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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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1) N900 - because of landscape and possibility to remap every single key as usual in Xorg. I have mapped complete US ASCII + most of CZ symbols with all required dead keys for CZ and DE. Yes, I had to remember the layout, but it was logical based on standard PC keyboard and I could switch the layouts using the two switch-keys


2) my current BB K1 with fixed portrait HW keyboard


I have seen the Pyra Handheld, but it's not smart phone, it's too thick. Then Cosmo Communicator (phone+camera version of Gemini PDA) looks good too, but it's probably too wide (6") to write without table and the Comso must be opened to write. Pro1 looks exactly how I wanted some Android should seen after N900. So I hope Pro1 gets on the first place :-)

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Nokia 9000i - but weighed almost as much as a 1lb bag of sugar.

Nokia 9100i - big advance over 9000i and still my favourite...!

Nokia 9500 - eventually hinges cracked and the grey external finish started coming off despite being kept in a proper case

Nokia E90 - eventually the well-documented microphone problem, not my favourite keyboard. Battery could still be changed easily.

Nokia N900 - never used on a daily basis - arguably insufficient "business" software and keyboard not best suited to typing longer (over 2 A4 pages) documents


Nokia E7 from its release and still in daily use. To date, there have been NO problems with either the hinge mechanism or letters rubbing off the much used keys during this phone's somewhat extended life. No screen burn-in. Sleeping clock and small charge LED indicator next to the microUSB are both of great benefit.


Blackberry Priv - never used on a daily basis - hot as a toaster, battery life poor, stuck on Android M though Blackberry had hinted that might release Android O. Did not take to keyboard, though screen impressive.


Two points arising from these phones possibly relevant to the design of the production Pro1 or any successor:


1 - Will the Pro 1 have a "full time" sleeping clock option? Would certainly be willing to pay a supplement as assume there is still some patent protection in force and extra hardware may be required;


2 - Will eventual and no doubt post-guarantee battery replacement require the use of assorted tools such as hot air guns, proper vacuum suckers, jigs and re-gluing, or will it, Nokia E7 style, mainly and beneficially involve the use of screws?

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My favorites keyboard was E7:

+ the slider display, very simple to open it by one hand, only one display (do not need two of them)

+ good size of keys, good noic when pressing, good shape of keys, the keys were in good position

- only 4 rows keyboard but it was because of size


Please put the characters back to the left so they are under the right numbersor shift the numbers to the right! This combination is odd.

I understand why you do it but it will be odd.

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The HTC Arrive is one that i s probably overlooked due to windows phone, but had a solid keyboard.


hands down my favorite qwerty device is the htc vision/g2/desire z. the hinge was satisfying to snap back and forth, the keys felt good and placement was nice. development was great on the phone and had lasting support.


Glad to see so many photon q owners here though, was my last qwerty device and im anxious to get a new qwerty that actually is decent (looking at you f3q...). i dont think ive been this pumped about a new phone in years. the keys being offset is going to be a learning curve and not thrilled about it, but i feel like its one minor issue vs getting a phone that has so much right for it. their bootloader being open and supporting developers is awesome and i hope we see some great ports because of it.

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The best Keyboard Phones comes from HTC,

your Device is like the HTC Touch pro II und the HTC 7pro. Have a 5 rows keyboard with Numbers and Letters in one Layout and the Display that cline up after slide out the Keyboard is a Dream.


I try some Nokias like the N97 and a Dells Venue pro, but they have never a Change against the Keyboard Functionality of an HTC Device.

I have devices from the first Windows Mobiles (5.0 to 6.8) like the Qtek9100 (HTC) then a HTC TyTN II, a HTC Diamond touch Pro and at last the HTC touch pro II.

After that Experience the Windows Phone follows with my all time favorite the "HTC 7 Pro"!


I very happy to see your Produkt and hope for an successful start. When you bring one with a German QWERTZ keyboard i will let back the Windows and use an Android Device from FXtec

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My first one was Sony Ericsson M600i. It was very convenient (and much fun) to type messages on it as well as make use of handwriting recognition on its screen for symbols not present on the keyboard.


My current and favourite one is Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro (MK16i). It is my main phone and I'm not going to replace it with a phone without any keys.:) I hope you at F(x)tec will do your best to create a capable and well-built device that will last not less than my current one!

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hi everyone. My list of the Best hw keyboard is like this:

1: BlackBerry Classic q20 (pure perfection of all what I demand about smartphone, but it will never come back)

2: Nokia E7 (great Balance between technology for bussines like hw keyboard and gorgeous design *sliding mechanism is the Best sample of that* and great multimedia experience like oled display and features like full hdmi out, USB otg and many more)

3: BlackBerry PRIV (I have one by now and I like it for big beautifull curved screen, sliding mechanism and of course keyboard but its no good in optimalisation and the frame/back of my specimen is almost still overheat grrr)

4: Nokia n97 mini (poor touchscreen technology but the sliding mechanism were in these days Such original and awesome!)

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My love for hardware keyboard started when I was handed an old Nokia communicator for few days during my Symbian dev days for fixing defects in 2007. Think it was the 9300i but not completely sure. Shortly after that I'd another brief encounter with the Nokia E90 for work again. This time it was for few weeks and liked the keyboard a lot. Hated the need to open the phone like a box for the full keyboard but keyboard love was truly up.


My list of phones with hardware keyboards based on ones I used since the E90:


1. Nokia E7 (Was my daily driver and dev phone and preferred this over the N8 even with the poorer camera. The reason why this is #1 is the layout and the sliding mechanism)

2. BB Passport (Had 2 of these and loved them. Would still be using it if BB was still supporting it)

3. Nokia N900 (Loved using even the keys were hard. Even had an larger battery from mugen)

4. BB Q10 and Nokia E5 (Loved these 2 equally. Only reason they are so down is because of the small screen and keys were close to each other for my fingers)

5. Nokia N97 mini (Keyboard was nice but usability pushed it to this level).



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

The BlackBerry Priv, because that's what I'm currently using. Tho it's getting a bit long in the tooth, and have been waiting for *someone* to release another Android qwerty slider...finally...thank you Fxtec!

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I can only pick from three phones with pkb I've used at all - that being the Blackberry Curve 8900, the SonyEricsson Xperia Mini Pro and the Blackberry Priv. They rank like this:


1. Xperia Mini Pro

2. BB Priv

3. Curve 8900


I feel like I have to add, that the Curve was my work phone... and looking back - I hated it. The Priv is the one I'm currently using. I bought it to upgrade from my trusty Mini Pro which had an incredible lifespan with custom firmware that did it's best to get around the limiting internal storage by using a partitioned microSD. And it's still working. The Priv looked like a good choice at the time with promises of long term regular updates. The locked down OS came back to bite my butt when BB decided to drop support two years after launch. I still think a landscape slider would have been the better option. I mean - the Mini Pro even has arrow keys while the Priv doesn't. At least it's a slider - not a fan of "always on" keyboards.


The Pro1 can't come soon enough.

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If I am just judging the keyboard and not the software, my ordered list (of phones I've owned) is:


1: Sidekick 3: http://media3.s-nbcnews.com/j/msnbc/Components/Photos/060619/060619_tmsidekick_hmed_1p_.grid-6x2.jpg

Sidekick 2008: https://images.theinformr.com/phones/73/865/sidekick-2008-full-1.jpg

They have the same keyboard. The trackball and other navigation buttons on the sides of the screen, when closed, are probably more refined on the 2008 version.


2: Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G/SGH-T699/Galaxy S Blaze Q: https://i.ebayimg.com/images/i/362514266636-0-1/s-l1000.jpg

I own 5 of these. First one lasted 3 years until the screen ribbon cable started giving out. Next one lasted a year until I cracked the screen. At that point, I bought 3 extras online for spares. I have been using one for over 2 years. One of the other ones had a bad ribbon cable right out of the box. The other one works fine and will hopefully be my last backup plan until I get the Pro 1. The keyboards on some revisions of these phones are slightly different, with some having slightly flatter, matte textured keys and some with the keys being slightly more raised and with an almost glossy finish. The sliding mechanism seems to work better on the variant with the shinier keys, so maybe they also adjusted the slider mechanism.

Layout is the same on all of them.


I've also replaced batteries from time to time, as they won't hold a charge after a while. The USB port melted on my first phone and wouldn't transfer data anymore, but would charge after some playing with it. My current phone won't transfer data anymore either (I can do that wirelessly through a WebDAV server on the phone and client on my PC) and charging does sometimes get flaky until I take a pin to the USB port.


Oh, and the hardware navigation buttons (menu, home, back) stopped working on my first one after a while, so I started using a 3rd party app for virtual buttons and then switched to "on-screen nav bar" in the settings once I went to CyanogenMod. That does reduce the usable screen size a little bit. My current phone's hardware buttons work fine, but I still use the on-screen nav bar most of the time, out of habit.


3: T-Mobile G2 (HTC Desire Z/HTC Vision): https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/G/01/wireless/detail-page/tmob-g2-keyboard-lg.jpg

Broke the screen once and fixed it. Broke it again and bought the Relay 4G.


Taking the whole package into account (keyboard, software, processing, memory, storage, etc.), the Relay 4G is the best out of these 3. I have it upgraded to CyanogenMod 11/Android KitKat 4.4. That was the last version created for this phone before CyanogenMod shut down. Lineage OS rose from the ashes of CyanogeMod, but nobody has been able to come up with a working version for the Relay 4G yet. I'm running Link2SD to run most of the apps off a partition on the external SD card (which happens to be faster than the internal storage). I have over 200 apps installed on this phone. :-)


My main problem is when the internal card starts filling up in one of the many weird folders that are difficult to access and clean up. If internal storage free space gets too low, the phone really bogs down, because it slows down the storage access and that causes a chain reaction slowdown of the OS swapping RAM to storage, which it is doing most of the time, due to only having 1GB of RAM in the phone, and under 200 MB free most of the time. I also operate by only leaving 1 or 2 apps running at a time usually to reduce this issue.


I don't upgrade the apps very often for fear they will use more RAM or not run correctly on the old OS/phone. Forced upgrades are what really scares me, especially with any of the core Google apps.


I am *really* looking forward to having a phone with 6GB of RAM, a speedy processor, speedy storage, USB C *and* a physical keyboard. I would have gotten a Pixel 3 if not for the Pro 1 coming out. I would have tried some of the various handheld BlueTooth keyboards and would not have been very happy about it. :-)

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  • 4 weeks later...

The Droid 4 is pretty good and still my current phone, due to the awesome keyboard and CM/LineageOS keeping the OS pretty up-to-date. It took a a bit of work buying it and setting it up outside of the US, but well worth it. It was even worth living with its two biggest drawbacks; poor screen and poor camera (and difficult USB OTG).


In terms of overall package, I found the Xperia Pro great for its time; the keyboard was only 4 rows so not quite as good as the D4, but the screen and camera were great for the time, as was the overall ergonomics (hooray for hardware buttons).


My first keyboard phone was actually the LG GW620. It doesn't get many mentions and wasn't special spec-wise, but the keyboard actually felt awesome, right up there with the Droid 4. Five rows, and it opened with a satisfying click. It was also easily unlockable and rootable. But the capacitive front buttons drive me crazy! There didn't seem to be a "dead-zone", so if you were a little off pressing the centre button you'd touch either press menu or back.

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My last full qwerty phone was a Desire Z. The only reason for that being that the N900 didn't support Whatsapp and I needed it to stay connected. I'm in doubt... I loved the N900, going as far to buy a second hand replacement when the sim slot acted up. I didn't even mind the 3 row keyboard. But there was something about the E70 that just clicked with me.


God... What I'd've done for an N950...

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1. HTC Touch Pro 2 - Ideal form factor and tilting screen. Windows Operating system dated.

2. Motorola Photon Q - Most powerful Android QWERTY available currently 2012 model. Flat slider not the most ergonomic.


Cannot wait for the Pro1

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Doesn't seem to be very popular around here, but I used the original Motorola Milestone (a.k.a Droid 1). It was my first Android phone, and I loved it. I now use a BB Priv which is also quite good. But am eagerly waiting for the Pro¹ as my Priv is getting slower and slower and its Snapdragon 808 does heat up quite a lot and when it does, the phone's performance grinds to a halt for a few minutes before getting back to normal. Which is quite annoying. Am trying to postpone the headache & hassle of a hard-reset and fresh install for the day I get the Pro¹.

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