Smartphones are everywhere now, every other person has one (whether it’s iOS or Android), and they are reaching new levels of performance, size, and affordability. What bothers me is the recent lack of variation in smartphone form factors. Every new phone coming out nowadays usually follows the same formula: large screen (usually over 4 inches), several buttons under the screen, camera on the back, volume buttons on the side. While this is a time-tested design that caters to most people, I feel like the major smartphone manufacturers have all but forgotten physical QWERTY keyboards.
I type/text/email/facebook a *lot*, so a QWERTY keyboard is a blessing to have. Yes, touchscreens are getting more and more accurate, and onscreen keyboard software can predict words with some degree of accuracy, but nothing can replace the feel, function, and speed of a physical keyboard. With a real keyboard there’s a physical feedback every time you press a button, which is super helpful for avoiding typos (or missing letters). Also, an onscreen keyboard becomes essentially useless if you’re outside when it’s daytime, because all the glare makes the screen impossible to see. A smartphone with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard is perfect for me, which is why I love my T-Mobile G2 (aka Desire Z/HTC Vision). What depresses me is knowing that I’ll have to get a new phone in a year or so when mine becomes obsolete to the point of where even CyanogenMod stops supporting my device for the latest firmwares (pretty sure they don’t have an official release for ICS for it, I’m running a ROM I found on XDA-Developers).
Another thing that bugs me is that phones nowadays have screens that are ridiculously large, 4 inches is like the minimum now. I’d be alright with a 4 inch screen, but anything past that is way too big to be comfortably pocketable. If I wanted such a big screen, I’d get a tablet.