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What's your favourite HW keyboard phone?

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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.

 

I can't wait either :)

On the Priv, it is important to keep it lean to perform well. I have written quite a bit on it. You can start here

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I am sooo in the "shut up and take my money" box. It's almost pitiful. The wait is killing me now even though I also want them to not rush and get it right. :-D

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i still use a Nokia N900, for nearly 10 years now, everything works just as it should - but still, i eagerly await this new Pro1 model as i really need openVPN, with JuiceSSH, and a more up-to-date browser etc. i hope delivery to Canada will not be delayed much...

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Doesn’t seem to be very popular around here, but I used the original Motorola Milestone.......

...i must understand. Droid/milestone was really good madded phone. I have used it too, then droid 2 global and then droid 3. For me was really best d3....cool design like d1 with 5row keyboard. Only problem was ti cpu and not unlockable cpu :( Now i still on phq xt897 :(

 

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…i must understand. Droid/milestone was really good madded phone. I have used it too, then droid 2 global and then droid 3. For me was really best d3….cool design like d1 with 5row keyboard. Only problem was ti cpu and not unlockable cpu :( Now i still on phq xt897 :(

 

Well. The Milestone/Droid 2 was harder to get here, plus the original Milestone I had lasted for quit e a long time. When time came to replace it, the Droid 3 was out but not officially sold here, and I ended up with a Razr Maxx. Since no qwerty's were available in Brazil anymore, at least the the big (for the time) battery won me over.

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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/….

 

I'm on a Droid 4 to post this, and Motorola made the same decision. The Pro 1 keyboard layout is nearly identical to the layout on the Droid 4. This shows that they, like me, believe that the layout Motorola used on the Droid 4 is basically ideal for the form factor, and not significantly improvable. I can tell you after years of using the layout, after many MANY years of using others, it really is the apex of phone keyboards.

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1. Droid 4. No question the best, and I'm still using it daily and to post this. :) Obviously F(x)tec agrees since they all but copied it for the Pro1.

2. Droid 3. Not much different from Droid 4.

3. Palm Treo 650/700. I used both and really liked the keyboards (not much difference between the devices at all.) One thing I liked about it was it was significantly better with only one hand available than anything else I've ever used. D-pad made navigation a breeze. Also the screen was shaped such that you held the device portrait and worked landscape. I used the Treo 700 for talk and text (concurrently with other devices) until 2016 because I loved it so much.

4. Original Droid. 4-row membrane keyboard with D-pad for gaming!

5. Blackberry Priv. I bought this when I learned Verizon was about to kill my D4. I don't like working in portrait, and frankly the device is too big to hold in one hand, negating the one advantage it could have had over the landscape D4/D3. Lack of arrows or a D-pad makes precise navigation in a zoomed-out screen (my norm) very difficult. I consider their take on a slider keyboard better than nothing, but the worst I've tried so far.

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1. Droid 4. No question the best, and I’m still using it daily and to post this. :) Obviously F(x)tec agrees since they all but copied it for the Pro1.

 

You really think it is copied? The layout is substantially different, The Droid has 12 keys width in the letter rows, and 10 at the top row..

So in their layout the "1" and "2" is shifted less than one key to the left "3" to "7" roughly at the standard positions, and "8", "9" and "0" shifted more and more to the right, with "0" shifted about 1½ key right from standard.

 

The Pro1 got 14 equally width columns. On the US layout ALL digits are shifted exactly one key left relative to the letters. (Or more accurately the letters are shifted one key right compared to the digits and other keys)

 

(The Droid4 even has their letters in a much less than standard staggered arrangement. "ASD.." is only slightly left of "ZXC..". The Pro1 is closer to follow the conventional QWERTY staggering - of course the staggering is just a convention today, though it on classic typewriters were to have the mechanical arms separated)

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I've not had experience with anything mentioned here, which actually makes me a bit shocked that nobody else has mentioned what I do have, that being a Samsung Brightside. It runs a proprietary build of Symbian (very odd choice for Samsung), which I can't bring myself to appreciate, and it doesn't have a 4G radio of any kind, but the overall hardware itself has mostly done me fine since mid-2012. I say "mostly" because lately the camera button only works half the time, the screen is a little TOO sensitive sometimes (I'll be holding it but not actually touching it and it'll, say, turn on Bluetooth when I didn't want it on), and despite having more than enough internal storage for text messages, it'll constantly complain it's low on memory, forcing me to dump messages to the mSD card. The biggest issue is, being on Verizon, it's not going to work at the end of the year as Verizon is shutting off all of its non-4G wireless networks at that time.

 

I waited for far too long for a suitable replacement to make an appearance, with Blackberry's stuff not appealing to me, so you can imagine how ecstatic I was to see the Pro1 making headlines. I've got my pre-order in and hope it'll come off the line sometime soon.

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I think no one has mentioned Samsung Brightside as it looks like it only released on verizon? May have gone by a different name internationally.

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I think no one has mentioned Samsung Brightside as it looks like it only released on verizon? May have gone by a different name internationally.

 

Makes sense, I'm not aware of any overseas version of it. Still, while the phone is small, and the screen stays flat when the keyboard is out, it's a really nice keyboard, it's basically the only reason I've used it for so long.

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I think no one has mentioned Samsung Brightside as it looks like it only released on verizon? May have gone by a different name internationally.

Makes sense, I’m not aware of any overseas version of it. Still, while the phone is small, and the screen stays flat when the keyboard is out, it’s a really nice keyboard, it’s basically the only reason I’ve used it for so long.

 

It seems to be Verizon only. Tried browsing a bit on GSMArena, and the closest international seems to be the slightly newer i827

https://www.gsmarena.com/compare.php3?idPhone1=4771&idPhone2=4641#diff-

https://www.gsmarena.com/results.php3?nYearMin=2010&nYearMax=2012&fDisplayInchesMin=3.1&fDisplayInchesMax=3.2&sMakers=9&idQwerty=1

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1. Droid 4. No question the best, and I’m still using it daily and to post this. :) Obviously F(x)tec agrees since they all but copied it for the Pro1.

You really think it is copied? The layout is substantially different, The Droid has 12 keys width in the letter rows, and 10 at the top row..

 

So in their layout the “1” and “2” is shifted less than one key to the left “3” to “7” roughly at the standard positions, and “8”, “9” and “0” shifted more and more to the right, with “0” shifted about 1½ key right from standard.

 

The Pro1 got 14 equally width columns. On the US layout ALL digits are shifted exactly one key left relative to the letters. <span class="gdbbx-bbcode-font-color" style="color: #999999">(Or more accurately the letters are shifted one key right compared to the digits and other keys)</span>

 

(The Droid4 even has their letters in a much less than standard staggered arrangement. “ASD..” is only slightly left of “ZXC..”. The Pro1 is closer to follow the conventional QWERTY staggering – of course the staggering is just a convention today, though it on classic typewriters were to have the mechanical arms separated)

 

Keep in mind that you have physically held the Pro1 (from what I gather in forums) and I have not, so I'm going off pictures of that. After I posted, I did notice that Motorola used wider number keys than the letters, and thought what a waste that was. At the end of the day, I think that most people will quickly get accustomed to either layout, as both are just variants of the traditional typewriter/computer layout.

 

Speaking of typewriters, though, many compact typewriters didn't have a 1 key; you used a lower case L instead. I don't remember but I feel like that shifted the number row; I'll have to look at my portable typewriter and see. I do have one. I even use it sometimes. :)

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Speaking of typewriters, though, many compact typewriters didn’t have a 1 key; you used a lower case L instead. I don’t remember but I feel like that shifted the number row; I’ll have to look at my portable typewriter and see. I do have one. I even use it sometimes. :)

 

Here is one. No shift, the 2 centred between Q and W. (It was also very common to use the letter o for zero)

https://www.tias.com/stores/clocksgalore/pictures/8139a.jpg

compact typewriter

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Speaking of typewriters, though, many compact typewriters didn’t have a 1 key; you used a lower case L instead. I don’t remember but I feel like that shifted the number row; I’ll have to look at my portable typewriter and see. I do have one. I even use it sometimes. :)

 

....But here is another without the zero, but with the one, and the digits shifted the other way(!)

https://5.imimg.com/data5/VM/VO/MY-2105719/hermes-baby-g.jpg

 

...And here one with neither 1 nor 0 and shift like the Pro1

https://www.bazaraki.com/adv/2356211_vintage-olympia-portable-typewriter/

 

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Speaking of typewriters, though, many compact typewriters didn’t have a 1 key; you used a lower case L instead. I don’t remember but I feel like that shifted the number row; I’ll have to look at my portable typewriter and see. I do have one. I even use it sometimes. :)

Here is one. No shift, the 2 centred between Q and W. (It was also very common to use the letter o for zero)

 

https://www.tias.com/stores/clocksgalore/pictures/8139a.jpg

 

compact typewriter

 

I have this exact typewriter. How did you get it out of my house?! :P But all the typewriters you've shown prove is that people will get accustomed to wherever you put the numbers, and that shifting them one way or the other is no crime. Also, thanks for the typewriter pictures. They're as good as cat pictures. :)

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I take back what I said about the keyboard on the P1 being a D4 clone. I studied the P1 keyboard more closely today, and realized that there are some important improvements to the P1 over the D4. The one that excites me the most is the right shift key, which the original Droid had, but the D4 does not, and I miss it. This looks like the very best landscape slider keyboard ever made anywhere by anyone. I can hardly wait. :)

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This looks like the very best landscape slider keyboard ever made anywhere by anyone. I can hardly wait. :)

 

I'm definitely with you on that one. :-D

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My first QWERTY slider was the Samsung Sidekick 4G, which also had the angled screen. I still have it as an alternate phone, even though the OS is so old I can't update anything any more. But it accepts full-size SD cards, which was useful for the data SIM I bought for use in Japan so I could use it as a hotspot.

 

My current QWERTY slider is the LG Optimus F3Q. It's not as nice as the Samsung, but has LTE support that the Samsung doesn't. It's getting a bit long in the tooth, though, and I'm really looking forward to replacing it with the Pro1.

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My first phone with a QWERTY-keyboard was Palm Treo 600 and I love it. Unfortunately bought it with some technical problems and one day I overpriced my technical abilities (I have to mention I was 14...) and decided to try to repair it which didn't go well. Second was HTC Wizard - it was fat but small, the processor had whapping 180MHz (wasn't too fast), but I rocked the keyboard really hard and if the flextape didn't die I would be using it much longer than those 2 years - it was my best keyboard phone. Then there was Toshiba G900 which had software issues and was losing letters while typing, didn't use it too long because it went to service after badly flashed ROM... They didn't have the parts for it but it was still on it's warranty period so they got me a brand new one despite the fact that it was not in production any more. Sold it afterwards and got me a HTC Touch Pro. It was a nice phone, shiny, pretty, handy, but the keyboard was too small for me. That one had some issues with touch-sensitive buttons on the front and also went to service and once again I got a brand new one, which I gave to my friend (since I bought me the android-powered Motorola RAZR in the meantime). My next phone with QWERTY was BlackBerry Q5 which I got for work. Loved it, BBOS 10 was fantastic, the keyboard was good but not as good as the one in Wizard. Then there was BlackBerry PRIV, but it was a total disaster - overheating, laggy, weak processor, the touch-sensitive keyboard was driving me crazy, but the worst thing was that thin plastic back cover, which was pushing against the motherboard so hard when in my pocket, that all contact pins of the antennas were dead after a year of using the phone. Switched it for Galaxy S7 and now... Now I'm waiting for the Pro1. If that one passes the test, I'm getting another one for my wife (Yes, I'll be the test-rabbit:))

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The N900 not because it had the best hardware, it probably hadn't, but because the whole OS was designed for a keyboard phone (with a stylus). Go back in a menu? just click somewhere on the background. Call Peter, just type peter anywhere outside an app and press enter, sms? the same but with an arrow-key in-between.

 

This grade of efficiency will most certainly not be possible with android at the moment. But I hope some lineage-devs will work in this direction.

 

P.S. The single-key shortcut to an app is nice but pretty static.

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P.S. The single-key shortcut to an app is nice but pretty static.

 

I hope they will allow long press on more than a single key to be associated with an action, say press Alt and then press and hold a key to do something.special. Say Alt+P to call Peter and Alt+Ctrl+P to send Peter an SMS...... Just brainstorming here...

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P.S. The single-key shortcut to an app is nice but pretty static.

I hope they will allow long press on more than a single key to be associated with an action, say press Alt and then press and hold a key to do something.special. Say Alt+P to call Peter and Alt+Ctrl+P to send Peter an SMS…… Just brainstorming here…

 

Would be nice. I would prefer an Omni-search tough. Typing 'Sky' f.e. should give you a list with 'call skyler', 'write skyler', 'open Skype' and so on.

This should include settings ('Wirel...' => 'turn on wireless'), apps, contacts and so on (custom defined macros).

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I had two qwerty phones, first was Nokia 9500 Communicator that I wasn't using for a long time and the second one was SPV M3100(it's a HTC TyTN variant) which was a landscape slider similar to Pro1, except it wasn't angled. The SPV was my favorite phone, not just favorite qwerty phone(still sitting somewhere in the closet) and that device made me love qwerty in phones. What I liked in SPV was the ability to fully control it without even using touchscreen. SPV was built for Windows Mobile 5.0 but mine had WM 6.0(it was second-hand one and it was like that).Still, I really enjoyed that system, however for current time it's extremely outdated, hardware cannot handle new websites and after longer use WM 6.0 was working smooth anymore. Tried reviving it but it's just too old.

Writing messages was amazing with it, I could type without watching the screen. I also used it as GameBoy console.

 

I'm looking forward for Pro1 being my new favorite phone.

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Off-Topic, but referring to Tomasz Papaj's post:

I loved the optical trackpad HTC used for the Desire Z / Vison / Google G2, which was superior to Apple's boring Home-Buttons. The HTC Wildfire had this aswell, and the early Blackberrrys something similar as far as I can remember. (Trackball?)

You could push the button to select something, and swipe this button to move the cursor or get to another input field very quickly. Acted like arrow-keys, but much more intuitive and quicker to use. Editiing texts will never get that precise again.

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