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Guess the Phone: Back When Physical Keyboards Were Still A Thing

by Brandon Russell | May 31, 2014May 31, 2014 12:00 pm PDT

I can’t help but chuckle when I see devices like this. And I also can’t help but wonder who purchased something like this in the first place, and why companies refused to let this form factor go. Even when all-touch devices were becoming the dominant smartphone design, there were still flip-phone style handsets coming out. The physical world just wouldn’t let go, leading to devices like the one you see above. The design is just atrocious, terrible, unnecessary. I wish I never saw it.

“I like this form factor,” Jon told. When I realized he was serious, I understood why devices like this existed.

Out of the year I’ve been doing Guess the Phone, this is the very first time I’ve seen this device in our office; it somehow got stuffed into the top shelf under other relics of the early smartphone era. The battery hadn’t even been put it, and the little adhesive plastic screen protectors were also still attached, so I did my own private unboxing, and that was that. A white phone with pink accents that’s thicker than a deck of cards.

But this company wouldn’t be where it is today if it weren’t for this device—and many others filling similar handset categories along the way. When it looks back, though, in 50 some odd years, and looks at the quantity of its work, how do you think the company will react? Will it look back and say, ok, maybe we should have focused more intently on a few quality products. Or do you prefer the quantity of quality approach?

Maybe that’s a discussion for another day.

Last week’s Guess the Device was very obviously the Nintendo 2DS.


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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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