Sep 21, 2017 | Updated: 07:21 PM EDT

Qwerty Quandary

Oct 01, 2013 04:25 PM EDT

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Nokia 9000
World's first qwerty keyboard on a cellphone.
Droid 4
The Droid 4 best merges style with functionality to create an immersive experience.
Samsung Stratosphere II
The most portable classic qwerty-feel on a smartphone.
Motorola Photon Q
The overall best qwerty keyboard smartphone on the market.

Qwerty Quandary

Ever since the Nokia 9000 Communicator was released in 1996, consumers worldwide have loved qwerty keyboards on their cell phones. As technology advanced, keyboards became more responsive and accurate and qwerty phones began to slim down. However, when the iPhone was released in 2007 and people realized that a touchscreen alone could handle most of their high-end tasks, qwerty cellphones went in a different direction and began to be standard on lower-end cellphones. While most current smartphone owners look back fondly on the days with their favorite qwerty cellphone, not many of them want to trade in their sleek, slim device for a thicker, bulkier device with easier texting. However, if you don’t fit this mold and want a good smartphone with a qwerty keyboard, here are your best bets:

Droid 4:

Released in February 2012, The Droid 4 was an attempt to revive the original Droid line from the letdown that was the Droid 3. With a full qwerty keyboard, Jelly Bean 4.1, a 4-inch qHD LCD screen, a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor, and 1 GB RAM, it is certainly an improvement. Like most other Droids of the era, it includes an 8 megapixel camera, expandable storage, 1080p HD recording, a 1.3 megapixel front camera, and 4G LTE support. If you’re a fan of Motoblur, then you just may love this device, despite its extra thickness and lack of removable battery.

Samsung Galaxy Stratosphere II:

Released in late 2012 to replace the original Stratosphere, this surprisingly comfortable device features Android 4.1, a 4” WVGA super AMOLED screen, 1.2 GHz Snapdragon S4, and 1 GB RAM. If you’re a fan of Touchwiz, you might really enjoy using this device along with its expandable storage, full HD video recording, a 5 megapixel camera, a 1.3 megapixel front camera, and, of course, 4G LTE. As an added Bonus, the Stratosphere II features NFC.

Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE:

Released over the summer of 2012, this device features Android 4.1, a 4.3-inch qHD LCD screen, a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor, and the standard 1 GB RAM. The experience is a little different than the Droid, due to a more vanilla Android experience. There’s also the usual 1080p video recording, 8 megapixel camera, 1.3 MP front camera, NFC, and 4G LTE.

The Photon Q 4G LTE seems to be the best choice for qwerty Smartphones this year, despite being a year old. It combines the best features and specs to create a clean, smooth and speedy experience that competes with purely touchscreen phones released around the same time. However, if you are looking to save a buck, the LG Mach may be a good choice. However, it most likely won’t be upgraded to Jelly Bean. There is also the Samsung Galaxy S Relay, which is close to the Stratosphere II, but offers a better processor at the expense of a better camera. Also, if you choose to wait, you may be blessed with a treat: there are rumors of a Droid 5 in the works from Motorola that should drop in the late winter of 2014.

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