Time for further thread hijack
Anybody got any suggestions on phones with a 'proper' non-touchscreen keyboard?
I use a blackberry for work and it works a charm for sending emails, but I think the screen is a bit small for a what I'd like in a personal phone.
Main things for me are
- proper keyboard, not touchscreen (we don't get on - they ignore me no matter how roughly or lovingly I caress them)
- largish screen
- usage of google maps
I couldn't care less about
- apps in general, although I'd like to play the occasional game now and then
- I should add further to the above, I'm not averse to touchscreen entirely, just for the keyboard.
Anyone know of such a device? I suspect nothing exists but I'm hoping someone will prove me wrong
I know this doesn't really answer your question, but I was also averse to on-screen keyboard initially. Then I started using Swype.
It might sound like a bad advert, but I have to say Swype's (or other similar competitors like SlideIT) method of input makes it amazingly good to write on a touchscreen. It's also free (in beta) so it's worth a shot.
Otherwise, I'm afraid keyboards are going the way of the dodo. There are a few smartphones with them, but they're far from flagship phones. You might instead want to look into "keyboard cases", for a lack of a better term. They're usually Bluetooth keyboards that attach to a phone as a case and thus provide both protection and a built-in keyboard at the expense of more weight and a larger size. The bonus is obviously that you can remove the keyboard if you don't want it anymore.
I've never really been on the market for one, so I wouldn't be able to give you tips as to which is good, but you could look for what phones have such cases and make your choice from that. It's either that or going for an older phone like the original Moto Droid which had a built-in keyboard.
But a quick search turned up a list of new Android phones with QWERTY keyboards:
I can't tell you anything specific about them, but brand-wise I'd lean towards Samsung. They made the last two Nexus phones, which are excellent (but lacking keyboards).
To my great surprise, I'm also relying more on speech-to-text transliteration. Android has quite a good built-in dictation engine, and Swype's Dragon Naturally Speaking dictation is pretty good also (though Android's is better). It's a very good alternative to keying in text letter by letter.
There are many Android handsets with slide-out keyboards which give the best of both worlds - hardware keys and a full-sized touchscreen. I don't think there are any high-end phones with hardware keys, though.
Try Swype and give it a good couple of days before you write it off - it's effortless to learn but the challenge is remembering where keys are and appreciating the "shape" of words. Failing that, try voice dictation. You could also try using a stylus to tap keys or drive handwriting recognition software, and a larger phone like the Galaxy Note would make this very comfortable.
I'm hijacking this thread as well because I want to brag. I rooted my Galaxy Nexus, unlocked the bootloader, and installed the 4.1 Jelly Bean prerelease OS. It was a very rewarding experience, and Google actually sent me an automated email congratulating me on unlocking my phone, confirming that I can now use it unhindered on any of its worldwide carriers! Google is super cool for being pro-hacking!
Are you sure your phone's not at cause? I know I (mistakenly) sprung for a Kobo Vox and its touchscreen has been ridiculously unresponsive, especially in comparison to my Nexus S. While the Vox might be a particularly bad example as it's a cheap as hell tablet, you could've just stumbled on a lemon.
I say this because most often touchscreens are *too* sensitive, not the opposite. They'll sometimes react when you're just hovering above them, since capacitive tech doesn't actually need contact to trigger.
Still, try Swype. It's unlike any other keyboard out there and it very well may negate the issues you've been having.
Unresponsive touchscreens are often an issue of slow or oversaturated CPUs. My first smartphone was an entry-level clunker and it often ignored or half-obeyed my commands because it was too busy remembering to breathe. My current phone has a faster CPU and is far more obedient.
Or in my father-in-law's case, the callouses on his fingers from lifelong guitar plucking are like a cloaking device for touchscreens. He has to use his knuckles.
Last edited by djbriandamage; 05-07-2012 at 08:43 PM.
Your father-in-law needs capacitive gloves ;)
or maybe a 5 minute appointment with a belt sander
I've had a cursory glance through the thread, but nothing too concrete. If this request is equal to something else said, I'd be highly appreciative, if not out-right thankful, if someone could direct me to said relevant post. Anyhow...
I am a man. More importantly, I am a man looking for a smart-phone.
Two and a half considerations, otherwise I'm open-game.
1. Budget of around £150, I guess. Or much below if something I want (description below) fits better.
2. Is Android powered. I'm open to other suggestions, but I will out-right refuse to use an iPhone.
2.5. Can be used on an O2 network.
My friend recently introduced me to GiffGaff, which is considerably better than what I currently have (£10/m for 200m, unlimited texts vs. the same amount, but for 250m, unlimited texts and internet). Thing is, to make the most of that, it would seem silly to not have a smart phone to get the most out of it (even if it isn't already better now). At the same time, my phone is over 6 years old and the model has probably been around for at least a year prior, so I think an upgrade is in order. Not to mention I'm growing increasingly concerned that difficulties I'm having hearing are to do with the fact that the phone is just showing its age.
In this new phone, I'm looking for something that is good (hence the budget) but obviously isn't top-of-the-range. By that, I mean something that won't make me wish I had spent £10 more to get something noticeably better, a problem you tend to encounter if you spend less. I was thinking perhaps more a good model that is maybe a year or so old and has been replaced by the next top-of-the-range thing, but my knowledge in smart phones is rather lacking, so I acknowledge I'm mostly sprouting crap.
Assistance will be showered with gratitude and a virtual hug. Thanks in advance!
This would be my recommendation - calculate your costs per month, and weigh the options of a contract versus buying the phone outright. I too was planning on getting a mid-range phone but after doing my math it worked out to cost me about 25 cents more per month to sign a contract and own the best phone on the market.
I see what you're talking about, for sure. Unfortunately, the network I wish to use (GiffGaff) do not do phone-based deals, just Sims. They are also the cheapest I'm aware of. Is the general consensus then that it's not worth buying something in the middle then?
You really should be able to get something decent with a 4" screen for £150, like the huawai ascend (sadly locked to vodafone) but you dont get decent specs until the £250 point really.
I just picked up both a Nokia Lumia 800 and Galaxy Nexus for £200 a piece for a friend and family member respectively.
As always, and as the beginning of this topic stated, it all comes down to which OS you like. I personally am a Windows Phone person as all my daily services are from Microsoft and it just...fits. (The later versions of) Android are very good, a darn sight better than those previously and well suited if you like to tinker on a smaller customisation scale or on a massive hackery scale.
Is £150 the absolute limit or would you be willing to add a few more pennies for something that little bit more sparkly if it were to last you longer?
Last edited by oli_g89; 27-07-2012 at 04:11 PM.