First US Android flip phone launched

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in mobile on (#1XDTQ)
story imageThe first Android flip phone to be sold in the US is here. TracFone's ZTE Cymbal T is now available to order, today, from Best Buy at the early adopter price of $100. Other than having a flip phone form factor, the Cymbal is a typical entry-level Android phone with a nameless quad-core processor, 3.5 inch 320×480px screen, 8GB (3GB usable) of internal memory, 1GB of RAM and Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. There's a memory card slot, a 5MP camera and a removable battery. The Cymbal runs on the Verizon network and includes 4G LTE support.

The ZTE Cymbal is quite large for a flip phone at 4.72×2.40×0.72 inches. Compared with the Classic Motorola RAZR V3, the Cymbal is almost an inch taller, and obviously wider and thicker. On the other hand, at 3.5 inches, the screen is small when compared with most current phones. While there is a roomy physical keyboard, it's only used for dialing phone numbers, the smallish on screen QWERTY keyboard is used for texting and other text entry.

Re: No numberpad for text? (Score: 1)

by evilviper@pipedot.org on 2016-10-09 21:01 (#1XH7Q)

It's hardly "itty-bitty". The touch-screen alone is 3.5", which was considered BIG just a few years ago. The iPhone 4S had the same 3.5" screen size (circa 2012).

There's no bigger fan of (full QWERTY) hardware keyboards than yours truly (see: #3NZG), but I absolutely HATE T9 (text on 9 keys) input. Back when I had a phone with T9 as the only option, I simply didn't send texts to anybody, nearly ever. T9 has given us all manner of ugly, unwieldy "txtslang" terms we're only slowly getting away from (like "smthg"), as input was so cumbersome that learning a new shorthand language was quicker than both parties writing messages in full and proper English. The most primitive on-screen keyboards are superior to that nightmare.

The physical keypad could still be quite useful. Android has lots of games, and mechanical buttons with tactile feedback would be far superior to control by touching nondescript regions on a smooth screen. Perhaps also for controlling apps such as music players.
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