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Software keyboards have come far, but sometimes the best way to tackle work on the go is to use a physical keyboard.
The slide-out keyboard on the Pantech Crossover is responsive, but is that enough to make up for the phone's sluggish performance? It might be, if you’re more interested in typing email than in playing Angry Birds.
BlackBerry Torch 9810
This update to the BlackBerry Torch 9800 brings the new BlackBerry 7 OS and a higher-resolution display. Like its predecessor, the 9810 slides up to reveal nicely sized keys.
HTC Evo Shift 4G
The HTC Evo Shift brings a slide-out keyboard to an affordable 4G phone. The keyboard keys feel a little stiff, but are nicely spaced.
Motorola Cliq 2
The Cliq 2 comes with many business features, such as the preinstalled Quickoffice productivity app, a remote SD Card wipe function, and a location feature that you can use to find your phone if you lose it. Additionally, the Cliq 2’s keyboard is even better than that of the original Cliq.
Made from mostly recycled materials, the Samsung Replenish is billed as an ecofriendly smartphone. The full QWERTY keyboard is decent, although a little narrow.
Sometimes Buttons Are a Good Thing
Since on-screen keyboards have become significantly easier to work with, most phones leave out the physical keyboard. For improved productivity, however, sometimes you need hard buttons to make typing faster, easier, and more comfortable. Check out these smartphones that come with physical keyboards to help you get serious work done.
The HTC Status may target teens who spend all day on Facebook, but the comfortable keyboard and solid build mean that you can also bang out email messages and documents on the go.
Motorola XPRT/Droid Pro
Both the Motorola XPRT for Sprint (pictured) and the Droid Pro for Verizon blend Android with the classic QWERTY slab design that BlackBerry users are already very familiar with. The two nearly identical phones also come with plenty of business and security features, although the screen is smaller than those of most other Android smartphones. While the keyboard may seem a bit narrow, the keys are nicely sculpted, and reviewer Ginny Mies found it easy to type on.
BlackBerry Bold 9930
The BlackBerry Bold 9930 maintains the classic BlackBerry QWERTY slab design while adding a touchscreen. BlackBerry fans will enjoy the familiar style combined with the updated 7 OS, as well as what PCWorld reviewer Ginny Mies calls “possibly the best physical phone keyboard I’ve used.”
Motorola Droid 4
If you can get past the less-than-stellar screen and the nonremovable battery, the excellent keyboard and LTE connectivity of the Droid 4 make it a great choice for mobile professionals who need speed and a physical keyboard.
T-Mobile MyTouch Slide 4G
The MyTouch Slide 4G comes with one of the best phone cameras PCWorld has tested. The slide-out keyboard has nicely spaced, large keys; since they are pretty flat, however, they make typing less comfortable than on other phones.