The best QWERTY smartphones

The best QWERTY smartphonesI genuinely wondered if I’d penned a “best QWERTY smartphones” feature before, so had a quick gander through our features history. I must be thinking about the time I had a look at QWERTY Android phones in particular, which necessitated not one nor two nor three but four instalments. Phew.

In said series, I concluded that there wasn’t a huge deal of demand for QWERTY handsets – (a) sliders are chunky, (b) candybars have small screens, and (c) large phones can accommodate decent on-screen keyboards – but there’s still a nice selection out there if you demand physical keys for your big fat digits.

Enter: The best QWERTY smartphones.

Note: prices are correct at the time of publication, but inevitably they’ll change five minutes later. Don’t come crying to me, kids.

BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900

Ahh, any excuse to write about the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900. Recently I’ve featured it in the, uhm, features Christmas List: revised – part 2 and White Christmas.

Indeed, you’d be forgiven for thinking that RIM’s co-CEOs Jim Balsillie and Mike Lazaradis had buttered me up with a stonking great bribe. I can assure you, that Porsche outside with the license plate RIM J08 was bought with my own hard-earned.

The best QWERTY smartphonesThe BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 also has the distinct honour of being one of the few phones – QWERTY or otherwise – that our resident German maniac, Jan, approves of.

Price: £458.54 @ Amazon

Form: Candybar

Display: 2.8in

Processor: 1.2GHz Snapdragon

Camera: 5MP

Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro was unveiled at Mobile World Congress in February alongside the Play, Neo and Arc, but it wasn’t till October this year that the QWERTY slider finally touched down. Take your time, man.

The best QWERTY smartphonesIt’s probably fair to say that the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro is SE’s answer to the much-loved HTC Desire Z. In fact, the Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro actually pips its Taiwanese equivalent in the processing and camera departments, and there’s also the guarantee of Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) goodness. Sweet.

Price: £294.99 @ Play

Form: Slider

Display: 3.7in

Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8255

Camera: 8.1MP

Motorola Pro+

It’s coming, it’s not, it’s coming, it’s not… ahh, here it is! That’s pretty much how the story of the Motorola Pro went here in the UK.

The best QWERTY smartphonesThe Motorola Pro first hit Stateside shelves in November 2010 – yes, 2010 – and now, one year later, we’ve finally got the Motorola Pro+ o’er here. It ships with Gingerbread (Android 2.3), but we’re keeping our fingers crossed for an update to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0).

Price: £289.79 @ Amazon

Form: Candybar

Display: 3.1in

Processor: 1GHz

Camera: 5MP

HTC 7 Pro

You asked for it, you’ve got it. Here’s the token entry for Windows Phone 7. Was that a little harsh? Meh, I’m sure Microsoft can take it.

The best QWERTY smartphonesIt was a toss-up between this and the big old Dell Venue Pro. The latter is definitely worth checking out too. Have a gander at Dave’s Dell Venue Pro review.

The HTC 7 Pro is essentially the Windows Phone 7 version of the HTC Desire Z, with a sliiiightly smaller display (by 0.1in), and a wee bit more juice in the processing department.

Price: £388.80 @ Clove (we’ve seen it as low as £220 (eBuyer) in the past)

Form: Slider

Display: 3.6in

Processor: 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8250

Camera: 5MP

Have I offended you greatly by failing to mention your favourite QWERTY smartphone? Hit us up with a comment below, Jeeves.

Read more about: HTC 7 ProRIM BlackBerry Bold TouchSony Ericsson Xperia proAndroidBlackberry OSWindows Phone

Add a comment
14 comments

Certinfy  Dec. 2, 2011 at 13:18

Out of those the only phone I would consider buying (for a reasonable price) is the HTC 7 Pro. The keyboard on that is by far the best I've ever seen on a phone but having a physical keyboard on a phone is something I'm not a fan of at all.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 2, 2011 at 13:22

Not a fan of the side-sliders.
Would like to try the Motorola Pro.
From personal experience though, I reckon there is no better QWERTY keypad than the one on the Blackberry Bold 9900. None. And the rest of the phone isn't shabby, either. For me definitely one of the 3 best phones of the last 2 years.

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 2, 2011 at 15:02

Jan, I'd be interested to hear what your other two best phones of the past 2 years are :).

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 2, 2011 at 15:11

matt,
hmmm... I'm not sure :p Whatever you want them to be ;)

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 2, 2011 at 15:13

PS... well, I suppose the SGS2 is among them.

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 2, 2011 at 15:27

That leaves you one space to fill...personally I agree with you so far and I'd stick the Desire in the remaining space due to it being the first Android phone that it could be reasonably argued was better than it's rival iPhone.

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 2, 2011 at 15:28

Bearing in mind the iPhone 3GS was the best iPhone you could buy when the Desire came out...and it was still better than the iPhone 4 as well, IMO.

tiimmmmmy  Dec. 3, 2011 at 09:44

Only one winner ----- Nokia N900

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 3, 2011 at 10:58

timmmmmmmy... hell, yeah - forgot about that - great workhorse and an excellent qwerty indeed

matt101101 / MOD  Dec. 3, 2011 at 12:54

The N900 was a good phone, let down by a crappy resistive touch screen...both the Xperia Pro & Desire Z are far more user friendly for 99.9 of people.

shuwaz  Dec. 4, 2011 at 21:57

E71 was the best QWERTY phone ever, dont care what you say!

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 5, 2011 at 08:33

Shuwaz,
It was. Was! But while Nokia failed to build a worthy upgrade (E72? E6? Nah), the Blackberry Bold 9900 is IT.
It's what the E6 should've been. And since this is about QWERTYs - there is no better QWERTY keypad.
Yes, with the E71 Nokia had beaten RIM at their own game, but the 9900 is a whole different story.

JanSt / MOD  Dec. 5, 2011 at 08:36

And matty, yes! The N900 was indeed let down by the screen. Frustrating even with the stylus. If they had pumped up the N900 with N9-type hardware, rather than wasting time on the MeeGo debacle, they would have had a winner.

shuwaz  Dec. 26, 2011 at 22:52

E71 was the best QWERTY phone ever, dont care what you say!

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