Android Phones with Keyboards

Most Android mobiles relies on the large touch screen for text input, but sometimes it is more comfortable with real buttons. We have compared the 4 Android mobiles with qwerty keyboard.

Keyboard with actual letter keys on your phone is not something that belongs in a particular market segment. The four phones in the test spans the entire price range. You get two Sony Ericsson X 10 Mini Pro, or five Huawei U8300 at the price of a HTC Desire Z.

Manufacturers have also chosen slightly different solutions to get both the keys and screen. Samsung and HTC have made relatively great phones with large screen and slide-out keyboard. Huawei allows buttons and a smaller screen intermingled to a smaller phone, and Sony Ericsson have small screens and keyboards that slide out to get a really small and compact phone.

Huawei U8300

The cheapest phone is also perhaps the cheapest Androidmobilen on the market right now. It is clear that you get stuck with some compromises, then. For example, feels a bit plasticky mobile in design, but it is undoubtedly small and flexible. Another example is the screen is resistive when the other handsets in the test have capacitive screens. It means a little less sensitivity, but I still think Huawei managed well with the reactions. It also means that the screen does not support multitouch, mainly used to zoom with two fingers.

The size and resolution of the Huawei U8300 ‘s screen is the same as for Sony Ericsson X 10 Mini Pro, and compare them side by side, I think they are fully equivalent. On the other hand, the odd screen format to it a bit. The screen that is wider than high will allow some apps don’t show up in the Market in order not to screen format is supported. Other folds sometimes on this page because they perceive it as normal for the screen.

The keyboard feels certainly not cheap. Keys has good touch feeling, are properly separated and is comfortable to type on. Compared to the other phones, we’ve noticed that it’s quite nice to not have to postpone the keyboard without having it happen all the time. The main drawback with the keyboard, of course, is the lack of åäö. To get these letters, one must hold A or O for a while and then selecting them among the special characters. It does a lot of the points with a keyboard on your phone, but you can also activate dictionaries so that your phone may fill in åäö after what it seems like to write.

Huawei U8300 has version 2.1 of Android, in an only slightly adapted version. One can hope that Huawei made more to customize the small screen size, such as the Sony Ericsson made. As it is now, the combination of low resolution screen and small letters and icons that it sometimes seems a bit muddy and unclear. A not entirely successful adaptation that has been done is to remove the home button. The main menu will still with red handset, but there is no easy way to choose between the last use the apps to do it by holding the home button on the other models. Even so, you are probably still rather impressed that you get a fully working Android mobile with bells and whistles such as wlan and gps for 1200 dollars than what bothers on compromises.

The camera is the phone’s most obvious compromise. There is no camera button on the phone, and just as good is well there, even for a fixfokuskamera with 3.2 megapixel is the camera right puny. It is good enough for documentation and multimedia in all cases. Huawei U8300, however, works well as a music player. There are 3.5 mm jack for headphones, the player is nice, with support for playlists and a good widget to your home screen. On the other hand, missing the equaliser so wish. Another area where one does not notice that the phone is cheap is ordinary phone calls. If something is the sound quality of the phone is better than average.

Plus: Cheap, convenient format.

Minus: The screen format, no buttons for aao, camera.

HTC Desire Z

The HTC Desire is a number larger than the other phones in terms of dimensions, and at least two numbers larger in terms of weight and price. It of course has its pros and cons. Despite the weight, the phone is in any case not very thick. It is most likely that you have chosen a different mechanism to push forward with the keyboard. It sits on a double hinge and take a small leap forward when you open it, and you’re not prepared, it’s easy to lose your phone as it happens. The mechanism makes the phone feels a little knirrig when folded, but otherwise there is nothing wrong with the quality, with the battery door-metal as an extra touch.

The advantage of the dimensions, of course, is that a place with a big screen on 3.7 inch and large buttons on the keyboard. In addition to the buttons is great has managed to make them really comfortable to type on and sufficiently raised and rounded in order to easily be able to keep them separate. The only objection to the keyboard is the raised edge to the bottom who sits a little in the way of you should write on the bottom row of buttons. You get used to dock at the after a period of use.

The screen is in a class of its own in this test, as regards both the resolution size and sharpness. If you want to watch video on mobile phones have the Desire Z no competition from other phones in the test. Even if you want to surf has the screen its benefits, but not only benefits. Text is with the smaller pixels so small that you constantly have to zoom in to read. Here I miss the Sony Ericsson customizations that make the text readable even in normalzoomläge.

Processor at 800 MHz is the fastest, but with 4-5 times more pixels on the screen than other phones it also needs much more powerful processor to power the graphics. Compare instead with other models of the same resolution, the Galaxy S, Desire and x 10, has the CPU lower clock rate, although it also will be faster because it is newer. I still think it shows sometimes, especially when using the browser and going to pan across the page, then hangs phone not really with. Sony Ericsson X 10 Mini Pro feels when comparing a little faster. But for most functions, including playback of high definition video, experiences you never phone as tough.

System in the phone is Android 2.2 with HTC’s Sense Interface on top. If the Sense one can either think that HTC put on lull-lull and tangled the system unnecessarily, or that they added a bunch of smart and useful features and made it prettier. Which is a matter of taste. Desire Z is one of the first phones with a newer version of Sense, but the new features feel like they have marginal importance.

The camera may not belong to the very best mobile cameras, but still clearly approved. Sony Ericsson Mini Pro is the only other phone in this test that have a similar good. Compared to this takes Mini Pro something better still photos, but the HTC Desire Z is compensating with more configuration options for the camera, and especially video recording in higher resolution and with the ability to adjust focus.

Plus: The screen, the camera.

Minus: Size, weight

Samsung Galaxy 551

You see immediately that it is a Samsung phone, Galaxy 551 is outwardly very similar to many other touch screen phones from Samsung with its black glossy plastic and its rounded corners. The difference, of course, the sliding keyboard which makes the phone a little bulligare, but not that it bothers. The phone feels solid, and slide has a good bounce and not loose.

Galaxy 551 really feels a number larger than both Huawei U8300 and Sony Ericsson X 10 Mini Pro, but if you look closer at the 3.2 inch big screen, you realize that it is longer and not broader than the two above mentioned. This also applies to the resolution of the screen, 240 x 400 pixels.

The screen, however, feels slightly fuzzier, and although it provides good response on the press notice, for example, when you scroll down it doesn’t really seem to keep up with the sidrenderingen. It is, however, small differences, and I think the screen pass.

The larger format include, of course, most of the keyboard, which feels really wide and spacious. If we again compare with Huawei and Sony Ericsson’s buttons much broader, but also lower, and it can be difficult to tell where a button with your fingers ends and the next begins. The buttons are softer to the touch, and it is probably mostly a matter of taste which you prefer. I think the keyboard on the Galaxy 551 is really nice to write on. A plus of course for the buttons for åäö. Even if å and ä may share a button. Another plus for the admirably strong button illumination that makes it is possible to write on the keyboard, even in the dark.

System in the phone is Android 2.2, at the time of writing, the latest version, and it contains a lot of Nice improvements even when compared to 2.1. For this, Samsung has added their Touchwiz interface, which in itself already from the beginning was so similar to standard interface in Android that you almost wonder what the point of having a private interface is.

In any case, the Samsung with gentle hand touched and fiddling with the phone, and you notice it for example at the excellent Task Manager keeps track of active applications, memory consumption and battery consumption. Or calendar that gives better overview than Google’s standard calendar.

The music player has everything you could wish for, including cover art display, playlists and equalizer. There is no widget to your home screens, Samsung has solved that with that played song with steering controls are available in the status bar at the top while playing music.

The phone’s biggest weakness is probably the camera that only performing marginally better than the worst from Huawei, this despite the fact that the camera has autofocus, which camera in the u8300 is missing. Photo lighting is also missing completely to the camera.

On the whole, Galaxy 551 a nice phone, but the question is if you get so much more for your money compared to the cheaper phones in the test. The larger screen is in practice not so much greater, but just a little longer. The phone also has less memory than any other in the test.

Plus: System and menus

Minus: The screen, the camera.

Sony Ericsson X 10 Mini Pro

Sony Ericsson X 10 Mini Pro does not have quite the same mini-feeling as the sister model, the X 10 Mini. Rather feels the Compact. Quality feels phone not cheap, it lies comfortably in the hand thanks to its rounded back and it is comfortable opening-body slide phone. It applies, however, to look up, for we have noticed that there are rough patches Monday slide or copy where the buttons don’t have the response correctly.

The screen is small, only 2.6 inch, and screen resolution 240 x 320 match size with pixels. It has good response, but multitouch for Zoom is missing. Nowadays, the lower resolution is not a handicap when installing apps, there are so many phones with this resolution that most apps are designed for it.

However, the small screen be a handicap for the overview, and Sony Ericsson has done a lot of gunpowder with their modifications of the Android interface. As examples can be given home screens, where there is only one widget per screen, but in return, it has four shortcuts to their favorite shows at the corners, an excellent way to take advantage of the smaller screen on. Another example is the browser, that basically is the default browser on Android, but with modifications that make the text readable and the browsing experience clearly approved even for the small screen. These exploits have their disadvantages, too. The phone has version 2.1 of Android, not the latest version, without including the ability to use your phone as a wlan router.

The keyboard is surprisingly good for its small size. Rounding of the buttons makes it easy to keep them separated by touch, and the backlight is adequate for night use. Custom buttons are available for aao, you had to move the comma to a function key activated, the place feels like an acceptable compromise. Touch feel of the keys is nice, and there are, on the whole, not a lot to be desired from a qwerty keyboard with a mobile phone.

Despite the fact that it is not in the same class as on Sony Ericsson’s high-endmodeller, the camera is one of the strengths of Sony Ericsson X 10 Mini Pro. Auto focus and photo light, and the phone does the five Megapixels justice with really sharp and detailed still images under the right circumstances. However, the camera feels a little too stripped down when it comes to setting options. The ability to set the sensitivity or choice of focus point is missing, the only thing you really can be turn off or on the photo light.

Even the music player is small well stripped in functionality, and it lacks such as the equalizer or widget to your home screen. But as in the other phones is the standard connector for headphones.

Sony Ericsson X 10 Mini Pro would not need to be ashamed of in the price segment between 3000 and 4000 kroons, but now it is actually a thousand less making it the most affordable phone.

Plus: Format, camera, price

Minus: Old Android Version

Keyboard

None of the phones in the test have a keyboard to directly interfere with itself. All are easy to use and comfortable to write with; For Swedish users, it is of course a big minus if åäö are missing, so the Huawei U8300 falls away from the final battle. Which you prefer the Sony Ericsson rounded keys with hefty stuns in pressure or Samsung’s broad low and soft is probably mostly a matter of taste. HTC’s buttons, however, be a bit sharper.

Winner: HTC Desire Z

Screen

Bigger is better when it comes to screens, it’s hard to get away from. Sony Ericsson and Huawei have at least screens, even if Sony Ericsson succeeded well with to compensate for the small screen with clever adaptations. Samsung phone has really not much bigger screen it either, just a little further. HTC Desire Z is in a class by itself, and it does not do away with the bad pressure sensitivity, blur or other defects.

Winner: HTC Desire Z

Multimedia

All phones in the test works well as a music player. Best perhaps Samsung Galaxy 551, which is alone in having equalizer in the music player. For video playback, however, the Desire Z with its big high-res screen a good bit better than competitors. For photography is the match between the Sony Ericsson X 10 Mini Pro and HTC Desire Z, which is basically a draw for still images, but the Desire Z is better on the videotaping.

Winner: Desire Z

Format & quality

Huawei U8300 is the cheapest phone, and it shows. Maybe it shows that the Desire Z is the most expensive, too. The one that stands out in terms of quality the feeling is the Sony Ericsson X 10 Mini Pro, who could easily pass as a much more expensive phone. X 10 Mini Pro stands out with its small, compact format, which appeals to people who might otherwise shy away from smartphones because they usually just too big and clumsy.

Winner: Sony Ericsson Mini Pro

System & customizations

The four phones have different versions of the operating system Android, 2.2 is the latest and the best, and it’s available in Samsung 551 and HTC Desire Z. Both Samsung and HTC have in turn added their own interface in the standard system. Samsung’s upppiffning of Android is more subtle and is most evident in the details, which in many ways is an advantage. HTC Sense requires more tolerance, and has a lot of extras that can feel a little contrived.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy 551

Winner: HTC Desire Z

With a large high resolution screen, really nice keyboard and latest version of Android and HTC Sense Desire Z is a winner. But it’s also a big, expensive and heavy phone, so if you want a smaller and neater option is the Sony Ericsson X 10 Mini Pro a good buy.

 

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