Seven of the Best and Cheapest QWERTY Phones from various Brands
The decision of whether to choose a QWERTY (Pronounced: kwúrtee) or an alphanumeric keyboard layout is a hard one to figure out for many mobile users in Kenya.
QWERTY keyboards are often a preferred option for those who find the popular alphanumeric keyboard too cramped to type on. Interestingly enough, some of those who complain about cramping with regard to the alphanumeric layout also complain of the same in QWERTY keyboards.
As a result, scientists are now going the Neanderthal way of looking for alternatives that will make data input to mobile devices as natural as possible. So far, their efforts have yielded technologies such as Voice-Activated Controls largely experienced with Siri and Gestural Control commonly used in the Xbox Kinetic and Noalia gesture recognition technology.
Amazingly, today Kenyans have a chance to experience these technologies at pace with the developed world. In this piece, I will blog about 7 fairly priced QWERTY handsets that are hot this year.
Nokia Asha 302
This is an E-Series looking S40 phone that comes with essential mobile office experience through Mail for Exchange for Microsoft Exchange 2003, 2007 and 2010 servers. In addition, it also comes with an array of connectivity options including Wi-Fi and is one of few Nokia phones that support charging via USB.
This phone is known to be a head turner by its premium outward looks. Still, it doesn’t fail to impress on the inside with a 1 GHz ARM 11 processor.
The Nokia Asha 302 is priced at USD $124 or about Ksh. 10,499 and is available in Dark Grey, Mid Blue, Plum Red, White and Golden Light.
Sony Ericsson Txt
Sony Ericsson is known to position their phones for the middle and high end markets. The Sony Ericsson txt however is a low end device from the flagship maker.
It maintains Sony’s ingenuity as evident in the 2.5 inch landscape screen protected by a scratch resistant glass and a unique candybar design – a Sony Ericsson trademark.
This phone also comes with features common in high end devices such as threaded SMS view, Wi-Fi and a Stereo music player with TrackID music recognition.
It’s priced at USD $126 or about Ksh. 10,710 and is available in plush shades of Black, Blue, White and Pink.
Alcatel OT 800
The Alcatel OT 800 might just be the biggest bargain for your USD $42 or about Ksh. 3,600 if all you need is a phone that handles almost anything basic thrown at it.
Although quite a budget phone, this is one of the most beautifully crafted handsets I have ever seen in that price range. In addition, Alcatel engineers took ample time to flatter their prospective buyers by throwing in quite a sharp 2.2 inch TFT screen which is fully customizable with widgets, Opera mini browser, an MP3 music player and Bluetooth V 2.0 supporting the A2DP profile.
Although launched exactly three years ago, the Alcatel OT 800 One Touch Tribe remains vogue particularly with the youth. It’s available in five colors: Apple Green, Titanium Grey, Hot Pink, Cherry Red and Ocean Blue.
BlackBerry Curve 8520
The rubberized edges and a generously spaced tactile QWERTY keypad ensure typing on the BlackBerry Curve 8520 is a pleasant experience.
BlackBerrys always look good in black and this one doesn’t appear to break that tradition. Its solid plastic body is further complimented by a high resolution 2.4 inch landscape screen.
It’s a complete Smartphone running BlackBerry OS 5.0 which supports productivity apps like viewing documents of common office files such as Pdf, Word, Excel and PowerPoint. For social networking, WhatsApp, Viber, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and a dozen more apps can be installed.
With Smartphone capabilities of the BlackBerry Curve 8520, user options are virtually unlimited. It’s available at an average market price of USD $188 or about Ksh. 15,999
Huawei U8350 Boulder
The Huawei U8350 is proof that life at the bottom of the Smartphone food chain can be quite exciting. Although quite a bargain phone, it packs in a large 2.6 inch capacitative touchscreen and a full QWERTY keyboard as well for the constant messenger.
It also boasts of a 3.2MP camera, Wi-Fi with Hotspot, threaded SMS view, high speed internet via HSDPA, an accelerometer and a GPS.
Despite all these generous features, Huawei launched this Smartphone with an aim of bringing affordable computing to business users and learners of Android OS, and not so much for the sake of tech fanatics.
The Huawei U8350 Boulder is sleek and retains the intuitive user interface of Android OS. It’s available in Black and White for USD $140 or about Ksh. 11,999.
The Vodafone 555 is a one- of- its- kind QWERTY phone dedicated to Facebook lovers. It comes with a dedicated Facebook button that launches the Facebook app with a single touch, just like a speed dial.
Although at a cost of about USD $70 or Ksh. 5,999, its users can view Facebook notifications right from the home screen, a feature commonly preserved for high end devices.
As you chat away, Vodafone engineers already thought ahead and threw in a 3.5mm audio jack, microSD slot capable of 16GB, FM radio, MP3 player and Bluetooth v 2.1 with the A2DP profile just to make sure you have valuable company.
The low budget Vodafone 555 has a fine look and feel and is available in only White with a touch of black around its high resolution landscape screen.
Samsung Ch@t 335 aka Samsung S3350
How could I end the list without mentioning the stylish Samsung S3350?
When you set your eyes on the Samsung S3350, you will first notice a close resemblance to the elegant BlackBerry devices. Perhaps this is why it made it to my top 7 list. Still, maybe mimicry is what makes the Samsung Ch@t 335 differentiate itself from other popular QWERTY ‘dumb phones’ in its price range.
The Samsung S3350 spots a terraced BlackBerry – like keyboard that has a fairly pleasing tactile response. It also borrows the optical trackpad navigation design for BlackBerry.
For music lovers, it features an MP3 player, a recording stereo FM radio, a microSD slot capable of accommodating 8GB, Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP profile and a long lasting battery.
Other appealing features include room to stash up to 1000 contacts in the phonebook, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, Java MIDP 2.1 supporting downloadable games and apps. All these and more are sold to the customer at a recommended retail price of USD $94 or about Ksh. 7,999/=
Samsung Ch@t 335 is available in black, white and silver.