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What's your favourite HW keyboard phone?

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Oh right, this thread! I can say it now, my favorite HW keyboard phone is the F(x)tec Pro1 :).

That Droid 4 was seeing an E7 or N950 when N900 wasn't home...

only youuuuuuu.... its Nokia n950 with desktop debian inside 🙂  Qt creator, arm-none-eabi-gcc, minGW, x86 compiler, and avr-gcc... etc..  Writing programm for anything!! 

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I only had one - a Samsung Omnia and I liked it. I would prefer a slider mechanism and it is very important for me to get a German QWERTZ layout with easy accessible umlauts (Ä,ä, ö, Ö, ü, Ü ß). Sharp Zaurus SL-C 1000 had a good function to edit the keyboard functionality e.g. to add sticky keys and such things.

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My list of best Keyboard phone would be :

1 - Nokia E7 (<3)

2 - Blackberry Classic (Q20, the that I actually use)

3 - Samsung S5611

4 - Blackberry priv


Just one question : Will your smartphone keyboard be in AZERTY ?


Because I'm French and this would perfectly replace my Classic ! :-D

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Motorola Photon Q (XT897) / Droid 4 (XT894)


Five row keyboard with good layout and tactile response.

Unlockable bootloader (XT897).

Partial compatibility for choice of Linux based OS (XT894).



Keyboard is noisy (popping sound on key-press).

Ribbon/flex cable breaks.



Nokia E7 / N950


Excellent build quality, materials and durability.

Silent keyboard.



Keyboard lacks buttons. The tab, shift, esc keys are missing from the left, meaning the alphanumeric keys are not centered in the hand for typing.

Symbian (E7).

Unreleased (N950).


Fxtec (what we know so far):


Similar hinge design from former Nokia employees, so should be durable. Metal construction.

Five row keyboard.

Unlockable bootloader.

Proposed compatibility with multiple Linux based OS's.

3.5mm Audio jack (no longer a standard in 2019).



Obscure choice of key positions. The numeric keys are misaligned with the alphabet keys by one position to the right. For example, above the 'Q' key are 2 and 3. On any standard keyboard, it should be 1 and 2.


Solution: Is there really a need for both a backspace and a delete key? If the delete key is changed to backspace, the numeric keys can all be shifted right one position and the ~ key moved up one position. This leaves a blank key to the left of 'Q' that could be used for a different symbol.

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Reply to static_typer, February 18, 2019 at 11:08 am


Obscure choice of key positions. The numeric keys are misaligned with the alphabet keys by one position to the right. For example, above the ‘Q’ key are 2 and 3. On any standard keyboard, it should be 1 and 2.


I too find that rather odd. I do understand the WHY to centre the letters to ease two-thumbs usage, but to me the price of the misalignment is not a good balance. Another way could be to move the plus to a secondary position on the minus key. Though an important symbol, the plus is used far less than the dash and the digits for ordinary users texting/mailing/browsing/....

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Droid 4, since that is what I am currently using. Really anything is fine as long as it is a 5 row keyboard--I can't stand the 4 row on the priv. I personally would like to see a dedicated @ as well as something that can be mapped as a ctrl. There is not much use for alt/ctrl under android but it is useful for ssh'ing into linux, or for the proposed native linux running on the phone.

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I had a HTC Touch Pro 2 for a while, it had a tilt screen, I liked the Keyboard on that. and the Droid 3 had a nice action and was super rugged, but Have a Droid 4 ATM, But the best keyboard I had was not on a phone it was a Psion 5MX. Put that Keyboard on a phone and I'm there!

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what is my favorite qwerty phone...hmmm thats hard question. My first was nokia 9110, then 9210, htc wox, htc xda atmos, htc s740, milestone, xperia mini pro, droid2global, droid 3 and then of course Photon Q...all of these phones was good...but maybe best was droid 3 for its design , 5 row keyboard and for metal frame around display.

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Motorola Photon Q.


To my knowledge, it's the highest spec landscape slider there is...


I like the keyboard, Always been happy with it being conformable and usable. I like that Motorola allows unlocking bootloader. I like the ability to run cynaogenmod and lineageos, especially on such an old phone. I'm fairly happy with the size. I liked the hdmi port, I hooked it up to hotel TVs to watch video when traveling.


I'm not happy Moto never even released Kitkat even tho they'd promised it previously. I'm not happy that it required hardware mod to use sim card (to use outside us sprint), and I'm not happy how slow it seems today compared to modern phones. I also don't like micro-usb as much as usb-c, which of course is not a fault of a phone that came out more than 5 years ago.



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@CornholioGSM wow, nice to see some old-school guys here in this forum. I followed your photon q mod back in 2012 and that was such an awesome phone... I just needed to change it for another phone when I needed to swap sim cards once in a while. Have been looking for another qwerty phone since but there has never been more than some leaks some early pictures of the Droid 5. Anyway, you seem interested in the upcoming qwerty phone?

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My qwerty phone list (in order I have used it):


ETen Gloofish M800

Pro: one of the very first smartphone with full horizontal keyboard. Good response of the keys. Like the sliding mechanism. Good price (280€).

Con: very bad OS (windows mobile 6.1). Bad hardware. Lot of problems. No finger friendly. No space between the keyboard keys. Huge bezel and small screen.


HTC Desire Z

Pro: Android. Very good assembly. Still now in function. Good hardware for 2010 phone. Standard headphone jack.

Con: the key's response is not so good (very soft without "click"). After years of use some keys need to be pressed very hard to function. I didn't like the sliding mechanism. Hardware too old for today (isn't a con, it's the hardware life). Price a little bit high (475€). Very difficult to unlock but is possibile to do.


Motorola Photon Q

Pro: very good keyboard. Simply to unlock. The last QWERTY phone at the moment. Decent hardware. Good keybord response. Price low (used with hw mod: 100-120€)

Con: slider connection cable that broke after intense use. Bad assembly. Keybord click too noisy. Need to be modify in the hardware if you need to use with your own SIM. This cause a lot of hardware problems like screen bugs/blackout, battery drain ecc. Need to change 3 times... After the last problem I choose to switch to a non QWERTY phone :-(


Hope this can help... Waiting form your new device! :-)

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