Thursday, April 7, 2016

Searching for a smartphone with keypad but no QWERTY

So I have been in the search for a mobile phone for my father. Although I could be over and done, getting him a 20€ Nokia, I was searching for an android phone to introduce him to the joys(?) of smartphones. But of course any android wouldn't do. He is fond of buttons!!
Since he is using phones essentially for phonecalls and sms messages, it had to have a keypad. He thinks that the transition from a dumbphone with keypad to a keyless touchscreen phone would be steep and since he lives away, I wouldn't be able to hold his hand during the learning process.
Soooooo is there such a modern phone? The answer is yes. But the selection is extremely limited.

After a long search, I found the following phones with a numpad, but without full QWERTY ala blackberry.

DAXIAN W189 which seems the most interesting since it has a dual screen, but I was worried to buy, cause having used 2 different obscure Chinese android phones (star and zopo) was very disappointed in them, and my father wouldn't be able to fiddle with the phone to make it work.
LENOVO A588T with a 180 rotating screen to use as candy bar was a in interesting preposition from a reputable manufacturer.

Gionee W909 I had the same reservations as the Daxian.

TTsims TT580 for which I had reservations since I read some reviews talking about usability related issues

Philips Xenium W9588 out of my price range

Samsung W2016 dual screen, awesomely expensive phone and effectively out of my price range.

I would have much prefered a candybar type of phone, like INFOBAR CO1 or Smart Bar from eAccess, but they are quite old phones and was unable to find any online.

Anyhow I ended up with LG Wine Smart, sporting android 5.1.1:

which I assumed should have at least bearable functionality and be more user friendly than the Chinese models. It also has FM radio which is a nice addition.

I was able to install skype, viber, yahoo mail and most importantly teamviewer QS with LG update with no problem .

Time will tell.

Update 20/4/16: After about two weeks using the phone, my father is quite happy with it. He finds the size within his requirements, and reminds him of his earliest Motorola StarTac. Coming a Sony C510e liked, the variety of applications and the touch screen.