With the increasing popularity of touchscreen mobile phones, the physical QWERTY keyboard is slowly being becoming a thing of the past. While many users find onscreen keyboards, such as those found on iPhones and most Android models, to be fine for the small amount of typing they might do when texting or sending emails, there is a certain subset of people who require a phone with a real keyboard with real keys. Whether they are journalists, creative writers or just people who do a lot of typing, many users still salivate at the thought of a full physical QWERTY keyboard on their phone. Unfortunately the touchscreen appears to be here to stay. Luckily mobile phones with physical keyboards are still being produced, although with much less fanfare than their touchscreen cousins. Here are some of the best smart phones with physical keyboards available on the market today.
RIM Blackberry Bold 9900
No list of mobile phones with physical keyboards can be complete without the latest BlackBerry model. RIM have been continually perfecting the mobile phone for business users, and this latest addition to the line-up does not disappoint. While the display is a small 2.8 inches, the keyboard is the main selling feature. The keys have raised edges making it very easy to touch type. This isn’t a phone for social networking, but it is perfect for typing.
While Nokia’s Symbian operating system has been dying a slow death in comparison to its Android and iOS competitors, the physical quality of Nokia phones has always been high. The E7 was launched in early 2011, making it one of the older phones on the list, but it is a cult favourite amongst fans of physical keyboards. The keyboard flips out from under the screen which is a comfortably large 4 inches. Users familiar with a computer keyboard will be typing away in no time.
Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
This is essentially a high quality android phone with a slide out keyboard. It’s perfect for those who want one of the latest operating systems plus a physical QWERTY keyboard wrapped up in a sleek package. The 3.7 inch screen will display a fair amount of text so you can read back over what you have recently typed.
The Droid 4 is one of the newest QWERTY mobile phones on the market. The keyboard is a thing of beauty, with five rows of keys and most importantly, it is backlit. This is great for typing in poor light conditions. The Droid 4 rivals the Nokia E7 for screen size with a 4 inch screen. In fact, this could be seen as an upgrade for those users who have been holding on to their E7s until something better came along.
While physical keyboards are becoming increasingly rare in the world of touchscreen phones, there are still some great QWERTY phones to be found. All of the phones on this list efficiently perform all the usual mobile phone functions like making calls, texting, browsing and taking pictures, but most importantly, they all make excellent mobile word processors that fit in your pocket or bag. What more could a busy writer want?