2011
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    We happen to believe that QWERTY smartphones are craved for by mobile enthusiasts. An Admob report in 2010 showed that 54% of Android traffic was driven by devices that feature a full QWERTY keyboards. It’s hard to deny that a huge amount of people still want a powerful smartphone with a physical QWERTY keyboard. Following that, let’s take a look at what’s in the store for you this year in the world of Android QWERTY phones.

    [ Last update July 26, 2011 ]
    [ Last update October 12, 2011 ]

    Samsung Stratosphere (Verizon)

    Verizon and Samsung jointly announced the Samsung Stratosphere last October 10 and expect to have the QWERTY smartphone in stores starting on October 13.  The Samsung Stratosphere is Verizon’s first Android smartphone that has both a sliding full QWERTY keyboard and 4G LTE connectivity.  The handset bears resemblances to the Samsung Epic 4G on Sprint, and the newly announced Samsung Captivate Glide on AT&T.

    This device’s performance is expected to soar to stratospheric heights with the following specs:

    • 4.0-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen
    • 1.0-GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor
    • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
    • 5-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard
    • 5-megapixel primary camera
    • 1.3-megapixel secondary camera
    • 720p HD video playback, 480p DVD-quality video capture
    • Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n support
    • 4G LTE connectivity (up to 12 Mbps download speed)

    Samsung Captivate Glide (AT&T)

    Also freshly announced on AT&T, the Samsung Captivate Glide is AT&T’s newest high-end Android smartphone bearing a full QWERTY keyboard.  Coming from the same manufacturer, the Samsung Captivate Glide also looks similar to the Samsung Stratosphere on Verizon.  AT&T’s latest QWERTY smartphone, however, packs a dual-core processor, so you can expect the device to perform at awesome speeds.

    Gliding along with the device are the following:
    • Android 2.3 Gingerbread
    • 4.0-inch Super AMOLED Plus touchscreen (800×480 resolution)
    • 1.0-GHz dual-core NVIDIA Tegra 2 AP20H processor
    • 1 GB RAM
    • 1 GB ROM
    • 8 GB internal storage (via microSD card slot, expandable to 32 GB)
    • 8-megapixel primary camera
    • 1.3-megapixel secondary camera
    • 1080p Full HD video capture
    • HDMI playback
    • HSPA+ connectivity (Category 14)

    Samsung DoubleTime (AT&T)

    The Samsung DoubleTime is an AT&T entry-level Android smartphone featuring double touchscreens–one on the outside and one on the inside–and a flip-out 4-row QWERTY keyboard.  Coming in pink and white chassis, the Samsung DoubleTime can be a good choice for those wanting an affordable phone with a unique design without compromising usability or convenience.

    • 600 MHz Qualcomm Processor
    • 3.2-inch HVGA touchscreen
    • Android 2.2 Froyo
    • 260 MB internal memory
    • microSD card slot expandable to 32 GB (2 GB microSD card pre-installed)

    Motorola DROID 3 and HTC myTouch 4G Slide

    Both the Motorola DROID 3 (Verizon) and the HTC myTouch 4G Slide (on T-Mobile, and also known as the HTC Doubleshot) appeared on the market at about the same time.  We’ve prepared a comprehensive breakdown and comparison of the two, so make sure you check the QWERTY superphone fight between the Motorola DROID 3 and the HTC myTouch 4G Slide (HTC Doubleshot).

    HTC G2 / HTC Vision


    The G2/Vision is a strong contender for best Android QWERTY smartphone of 2011. It features great hardware, one of the best keyboards we have ever used, a pretty good battery, and a healthy provision of sensors. Plus, it’s highly overclockable, if you’re into that kind of thing.

    • Qualcomm MSM7230 CPU clocked at 800MHz
    • 512 MB of RAM
    • 4 GB of internal storage
    • microSD card expandable to 32GB (it comes with an 8-GB card)
    • 3.7-inch, 800×480 capacitive touchscreen (S-TFT)
    • 5-megapixel camera with LED flash, capable of 720p video
    • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, along with Bluetooth 2.1, an AGPS chip, proximity sensor, and an accelerometer
    • 1,300 mAh battery

    Besides the very minor hinge issue, the keyboard itself is one of the best landscape QWERTYs we’ve ever used. If you thought the Droid 2′s was decent, wait until your thumbs get a taste of this. We were easily able to attain the same efficiency as our thumb-happy BlackBerry days.

    Motorola DROID 2

    The Motorola DROID 2 has Android 2.2 Froyo and features a more refined design and an improved keyboard. It also has an enhanced 1.0-GHz processor with 512 MB of RAM. Furthermore, it also boasts of Adobe Flash Player 10.1 and 3G Mobile HotSpot capabilities to send, access, and share information quicker than ever before.

    • Size: 60.5 x 116.3 x 13.7 mm
    • Weight: 169 grams
    • 8 GB internal memory plus included 8 GB microSD memory card
    • 5-megapixel camera with Dual LED Flash and DVD-quality video recording
    • improved slide-out QWERTY keyboard with larger keys and enhanced tactility
    • 3.7-inch full multi-touch screen display with WVGA (480×854 pixels) resolution
    • 3G Mobile HotSpot functionality (costs additional US$20 a month)

    Priced at US$199.99, the DROID 2 has a lot of improvements and is a great choice for people who want a smartphone with a physical keyboard with marked keys, and large Alt, Shift, Space, and Enter keys.

    But, on the negative side it lacks an HDMI port and doesn’t have a front-facing camera. Check out our full review of the Motorola DROID 2.

    It  is obviously boasting of a touchscreen, as well, and its keyboard is a huge improvement over the original. It also runs Android 2.2 Froyo with a 1.0-GHz Texas Instruments OMAP chip and 512 MB of RAM.

    Aside from that, its features are more or less the same as the original DROID: same internal memory, same camera, etc. However, it does also feature a proximity sensor, an accelerometer, and the ever-popular Gorilla Glass. These make it one of the stronger offerings currently available.

    But, users who have spent significant time with it are hardly impressed. They all seem to say that its performance is sluggish, despite its 1.0-GHz processor. Certainly, it doesn’t compare with some of the newer offerings from Motorola like the ATRIX, DROID Bionic, or any of the other dual-core phones announced recently.

    Check out our comparison of some of the top dual-core smartphones.

    Sony Ericsson Xperia pro


    Sony Ericsson just expanded the Xperia line and unveiled the Xperia pro. This particular smartphone features the latest cutting-edge technology from Sony, with a great multimedia interface and Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Furthermore, Sony has gone the “Xtra” mile and added some smart image enhancements.

    • 3.7-inch touchscreen
    • Size: 120 x 57 x 13.5 mm
    • Weight: 135 grams
    • 1 GB internal memory plus microSD upto 32 GB
    • 8-megapixel primary camera with autofocus and LED flash
    • Touch focus, image stabilization, geo-tagging, face and smile detection
    • Also has a micrUSB v2.0, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, and DLNA
    • Android 2.3 Gingerbread

    Check out our full review of the Sony Xperia pro.

    HTC Desire Z

    “HTC Desire Z is the QWERTY slider your Android’s been waiting for.” - Thomas Ricker, Engadget. And, that quote I guess could be sufficient for us all to know the awesomeness of this smartphone. A solid and professional phone with the slider, or ‘pop-out’ as it is referred to by HTC.

    • 800 MHz Qualcomm MSM 7230 processor
    • 119 x 60.4 x 14.2 mm
    • 512MB of Ram, with 1.5 GB onboard memory space with upto 32 GB expansion
    • Bluetooth 2.1 and Wi-Fi connectivity
    • onboard GPS
    • 3.7 inches capacitive touchscreen
    • 5-megapixel camera with LED flash
    • Android 2.2 Froyo
    • slide-out QWERTY keyboard with four-rows of keys

    Samsung Epic 4G

    In some ways, this is one of the best QWERTY Android Phones to date. It features similar specs to the popular Samsung Galaxy S Series, and one of the powerful QWERTY phones on this list. Samsung really tried hard with this one, and it shows. It features a front-facing camera, a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and fast 4G connectivity. Unfortunately, it comes pre-loaded with Android 2.1 Eclair but is reportedly upgradable to higher Android versions at a later date.

    “The Samsung Epic 4G features a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen display with Samsung Media Hub for media buying/storing,  AllShare for viewing on multiple devices and Social Hub for integrating social networking. The Epic 4G also offers pinch-to-zoom, 5 MP camera/camcorder with autofocus, Visual Voicemail, Mobile Hotspot  up to five Wi-Fi enabled devices to share the 4G experience simultaneously) and Wi-Fi b/g/n.” (Samsung Press Release)

    It’s also worth noting that the brilliant Super AMOLED touchscreen display is one of the best we’ve witnessed to date.

    • 1.0-GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor common to both Galaxy S and Wave
    • front-facing camera for video conferencing
    • 5-megapixel camera with 720p video recording
    • 4 inch WVGA (480×800) capacitive Super AMOLED touch display
    • 1 GB of internal storage
    • 512 MB of RAM
    • additional memory of up to 32 GB via microSD card slot

    Check out our full review with video of the Samsung Epic 4G.

    More of the Best Android QWERTY Smartphones of 2011

    QWERTY smartphones aren’t dead as some claim.  It’s a booming ecosystem, in fact.  Take a look at more Android QWERTY smartphones in The Best QWERTY Android Phones of 2011 Compared – Part Two.

     

    Comments

    • L’AmDroid

      Some comments on your Droid2 Review to clarify some details.

      Motorola droid only has 256MB Internal memory, while the Droid 2 and Droid 2 Global has 8GB Internal Memory Storage. HUGE Difference since this allows virtually limitless apps to be on the Droid2/Global while the Droid is struggling for internal memory at 100 apps even with a forced Apps2SD thru either Titanium Backup App or custom ROMs.
      r
      The Original Droid also has proximity sensors, not sure abt the accelerometer and gorilla glass but it’s also likely the same.

      Droid 2 vs Droid 2 Global are NOT the same. The Milestone is suppose to be the Global respective versions of the Droid and Droid2, while the Droid 2 Global is suppose to be a worldwide universal release. Original Droid release was in late 2009, Droid2 was released in summer 2010, while the Droid2Global was releases in the US in late 2010.

      Droid2Global has a 1.2GHz Processor and has significantly different internal software systems to the Droid2. The D2G is actually a successor to the Droid2, not a respective release.

      Though these details may seem trivial and insignificant for laymen users upon initial ownership, but even the layman will have a different experience once they have settled down w the features of the phone after extended use of each respective phone.

      For the tech savvy custom rooter and rommer, they would stay away from the D2Global due to Verizon’s silent release because there is very little private developer support for the D2G. There’s only ONE Official ROM develop for the D2G and it’s been on hiatus for 3 months, while there’s about 10+ ROMs in constant development for the Droid2.. and probably over 20 for the original Droid. The Original Droid is a “vanilla” Android system easily open to customizing, while the Droid2/Global have locked bootloaders making it more diffuclt to modify, resulting in lags and crashes when it’s rooted/ROM’d. My Original Droid probably runs smoother than it’s younger generations, especially now being on Android GingerBread v2.3+ and with my processor boosted up from 550 MHz to 1.1 GHz, just wish I had more than 256MB to work with.

    • Michael Sena

      Hey!

      Thanks for finally covering something none of the other big sites seem to want to touch!

      I will ONLY buy QWERTY Android!!!

      But, with all the Dual Core madness currently being talked about, i’m wondering, where the heck is a 4.3 inch, Tegra 2 QWERTY Superphone? I want the following – no wait – I NEED to have a phone with the following specs:

      - 4.3 inch screen, with qHD resolution, like the DROID Bionic or Atrix
      - An awesome, tactile, rubberized QWERTY Keyboard
      - 8 Megapixel Camera with 1080p video at 30fps
      - Dual Core, Preferably Tegra 2, 1Ghz CPU
      - of course all the other standard stuff, like HDMI, MicroSD, Wifi, Bluetooth, DLNA would be nice,
      - Oh yeah! A HUGE Battery like the Atrix!!!
      - And give it Gorilla Glass too because I party hard

      That’s all.

      I don’t care who makes it, but I would prefer it to be HTC as there modding scene is amazing! Who wants my money? Any takers? Seriously!!!!

      What you guys think? AM I THE ONLY ONE THAT WANTS THIS?

      • momin

        I SWEAR its exactly what i want in a cell phone !!!! u like read my mind !!!
        who wants my money too ?!!??! lol

      • http://www.algadon.com Chris

        This is what I want too. Even 5″ slider.

      • jason b

        Hey I want the same thing. Why can’t they make one. Let’s all pray and hope they make one next year.

      • Bean can

        I too am waiting for a phone that has the same or better specks as the epic 4g.. but unfortunately cdma is no longer offered in Australia. i would pay most to anything to get a phone with the credentials above.

        anyone in the market for some kidneys?

      • Manjusha

        almost there, i wanted following :
        all features of roumered samsung galaxy s 3 + slider qwerty keyboard, i dont care weight and thickness of phone.

    • James

      T-Mobile Sidekick 4G

    • Ethan

      Michael Sena……….

      I cant WAIT for a phone with that specs to come out !! Its seriously annoying that all the players are competing on the specs !! how dumb is that ? Atrix vs HTC Sensation vs HTC Evo 3D all of them have no physical keyboard and almost identical specs…!!

      Somebody needs to tell those companies that Android still SUCKS when it comes to the on-screen keyboard ! as much as I hate to admit it, iPhone’s on screen keyboard is far better than that of android. So we need a SUPER PHONE WITH A KEYBOARD !!

      I heard Droid 3 will be featuring all the specs of the Atrix but with a lovely enhanced droid keyboard !! Now thats a phone I will be willing to shell out money for !

    • indy

      i write way too much stuff on my phone to be using a on screen keyboard, i lasted about 3 months with a keyboard-less phone before i went and got the milestone 2.
      i seriously wish everybody else wasnt so obsessed with have the thinnest phone, we might see more keyboards then!

      • Darcy Alexander

        I couldn’t agree more Indy,

        Sure, touch screen keyboards are nice, but i’m still a huge fan of physical qwerty keyboards.

        I expect voice to text integration to make big strides in 2011, but still, it”s just not possible for this to replace physical input any time soon.

        Unfortunately, there aren’t any websites that I have discovered that are devoted fully to QWERTY keyboards – yet. If I could clone myself, I would no doubt create one. Perhaps I will one day!

        Anyway, you can rest easy because I’ve got you covered. I follow the QWERTY space every day, and you can be sure i’ll work super hard to provide you the latest and greatest news on everything QWERTY.

        As it stands right now, the phones to watch are the Motorola Droid 3, and the HTC Doubleshot. Really though, the Droid 3 is looking to be an incredible device, and I think it will blow the Doubleshot out of the water in terms of almost everything.

        Thanks for the great comment.

        • http://www.algadon.com Chris

          I just wish the Droid 3 had 1GB of RAM instead of 512MB.

          • Peeyush Tek

            tumhari maa ka chodho…..

            • 1234

              do u speaka da engrish?

    • indy

      actually i forgot to ask, is there any web site that or tumblersite or blog that just has deals qwerty keyboards? it would be nice to have somewhere to go to see whats out, rather than having to search for them every few months

    • Ahmad

      Amazing topic, and I totally agree that a physical qwerty is a must in any decent phone. The question that puzzles me is why no one want to make such a phone with decent camera? There is not a single phone of this category (Android, Qwerty slider, touch screen) with a camera more than 5MP! It can’t be that no one ever thought about it, and it also can’t be that they can’t make it either! I would’ve loved to buy the Nokia E7, but it’s symbian, and frankly, I believe Nokia have totally committed suicide signing with Windows! Are they blind? It would’ve been the dream team if Nokia and Android were together!
      Anyways, Thanks for the good review, and I will continue to quietly wait for an android-qwerty phone with 8MP camera.

      • Darcy Alexander

        Fear not Ahmad, as two are coming your way! Look for the Motorola Droid 3 / Milestone 3 and the HTC Doubleshot soon. It’s rumored that the Droid 3 will be launched at some point in June, and it has a dual core processor, a great QWERTY slide out keyboard, and an 8MP camera!

        Check out our breakdown here
        http://www.androidauthority.com/qwerty-superphone-fight-motorola-droid-3-vs-htc-doubleshot-13525/

        Thanks for visiting Android Authority!

      • Sss

        sony ericsson xperia mini pro 2

      • Araniqkslvr

        The Glide has an 8 MP camera.

    • Ben

      I would definitely purchase a dual core qwerty key board with touch capability. The only thing that the touch is good for is to navigate quickly and zooming. The virtual keyboards are all garbage in my opinion.

      • Darcy Alexander

        It’s looking like this years two best will be the HTC Doubleshot (Mytouch Slide 4G) and the Motorola Droid 3. Both are comparably equipped, so it boils down to preference.

        Dual core qwerty’s will be here soon! Hang on!

        What’s still rumored to be in the pipe is a dual core Super AMOLED Plus 4.3 Inch QWERTY from Samsung, but there’s no leaks yet. I’m on it, scouring the net 24 hours a day!

      • Hardy

        I also thought so, so I made a virtual keyboard with bigger keys and a full keyboard layout – have a look: http://maxikeys.com

    • http://kamalashraf.blogspot.com KaMAL AshRaF

      anybody tell me is Sony Xperia Pro has cybershot camera and secondry camera,???

      • Anonymous

        I doubt any of those listed would compete with currently best Android phones out there such as: http://best10picks.com/what-are-the-best-10-android-phones-of-2011/

        But hey, they have a qwerty at least ;)

        • Anon

          Yesss.. thats the point of the article. Duh.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Sheldon/735897671 Andrew Sheldon

        nope it doesn’t…and the battery life is poor….small battery, unlike Nokia E5. Also slide-out keyboard is poorly balanced when typing whilst lying down.

    • Edomedo2009

      LG GW620 IS BEST PHONE OF THE WOOOOOOORRRRLLLLDDDD!

    • Liam Scott

      ermm, isnt the HTC Desire Z and the HTC G2 the same?
      “HTC Vision is marketed as the TMobile G2 in the USA and as the HTC Desire Z internationally”

    • Melissa

      hmmmmmmmm………..

    • Melissa

      so many phones. now which one to choose, I don’t know which one to go for! HELP!

    • Don

      the phones here are amazing n i would definitely lik to kno y most of the phones doesnt hav a secondary cam i.e a front cam??

      • Allan Orr

        Part of it is Android revision related, prior to, I believe, Gingerbread there wasn’t support for a second camera.

    • http://firstarkansasnews.net FirstArkNews

      Loved the article! My iPhone contract is up in a year and I’m probably going with an Android with an honest-to-goodness keyboard. Love the iPhone, but typing is a chore with those of us who don’t have the hands of a nine-year-old girl.

      Can’t wait to upgrade. Virtual keyboards stink…

    • macks

      i would choose samsung epic 4g , it has 1ghz processor and a big screen and upgradable android Os. To those who want touch screen and also a qwerty phone. Epic 4g is definitely your smart phone!

    • Pr Toshiba

      It’s funny how they consider the G2 and Desire Z different phones.

    • Ornob86

      U guys should use nokia e7

    • Ursua

      i am getting a new phone so this really helped. which one should i get?

    • Wyndy

      Thanks so much for gathering and reporting on this. CNET has failed me…can’t search for phones with a physical QWERTY keyboard there or anywhere. I am now struggling to find a smartphone with 5 rows, so the number line is separate…a few of the phones here do have that. Any thoughts on the 4G sidekick? On to part 2- thanks again.

    • Anonymous

      Sell Phone, Where can I sell phones? Cell Phone Buyer – Where can I sell phones? – Well your answer is at SellArena.com… one of the best cell phone buyers in the market

    • adn.engineers

      Unfortunately most MSP’s continue to ignore the “cries” for new leading-edge mobile networked devices (smartphones) sporting full hardware qwerty keyboards. An updated article would ne welcomed to illustrate that despite the demand for qwerty phones the carriers and OEMs still haven’t released any substantiated info on a duocore 4.0inch or greater slider phone. The devices over the past 18 months (since this article’s date) with hw kb’s lack the cutting edge features of such phones as the samsung s2 or htc vigor (announced not launched).

      So we business mobile warriors who have need for such current technology and features, locked into single company required carrier) are using 12 to 24 month old devices. The carriers and OEMs are losing out on revenue because of this lack of insight. Here’s hoping q1 2012 and beyond will change that lack.

      As many note hw kb qwerty endusers aren’t as concerned with weight or having the slimmest device available but rather have need for a physical keyboard. A new admob survey result might help along with continued enduser requests to carriers to fill this void they’ve ignored.

      For now our engineers and mobile warriors await and hope for a 4.5in 1.5ghz duocore 4g ICS device…or better….Motorola seems a good bet if they ever bring their technology up.to.date and past 1ghz….JMHO

      • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

        I think the manufacturers are turning their backs on keyboard phones and are hoping to steer consumers toward phones with only on-screen keyboards so they can save the cost of adding a hardware keyboard.

    • Felix Mak

      Why can’t they have a QWERTY phone similar to Palm Pre or Blackberry 9800 Torch? A portrait form QWERTY with large touch screen is my choice

      • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

        Motorola Droid Pro and Admiral have that form factor.

    • http://twitter.com/ItsPlayboyNick Nick

      I Like Any Of The Motorola Droids

    • http://digg.com/users/OmegaWolf Silver Fang

      Does anyone else sense that manufacturers are trying to move consumers away from hardware keyboards toward software keyboards by making all the newest high-end phones without a keyboard and only including keyboards on the low-end and mid-range devices?

      I think they are doing this because they want to save the extra money that including a hardware keyboard costs.

      • Ik

        What would that be if I and many others are willing to pay extra?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Andrew-Sheldon/735897671 Andrew Sheldon

      The problem as I see it is that these cell phones have small batteries, are over-powered for speed, so they readily deplete their battery life within a day. They all have these slide-out keyboards which tend to be poorly-balanced when held any other way but standing up. This leaves me gasping for air and with an old Nokia E5. Nokia’s have stupid Symbian software, but lovely QWERTY keyboard and larger battery. Blackberries are another option. I will be interested to see the next Nokia with Win-8, but I’d like to go to Android if these manufacturers seize the initiative and develop a fixed QWERTY keyboard with the bigger (pocket) size and larger battery (life), so I can be done away with tablets, which are really an unnecessary hybrid of laptop and phone.

    • Anonymous

      so glad i found this page
      i have a nokia c6 and the misses has a HTC widfire and i was just for an upgrade which had both the lovely qwerty of my phone and the software of hers…and BINGO
      thanks to this page have found the perfect phone for me
      the HTC Desire Z
      waheyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy :)

    • http://way4geeks.com/ Sai Krishna

      wow ! Thanks for this list :)

    • Jknck

      its all about the htc chacha

    • someoneeeeeee

      Xperia mini pro has been left out…. :(

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      I love the HTC Desire Z

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    • Gm

      I am on Desire Z after G1 and well, saying that desire z/g2 has perfect keyboard is far too much. It is crap, like any phone with no number row. Typing anything like ip number is a hassle.

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