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#1
http://www.techradar.com/news/blackb...eyboard-phones

https://www.engadget.com/2018/01/09/...w-phones-2018/

TCL will release atleast two physical keyboard phones in 2018. I am guessing revisions of the Keyone and Priv designs. Maybe we might see a revival of the classic Blackberry design with a trackpad and landscape display similar to the Blackberry Classic or Bold.

On top of existing Blackberry devices which run Android BBOS 10, the Dragonbox Pyra and Pandora, Sailfish Toh keyboard, Samsung Keyboard addons for the S8, S7 and Note 8, Motomod Keyboard, Gemini PDA, the Pocketchip with mechanical keyboard mod, the GPD Win 1 and GPD Win 2, Raspberry Pi Keyboard designs, The GPD Pocket/Possible Pocket 2, and we now have even more Blackberry devices with physical keyboards as an option.

2017 was the return of the keyboard and 2018 will be growth for physical keyboard devices, maybe 2019 they become more mainstream and we become less dependent on mods.
 

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#2
Blackberry devices, with Android or with BBOS 10, are still very closed. Though Blackberry Passport is very tempting because: 1) square display; 2) touch keypad. I am looking out for Blackberry Visa, very similar to Blackberry Passport, but with patented slide-out keyboard: http://www.eyeonmobility.com/wp-cont...rry_visa_1.jpg While the design is complicated, it would allow for nice all-time accessibility of fingerprint reader built into space key, similarly to Keyone (Blackberry Passport didn't have such a fingerprint reader), while reducing probability of pocket-dialing. If you want to go for even more complicated mechanics, dual cameras assembly similar to Oppo N1 could be used.

Dragonbox Pyra is on my must-have list, since this mobile device might potentially replace my laptop without being too bulky or heavy for traveling.

Sailfish TOH sounds interesting, but I didn't catch the Jolla's bandwagon yet. Doesn't help that only one of Sailfish devices is TOH-compatible. Wish at least PuzzlePhone included TOH-compatibilty somehow, in its Spine maybe? Yotaphone's dual-screen is a fascinating design, too, but it would have been nicer to have eInk TOH for TOH-compatible phone, instead of being stuck with one fixed hardware design.

Samsung devices suffer from "too large display" problem, typical for modern phablets. These "mobile" phones do not fit into a pocket. Moto Z devices, while suffering from the same problem, have add-ons similar to Jolla's TOH - and at least, more than one device compatible with such add-ons was manufactured. In fact, if Moto Z devices were compatible with TOH, it could have been a tremendous help for Jolla, but Motorola instead positioned itself as a competitor.

Gemini PDA is amusing, and so are GPD Win and GPD Pocket, but Pyra looks better to me, if only because Pyra has resisitive touchscreen and is generally more open.

PocketChip, I already have. Should look up mechanical keyboard mod.

Raspberry Pi is too troublesome to make a case for. That's a common problem with users: they don't want to craft a plastic (or wooden) case for a device.

I am just wishing currently for devices which look beautiful (not just black rectangles), are small (can fit into jeans front pocket without breaking), can last for a week on one battery, and have a sliding T9 keyboard (or anything else similarly easy to use, without pocket dialing or buttons being too tiny for typing). Sometimes I wish a phone was a phone, for calling, not for typing long texts on qwerty keyboard; and a separate device, like ultra-mobile PC, was used for web-browsing, text typing, and so on. Sometimes I wish for an integrated multifunctional device - but with form-factor far more unique than a slate.

Thank you. Best wishes.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Per aspera ad astra...

P.S. Don't forget about Neo900, a keyboard phone too.

Last edited by Wikiwide; 2018-01-11 at 00:27. Reason: P.S.
 

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#3
Originally Posted by Wikiwide View Post
Sailfish TOH sounds interesting, but I didn't catch the Jolla's bandwagon yet. Doesn't help that only one of Sailfish devices is TOH-compatible. Wish at least PuzzlePhone included TOH-compatibilty somehow, in its Spine maybe? Yotaphone's dual-screen is a fascinating design, too, but it would have been nicer to have eInk TOH for TOH-compatible phone, instead of being stuck with one fixed hardware design.
I liked the TOH concept a lot, too bad the Jolla sbj1 turned out to be the only HW that Jolla ever made. @Kimmoli made quite a few ingenious and useful concept-TOH's and I would have loved to see some more...


Originally Posted by Wikiwide View Post
Raspberry Pi is too troublesome to make a case for. That's a common problem with users: they don't want to craft a plastic (or wooden) case for a device.
I had an idea for that but due to lack of time have not gone anywhere with it yet...

I recently got into my hands a bagful of various models of Asus ee-PC mini-laptops. The devices by themselves are fairly limited by todays standards since the HW is about a decade old and was not near the top-of-the-range even then

So, I had in my mind to gut the insides out of some of the devices and replace with Raspberries. What I'd save is the display and keyboard and since the PI's are so small there would be plenty of space available to stuff full of Li-ion goodiness...

I already have made some tests on how long I can run a Raspberry from a mobile power bank and the results are promising. When I'll have time to do it (which looking at my schedule could be sometime in the 2030's...) I'll check what the keyboard and display interfaces in the ee-PC's are like and what's required to adapt those to the PI.

Heh, there actually should be space enough for stuffing at least 2 Raspberries in one subnotebook frame, so I could have real multicpu laptop, not just multicore!
 

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#4
Originally Posted by juiceme View Post
Heh, there actually should be space enough for stuffing at least 2 Raspberries in one subnotebook frame, so I could have real multicpu laptop, not just multicore!
I would love to see that!
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#5
Well, blackberry phones are unrootable by design. (this will probably mean no OEM unlock too)
Enough for me not to even consider this an option.
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#6
TCL are bringing back Palm this year, maybe we'll see a more open keyboard phone with that brand.
 

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#7
Originally Posted by marmistrz View Post
Well, blackberry phones are unrootable by design. (this will probably mean no OEM unlock too)
Enough for me not to even consider this an option.
Same here, every time I do a search for a qwerty hwkb phone blackberries come up, and I always look up to see if their recent models have unlocked bootloaders. Forever disappointed...I guess their government/corporate clients are too important to risk it. If they made a consumer phone they could corner the market!
 

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#8
Originally Posted by nh1402 View Post
TCL are bringing back Palm this year, maybe we'll see a more open keyboard phone with that brand.
I loved my Palm phone. I used it for 9 years and even though I love my N900 to bits, I still find it nowhere near the Palm in terms of usability. But putting Palm and open in the same sentence? No way!
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Last edited by pichlo; 2018-01-13 at 07:25. Reason: Correcting late noticed autocorrect
 

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#9
Originally Posted by Wikiwide View Post
In fact, if Moto Z devices were compatible with TOH, it could have been a tremendous help for Jolla, but Motorola instead positioned itself as a competitor.
A competitor ? Jolla abandonned the TOH when they stopped making hardware.
And Motorola would have been stupid to embrace such a crippled solution (I2C, created for small and slow communications), when they have chosen a high performance bus allowing a greater range of adds-on (like video capture and projection, or sound).


But back on the topic, it would be great to really have some nice choices regarding phones with hardware keyboard. I am looking especially for compacts sliding landscape QWERTY (N950 like).
 

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#10
Originally Posted by pichlo View Post
I loved my Palm phone. I used it for 9 years and even though I love my N900 to bits, I still find it nowhere near the Palm in terms of usability. But putting Palm and open in the same sentence? No way!
Palm is now just a brand owned by TCL, like Alcatel, there's a chance that it could be open.
 

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