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Top 7 Android smartphones with physical QWERTY keyboards

Phones with QWERTY keyboards aren’t getting much love with the major manufacturers these days, but you can still find some high end phones with a physical keyboard.  In this June 2017 update, we’re recommending the Blackberry KEYone as the best QWERTY keyboard smartphone on the market right now.  

ProductBrandNamePrice
BlackBerryBlackBerry KEYone GSM Unlocked Android Smartphone (AT&T, T-Mobile) - 4G LTE – 32GBBuy on Amazon|$268.99(Price as of 02/17/2019 17:31 ET)

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If you can’t stand using the touch keyboard phones that’s dominating the market, give the KEYone a shot.  It’s highly unlike you will find another smartphone with physical keyboard that will beat the Blackberry KEYone, since most manufacturers simply do not make these type of phones anymore.  You can find the specs here for this Android phone with QWERTY keyboard.

Blackberry Priv

BlackBerry, a company that was once renowned for their business-oriented smartphones with physical keyboards, has to fight for significance in a world dominated by virtual keyboard typing experience. Just like Clark Kent dressed in casual clothes, the BlackBerry Priv looks deceptively ordinary, perhaps with the exception of the curved display. But it takes just a quick slide to reveal Priv’s 4-row QWERTY keyboard hiding underneath the display.

The keyboard also features an integrated trackpad and several programmable keys for launching apps and changing the position on the screen. You can swipe up across the keyboard to access a full-sized virtual keyboard with special characters and symbols. Clever stuff, indeed.

Also hiding under the 5.4” display with 540 ppi is the powerful Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 chipset, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage space, and Adreno 418. With such high-end specifications, the Priv is a productivity beast with ample power to fuel any multitasking (or gaming—we won’t judge) frenzy.

While the Android operating system looks close to the pure Android experience that you get on Nexus devices, BlackBarry has made a lot of changes under the hood. Privacy and security have been given a special attention, for example, with the BlackBerry DETEK app, which can tell you how secure you are and what improvements you can make.
Pros

  • 4-row QWERTY keyboard
  • Beautiful curved display
  • Sharp, vivid camera
  • Good performance
  • Increased privacy

Cons

  • The smartphone is slightly top-heavy

Talk QWERTY to me
The age of the Q is over. There’s no point denying it, arguing it or sugarcoating it. Flagship physical QWERTY phones are long gone, and they’re not coming back. Sad? Damn straight, as we all remember how we used to be able to send like five texts a minute on a full-size keypad-boasting handheld.

Since phone manufacturers simply aren’t seeing too much demand for Android smartphone with keyboard, they just aren’t releasing too many new variants of these.  But if you really need that keyboard, a good work around is to get the latest and greatest smartphone you can find, and get a mini bluetooth keyboard that you can carry around with you and sync with your phone.  If that doesn’t work for you, then check out these smartphones with keyboard currently on the market.

Yes, they were bulky, clunky, even ugly, but they got the job done in a way no touchscreen-toting iPhone or Samsung Galaxy S will ever get close to. Whatever “highly intuitive” apps like Swiftkey or Swype evolve into.

It’s also odd though how each and every mobile player (save for BlackBerry, maybe) turned their backs on productivity-centric gadgets all of a sudden, especially when Samsung, LG and Sony are so vocal about the diversity of their product lineups. Cater to the needs of everyone, my arse. Where’s my Galaxy S5Q, my LG G2 Slider and my Xperia Z2 Chat?

QWERTY meme

Heck, right now, I’d probably settle for a Galaxy S3Q or LG Optimus G Slider. Any semblance of a decent, upper mid-range Android QWERTY phone would be nice. Instead, the seven best physical keyboard devices of March 2014 are these old geezers:

7. LG Mach

Still stuck on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the 15 month-old Mach basically makes the cut here because there are no half-decent alternatives. I mean, I wouldn’t touch this thing with a ten-foot pole nowadays.

Not only is it four software generations behind the times, it’s mostly unavailable stateside and restricted for use on Sprint and Boost Mobile. The latter sells it online for $180 with prepaid plans, whereas if you want Now Network’s version, you’ll need to reach out to some fairly obscure Amazon sellers and cough up $360 (!!!).

LG Mach

Yeah, right, like anyone would be so nuts as to drop that kind of money on a chunky little fellow tipping the scales at 168 grams and packing a 4-inch 800 x 480 pix res touchscreen, dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, as well as meager 1,700 mAh battery.

6. Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere 2

Despite its retro (read fugly) design, and overall underwhelming hardware, the Verizon-exclusive Stratosphere 2 is clearly not the worst QWERTY option around. Up for grabs via Amazon and Best Buy free of charge in a contract-tied flavor, the slider is on Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, weighing 14 grams less than the Mach.

Galaxy Stratosphere 2

The juicer is a tad beefier, at 1,800 mAh, but sadly, the Super AMOLED panel is equally as mediocre. The dual-core 1.2 GHz SoC too. Bottom line, the Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere 2 is obviously not an ideal choice for productivity fanatics.

5. Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G

Though its two months older than the second-gen Stratosphere, the S Relay 4G is superior to its Verizon counterpart primarily in the aesthetics department. Less pronounced curves equals more elegance, not to mention the Relay is slightly slimmer while retaining the 1,800 mAh ticker.

Galaxy S Relay 4G

Hardware-wise, the T-Mo-restricted S Relay resembles the Stratosphere 2 greatly, but ups the processing power ante with a 1.5 GHz CPU. On-board software? Android 4.1 Jelly Bean starting April 2013. Price? $205 outright on Amazon.

4. Motorola Droid 4

One of the last remaining Mohicans of a lost era, the Droid 4 has aged rather gracefully, but it has aged nevertheless. Almost harder to score than the LG Mach, Moto’s once mighty slider is $220 with Verizon branding but no pacts via Amazon. Oh, and it’s pre-owned.

Worth the dough? Refurb products are always a gamble, two year-olds especially, yet the Droid still has a few things going for it. Like a decent 4-inch 960 x 540 pixels resolution touchscreen, 16 GB built-in storage, 8 MP rear-facing camera with image stabilization, 1 GB RAM, microSD support and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Motorola Droid 4

Downsides? For one thing, the dual-core TI OMAP 4430 is ancient and laggy. Also, the 1,785 mAh battery is pretty tiny, plus non-removable. Finally, have you ever carried around a brick in your trouser pocket? You will if you buy the Droid 4, as it weighs a staggering 179 grams.

3. LG Optimus F3Q

The youngest of the bunch, released but a few weeks ago on T-Mobile, the F3Q looks like a violent blast from the past design-wise, with a funky turquoise blue physical keyboard and an even swankier textured rear cover.

I personally think the blue-black color combo is a bit too much, but hey, kids may dig it, and in the long haul, it could help QWERTY phones become hip again. Available for $0 upfront and $312 full retail price, the device is hardly a powerhouse, with a dual-core 1.2 GHz Snapdragon 400 running the hardware show, aided by 1 GB RAM.

LG-Optimus-F3Q

The 4 GB on-board storage is cringe worthy, as is the 14 mm waist, yet software upgrades beyond 4.1 Jelly Bean could be on the horizon, and that should count for something. Also, it packs a gargantuan 2,460 mAh battery, capable of holding a single charge for up to 16 hours of talk time and 16 days (!!!) of standby time.

2. LG Enact

Yes, I realize the Enact and Optimus F3Q are in many ways virtually identical. From the design language to the CPU, RAM and battery life. Yet I like to think of Verizon’s Enact as F3Q’s classier brother. Sure, the Big Red fellow is chubby as hell (15.8 mm thickness, 170 grams weight), however it replaces the tacky blue keyboard with a black-and-silver one.

LG-Enact-Verizon

And the rear looks better too, in my humble opinion. Also on 4.1 Jelly Bean and likely to be upgraded before long, the Enact doubles down on storage, and costs a penny with contracts, as well as $400 without a service plan.

1. Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE

Not sure whether we should laugh or cry seeing a mid-2012 phone top a 2014 list. But that’s how behind the market is for QWERTY aficionados. And mind you, the Photon Q was hardly a high-ender when it first saw daylight, back in July 2012.

Up for grabs for free with 24-month Sprint agreements, the big guy weighs in at a massive 170 grams, however it offers the most generous screen real estate of all seven QWERTY world champion title candidates: 4.3 inches.

Motorola-Photon-Q-4G-LTE

The resolution is decent, 960 x 540, there’s scratch-resistant glass on top of it, a dual-core 1.5 GHz chip beneath the hood, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, 1 GB RAM, 8 GB storage, 8 MP primary camera with LED flash, 4G LTE and microSD support. Compared with, say, the Galaxy S5, it’s a featherweight, but like I said, it’s all we got.

At least until the Motorola Droid 5 goes official, if it’s ever to go official. Any thoughts? Maybe some other contenders we unintentionally snubbed? Anyone else out there rooting for a QWERTY revival? Sound off below.

ProductBrandNamePrice
BlackBerryBlackBerry KEYone GSM Unlocked Android Smartphone (AT&T, T-Mobile) - 4G LTE – 32GBBuy on Amazon|$268.99(Price as of 02/17/2019 17:31 ET)

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Best business-friendly and enterprise-ready Android smartphones money can buy

Browsing the web, social media activities, taking the occasional selfie, playing mostly rudimentary but highly addictive games, loading up on YouTube cat videos and catching up on one’s favorite TV shows while away from a larger screen.

Business smartphone

For many of us, those are the essential purposes of a smartphone, and if it can adequately tick all the boxes, it’s a must-buy. Even better if it doesn’t cost a fortune. But then there is this particular category of mobile consumers, with a particular set of needs and requirements, which Android device manufacturers seem to be largely ignoring these days.

Not us, though. We’re here to make sure every specific necessity is fulfilled, so we’ll do our best to dig up your top options for work projects. Enterprise users, listen up:

LG Enact – $0.01 with Verizon contracts, $360 outright

  • The typing crackerjack

LG Enact

It’s beyond sad professional typists have to settle for a two-year-old with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean pre-loaded, no KitKat, let alone Lollipop update hopes, a cringe worthy 4-inch 800 x 480 touchscreen, laggy dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU and crappy 5 MP rear camera.

Not to mention the preposterousness of that no-contract price tag! But until BlackBerry goes for broke with a Google-endorsed, Samsung-co-manufactured slider, we’re afraid the Enact has to do. Oh, well, purely as far as text message and e-mail writing goes, the entry-level handheld is the closest you can get to a powerhouse. So, so depressing!

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 – $545 unlocked; $0 with AT&T financing; $200 and up at Verizon

  • The big, bad, ultra-secure, multi-purpose juggernaut

Galaxy Note 4 S Pen

If answering to urgent e-mails as fast as possible is only part of your job description, the Note 4 offers a huge on-screen keyboard, plus a host of extra business tricks. You have your S Pen always handy for note taking, a security-enhancing fingerprint sensor, full Knox compatibility and stellar multitasking prowess.

The non-optional stylus accessory needs no introduction, your unique fingerprint can be used to unlock the phone if PINs don’t feel safe enough, Knox services let you easily switch between personal and work modes and keep everything separate, while the large 5.7-inch display and generous 3 GB RAM ensure seamless running of multiple apps at once. Which you often yearn for when juggling various documents, files and projects.

Samsung Galaxy S5 Active – $0 and up with AT&T agreements; $559 unlocked

  • The bulletproof outdoor companion

Galaxy S5 Active

Travel a lot? Involved in construction or other potentially hazardous line of activity? Simply worried you’ll drop your precious, and both your personal and professional lives will spin out of control? Perhaps the S5 Active can’t take a bullet per se, but it’ll definitely survive a few bumps and contacts with hard surfaces, as well as up to 1 meter/30-minute swims.

Too bad Knox doesn’t work on the AT&T exclusive… for some reason, and despite the hefty price, there’s no fingerprint authentication provided either.

Sony Xperia Z3 Compact – starting at $380

  • The cheaper, more condensed nature-loving alternative

Xperia Z3 Compact

As tough as the S5 Active looks, it’s also short of portable excellence, which for many is probably a deal breaker. Enter the waterproof but not shock-proof Z3 Compact, endowed with advanced Smart Lock functions after a recent Lollipop update.

This fast and furious munchkin tips the scales at 40 grams less than the GS5 Active, and is far shorter and narrower for easier pocketability, all while handling everything you throw at it with grace, courtesy of a quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor and 2 GB RAM.

Motorola Droid Turbo – $150 and up on-contract; $650 outright for Verizon

  • The heavyweight battery champion

Droid Turbo

We can’t think of anything more annoying than remembering to take your charger or an external power bank on all your business travels, and always getting interrupted by skimpy cell capacity. Well, the Turbo is made of an entirely different mettle, with a gigantic 3,900 mAh pacemaker under the hood rated at a staggering 48 hours of continuous 3G talk time.

The design is ideal to complement your classic, classy, businessy look, with sharp edges, an overall industrial vibe, robust ballistic outer shells and a splash-resistant chassis. Last but not least, the 5.2 incher can go from 0 to 60 percent juice in half an hour, thanks to Quick Charge 2.0 technology.

Motorola Moto G (2nd generation) – $175 unlocked

  • The ultra-affordable option

Moto G 2nd generation

Not everyone is lucky to have their employer offer them gratis gadgets or start at a six-figure salary allowing them to score the costliest “tools” off the bat. So, provisionally, the 2014 G can get the job done.

It’s not any more secure than other Android soldiers, but on the plus side, runs a silky smooth, modern, near-stock OS iteration. No bloatware means fewer security risks, less chances of random system crashes or reboots, as well as vital data loss.

Blackphone – $629

  • The untraceable, privacy-first phone

blackphone

Listed as “temporarily out of stock” on Amazon, but likely to come back soon (hopefully, before the sequel drops), the extravagantly priced 4.7 incher protects your online anonymity like no other, through VPN.

Then you have a slew of privacy-centric functions for phone calls, emails, texts and even cloud backup, some of which unfortunately expire and require additional payments after a year of undercover use. Paranoid individuals will no doubt find extreme happiness in Blackphone’s arms, although we have to underline Android here is essentially unrecognizable, due to severe customization and “PrivatOS” forking.

Samsung Galaxy S6 – $590 factory unlocked; $200 with Verizon or Sprint pacts

  • The one you may not need, but really want

Samsung Galaxy S6

Today’s mainstream top dog isn’t specifically targeted at enterprise users, with a tiny, non-removable battery and sealed internal storage hands down its biggest flaws. Also, there’s no protection against liquid interaction whatsoever, let alone more advanced ruggedness.

Ergo, the S6 could break, fall apart or shut down on account of low battery in the middle of the most important video conference of your life, or while out on the job. But think about how good it’ll make you look in the eyes of your clients, partners and even superiors.

After all, your image is key for your deal-sealing abilities. Besides, it’s got touch-based fingerprint authentication, the most complex Knox support available and device protection-adding Android 5.1 software in certain territories, with others on the way.

Verizon LG Enact to arrive on August 22

Verizon LG Enact

The Verizon LG Enact is arriving on August 22, expanding Big Red’s entry-level or mid-range Android smartphone offerings. This is a device that appeared in one of @evleaks’ posts last month. Such post included a photo of the device as well as some possible specifications. The same smartphone was spotted on Verizon’s August roadmap, as well, along with other devices such as the Motorola DROID Mini, Samsung Convoy 2, Kyocera Hydro Elite, and the LG Exalt. The LG Exalt, a feature phone with a clamshell form factor, will supposedly be launched on August 22 like the LG Enact.

Verizon LG Enact
Verizon LG Enact

The newest information about the Verizon LG Enact is from an announcement from the wireless carrier that was sent by a tipster to Phonearena. The announcement indicates several of the features of the upcoming device. Possibly the most noteworthy is its slide-out QWERTY keyboard and shortcut keys. The LG Enact also sports physical Android function keys below its display.

Verizon LG Enact Specifications and Features

The Verizon LG Enact, which has the model number VS890, will have a 2460 mAh removable battery, a 1.2GHz CPU, Adreno 305 GPU, possibly a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 or the Snapdragon S4 Plus processor, and a display with a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels. It will also pack a camera with LED flash and potentially an 8 MP image sensor, GPS, A-GPS, microUSB, OTA sync, tethering, computer sync, and support for 800, 1900 MHz CDMA,  4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.0 and Wi-Fi b/g/n.  YouTube Picasa will be among the smartphone’s preinstalled apps. Features like QSlide 2.0, QuickMemo, and Video Editor, and Video Wiz are also onboard. The Verizon logo appears above the smartphone’s display whereas the LG is found below it. On the smartphone’s rear plate, one finds the LG logo once again plus the words 4G LTE near the bottom. The Verizon announcement does not reveal how much the device will cost when it hits the market.

via phonearena

Mid ranged LG Enact heading towards Verizon

LG Enact VS890

LG Enact VS890

LG has been predominantly known for its mid-ranged Android smartphones all around the globe. It now appears like one such smartphone could make its way to Verizon known as the LG Enact VS890. There’s little information about the specs or the official launch date as the news was broken by the ever reliable @evleaks on Twitter. Maybe we can expect to hear a word or two on this during the much awaited LG G2 announcement on August 7.

The smartphone is rumored to feature a 480×800 display with the size not known yet, Android 4.1 with LG’s custom UI, a Snapdragon 400 or the Snapdragon S4 Plus chip and 4G LTE on Verizon’s blazing fast network. The image also reveals a decent sized camera sensor on the back, we’re guessing 8MP. Sadly, this is all we have for now with further information to be given only during the launch. We won’t be surprised if the LG Enact silently makes its way to Verizon’s retail and online shelves without any prior announcement.

Source: @evleaks (Twitter)

Via: Android Central