Android Smartphones With Physical Keyboards Aren’t Dead Yet
It seems that Android users looking for a device with a QWERTY physical keyboard may have one more reason to savor their next phone upgrade. Rumors indicate that Verizon users could see the LG Enact as soon as this week.
Mobile industry insider @EvLeaks shared some rumored details about the device on the social network Twitter last night, saying that users could expect the LG Enact to feature a 4-inch WVGA display and a 5 megapixel camera.
While neither one of those specifications are enough to garner the attention of high-end smartphone users, the picture provided with those details depicts a phone with a landscape keyboard that slides out from the rest of the phone’s body. With the rise of the iPhone — and devices made specifically to resemble it — smartphones with physical keyboards have mostly died off, particularly on Android.
EVLeaks’ post didn’t include any information on pricing, however it did hint that the device could be “days away”. As the picture of the device indicates, when it does surface, it will be available to users on Verizon.
Android started out as the operating system of choice for powerhouses like the original Motorola Droid and Motorola Droid 2. Both devices were hugely popular with Verizon users, mostly because it allowed users who weren’t ready or didn’t prefer a touch keyboard, to still make the most of Android. Motorola tried to continue the tradition with the Motorola Droid Pro, a candy-bar shaped device that borrowed its form factor from the business oriented devices of BlackBerry. That experiment proved to be somewhat of a failure and since then, the amount of Android devices with keyboards has slowed to a trickle.
This isn’t a problem that’s unique to Android, there are no smartphones with QWERTY keyboards that run Windows Phone 8, even though the operating system supports them. Even BlackBerry has moved further and further away from flagship devices with physical keyboards. Although the company did release the BlackBerry Q10, it did so six month after it debuted it’s new BlackBerry OS operating system on the BlackBerry Z10, a device that used an on-screen keyboard just like Apple’s iPhone.
This year, there has been relatively little talk of fully powered mid-range or high-end Android devices with QWERTY keyboards at all.