What is a good, cheap T-mobile phone with a QWERTY keyboard?
May 17, 2011 11:02 AM   Subscribe

What is the best T-Mobile phone that is both: relatively cheap (sub-$200) and has a good QWERTY keyboard?

I am a T-Mobile user who for a long time used my first-gen iPhone, but it has since died. I also have an iPad now, so I don't feel the need for my phone to be an Apple device.

So I'd love your recommendations for a phone that will be good for txting a ton, as that's pretty much all I do with my phone. I'm open to any phone that is capable of working on T-Mobile, old eBay finds welcome.

Thanks so much everybody!
posted by ejfox to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
There's a nasty little rumor that the iPhone may be out for T-Mobile on Monday. It's a longshot, but if you liked your iPhone, maybe hold out for that?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:03 AM on May 17, 2011

Before I got my work-mandated Blackberry I had a Samsung Behold on T-Mobile service, and I love, love, loved it. The touchscreen keyboard would reorient itself depending on which way you were holding the phone (portrait v. landscape) so it was easy to use either one-handed or with two.
posted by alynnk at 11:14 AM on May 17, 2011

There's a nasty little rumor that the iPhone may be out for T-Mobile on Monday. It's a longshot, but if you liked your iPhone, maybe hold out for that?

Yep, I came in here to say this. But I thought it wasn't coming out (if rumors are true) until September.
posted by cashman at 11:17 AM on May 17, 2011

My G2 keyboard took some getting used to after having used a G1 for years, but now I like it.
posted by dortmunder at 11:19 AM on May 17, 2011

The Nexus S is $99 on contract at Best Buy (you can't buy it through anyone else, in the US at least,) and is a phenomenal Android phone. Really, really great.
posted by InsanePenguin at 11:31 AM on May 17, 2011

Ejfox -- when you say QWERTY keyboard are you looking for the physical keyboard?
posted by bionic.junkie at 11:48 AM on May 17, 2011

Response by poster: @bionic.junkie - Either one is fine, though I think I'd prefer a physical one. I loved the iPhone keyboard because it learned the way I typed after a while.
posted by ejfox at 11:58 AM on May 17, 2011

Also, tmobile announced a Trade-in program today (you have to go to a retail store to do it). A recent pricelist.
posted by cashman at 12:10 PM on May 17, 2011

The new T-Mobile Sidekick 4G is an Android device with a slide-out keyboard. God knows what kind of crap they put on the Android UI to make it more "Sidekick", though.

The G2 is their more serious "slider" phone, if you really want the keyboard.

Note that there's a variety of soft keyboards available on Android. There's the more iPhone-like standard one. There's also the "swipe" ones where you trace out the letters, e.g., "Swype", on the Samsung Vibrant. You can also buy "SlideIT" (or something like that) as an alternative keyboard, if your particular model doesn't have that sort of thing.

I went from a Blackberry-like T-Mobile Dash to my Vibrant, and I don't miss the physical keyboard.
posted by chengjih at 12:21 PM on May 17, 2011

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention: the slider keyboards may make it difficult to put in a Big Ass Battery, like the Mugen or the Seidio on the Vibrant. The Seidio has made the battery life very tolerable on my phone, whereas before, not so much.

If you're coming from the iPhone, you may be surprised at how much Android phones suck down power.
posted by chengjih at 12:24 PM on May 17, 2011

I'm pretty happy with my G2, but it is heavy! It's also not the hottest phone out there anymore.
posted by Xalf at 12:49 PM on May 17, 2011

I think the G2 actually is still the best T-Mo phone. Most of the recent phones have been focused on "software features" (which is a euphemism for crap that is difficult to disable or remove). The G2 is nearly pure out of the box, can be rooted, and still has really good hardware, notably the hardware keyboard which is pretty awesome.
posted by anaelith at 1:17 PM on May 17, 2011

Is this $200 outright or on contract? Finding anything decent for $200 off-contract will be a real challenge.
posted by The Lamplighter at 2:02 PM on May 17, 2011

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