Are There Any Cell Phones with Physical Keyboards?

Ron Walton

Blackberry Phone with Keyboard

While the majority of smartphones have moved to touch-only interfaces, there’s a dedicated market for cell phones with physical keyboards. Such devices cater to those who prefer the tactile feel of real buttons under their fingertips. A physical QWERTY keyboard offers a different typing experience compared to touchscreen keyboards. It can make typing more accurate for some individuals, especially in situations where looking at the keyboard isn’t feasible.

Smartphones with integrated physical keyboards are not a one-size-fits-all solution, but they provide a unique advantage for users who do extensive typing. The key layout and the feedback from each press can increase typing speed and reduce errors, which appeals to a segment of consumers who miss the typing experience of traditional keyboards. Brand options for these kinds of smartphones include BlackBerry and Unihertz, indicating that the demand for tactile typing solutions persists in the gadget market.

Keyboards Making a Comeback on Phones

Yes, there are still cell phones with physical keyboards! While touchscreens have become the norm, some companies continue to cater to those who prefer the tactile feel and precision of physical keys. Here’s a look at some of your options:


BlackBerry, a brand known for its iconic keyboard phones, has made a comeback with Android-powered devices featuring their signature physical keyboards. Models like the BlackBerry KEY2 and KEY2 LE offer a blend of modern features and the classic keyboard experience.


Unihertz is a company that specializes in niche smartphones, including several with physical keyboards. Their lineup includes the Titan, a rugged phone with a full QWERTY keyboard, and the Titan Pocket, a smaller version designed for one-handed use.

Other Options

Beyond BlackBerry and Unihertz, you might find older models from other manufacturers like Samsung and LG with slide-out keyboards on the used market. Additionally, some accessory makers offer attachable keyboards that can turn your touchscreen phone into a keyboard phone.

Comparison Table

BrandModelOperating SystemKeyboard Type
BlackBerryKEY2, KEY2 LEAndroidFull QWERTY
UnihertzTitan, Titan PocketAndroidFull QWERTY
OtherOlder Samsung/LG models, Attachable keyboardsVariesVaries

While the selection of phones with physical keyboards is smaller than it once was, there are still viable options available for those who prefer them. Consider your needs and preferences to choose the phone that best suits your typing style.

Key Takeaways

  • Some consumers prefer cell phones with a physical QWERTY keyboard for improved typing accuracy.
  • Physical keyboards may enhance the user experience for individuals who type extensively on their smartphones.
  • A select group of manufacturers continues to supply smartphones with integrated physical keyboards to meet niche market demands.

Key Features of Physical Keyboard Smartphones

Smartphones with physical keyboards appeal for their unique blend of nostalgia, tactile typing, and durability. These devices offer a variety of features that cater to different user needs, from the build quality to battery life.

Design and Build Quality

They value durability in smartphones with physical keyboards. Brands like BlackBerry and Unihertz deliver devices designed to withstand daily use. The BlackBerry Key2 for instance combines a sleek aluminum frame with a textured back for a comfortable grip. Its inbuilt QWERTY keyboard is robust, featuring keys that can handle millions of presses.

Notable Models and Manufacturers

Several manufacturers stand out in this niche market. BlackBerry is renowned for its devices like the Key2 and Key2 LE, which showcase their iconic keyboard design. Unihertz has also made waves with models like the Titan Pocket and Titan Slim, sporting rugged designs for increased durability.

Keyboard Functionality and User Experience

The tactile feedback of physical keyboards enhances the typing experience. Models like the BlackBerry Key2 come with a Speed Key for quick shortcuts, and many keyboards are now backlit for improved visibility. Devices often combine touchscreen and keyboard inputs, offering a hybrid user experience.

Operating System and Software

Most keyboard phones run on Android, providing access to the Google Play Store. This allows a broad range of app compatibility from productivity to social media. BlackBerry phones with physical keyboards, such as the KeyOne, often feature additional security-focused software.

Connectivity and Storage Options

These smartphones generally support typical connectivity options, including GSM and LTE networks, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. For storage, internal memory varies with options for microSD card expansion, allowing users to easily increase their storage capacity.

Multimedia and Productivity

Devices are equipped to handle various multimedia formats with built-in cameras for taking pictures and enough internal storage for apps and files. They often target users who prioritize messaging, email, and calendar management, enhancing productivity on the go.

Performance and Battery Life

Performance can vary with models sporting different Snapdragon processors and RAM configurations. For instance, BlackBerry Key2 features a Snapdragon 660 and 6GB of RAM, aiming for smooth performance. Battery life is typically robust, with devices like the Key2 boasting a 3,500mAh battery for extended use.

Special Features and Innovations

Physical keyboard phones often have unique features like fingerprint readers for security. Some even offer innovative designs, like the Astro Slide 5G which has a sliding keyboard, combining traditional typing with modern smartphone capabilities.

Market Trends and Consumer Preferences

Despite the popularity of full touchscreen smartphones, a market segment still prefers physical keyboards. These users often value typing accuracy and speed. The trends show a consistent, though niche, demand for such devices, influenced by consumer desire for functional typing and device longevity.

Choosing the Right Physical Keyboard Phone

Picking the right model involves considering various factors like keyboard layout and device performance. For users who want a blend of modern specs and traditional design, the BlackBerry Key2 or Unihertz Titan series might be ideal choices. The tactile feel of the keyboard and the overall device specs should meet the user’s expectations for productivity and multimedia use.