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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.  

BlackBerryBlackBerry KEYone GSM Unlocked Android Smartphone (AT&T, T-Mobile) - 4G LTE – 32GBBuy on Amazon|$268.97(Price as of 02/19/2019 13:31 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.

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


  • 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?


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.


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.


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.


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.

BlackBerryBlackBerry KEYone GSM Unlocked Android Smartphone (AT&T, T-Mobile) - 4G LTE – 32GBBuy on Amazon|$268.97(Price as of 02/19/2019 13:31 ET)

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C Spire Announces Its 4G LTE Network Live And Brings Motorola Photon Q With It

Major wireless carriers aren’t the only ones moving towards 4G LTE connectivity for their handsets — regional carriers are moving that way too. Formerly known as Cellular South, C Spire has announced that it has officially launched its 4G LTE service in both the Greenville and McComb markets as of today. Their hope is that this newly launched and expand service will bring in some blazing fast network speeds along with awesome handsets that are capable of using the full extent of 4G LTE. That said, C Spire has also announced the Motorola Photon Q smartphone on their network. They’ve said that the handset will be available for $199 on-contract, while the Samsung flagship device, the Galaxy S III, will be “coming soon.”

Is anyone interested in getting a handset off of C Spire? Sure, they aren’t a major carrier, but there’s no doubt that they at least have a decently good service for their customers. If you’re not in the C Spire coverage area, if you were, would you be interested in giving it a shot? It’s at least nice to know that lesser-known networks are also expanding. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

C Spire has a full list of details for you, just hit the source link below.

source: C Spire
via: talk android

Motorola Photon Q Available For $200 With Two-Year Contract

There has been a whole lot of talk about Sprint’s upcoming LTE QWERTY, the Motrola Photon Q, for quite a while now, and it is officially here. As of just yesterday, you’ll be able to walk into your local Sprint store and purchase this “green machine with the power of Android” for a very low price of $200 with a two-year contract. It’s always the two-year contracts isn’t it (if you were willing to pay full price for the phone, I bet you could get it without a contract if that’s what you want to do.)?

If you hadn’t seen the specs on the Motorola Photon Q here’s the full list of ’em:

  • 4.3″ ColorBoost display
  • 1.5GHz dual-core processor (presumably the Snapdragon S4)
  • 1GB RAM
  • 8GB storage, microSD card slot
  • 8MP 1080p rear shooter, 720p front-facing camera
  • HDMI out
  • NFC (near field communication)
  • Full QWERTY slider
  • LTE, global ready
  • Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich

Honestly, it’s nothing to get super ecstatic over, it’s really just your standard QWERTY phone. But, if you’re looking fort a QWERTY phone instead of the standard smartphones, the Motorola Photon Q is probably the best choice you can get as of this moment. QWERTY’s are pretty cool, and this new Photon Q looks especially cool, but it’s definitely not something I would use as a main phone, I am way to used to my virtual keyboards.

Of course, you shouldn’t forget that if you order any new smartphone through Sprint’s website and then add a new line of service, the carrier will be offering you with a juicy $100 American Express gift card to spend anywhere you like. In that case, you’re essentially getting a $200 phone for $100 if you want to be logical. Of course, if you don’t have any plans to add a new line, and will be patient enough to wait just a few more days to get your new smartphone, you’ll still be able to save a few dollars through Wirefly, who has the device listed for $150 on contract. That said, I think that if you’re adding a new line, the $100 American Express gift card is a fantastic deal. Not only that, but the Motorola Photon Q specs look pretty solid, obviously not on par with the Galaxy S III or some of the more advanced smartphones, but it’s still a pretty good phone.

Otherwise, get into your nearest Sprint store, walk in there, demand that you get a new Photon Q for their low price. Not to mention, with demands like that, they surely will be getting all of their salesmen on deck to pitch you the device. Then, you’ll walk out of the store with a beautiful new 4G QWERTY Motorola Photon Q smartphone. Isn’t that just a wonderful idea (of course, I think I would rather go with AT&T!)?

One thing to note is that Motorola is still giving the development community trouble about the bootloaders, thus if you’re looking to get it and flash it with a custom ROM, you may just want to be looking for a different phone.

Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE to Come to Sprint soon

Besides Verizon’s rumored Pantech Star Q 4G LTE rumored to come soon, we have not seen any high end smartphones with a physical QWERTY keyboard lately.  Many people still want these phones, and at the same time they want high performance phones with the new features of the Android mobile operating system.  Motorola appears to want to capture that market with its new phone, the Photon Q 4G LTE smartphone running on Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and with a physical QWERTY keyboard set to be launched on Sprint.


The Photon Q has a dual core 1.5GHz processor, which is most likely to be a Snapdragon S4, an 8MP rear camera and a HD 4.3 inch screen with ‘ColorBoost’ technology.  This phone will be a direct competitor to Verizon’s Pantech Star Q which has almost similar features – a 1.5GHz dual core processor, 4G LTE capability, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich and a physical QWERTY keyboard.  Pantech Star’s weakness though is the smaller 4 Inch screen, which may not be HD.

The Motorola Photon Q is supposed to be a global handset meaning that although it will be on Sprint, it uses LTE network and should work with any GSM networks anywhere in the world.  The Photon Q was developed as a successor to the Photon 4G launched last year – the design is strikingly similar.  The main difference though is the physical QWERTY keyboard – something that the Photon 4G did not have.

More positive news are expected from Motorola with the launch of the Photon Q too – that the phone’s bootloader can now be unlocked with ease – read more about this here.  Neither Motorola nor Sprint has provided the release date of the phone but speculators that the announcement will come either this coming week or the week after next.  This will be Motorola’s first LTE phone on Sprint.

Specs overview

Processor: 1.5 GHz dual-core processor (most likely Snapdragon S4)

Operating System: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Display: 4.3 inch (960 x 540 pixels resolution) screen with ColorBoost display (Likely qHD)

Memory: 1GB RAM, Unknown inbuilt memory

Camera: 8MP rear (1080p video capture capability) and a front- facing HD camera

Connectivity: micro HDMI with mirroring, NFC, LTE

Motorola Photon Q with QWERTY keypad coming to Sprint

Motorola is known for its awesome QWERTY smart phones running Google’s Android operating system. The company is very much interested in bringing out awesome smart phones for physical slide out QWERTY key pads for those who love messaging a lot. These physical keyboards are a lot better than when you are typing a lot. And for some bizarre reason, Verizon seems to love these kinds of smart phones as well. This is because the wireless carrier has been releasing one smart phone after another from Motorola’s QWERTY keypad line up. And these smart phones sure are interesting.

Now, it looks like Sprint is also interested to come to the physical QWERTY keypad segment, as the company is all ready to release the Motorola ‘Photon Q’ smart phone. That is the rumored name of the smart phone, we do not yet know what it is going to be called for real.

There is an image on Android Central Forum which shows the device in question. According to the image, the smart phone is going to have a 4.3 inch touch screen display with the physical QWERTY slide out keypad, the signature style of Motorola we can say. Also, another very interesting feature is going to be that the smart phone is running the new version of Android, the Android 4.0.x, also known popularly as the Ice Cream Sandwich. The smart phone also has on screen navigation buttons, which means that it is made for Ice Cream Sandwich and is not a custom ROM on some old phone.

From the looks of it, we can say that the smart phone looks a lot like the rumored DROID RAZR HD, don’t you think so? So the next question which comes to mind is whether this is the DROID RAZR HD, as the ‘Photon Q’ is not yet the official name.

Well, we will just have to wait and see till there is some kind of official announcement.