Android smartphone with physical keyboard

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madbrain
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Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:38 am

I have been using Android since the first T-Mobile G1 phone in 2008, which had a physical keyboard. My next phone was the G2 in 2010, which had the same.
And lastly, in September 2012, I upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G , which also had a physical keyboard.

My phone is on its last leg due to some water damage and a battery that runs so hot it will probably explode. It's time to replace the phone.

I absolutely cannot type on touch screen, and I use my smartphone for typing a lot, including emails for work, so that rules out anything made by Apple.
The Blackberry Q10 seems like a nice phone, but has a very limited number of apps compared to Android.
So, I would like my next phone to be another Android keyboard phone.

I'm with T-mobile but not on a contract, and not married to that carrier.

I'm having trouble finding any smartphone with a physical keyboard that could be considered an upgrade to the Relay 4G .
The Relay 4G was a nice phone with an excellent 5 row keyboard, but it had a relatively small screen with only 800x600 resolution, and a slow CPU which was an issue in many apps.

Do any other bogleheads know of there anything that could be considered an upgradeI have been using Android since the first T-Mobile G1 phone in 2008, which had a physical keyboard. My next phone was the G2 in 2010, which had the same.
And lastly, in September 2012, I upgraded to the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G , which also had a physical keyboard.

My phone is on its last leg due to some water damage and a battery that runs so hot it will probably explode. It's time to replace the phone.

I absolutely cannot type on touch screen, and I use my smartphone for typing a lot, including emails for work, so that rules out anything made by Apple.
The Blackberry Q10 seems like a nice phone, but has a very limited number of apps compared to Android.
So, I would like my next phone to be another Android keyboard phone.

I'm with T-mobile but not on a contract, and not married to that carrier.

I'm having trouble finding any smartphone with a physical keyboard that could be considered an upgrade to the Relay 4G ?
Ideally it should be something like the Galaxy S5, but with a physical keyboard, but that doesn't appear to exist.

I am aware there are separate bluetooth keyboards that can be used, but these need to be charged separately in addition to the phone, and are reportedly too bulky and not actually practical from what I have read. Has anyone used one of these ? Price is not a major consideration for the phone, but ergonomics definitely is.

I would consider buying the same phone again if there is no superior option, except it has been discontinued. There was old unopened stock available on Amazon until recently, but not anymore. I don't want to buy a used phone as replacement. So I'm really in a bind here.


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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:15 am

Thanks.

I forgot to note another requirement - I travel internationally and want a phone I can use abroad and unlock to use with foreign SIM cards for voice and data.

I think that means I want a GSM/UMTS/LTE based phone rather than CDMA . Some CDMA phones allow GSM SIMs apparently, but I don't know if they allow data service with those SIMs or if it's voice only.

The GSM SIM card requirements rules out the following on that list.

- 7. LG Mach

- 2. LG Enact

- 1. Motorola Photon Q 4G

This leaves the following remaining :

- 6. Samsung Galaxy stratosphere II looks like it's only 1.2 Ghz and my dying phone is 1.5 Ghz .
It's on Android 4.0 and my current phone is 4.1 . So it's a downgrade in several respects.
Everything else about this phone seems pretty similar to what I have except it runs mainly on CDMA with the more expensive Verizon carrier int he US

- 5. this is the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G, aka SGH-T699 - my dying phone, which doesn't seem to be available new on Amazon anymore
There is one on new ebay for $988 !!!
A couple of other vendors have them for $230+ .
At least that's one option. But I would like a faster phone. It's been 18 months and I feel like I should at least get a doubling of CPU power.

- 4. Motorola Droid 4 . Looks like a slower phone, 1.2 GHz CPU only. Also runs on more expensive Verizon in the US.
Display is better at 960x540, though. Camera is better.
This is a rather ancient phone though, 2.5 years old.

- 3. LG F3Q
This meets all my stated functional requirements and is on T-Mobile which is my current carrier.
This is very similar to the phone I already have, but it's actually a downgrade in several respects.

- The CPU is 1.2 GHz vs 1.5 GHz for the old SGH-T699 phone, which was already slow. I guess Moore's law doesn't apply to phones ?! I'm looking for a faster phone, not slower.
It's really strange to introduce this in 2014 when the previous T-Mobile keyboard smartphone was faster !
- Only 4GB internal storage vs 8GB for the old phone.
- Front camera is VGA only (!) vs 1.3MP for the old phone.

The only Pro this phone has extra is LTE support which my dying phone does not
This may be nice, but is hard to swallow given all the other downgrades.

So it doesn't appear there is any upgrade keyboard phone available so far.

All the phones on the list are quite old, about 18 - 30 months old, except for the LG F3Q which is unfortunately very much underpowered.

Have the manufacturers really given up on QWERTY phones ?

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by ourbrooks » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:22 pm

The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 supports a stylus and has a 5.7 inch screen You might be able to type using the stylus instead of your fingers.

There are a lot of external keyboards in the $10-$20 range. Almost all of them are larger than a phone, say, 11 inches long. If you really do a lot of typing, then the size may be a feature, not a defect. In any case, the experiment is cheap.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by steve_14 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 1:41 pm

I use speech recognition almost exclusively on my Galaxy G5. 99%+ accuracy.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by Ged » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:10 pm

I found a bluetooth keyboard that works for me. I find larger size makes them easier to use. The one I have is battery operated (AAA); it does not need recharging.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MMESVY

It does require more space though.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by BuckyBadger » Tue Jul 22, 2014 3:19 pm

Would you consider using a stylus for typing? My mother can't type on an on-screen keyboard, either, so she got a nice slimline case that holds a stylus with a soft rubber nubbin for a point. It's great. She's a lot faster with that pen than I am with my fingers.

If so, all of the phones would work for you.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by deanbrew » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:01 pm

steve_14 wrote:I use speech recognition almost exclusively on my Galaxy G5. 99%+ accuracy.
I have the Samsung Galaxy S4 and use the voice recognition about half the time and type the other half. The voice recognition is surprisingly accurate. I'm not sure why/how the OP can type on the tiny fixed keys but not on a display screen, but voice-to-text is a valuable tool, except when in a crowd and you want to communicate something private. Has the OP tried any alternative software-based keyboards (available as apps), such as the ones that allow you to swipe?

I would absolutely not want a fixed keyboard, as that would mean giving up a lot of valuable display screen real estate. I'm sure the OP realizes this, but there is a reason the smartphone world has gone away from fixed keyboards.
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:04 pm

ourbrooks wrote:The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 supports a stylus and has a 5.7 inch screen You might be able to type using the stylus instead of your fingers.
I had not considered this. I don't know if this is still pocketable, though.
There are a lot of external keyboards in the $10-$20 range. Almost all of them are larger than a phone, say, 11 inches long. If you really do a lot of typing, then the size may be a feature, not a defect. In any case, the experiment is cheap.

11 inches is not pocketable, at that point I would use a full fledged computer, laptop or desktop.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:07 pm

steve_14 wrote:I use speech recognition almost exclusively on my Galaxy G5. 99%+ accuracy.
This is not practical for multiple reasons.
I want privacy - if there are people around, I don't want everyone to hear what I am typing.
Also, with my French accent, the accuracy of the speech recognition is far less.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:11 pm

steve_14 wrote:I use speech recognition almost exclusively on my Galaxy G5. 99%+ accuracy.
Way better than my trials. I'll say something like "Dinner is in the oven and will be ready when you get home" and it will show "the donkey owns a wave runner which you can't have" O.K., I'm exaggerating a little :happy
Last edited by pennstater2005 on Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:12 pm

Ged wrote:I found a bluetooth keyboard that works for me. I find larger size makes them easier to use. The one I have is battery operated (AAA); it does not need recharging.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MMESVY

It does require more space though.
The type of keyboard I was referencing in my post were much smaller, about the size of the phone :

http://www.amazon.com/Case-Mama-Bluetoo ... ard+for+s5

http://www.amazon.com/TOP%C2%AE-Bluetoo ... ard+for+s5

Those have bad reviews overall in terms of ergonomics, so it seems like they are not a good solution.

Because they aren't slider keyboards physically coupled with the phone, they have to come with a phone case, which makes the phone much bulkier.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:21 pm

deanbrew wrote: I have the Samsung Galaxy S4 and use the voice recognition about half the time and type the other half. The voice recognition is surprisingly accurate. I'm not sure why/how the OP can type on the tiny fixed keys but not on a display screen, but voice-to-text is a valuable tool, except when in a crowd and you want to communicate something private. Has the OP tried any alternative software-based keyboards (available as apps), such as the ones that allow you to swipe?
I need the tactile feedback of a physical key, however small, in order to properly type. Even on a small keyboard, I find that I can touch type.

My fingers are not large, in fact my hands are very small, yet I find myself constantly annoyed about touching the wrong link when I use the phone's touch screen for browsing.
I really loathe small touch screens. I just can't fathom typing on one at all.

As far as predictive software keyboards, I also type in multiple languages - say, one email to my family in French, and one for work in English. This makes the predictive software keyboards extremely annoying, unless I switch the phone language settings back and forth constantly.
I would absolutely not want a fixed keyboard, as that would mean giving up a lot of valuable display screen real estate. I'm sure the OP realizes this, but there is a reason the smartphone world has gone away from fixed keyboards.
All my phones have had slider keyboards. These do not reduce the display screen real estate. I would certainly appreciate a large display with a large physical slider keyboard underneath. Alas, no one makes such a device.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by Ged » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:54 pm

madbrain wrote: The type of keyboard I was referencing in my post were much smaller, about the size of the phone :

Those have bad reviews overall in terms of ergonomics, so it seems like they are not a good solution.
I have fairly large hands. A keyboard like those would be no better for me than the touch screen. In fact worse I think because I wouldn't have the UI features that come with a touch screen keyboard.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:02 pm

Ged wrote: I have fairly large hands. A keyboard like those would be no better for me than the touch screen. In fact worse I think because I wouldn't have the UI features that come with a touch screen keyboard.
This illustrates that different people have different needs. One size doesn't fit all .

I'm really appalled about the unavailability of decent physical keyboard phones.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by Easy Rhino » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:06 pm

I sympathize. i type better with my old cheapo blackberry-esque quick message phone's keyboard than I do with my 4.7" moto x touchscreen. i've got it with keyboards than can use swiping and text prediction, but it's still clunky.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by LAlearning » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:06 pm

The market has demanded slim phones with touch interface.

Why can't you type on a screen? Saying you absolutely cannot implies you have no fingers......

There are a multitude of aftermarket keyboards (Swype comes to mind) that makes touch typing extremely fast. Go out and test drive a few before you say no.

Yes this was written on a touch screen in about 30s.
I know nothing!

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:07 pm

madbrain,

Interesting article, if you haven't already read it, regarding qwerty(keyboard) phones.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/15/5104 ... to-bury-it
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:11 pm

LAlearning wrote: Why can't you type on a screen? Saying you absolutely cannot implies you have no fingers......
No, it doesn't imply that at all. I have offered many reasons before in this thread. A physical keyboard is a requirement for me.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:18 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:madbrain,

Interesting article, if you haven't already read it, regarding qwerty(keyboard) phones.

http://www.theverge.com/2013/11/15/5104 ... to-bury-it
Yes, I have seen that article. I find it somewhat disingenuous for a few reasons.

One is that he worked for the wrong carrier. I saw all those keyboard phones released on Sprint over the years, but could never consider any of them because of my international travel requirement - mainly to Europe and Asia. Sprint phones were CDMA only and could not be used abroad.

But even Sprint never released a highend keyboard phones - all those phones were second-tier in terms of other specs - CPUs, display, storage, etc.
I don't think anyone has released a high-end phone with a physical keyboard, so to claim they wouldn't sell is disingenuous, IMO. Nobody knew they wanted the iPhone until Apple released one, either.

As far as Blackberry, I would buy one of their keyboard phone in a heartbeat if it ran Android instead of their OS.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:25 pm

^^^Agree.

Although, I also took away from the article that physical keyboards in general are nearly a thing of the past. He references popular phones such as the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy, which operate on both Verizon, ATT, and T Mobile networks, as being a partial reason behind the demise of qwerty phones. I think phones with physical keyboards, as far as a good selection goes, will continue to decrease in availability. I do hope you find one though. Good luck in your search. I haven't found anything beyond what you already know.
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:45 pm

It appears you can install Android apps onto the Blackberry platform (Q10 included) with the latest update.

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/the-easiest- ... s-on-bb10/

And possibly being able to run Jelly Bean 4.2 on the Blackberry platform:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaZDhCBs94A

From some articles I read it did appear that Blackberry is moving more towards allowing full Android capability at some point, although the catch is possibly losing the corporate security that Blackberry allows. It will be interesting how it plays out.
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:04 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:It appears you can install Android apps onto the Blackberry platform (Q10 included) with the latest update.

http://www.cnet.com/how-to/the-easiest- ... s-on-bb10/

And possibly being able to run Jelly Bean 4.2 on the Blackberry platform:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaZDhCBs94A

From some articles I read it did appear that Blackberry is moving more towards allowing full Android capability at some point, although the catch is possibly losing the corporate security that Blackberry allows. It will be interesting how it plays out.
I have heard about this Android compatibility on Blackberry. I am not sure how reliable it would be.

It seems Blackberry has made improvements to their OS recently.
Maybe it's time to look more closely into it.

I thought the (older) article below was interesting, especially as a long-time OS/2 user - from 1992 to 2007.
http://www.zdnet.com/blackberry-10-a-be ... 000012967/

EDIT:

Looks like T-mobile also stopped selling blackberrys a few months ago, so I would have to change carrier to try.
http://money.cnn.com/2014/04/02/technol ... y-tmobile/
Last edited by madbrain on Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Tue Jul 22, 2014 9:22 pm

BuckyBadger wrote:Would you consider using a stylus for typing? My mother can't type on an on-screen keyboard, either, so she got a nice slimline case that holds a stylus with a soft rubber nubbin for a point. It's great. She's a lot faster with that pen than I am with my fingers.

If so, all of the phones would work for you.
Apparently, a stylus requires a special type of screen to work accurately. They don't really work well with all phones. You need something like a Galaxy Note.
https://productforums.google.com/forum/ ... 3HvGBxAqow

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by BuckyBadger » Wed Jul 23, 2014 7:55 am

madbrain wrote:
BuckyBadger wrote:Would you consider using a stylus for typing? My mother can't type on an on-screen keyboard, either, so she got a nice slimline case that holds a stylus with a soft rubber nubbin for a point. It's great. She's a lot faster with that pen than I am with my fingers.

If so, all of the phones would work for you.
Apparently, a stylus requires a special type of screen to work accurately. They don't really work well with all phones. You need something like a Galaxy Note.
https://productforums.google.com/forum/ ... 3HvGBxAqow
Well, there certainly exist more phones that can be used with a stylus than that have a physical keyboard. But you never answered - could you use a stylus?

And I'm not sure if your statement is true. As far as I'm aware, the majority of smart phones and tablets have capacitive touch screens, and a capacitive stylus would work with all those phones.

Here's a fun link I found about making your own stylus, although you can also buy one for about $5.

http://makezine.com/projects/diy-capacitive-stylus/

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:06 am

BuckyBadger wrote: Well, there certainly exist more phones that can be used with a stylus than that have a physical keyboard. But you never answered - could you use a stylus?
I have never tried using one. I would have to see what the experience is like.
And I'm not sure if your statement is true. As far as I'm aware, the majority of smart phones and tablets have capacitive touch screens, and a capacitive stylus would work with all those phones.
If so, then I may give it a try.

It looks like my old phone is temporarily still working - but the micro USB connector is going dead and it sometimes fails to charge.
Replacing the connector might be inexpensive, rather than changing to an newer inferior phone without a keyboard.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by jchef » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:55 am

madbrain wrote:
As far as predictive software keyboards, I also type in multiple languages - say, one email to my family in French, and one for work in English. This makes the predictive software keyboards extremely annoying, unless I switch the phone language settings back and forth constantly.
Although I've never tried it myself, SwiftKey supports predictions in multiple languages without needing to change the language settings. Apparently it detects which language you are typing in and gives predictions in that language. I've seen many people praising it for this ability.

And SwiftKey became free about a month ago. The company now makes money by charging for themes, if you want to change the colour of the keyboard. So you could easily give it a try to see how well it works for you. (and they have been promising to release an update soon which addresses the problem that the most recent release is quite slow)

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by ourbrooks » Wed Jul 23, 2014 1:02 pm

Amazon has generic, capacitive styli starting at $1.38. Seems a cheap experiment.

Edit: 5 for $1.29 At that price, I'd pay the $49 for two hour drone delivery, just to settle the question.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by interplanetjanet » Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:01 pm

LAlearning wrote:The market has demanded slim phones with touch interface.

Why can't you type on a screen? Saying you absolutely cannot implies you have no fingers......

There are a multitude of aftermarket keyboards (Swype comes to mind) that makes touch typing extremely fast. Go out and test drive a few before you say no.
I'm sorry, but for many of us it's simply not good enough. I share madbrain's pain.

I frequently have to type in non-English text, in fact text where dictionary substitutions would be disasterous. Abbreviations peppered with symbols, terse commands to be executed.

I need the tactile feedback as well, I can do about 55-60wpm on my old G1's keyboard with my thumbs. On my current handset (a Motorola XT860, basically a Canadian Droid 3 with an unlocked SIM slot) I can do nearly that. Onscreen keyboards chew up screen real estate as well, they are much less useful for cases where you need to be reading while you are typing (say, in a command-line session or online chat).

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by interplanetjanet » Wed Jul 23, 2014 2:09 pm

madbrain wrote:The GSM SIM card requirements rules out the following on that list.

- 7. LG Mach

- 2. LG Enact

- 1. Motorola Photon Q 4G
There is a modification to the Photon Q to use other SIM cards, but it's invasive. Also, the keyboard shares the same issue as the Droid 4's (more below).
- 4. Motorola Droid 4 . Looks like a slower phone, 1.2 GHz CPU only. Also runs on more expensive Verizon in the US.
Display is better at 960x540, though. Camera is better.
This is a rather ancient phone though, 2.5 years old.
If you do a lot of typing, look critically at the Droid 4's keyboard (almost the same as that of the Photon Q). The Droid 3 has a full set of symbols on the keys with a Fn button to let you type them directly, as do most handsets with physical keyboards. The Droid 4 has a "Sym" key that calls up an onscreen list of symbols. If you frequently type symbols then you may find that frustrating; I did. I still use, to this day, a Motorola XT860 - essentially the Canadian Droid 3, with an unlocked SIM slot and 4G GSM support.
Have the manufacturers really given up on QWERTY phones ?
It would seem so. I know many others who are frustrated by this, hopefully the tide will turn eventually.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:23 pm

ourbrooks wrote:Amazon has generic, capacitive styli starting at $1.38. Seems a cheap experiment.

Edit: 5 for $1.29 At that price, I'd pay the $49 for two hour drone delivery, just to settle the question.
The FAA hasn't approved the drone delivery yet. I believe Amazon expects the new rules by 2015. I wouldn't pay $49 shipping on a $1.29 item. Not very bogleheadish !

Can you post the link for the $1.29 stylus ? I couldn't find it.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by BuckyBadger » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:18 am

interplanetjanet wrote:
madbrain wrote:Have the manufacturers really given up on QWERTY phones ?
It would seem so. I know many others who are frustrated by this, hopefully the tide will turn eventually.
That's the free market for you. If enough people wanted phones with physical keyboards, there would be lots of great phones with physical keyboards from which to choose.

I doubt the tide is turning any time soon. ;-)

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Thu Jul 24, 2014 8:41 am

BuckyBadger wrote:
interplanetjanet wrote:
madbrain wrote:Have the manufacturers really given up on QWERTY phones ?
It would seem so. I know many others who are frustrated by this, hopefully the tide will turn eventually.
That's the free market for you. If enough people wanted phones with physical keyboards, there would be lots of great phones with physical keyboards from which to choose.

I doubt the tide is turning any time soon. ;-)
The tide may not turn, but I do think there are many people who prefer physical keyboards, surely enough to support at least one good Android keyboard phone in the marketplace.
It can't cost that much for Samsung to add a slider keyboard underneath an S5 - it should at least be an option, IMO.

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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by jebmke » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:13 am

madbrain wrote:The tide may not turn, but I do think there are many people who prefer physical keyboards, surely enough to support at least one good Android keyboard phone in the marketplace.
Although how many people use a phone for anything other than very brief emails. Most are texting and using FB based on my unscientific sample.
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by ourbrooks » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:14 pm

madbrain wrote:
ourbrooks wrote:Amazon has generic, capacitive styli starting at $1.38. Seems a cheap experiment.

Edit: 5 for $1.29 At that price, I'd pay the $49 for two hour drone delivery, just to settle the question.
The FAA hasn't approved the drone delivery yet. I believe Amazon expects the new rules by 2015. I wouldn't pay $49 shipping on a $1.29 item. Not very bogleheadish !

Can you post the link for the $1.29 stylus ? I couldn't find it.
I couldn't find the original link again either but here's one that may be better: http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Touch-S ... ive+stylus

I think when measured by the coolness index (coolness/per buck spend), even Bogleheads would concede that drone delivery is cost effective. Of course, there is the delay factor - even if the FAA issues the new rules on January 1, 2015, that's still five months for delivery.

madbrain
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:58 pm

jebmke wrote:
madbrain wrote:The tide may not turn, but I do think there are many people who prefer physical keyboards, surely enough to support at least one good Android keyboard phone in the marketplace.
Although how many people use a phone for anything other than very brief emails. Most are texting and using FB based on my unscientific sample.
Even for texting, if you send lots of them, a physical keyboard is far superior in my experience.

Sidney
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by Sidney » Fri Jul 25, 2014 10:55 am

madbrain wrote:Even for texting, if you send lots of them, a physical keyboard is far superior in my experience.
It took me a little while to convert from a Blackberry physical keyboard but eventually I got used to the virtual KB. The key for me was to really lighten up the touch. Also, my screen protector provides some reduction in the touch sensitivity. I don't think there is anyway to adjust this within Android (yet)?
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.

nhrdls
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by nhrdls » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:10 pm

madbrain wrote:

I forgot to note another requirement - I travel internationally and want a phone I can use abroad and unlock to use with foreign SIM cards for voice and data.
Had a good experience with ATT. My phone was under contract, but I called them and asked for unlock code with explanation about using it abroad. I got the phone unlocked. They even offer international plans (plan to be used outside of home country) which sometimes can be a better deal. I suspect many other providers also might be doing similar things.

madbrain
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Fri Jul 25, 2014 6:16 pm

nhrdls wrote:
madbrain wrote:

I forgot to note another requirement - I travel internationally and want a phone I can use abroad and unlock to use with foreign SIM cards for voice and data.
Had a good experience with ATT. My phone was under contract, but I called them and asked for unlock code with explanation about using it abroad. I got the phone unlocked. They even offer international plans (plan to be used outside of home country) which sometimes can be a better deal. I suspect many other providers also might be doing similar things.
T-Mobile unlocked our phones in the past as well. Though the last time, we had to pay for the amount still owed on the phones.
They didn't offer plans for use abroad as of last year, only plans for calling abroad from the US.

All of this is moot though, if there are no keyboard phones available :(.

madbrain
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:24 pm

Yesterday, I received a pack of 3 stylus (stylii) ordered on amazon on July 24 for 65 cents. They came straight from China.

I am happy to report that I am able to use the stylus just fine with my Galaxy S Relay touch screen.
It is not as fast as typing with a physical keyboard, but it is at least usable, unlike my fingers on the touch screen, which are definitely not.

Today I purchased a new LG G3 phone with a beautiful 5.5in display - ad no physical keyboard. I am now looking for a case that will fit the phone and one stylus.

mlipps
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by mlipps » Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:28 pm

Does that phone have Swype or something similar installed? If not, you should get it & try that plus the stylus. I imagine it's much much quicker than typing out each letter. Swype is certainly faster when I'm using my finger on the touchscreen.

madbrain
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:11 am

No, it doesn't come with Swype.

I guess I am fairly old school, I was typing every single character with my physical keyboard, just like I do on a computer keyboard. I had all predictive features turned off.

Still wish I had a physical keyboard, this will take getting used to...

Lynette
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by Lynette » Mon Aug 25, 2014 6:18 am

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Last edited by Lynette on Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

madbrain
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:19 am

madbrain wrote:No, it doesn't come with Swype.
Well, it has a setting for "Path input" - "enter a word by drawing a path all through the letters" which I think does something like Swype.

madbrain
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Re: Android smartphone with physical keyboard

Post by madbrain » Mon Aug 25, 2014 7:25 am

Lynette wrote:I use a Samsung Galaxy Note 3. It has a really large screen and the stylus is built into the phone - i.e. it has a slot where you can pull it out. I love it.
I considered the Note 3, but the Note 4 is supposed to be right around the corner and I didn't want to buy last year's device.

http://www.phonearena.com/phones/compar ... /8347,7984

The display is higher res on the LG and supposedly the IPS gives better color, but I have not put the 2 side by side.
Looks like the CPU is slightly faster on the LG as well.

I just ordered this case from Amazon :
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00L2R ... UTF8&psc=1

I think I can attach the stylus in the middle (side) of the case.
There was a similar case at a store, but for $40, and the stylus fit OK there, I thought that was too much to spend on a case.
This one can also fit credit cards, though I doubt it can really replace my wallet as I always have about 10 cards in there, plus bills, receipts, and change.
My wallet is as large as the G3 is ...

The G3 is much thinner than my previous phone though, due to the lack of slider keyboard.

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