5 form factors that used to be all the rage but we barely care about now
posted by Daniel P. / Nov 27, 2015, 7:29 AM
At the time the first iPhone was announced in 2007, we still had many, many other form factors, and some of them were really popular with users, like the flip phone, which is still the rage in Japan and some other places, as well as the BlackBerry-esque ones with physical QWERTY keyboards - hey, having an entirely virtual keyboard was still a pretty novel idea back then!
This is why we wanted to take a trip down memory lane, a few years after Apple outed the OG iPhone, and Google countered with its Android mobile OS, to check if you still remember those now crazy-looking form factors, which at the time were the bee's knees, check them out and tell us which one was your favorite.
Feeling nostalgic about flip phones? You aren't alone - recently a good percentage of respondents in a poll of ours said they would buy an Android flip, and we even rounded up some of the best for your convenience. Nothing says "this conversation is over" like the reassuring click when you close a flip phone, and what better handset to remind us of this trend than the popular Motorola RAZR, which started the whole thin phone craze with its anorexic for the time physique.
The portrait QWERTY
There has barely been a brand to do more for the popularity of phones with portrait QWERTY than BlackBerry, with its great physical keyboard that was a trademark for corporate folks and government employees alike for a long, long time before the big-screen phones took over, and even for some time after that. With the advent of ever-improving virtual keyboards, slide-typing, and voice assistants, the portrait QWERTYs became increasingly obsolete.
The slider's advantage is that you can place a relatively large display on it, and still have the convenience of a physical keyboard or keypad, tucked underneath the panel. These came in many shapes and sizes, and are definitely fun to play with, sliding the keyboard or navigation buttons panel back and forth all the time.
A variation of the format, side-sliders usually tuck in a full landscape QWERTY keyboard for faster typing. Lets not forget that even when Android had already arrived on the scene, screens were still rather small, compared to today's standards, so it wasn't very comfortable to type on them with an on-screen keyboard only, and the physical one made sense.
Another variation of the venerable format, the dual-slider, revealed one physical set of buttons or navigation pads when the screen half was pushed up, and another when it was slid down. Take the Nokia N95, for instance - sliding the screen part down revealed the music player navigation keys for faster access.
Bonus: the Swivel
Ok, this one is a bit out there, but it was certainly fun to observe and toy with, even if it wasn't overly practical. Sometimes manufacturers make a phone just for the sake of it, or because they have been playing around with an idea in the labs too long, and often these are the most unorthodox handsets you can imagine.
Posts: 515; Member since: Jan 15, 2015
The n95 when it came out was a true monster of a phone in terms of features and size.. I miss Nokia so much..
posted on Nov 27, 2015, 7:39 AM 7
Posts: 1409; Member since: Jul 06, 2014
Clamshell phone still popular, at least in the cartoon. Phineas and Ferb's sister still has one
posted on Nov 27, 2015, 8:03 AM 5
Posts: 427; Member since: Jan 15, 2012
I used to have a RAZR V3i and it was a head turner. Unfortunately it was stolen... lol
posted on Nov 27, 2015, 8:07 AM 1
Posts: 2694; Member since: Nov 09, 2015
Ummm... Where's "Candybar" Form Factor??? Can't see it anywhere... O_O Anyhow, I don't miss Dual Sliders, Side Sliders, or 'Swivel' as you describe it... And I sure as as hell don't even care about Blackberry QWERTY Phones... What? They went down the drain pipe? Okay, no worries cause I LOVE T9 KEYBOARD...!!! BUT I DO MISS CLAMSHELL a.k.a FLIP PHONES... They were AWESOME in an... Errr... Ummm... Ughh.... AWESOME way!!!
posted on Nov 27, 2015, 8:32 AM 0
Posts: 1588; Member since: Mar 04, 2009
Why is it impossible to find a candybar phone with numeric keys with a decent camera of 8 to 12 megapixel, my parents do NOT want a full touchscreen phone but do want a ok camera to take the odd photo.
posted on Nov 27, 2015, 10:58 AM 1
Posts: 643; Member since: Aug 29, 2014
I just had a nostalgia moment with this article. I remember my LG Chocolate. Man, that was a great slider.
posted on Nov 27, 2015, 5:54 PM 1
Send a warning to post author
Send a warning to Selected user.
The user has 0 warnings currently.
Next warning will result in ban!
Ban user and delete all posts
Message to PhoneArena moderator (optional):