I’m an anomaly. That’s my opinion after trying to buy an Android phone with a solid keyboard. Going by the dearth of suitable phones, my desire to have a key to press when I type is anachronistic. But am I really alone?
I’ve been using touchscreen phones with a slide out QWERTY keyboard since the days of Windows Mobile and have grown used to being able to type up documents on the move.
When that phone died a couple of years ago I managed to find an Android phone with a keyboard, albeit only after much hunting. But when this too gave up the ghost, my search this time hit a dead end.
But perhaps I was stuck in my ways and I was lucky enough to have a friend to lend me a decent touchscreen phone. Two weeks of typos convinced me that while touchscreen was OK for those of you who like to text or update Facebook on the move, I found it useless for anything more than a couple of sentences.
Android phones with a keyboard
So what to do about keyboards? Our mobile phone reviews highlight the problem – only Blackberry phones have them, and those keyboards are small. I could switch to Blackberry, but Google Play has taken enough of my cash in apps to persuade me to stay with Android.
Going online was the answer. America is the land of QWERTY opportunity, unlike poor Europe, with phones like the Motorola Droid 4. And while I couldn’t buy a new phone from America, due to the contracts they come with, I did find a good and recent second-hand phone on eBay.
Buying mobile phones from abroad
Now, if you’re buying something from non-EU country expect customs to charge customs duty and import VAT. As the buyer, it’s my responsibility to ensure that the seller fills out a Customs Declaration and pays any fees at their post office. If not, I’ll have to pay the import VAT and a Royal Mail handling fee.
So was it worth it? Getting QWERTY back was akin to getting a cast off a broken leg. With delight akin to Dr Strangelove walking again, getting a keyboard in my hands meant my typing paralysis was over.
Am I alone? Is it right that we in Europe are denied the QWERTY wealth across the Atlantic? Have you turned to eBay for rare gifts from abroad and did it work out?