Sending and receiving emails on a mobile used to be reserved for the city slickers. What's more those emails rarely consisted of more than a few words due to the tediousness of composing such a message. Then came the text and social network generation and now everyone from your 10-year old daughter to your 70-year old dad is sending multiple texts and epic length emails. Never ones to miss a trick the top manufacturers saw an opportunity and now we're seeing more and more devices with full QWERTY keyboards, the idea being that it's far easier to write text rather than relying on predictive text or T9 input entry. Below is our definitive list of our five favourite mobile phones sporting a full QWERTY keyboard.
UPDATE: Love the QWERTY but liking touch-screens too? Check out our take on the top QWERTY touch-screen phones
1.) BlackBerry Curve 8900
One of the pioneers of the QWERTY keyboard, RIM has enjoyed a faithful following among the business fraternity. However, recently their emphasis has been on cracking that buzz word, the "prosumer". The BlackBerry Curve 8900 is RIM's thinnest ever BlackBerry at a pocket-friendly 13.5mm thin. This is despite the fact that it maintains a full QWERTY keyboard. The keys themselves are small without being too fiddly and with each press you're met with a satisfying click. Emails, texts and Word documents, you'll be pinging them out at a rate of knots.
Click here for full review .
2.) HTC Touch Pro
The first of three devices to appear in our list that houses both a QWERTY keyboard and a touch-screen, the HTC Touch Pro's keyboard neatly tucks behind the polished front exterior. Although there's no actual space between the keys themselves, they are individually differentiated and feel good under the thumbs. The phone is on the bulky side, but the HTC Touch Pro's QWERTY keyboard is the closest you'll come to the type of keyboard you get on a PC or Apple Mac, with dedicated numeric, arrow and a selection of punctuation keys.
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3.) LG KS360
QWERTY on the cheap. The LG KS360 cleverly sports a slide-out QWERTY keyboard all for the rather fetching prepay price of £79.99. Aimed specifically at the text and social networking generation, the keys are spaced far enough from each other that even the fatter thumbed among you should enjoy a rapid error free text experience. However, there are no dedicated numeric or arrow keys and you will therefore need to press the shift key and then the corresponding letters to type in digits or use the cursor keys.
4.) Sony Ericsson Xperia X1
While we were ultimately disappointed with the Xperia X1 as a whole, we were fans of the stylish metal brushed QWERTY keyboard. Not only does it look rather elegant, as you slide the keyboard out the touch-screen cleverly tilts in an arc like fashion giving it a real laptop feel. Due to the sheer length of the device the keyboard is particularly roomy meaning typing text and messages was a breeze. Yet despite the size of the handset, Sony Ericsson rather disappointingly fails to find room for individual number keys.
5.) LG KF900 Prada (2)
QWERTY keyboards hit the catwalk. LG's latest collaboration with fashion giants Prada sees the inclusion of a full slide-out QWERTY keyboard along with a touch-screen as found on the original. Being a fashion phone it's no surprise to find the keyboard has a steel-like finish that gives it a real eye-catching look. However, we're pleased to say that it also feels great to touch, composing texts and emails rapidly and without too much haste. The keys themselves are slightly raised with a good degree of separation, but although there are dedicated arrow keys, those numeric keys are once again doubled up with a selection of the letter keys.
We will be bringing you the full LG PRADA 2 review very soon, but in the meantime, click here to see our first impressions as well as a video of us unboxing the device.