Thursday, April 28, 2011

What do you think of touchscreen QWERTY messenger phones?

Two form factors have emerged as the predominant smartphone designs today. The touchscreen, most popularly represented by Apple iPhone, and the QWERTY messenger phone, which is mostly associated with BlackBerry. 

BlackBerry will be releasing touchscreen versions of its popular bold and curve phones. Samsung has released an Android QWERTY messenger, the Samsung Galaxy Pro S7510 which can be found for Php12,350 at CMK Cellphones.

I used a QWERTY messenger phone for almost five (5) years. Earlier this year I moved on to a touchscreen phone. It was a hard decision. I can type blazingly fast on a QWERTY messenger and no touchscreen could come close no matter how much I practiced. In the end, I chose a large screen 4.3-inch unit, a HTC Desire HD, since I was having trouble typing "fast" on smaller 3.5-inch and 3.7-inch screens.  A case of clumsy thumbs I guess since the smaller size seems to suit most users.  In the end, I went back to typing in portrait mode using the HTC Compact keyboard (which looks like BlackBerry's Suretype keyboard), and that seems to be the best solution for me.

The slider (HTC Desire Z and Samsung Galaxy 551) is something I looked at as an option. But, I do not like the phones with large moving parts, and the balance of a slider makes it harder to use on the mov. In the end, I do not even use my touchscreen phone on landscape mode so that made the slider something I would not feel comfortable with. If one of this touchscreen QWERTY messengers had been available, I think I may have given them a very long look.

The main drawback is of course, with a fixed physical keyboard, you have small 2.4 to 2.6 inch screens. The main advantage (which is true for touchscreen sliders) is you do not share your screen with a keyboard, and you have a keyboard with nice tactile feedback.

I am married to my Desire HD for two years so I am not going to checking out one of these touchscreen QWERTY messenger phones. What do you think? Is the touchscreen QWERTY messenger phone a excellent marriage of two worlds, or a useless compromise of two excellent designs. Would love to hear from you.

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