I am not a fan of soft keyboards. Apple have the best out on their products but android leave me reeling in portrait mode.
Hence first I was very pleased with my X 10 min pro from the then Sony/Ericcsson but it is really a kid on android phone in reality. Fantastic for texting and so on , but the keyboard becomes unreliable at high cpu load or memory use or the like. More useable for long e mails or blogs than my first HTC Desire as a company phone.
A guy at worked turned up with what prove to be the last hard keyboard Android product on the market here period> The rather tasty HTC Desire Z
Any bigger and it would be a mini lap top or PDA in effect but it is only a bit bigger and heavier than the Desire. The keyboard always works, but the back light has no fix for always on and HTC have chosen not to support such useful upgrades in what they see as a niche, loss making phone no doubt.
Downsides in being discontinued are that the processor and OS are a bit laggy wespecially when exiting apps to go to home screen/ It does the usual dinosaur sub v 2 android call micro black out on incoming calls too.
I have 2.2 and I think that is as far as this phone will go. Maybe there will be an ybuntu for android in future harr harr.
The phone is on the heavy side, kind of nice in my very muscular hands girls, while the screen could be bigger if not for that completely functionless multifunction button. It flashes on incoming calls. It maybe allows you to answer them, otherwise it is a spastic. The keyboard not lighting up in daylight while having quite dark letters designed to shine through those LEDs is another spastic thing.
THe biggest down side is the battery life and we should have guessed that from the availability of a big breeze-block after market battery. The standard 1200 mA is insiuffcient and I hear that allowing the new non memory batteries to fully dishcarge actually erodes the quality of the battery at the matrix to [positive terminal end so I wore mine down to a two hour life time of intense wifi with bluetooth, and even shorter with any calls or low bars to cell sender. I fixed this I thought with a 1500mA Anker battery, Peoples ROC unfortunetly/ This has given better life but with any wifi and bluetooth use on top of calls, it is still pathetic and the worst charged life of any phone i have ever owned.
So what HTC need to do is a version of this phone for their new Desire, their Sensation and their little thingy too. Also a mini pad with a slide and tilt set up like a nano netbook. Sony no longer ericcsson , should get in on this act and stop selling thier volume, low margin, low price efforts they are now punting.
screen keyboards use up space and get all thumbed up , especially in portrait mode where it seems to be a weakness of android to have finger point centering to the right or left of actual.
These are the two companies struggeling most, partly because Samsung does big screen phones better, and partly because they became entrenched in the evenutally low margin business sector. Volume never seemed to come their way with profits to match, while executives cried in their prams for a me-too iPhone. So they need to offer some different products, and hard keyboards integrated to the device are a great way forward.
My Desire is so lovely to type with and use for the screen size that I am loathed to get rid of it. I will uninstall some gubbins soon to see if it goes a tad faster and a tad less thirsty.