So I've found myself having to explain time and again why I'm not satisfied with current options in the smartphone world, so I decided I'd better write my thoughts and reasoning down so that perhaps someone can help me find what I'm looking for, or failing that, perhaps some company can create it. Even if it's proprietary to their line, an attachable keyboard would be a step forward and would eliminate what makes most companies afraid of making smartphones with physical keyboards (slimness of the phone design and the fact that getting a keyboard design "just right" can be difficult).
So what I'm looking for seems to me quite simple, yet I see very few examples out there (or at least ones that have good specs):
- An AWS-compatible phone, and it doesn't have to have a large screen nor does it need to be thin. While we're talking features, it doesn't need all those baubles (camera, GPS (which, at least here, works less reliably than network detection anyway), etc.) either, though I doubt that would help sales given there's always someone whining about one or the other not being present.
- A phone with a wired keyboard, whether detachable (preferably without a cable, similar in concept to the Targus ThumbPad that had been made for the Palm) or permanently part of the phone.
- Preferably, the phone is stock Android without any of those customizations that handset makers like to stick on.
- Also preferable, evidently, is that it runs ICS (or whatever is latest at the manufacturing time).
Now, before I catch more flak, here's a few things that have already been suggested to me:
- Tablets. Congrats, you missed the point. At that rate I might as well carry around the netbook I already have, and it would do fine... except neither tablet nor netbook are feasible for SMS.
- Medium/full-size docks. See above. These are slightly more acceptable, but only so - because if you can do this.. why the bloody heck can you not make a smaller one?
- Bluetooth. Keep in mind the idea here is to skip an every-time-set-up process! Leaving the radio on eats the battery and having to enable it, connect the keyboard, and switch to the BT keyboard app just to type a sentence or two is tedious. It's more worth it for when I want to write more, yes, but at this rate I'm not going to want to! Furthermore, I've yet to see a non-iDevice casing that holds the keyboard and phone together (or a keyboard that attached to the phone, whichever). I realize it would likely have to be custom made for the phone (the casing that is, not the keyboard itself - if you think so you fail at design), but given the quantity of these already being made I don't see why this is a problem.
- Downgrading. As mentioned above I am aware there are a few phones available which do match the criteria.. but they're woefully underpowered. Just because I want a keyboard doesn't mean I'm some sort of oldschool luser who can't appreciate a better spec'ed phone.
Am I really asking that much?