My struggles to find good substitute for old QWERTY Nokia 9300 Communicator and The Death of QWERTY Smart phones

Nowadays having a a touch screen mobile phone has become like a standard. I'm not such a big fan of Touch screen technology, thus I've been fighting with the idea to own a touch screen phone for a year or so. Just till recently I happily lived with my old Nokia 9300i with a physical QWERTY keyboard for already 4 years.

Unfortunately lately while talking with my Nokia I started getting frequent voice interruptions missing words in my phone call conversations and need to ask person I'm talking to, to repeat his words / sentence in order to understand what is communicated .. I'm economic person and therefore don't like bying anything new if it is not absolutely necessary so I opened the phone and clean it hoping that this will solve the conversation issues but with no luck. With this half-usable mobile my only option left was to buy a new mobile phone.

I'm not very rigorious on what a mobile phone should be and I'm very much minimalist by heart so I was thinking of bying new cheapest available Nokia phone on the market and solve my "issue" quick and efficient,  only problem was  I'm quite used already of using my handy QWERTY phone as a note taking device thus I preferred to not buy a keypad mobile phone but get again a smartphone with physical QWERTY.

I have consulted with some friends who are more knowledgable on what's latest on mobile phone market with a question what will be a good substitute for my Nokia Communicator 9300i and heard comments like:
'IPhone is the most functional and superior in interface', while some friends and colleagues adviced me:
'Choose an Android based phone as Android is Linux based and gives more freedom to the user as well as has more free applications to install'

I appreaciated my friends help but I didn't like the idea to buy a Smartphone with a touchscreen display – virtual keyboard is not so confortable as having a physical one and besides this is a very slow interface compared to physical keys. Thus initially strongly rejected the idea of bying a phone without a physical keyboard. After some weeks of pondering and checking in the market – in 3 Major mobile operators shops in Bulgaria MTel, Globul and VIVACOM and HANDY store. I've find out currently on the market there is no good price / quality and functionality ratio (qwerty keyboard mobile) available. My options were limited to either by a Nokia Asha 210 or some variance or a Blackberry mobile.

nokia_asha_210_mobile_phone

In first glimpse I liked the Nokia ASHA 210 – QWERTY powered mobile  but after noticing the blue Facebook "F" button got quickly jolted.
The sales lady offered me a couple of other Nokias with Qwerty keyboard as well as a Blackberry 9320 Curve.

blackberry_curve_smart_mobile_phone
After a quick test of all QWERTY mobiles, found the intertface on both is so inferior to IPhone's IOS and Android based phones.
I asked my HP workmates for advice of a good QWERTY bundled mobile phone with Android and was referred to Motorolla Droid 3 – which seems to among the only options on the market for mobile Phone which have both Android Operating System and a Physical QWERTY keyboardMotorolla Droid 3 seemed to be exactly the mobile I was looking for but unfortunately it is not available in Mobile phones stores in Bulgaria and only in bulgaria is only offered for sale as a second hand and I had to buy it over the Internet (I prefer not to buy on the Internet). Even if I bought it as second hand  DROID 3's price is too high for my budget – 250 EUR!

Motorola-Droid-3-mobile-nokia-9300i-substitute

I wanted to buy economic phone and same time to have a good balance between price and phone modernity, same time don't tie myself with mobile operator yearly tax plan thus decided to pay my whole mobile price in cache (no credits, no binding 2 / 3 year conversation plans).

After evaluating the options on Market I stopped on two mobiles identical by price 150 EUR I could choose between Samsung Galaxy Trend Lite or ZTE Blade 3. The sales lady adviced me its better to get the ZTE Blade 3 than Samsung Galaxy Trend Lite (S7350) because ZTE has better Camera (5 Mpixels), a better Display and has much less hardware issues than Samsung Galaxy Lite.

Samsung-Galaxy-Trend-Lite-S7390-smart-mobile-phone

 

Finally I bought the ZTE Blade 3 and nowdays I'm trying to get used to it and to be honest even with a week passed I still can't get used to the Virtual Keyboard

Android interface is quite shiny but a little bit chaotic if compared to design use interface I've tested on IPhones. Android OS seems to behave very weird at times but in general is quite easy to use. Managing / installing / Removing applications from Google AppStore is done by only 2 clicks. My major concern on Android is its highly addictive. I've catch myself, since last week I spend much more time using my mobile than before with my Nokia Communicator …
ZTE-Blade-III-Black-smart-phone

To conclude it I would say living with a smartphone has its advantagous (you can easily check weather prognosis / news) and do a number of things with it, but it is addictive .. obviously its easy to  become an Android addict and spend your free time on useless stuff like installing / testing new apps and playing with phone. Having a smartphone just like I priorly suspected is a big time eater and it seems my hypothesis  that its better to live without a smart phone is true. But who knows, perhaps its just a moment addictiveness just like with any new thing posession – time will show. In meantime I believe my ZTE Blade III – purchase was a good deal as it gives me opportunity to explore Android OS. I'll stop here with my ranting and excuse myself if the article was too boring …Please drop me a comment with mobile types and names who had QWERTY keyboard and a modern OS. Very sadly it seems the QWERTY hardware keyboard mobiles will soon be dead and gone …

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5 Responses to “My struggles to find good substitute for old QWERTY Nokia 9300 Communicator and The Death of QWERTY Smart phones”

  1. admin says:
    Firefox 26.0 Firefox 26.0 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:26.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/26.0

    BTW Android is very buggy sometimes when I unlock screen my display resolution gets crappy. Besides that telephone battery time is very low I have to recharge it every 1 / 2 days (though I’m not very actively using the phone)

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  2. admin says:
    Firefox 29.0 Firefox 29.0 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:29.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/29.0

    Here are specifications of my ZTE Blade III
     

    General 2G Network GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900
    3G Network HSDPA 900 / 2100
    SIM Mini-SIM
    Announced 2012, September
    Status Available. Released 2012, September
    Body Dimensions 123 x 63.5 x 10 mm (4.84 x 2.5 x 0.39 in)
    Weight 130 g (4.59 oz)
    Display Type TFT capacitive touchscreen, 65K colors
    Size 480 x 800 pixels, 4.0 inches (~233 ppi pixel density)
    Multitouch Yes
    Sound Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
    Loudspeaker Yes
    3.5mm jack Yes
      – Dolby mobile sound enhancement
    Memory Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB
    Internal 4 GB (2.5 GB user available), 512 MB RAM
    Data GPRS Yes
    EDGE Yes
    Speed HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
    WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot, DLNA
    Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP
    USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
    Camera Primary 5 MP, 2592 х 1944 pixels, autofocus
    Features Geo-tagging
    Video Yes
    Secondary No
    Features OS Android OS, v4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
    Chipset Qualcomm MSM7227A Snapdragon
    CPU 1 GHz
    GPU Adreno 200
    Sensors Accelerometer, proximity, compass
    Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
    Browser HTML5
    Radio FM radio
    GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
    Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
    Colors Black, White
      – SNS integration
    – Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
    – MP4/H.264/H.263 player
    – MP3/WAV/eAAC+ player
    – Google Search, Maps, Gmail
    – YouTube, Google Talk
    – Organizer
    – Photo viewer/editor
    – Voice memo/dial
    – Predictive text input
    Battery   Li-Ion 1600 mAh battery
    Stand-by  
    Talk time  
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  3. admin says:
    Firefox 29.0 Firefox 29.0 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
    Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:29.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/29.0

    We bought an HTC Desire 500 to my sister. The price is a little bit mroe expensive than ZTE Blade III – 75 eur more than ZTE blade 3 (costs 150 EUR currently in Bulgaria). HTC Desire has 200 mhz better CPU a little more big screen and a really good camera 8 Megapixels. Here are HTC Desire 500 tech specifications
     

    General 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
    3G Network HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100
    4G Network LTE 800 / 1800 / 2600
    LTE 1800 / 2600
    LTE 1900 – for Sprint
      LTE 700 / 850 / 1700 / 1900 / 2100 – for AT&T
    LTE 700 / 1700 / 2100 – for T-Mobile
    SIM Micro-SIM
    Announced 2013, February
    Status Available. Released 2013, March
    Body Dimensions 137.4 x 68.2 x 9.3 mm (5.41 x 2.69 x 0.37 in)
    Weight 143 g (5.04 oz)
    Display Type Super LCD3 capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
    Size 1080 x 1920 pixels, 4.7 inches (~469 ppi pixel density)
    Multitouch Yes
    Protection Corning Gorilla Glass 2
      – HTC Sense UI v5
    Sound Alert types Vibration, MP3, WAV ringtones
    Loudspeaker Yes, with stereo speakers, built-in amplifiers
    3.5mm jack Yes
      – Beats Audio sound enhancement
    Memory Card slot No
    Internal 32/64 GB, 2 GB RAM
    Data GPRS Yes
    EDGE Yes
    Speed HSPA+; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
    WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct, DLNA, Wi-Fi hotspot
    Bluetooth Yes, v4.0 with A2DP
    NFC Yes (Market dependent)
    Infrared port Yes
    USB Yes, microUSB v2.0 (MHL), USB On-the-go, USB Host
    Camera Primary 4 MP, 2688 x 1520 pixels, autofocus, optical image stabilization, LED flash, check quality
    Features 1/3'' sensor size, 2µm pixel size, simultaneous HD video and image recording, geo-tagging, face and smile detection
    Video Yes, 1080p@30fps, 720p@60fps, HDR, stereo sound rec., video stabilization, check quality
    Secondary Yes, 2.1 MP, 1080p@30fps, HDR
    Features OS Android OS, v4.1.2 (Jelly Bean), v4.3 (Jelly Bean), planned upgrade to v4.4 (KitKat)
    Chipset Qualcomm APQ8064T Snapdragon 600
    CPU Quad-core 1.7 GHz Krait 300
    GPU Adreno 320
    Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
    Messaging SMS (threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Email
    Browser HTML5
    Radio Stereo FM radio with RDS
    GPS Yes, with A-GPS support and GLONASS
    Java Yes, via Java MIDP emulator
    Colors Black, Silver, Red, Blue, Gold
      – SNS integration
    – Dropbox (25 GB cloud storage)
    – Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
    – TV-out (via MHL A/V link)
    – DivX/XviD/MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
    – MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/FLAC player
    – Google Search, Maps, Gmail,
    YouTube, Calendar, Google Talk
    – Organizer
    – Document viewer/editor
    – Photo viewer/editor
    – Voice memo/dial/commands
    – Predictive text input
    Battery   Non-removable Li-Po 2300 mAh battery
    Stand-by Up to 500 h (2G) / Up to 480 h (3G)
    Talk time Up to 27 h (2G) / Up to 18 h (3G)
    Misc SAR US 0.66 W/kg (head)     0.40 W/kg (body)    
    SAR EU 0.86 W/kg (head)     0.36 W/kg (body)    
    Price group
    Tests Display Contrast ratio: 1541:1 (nominal) / 2.504:1 (sunlight)
    Loudspeaker Voice 69dB / Noise 66dB / Ring 75dB
    Audio quality Noise -92.4dB / Crosstalk -92.4dB
    Camera Photo / Video
    Battery life
    Endurance rating 48h

    u

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  4. John says:
    Safari 8.0 Safari 8.0 iPad iOS 8.0.2 iPad iOS 8.0.2
    Mozilla/5.0 (iPad; CPU OS 8_0_2 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/600.1.4 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/8.0 Mobile/12A405 Safari/600.1.4

    Excellent review. I had an iPhone and went back to my old Nokia 9300i. Works like a charm, no battery problem and it’s always possible to repair things.

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    • admin says:
      Firefox 32.0 Firefox 32.0 Windows 7 x64 Edition Windows 7 x64 Edition
      Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:32.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/32.0

      Hi John,
      It is a bit hard to believe you used Iphone and switched back to Nokia 9300i as 9300i is much more buggy than iphone. But for a phone functions one is sure the batter is solid rock.

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