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Guess the Phone: Hey This Design Was Actually Really Nice

by Brandon Russell | February 22, 2014February 22, 2014 12:00 pm PDT

Manufacturers desperately wanted Android fans to use keyboards in the beginning. Heck, the first Android handset to launch featured one, and many devices followed suit. In a world where mobile was very clearly heading toward touch-only, many were resistant to the change, or at least too stubborn to admit they had no clue what to do. Some companies adapted, while others did not.

At the time, this company had a very apparent design philosophy, though this one strayed slightly. Crafted as a machined aluminum slab, the device was a hefty mobile rectangle that featured a tiny screen and an even tinier set of physical keys. But it actually doesn’t feel half bad, and features a pretty terrific spring mechanism for unveiling the device’s keyboard. Strangely, it also has an odd touchpad on the lower-left, forgoing the typical trackball or d-pad configuration.

Even when the market wasn’t being saturated by “mini” variants, companies were already releasing flagship devices with cheaper alternatives. This device fell in the “alternative” category, though it still tried catering to a certain crowd with a nice design and solid keyboard experience. Sadly, it was doomed to fail, as consumers clearly preferred using devices with touch keyboards. Why do you think we have phablets?

Last week’s Guess the Phone was the Motorola Flipside.


Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...

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