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 ]
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:
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Check out our full review of the Sony Xperia pro.
“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.
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.
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.