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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|$268.94(Price as of 02/20/2019 23:31 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|$268.94(Price as of 02/20/2019 23:31 ET)

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Best Petite Android Smartphones (Under 4.5 Inches) – US Edition

Does size matter? Is bigger automatically better? Those are two of the questions that have been on the minds of men ever since the Stone Age and on the lips of women since Eve got Adam (and herself) banished from the Garden of Eden.

Phones

But we’re not here to talk about the sizes of… you know what. Instead, we’d like to focus on smartphones. It’s what we know best after all. However, we’re not going to join the size debate in relation to gadgets either.

Ultimately, it’s a matter of taste and choice and you know better if you need a big slab of silicon, with plenty of screen real estate and whatnot, or a compact, petite gizmo that you can comfortably hold with one hand.

What we intend to do today is offer choices for the latter category, since sadly finding a small yet technically capable mobile phone has become an almost tougher quest than taking the Ring to Mordor.

Big phone

Okay, I’ve digressed much more than I intended to, so let’s begin our quest for finding the best smaller than 4.5-inch smartphones available. A little disclaimer first, as I’ve only taken into consideration for the below ranking gadgets that can be currently bought through Verizon, AT&T, Sprint or T-Mobile’s online stores.

If you don’t live in the US, fret not, as a similar post is in the making and should go live by this time next week. Now, here we go:

5. Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere 2 – Verizon

This fellow ticks two boxes that used to be very important when buying a mobile phone not long ago: it’s both small and comes with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. Because of the keyboard though, I wouldn’t exactly call the Stratosphere 2 compact, light or very portable.

samsung-galaxy-stratosphere-II

It does weigh 154 grams after all, plus it measures a whopping 13.5 mm in thickness. But technically, it only sports a 4-inch screen, so it qualifies for being called “petite”… in a way. Unfortunately, it’s far from a powerhouse and packs some specs that are not even mid-range material anymore – 800 x 480 pix res panel, 5 MP rear camera, 1,800 mAh battery.

On the bright side, it does run Jelly Bean starting a couple of months ago, plus it’s powered by a dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, along with 1 GB of RAM.

4. LG Escape – AT&T

Also featured in our article about the best free Android smartphones, this guy is the textbook definition of a compact handheld. It weighs in at 128 grams, measures 9 mm in thickness and is overall slim, elegant and stylish.

LG Escape

Too bad it doesn’t score very many points in the performance department, coming with a run-of-the-mill 1.2 GHz dual-core processor and just 4 GB of on-board storage in tow. But it does have a couple of other aces up its sleeve, like 4G LTE speeds and a comfy 2,150 mAh battery.

3. LG Lucid 2 – Verizon

Another LG phone? Indeed and the company does seem to be one of the few that still cares about “mini” devices. This thing is a little thicker than the Escape and one gram heavier, but it also packs an even more generous battery – 2,460 mAh.

LG Lucid 2

Other than that, you can say the Lucid 2 is essentially a Verizon-made variant of the Lucid 2, with the same 5 MP rear cam, dual-core 1.2 GHz SoC and Jelly Bean running.

2. Samsung Galaxy S2 – T-Mobile

You see where this continuing quest for bigger, heftier devices has brought us? We’re midway through 2013 and our second best compact smartphone is a two year-old. Sounds sad, but at the same time we have to hand it to Samsung – they’ve done such a good job with the S2 that the phone actually seems to get better with age.

T-Mobile-Samsung-Galaxy-S2

Especially T-Mobile’s model (SGH-T989), which comes with a 4.5-inch display in tow, plus a 1.5 GHz CPU, 1 GB of RAM, 8 MP rear camera (LG, take note) and 16 GB of internal storage. And yes, the S2 does have a couple of flaws, but these are literally a couple… you know, two: the low-res screen (800 x 480) and meager battery (1,850 mAh).

1. Motorola Droid Razr M – Verizon

And the Oscar goes to… probably one of the most underrated, overlooked smartphones to have seen daylight in the fall of 2012. Not only is this small (4.3 inches) and uber-slim (8.3 mm in thickness and 126 grams weight), but also unexpectedly robust, plus fairly impressive tech-wise.

Droid Razr M

Given its price (it’s available for free with Verizon contracts), you can say the Razr M rocks dreamy specs, including a dual-core 1.5 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 8 MP camera, 2,000 mAh battery, 4G LTE, NFC, Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and so on and so forth.

And no, it’s no match for monsters like Samsung’s Galaxy S4 or the HTC One, but it has all it needs to lead the upper mid-range smartphone generation of today. And that should be enough for some of you out there. As for the rest, you should check out our series of comprehensive comparisons between some of the best high-end, larger than 4.5-inch phones available.

LG Lucid 2 and Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere 2 Available for Free from Verizon for Mother’s Day

This year’s Mother’s Day is a good four weeks away, but it’s never too early to shop for a little something special for your good ol’ ma. And what better way to show your love and appreciation than getting one of Verizon’s recently discounted smartphones?

LG Lucid 2

Big Red has kicked its Mother’s Day sale into gear already, with no less than seven cool smartphones now going for special prices. Six of these are available completely for free, while the seventh is a mere $19.99. Of course, you don’t have to shop just for your moms, as I’m pretty certain you’ll be tempted to grab one of these gadgets for yourselves.

A two-year carrier agreement with Verizon is mandatory to take advantage of the promos, but it’s not like being tied for 24 months to America’s number one network is the worst thing possible, is it?

Do I still have your attention? If so, know that probably the best smartphone part of this special offer is Samsung’s Galaxy Stratosphere 2. This is just five months old, making its commercial debut back in November 2012, and its biggest selling point is the slide-out QWERTY keyboard that doubles the functionality of your traditional smartphone.

Naturally, there’s a touchscreen too (a 4-inch Super AMOLED one with 800 x 480 pixels resolution), while some of the other spec sheet’s highlights are a snappy dual-core 1.2 GHz CPU, 1 GB of RAM, 5 MP cam and 1,800 mAh battery. The Stratosphere 2 still runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, but we think a Jelly Bean upgrade is due out soon.

LG’s recently released Lucid 2 is available for free as well with two-year contracts. The 4.3-incher has a much nicer, 960 x 540 pix res display and runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, being up for grabs for $349.99 outright.

The Nokia Lumia 822, Apple’s 8 GB iPhone 4, Pantech’s Marauder and HTC’s Rhyme are the other four smartphones going for free as part of this promo. However, to be frank, we wouldn’t recommend any of these instead of the Stratosphere 2 or Lucid 2.

Samsung’s Galaxy Stellar could be a much better option, even if it does require a $20 upfront payment fee. The 4-incher has been released in August 2012, and, just like the Stratosphere 2, it’s stuck on Android 4.0 ICS while waiting for an imminent Jelly Bean upgrade.

Available for $349.99 off-contract, the Stellar features a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, 1 GB of RAM, 4 GB of internal memory, microSD support, 4G LTE and a 2,100 mAh battery, being a fairly decent mid-ranger by any standards.

So what say you, folks? Is any one of these seven smartphones just too good to turn down? Or do you think there are better Mother’s Day deals in store in the near future?

Via [Verizon]

Leaked Samsung Stratosphere 2 Pictures Show it’s Headed to Verizon

Bar-style phones with a physical slide-out QWERTY keyboards are not the most favorite handsets in the market today – a market dominated by touchscreen phones whose major selling characteristics is thinness and low weight.  But you cannot deny that there are people who still prefer the old fashioned physical keyboard hence the reason companies still come up with these phones.  The next in the market comes from the leading smartphone manufacturer Samsung.  The Samsung Stratosphere 2 is a smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a 4.3 inch super AMOLED screen.  The phone, which seems reader for release based on the press-ready render images leaked on the internet, will be coming to Verizon wireless, most likely before the onset of the holidays this year.

 

The phone with a physical slide-out keyboard has got to be a mid-range phone that may appeal to students, businesspeople and the elderly who appreciate the extra convenience of the physical keyboard but do not mind the extra few ounces or the thickness of the phone.  Rumors of this phone have been alive since August but it is only now that we actually see something credible.  The phone’s pictures are not official but they look very real, coming from evleaks, a very reliable leaks source.  Most other specifications are not known but we can speculate the specs and features as well as release dates.

Based on rumors that surfaced last month, the Samsung Stratosphere 2 comes packing a 1.5 GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 4.3 inch Super AMOLED display, a rear 8 megapixels camera and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich out-of-the-box.  The pictures tell us that the phone may be available in Black and White or Silver and the hone’s outer design gives it an elegant and smoother feel.  The physical keyboard is a lot like the keyboard Stratosphere 1 has – with well-spaced rubber keys.  There are four onscreen buttons for better navigation but they are placed differently compared to those in the Stratosphere 1.  The phone will also be 4G LTE capable and will have all the standard smartphone specifications mid-range devices have including Bluetooth, GPS and WiFi.

Early indications are that the phone will be launched or made available on Verizon starting November 21st this month – that is just three weeks away.  The pricing is still unknown but it should cost between $99 and $149 with a 2 year contract.

So, this is the next big thing on the smartphone market – at least those with physical keyboards.  What do you think about phones with slide-out QWERTY keyboards in general, and the Stratosphere 2 in particular?  Are you eagerly waiting for this phone?  Let us know your thoughts below.

Core Specs:

Processor: 1.5 GHz Dual-core Snapdragon S4

Operating System: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich (Jelly Bean most likely to follow soon)

Memory: 1 GB RAM, 8 GB internal memory with microSD card slot up to 32 GB expansion

Display: 4.3 Inch Super AMOLED screen

Cameras: 8 megapixels rear, 2 megapixels front cameras

 

Courtesy: @evleaks