A couple of days ago we posted the first in a series of features looking at the world of QWERTY Android phones. It’s a strange little world, inhabited by people who (a) don’t like typing on touchscreens, and (b) don’t have a great deal of choice when it comes to Android, sadly.
If you haven’t read part 1, you should go back and check it out immediately, otherwise you’ll be completely lost. There’s more plot in this series than the Godfather trilogy.
Part 1 turned out to be an impromptu HTC special. Today it’s looking like Moto(rola)mania. The US manufacturer alone is responsible for a huge chunk of the QWERTY Android market, though it has a propensity for neglecting non-Americans. Read on for a shocking twist...
Motorola Milestone 2
The Motorola Milestone 2, known as the Droid 2 in the US, is another highly popular choice for keyboard enthusiasts. It’s the highest specced QWERTY effort from Motorola. In fact, it’s one of the highest specced QWERTY Android phones period.
The original Motorola Milestone was relatively successful, so its successor, understandably, is only marginally different. The Motorola Milestone 2 retains the 5MP camera, 3.7in screen size and 480x854 resolution, but increases the processing juice from a modest 600MHz to a significantly sexier 1GHz. Sweet.
The Motorola Milestone 2 has been praised for its sturdy design. It feels like a fairly solid old beast, and the sliding mechanism for the slide-out keyboard is pleasingly robust. No need to worry about accidentally ripping the QWERTY off its hinges.
The major negative here is Motorola’s notorious Motoblur crap. You’ll probably want to get rid of as many of the widgets as possible to maximise the phone’s performance.
Otherwise, it’s still a great option for QWERTY Androidness. It’ll set you back around £324.99 SIM free, which is the best price I can see at the time of writing (from Expansys).
Screen size: 3.7in
Just to keep everyone on their respective toes, Motorola renamed the Motorola CLIQ the Motorola DEXT when it was released outside the US. I’m sure they had a good reason. Ahem.
The Motorola DEXT was released to generally favourable reviews in the UK some 18 months ago, but it’s getting on a bit now. Indeed, it was only the second ever QWERTY Android phone, right behind the G1/HTC Dream.
Incidentally, it’s still stuck on Android 1.5. You heard me; Cupcake. As such, you might want to think twice before shelling out for one.
Screen size: 3.1in
We’ve featured a couple of Motorola Flipout deals this year, most recently from Expansys. That’s still looking like your best bet, where it’s currently £139.99 (down from £183.82, apparently) including delivery.
The Motorola Flipout has an absolutely bizarre design, which sees the screen rotate. When the keyboard is tucked away, you’re left holding a phone with an almost-square front. Check out this YouTube video from Motorola; you’ll see what I mean.
Like the Motorola DEXT, the Motorola Flipout received decent reviews. However the big difference is that it’s currently rocking Android 2.1 (Eclair), making it a more attractive option if you’re on the lookout for a mid-range Android phone with a keyboard.
Screen size: 2.8in
Processor: 600 MHz
Ready for that twist I mentioned earlier?
Mother f… I’ve just discovered that the Motorola Pro is no longer being released over here. It was announced back at Mobile World Congress in February as a variant of the Droid Pro, which has been available in US for ages, but now Clove reports that it'll “no longer be released in the UK”.
It’s not all bad news, though, as Clove reckons we’ll get some sort of alternative with a likely “middle of Q3” launch. Ah well. That’s put a bit of a downer on things, eh? Sake.
Anyway, the business-oriented Motorola Pro was going to be a candybar QWERTY with a 3.1in screen and 1GHz processor. RIP Motorola Pro. We hardly knew ye.