Motorola Charm Coming to T-Mobile: Physical Keyboard Without Needing to Turn & Pull

Video courtesy of how2moto

I’ve long wondered why we haven’t seen a BlackBerry or Treo style Android device with a screen sitting directly above a fixed physical keyboard. My old Windows Mobile powered HTC Dash was great to use with its keyboard always available. There’s no turning, pulling, or other unnecessary movements just to type an email message. T-Mobile will get the first Android-powered phone with such a design:

Motorola Announces its Newest Device with MOTOBLUR: Motorola CHARM

I’m tempted to break my vow not to buy any Android phones until OS 3.0 is released later this year. However, there are a couple of potential issues:

1. The Moto Droid’s keyboard is incredible in its awfulness. It is so bad, that I finally gave in to the idea of using on-screen keyboards. The Charm’s keyboard looks an awful lot like the flat, no-tactile-feedback, unusable keyboard on the Droid. You definitely should try the Charm’s keyboard before buying it. Android’s on-screen keyboard is not an option for this device despite the fact that it has a touchscreen.

2. It will ship with Android OS 2.1 instead of 2.2

3. It will ship with Motorolla’s Motoblur custom user interface which is probably the culprit for the lack of OS 2.2.

No retail price is mentioned in the press release. I’m guessing T-Mobile will price it around $149 for new customers agreeing to a two-year contract.

Via Engadget: Motorola Charm official for T-Mobile: portrait QWERTY Android at long last