Before, we’ve presented you with a list of the best QWERTY Android phones for 2011, and most of them, if not all, are sliders. This comes as no surprise as sliders give the best of both worlds: a large display and a physical QWERTY keypad, the latter being a rarity in an Android world ruled by purely touchscreen devices. But there are actually many users who crave for smartphones with keys which don’t need to be slid, twisted, or flipped open. They want enjoy the simple practicality offered specifically by candybar phones.
Although candybars often fall in the entry-level and mid-range categories, we at Android Authority still think that it’s high time that these babies got their share of the limelight.
Launched in the last quarter of 2011, the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro B5510 (also known as Galaxy Txt), is an entry level phone which will definitely give you your money’s worth if you’re looking for something cheap but packed with the basics. Its full QWERTY keyboard has buttons that are comfortably spaced for easy usage and an optical track pad for better navigation, which makes it perfect for those who text often. Like most of its contemporaries, the Galaxy Y Pro is partly a touch screen phone. However, don’t expect that you can resize your display the way you do so with a full touch screen device – you’ll have to click your zoom-in and zoom-out icons for that.
Check out some of the Galaxy Y Pro’s specs:
(Full Galaxy Y Pro specs here.)
The Galaxy M Pro is the big brother of the Galaxy Y Pro. Although the two are similar, small differences make an impact that definitely put this Gingerbread device a notch higher. The slightly larger 2.66” 480x320display makes for better for viewing, and its 1GHz processor makes for a much faster Android experience. Pumped with these specs, the Galaxy M Pro has less than half talk time than the Galaxy Y Pro, but if you aren’t a heavy user, it won’t pose as much of a problem.
The HTC Chacha, which also goes by the name of Status in some parts, has had its share of critics by being one of two Facebook-centric devices released by HTC (the other being the touch screen Salsa). It may look like a pretentious teeny-bopper phone at first glance, but spec-wise, it definitely can go head-to-head with its mid-range competitors. The ChaCha has almost all of its functionalities tied up to FB – its camera and its music player included – and depending on what application you are on, the Facebook key will give you easy access to your account and even help you pull up information on things like the song you’re listening to or your location. But even if it’s the social media fanatic’s phone, it also has other cool features that everybody can appreciate, such as HTC’s famous UI Sense, as well as ability to turn into a WiFi hotspot.
The usual 2.6” display may be a bit too small of the liking of some. Still, the ChaCha compensates with the rest of its specs:
(Full HTC ChaCha specs here.)
The Orange Barcelona AKA Huawei Boulder is a low-end, entry-level phone released by one of the most known names in communications technology. Its 2.6” screen is sensitive to the touch, and unlike the Samsung Galaxy Y Pro, you can actually pinch-to-zoom. Its 3.15 megapixel camera can hold its own, even without flash. The device itself looks pretty business-like too, so if you want an affordable Droid that gives you a corporate feel, this would make a great purchase.
(Full Orange Barcelona / Huawei U8350 Boulder specs here.)
Fixing resolution issues of the Pro, Motorola came out with Pro +, which beats most candybar QWERTY phones hands down when it comes to display. Veering away from the usual 2.6” screen, this little monster gives you 3.1” inches of touch screen goodness, which means that even if it’s still not what most of us are used to on an Android device, you’ll definitely be squinting way less. This compact device houses a 5 megapixel camera which can hold its own. If you’re the type of person uses your phone for calling, texting and sending emails rather than for entertainment purposes, then this device is for you. Of course, it also helps that it runs on Gingerbread.
(Full specs of the Motorola Pro + here.)
The LG Optimus Pro is a mid-range phone that’s great for everyday usage, especially if you have nimble little fingers that have already been QWERTY texting for quite a while. The keys, which are closely spaced and are tilted at an angle, may take some time getting used to, but the Optimus Pro compensates with a 2.8” pinch-to-zoom display that’s larger than the usual 2.6”, but smaller than the Motorola Pro +’s 3.1”. The LG UI that runs on top of Gingerbread may be shallower than HTC Sense, but it’s functional and does the job. Aside from its physical QWERTY keyboard, the Optimus Pro also gives you an option to use an optical keyboard on landscape mode. The landscape mode is also great for watching videos.
The Optimus Pro’s 800 MHz is supported by only 256 MB of RAM, so if you’re not much of a multi-tasker and you don’t open multiple applications all at once that often, then this phone is worth looking into.
(Full specs of the LG Optimus Pro C660 here.)
Do you have any other devices to add to the list? Give us your suggestions!