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5 of the best BlackBerry alternatives

The king of QWERTY isn't for everyone, but there some great alternatives

If you’re after some non-RIM QWERTYness, try one of these five…

Nokia E6

A hefty stainless steel body, touchscreen navigation, 8MP camera and decent battery life form the foundation of this clever QWERTY. It’s not as powerful as the competition with its measly 600MHz processor, but it’s aesthetically pleasing, the Symbian^3 ‘Anna’ OS springs to life with the addition of finger-friendly controls and the D-pad means navigation is a breeze. We particularly like that the question mark, comma and full stop symbols have their own dedicated keys.

HTC ChaCha

This isn’t just a phone with a Facebook button. With its distinctive, slightly angled design, giving a nod to the chin of the T-Mobile G1 and HTC Magic and Hero,  you’ll be able to bash out missives at speed and view the screen comfortably at the same time. It’s a hugely likeable device, thanks to its Android 2.3 underlay, ergonomic design and one of a quirkiest phone names we’ve ever heard.

Dell Venue Pro

Like the Torch but can’t bear the thought of its sluggish 624MHz processor slowing you down? Dell’s Venue Pro is a QWERTY sliding beast in comparison packing a 1GHz CPU, plus it’s got the backing of Windows Phone 7 to deliver an excellent user experience, with its gorgeously styled tiles based UI. It may be super-sized and far from pocket-friendly, but with its excellent keyboard and giant screen, it’s one of the best smarties around for the hardcore business folk.

Orange Barcelona

The follow-up to Orange’s own-branded San Francisco is a smart choice if you want a piece of the QWERTY pie, but you’ve only got cash for plain digestives. It’s stepped up its Android game by packing 2.2 as opposed to 2.1, which means it’s still dragging behind the competition – but given its bargain pricing, we think we can let this slide. It’s certainly no match for the more high-end smartphones, but it’s a great entry-level handset if you’re thinking about moving into QWERTY territory.

HP Pre 3

The first of the Pre line to bear the HP name since the company took over Palm – and it’s the best Pre yet. This is thanks to a solid design, 1.4GHz engine, 3.6-inch display, a 5MP sensor that can capture 720p HD video and the gloriously innovative cards-and-stacks-based webOS. Even better, if you have a TouchPad, you can take advantage of its Touch To Share feature by syncing the two devices and sharing web content between them. You can’t get your grubby mitts on it just yet, but it’s available for pre-order, for September shipment.


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Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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