The best touch and type mobile phones on the market

The Nokia X3 touch and type candy bar mobile phone has arrived with quite some claim - namely that it'll be the best 12-button touchscreen handset on the market. As swish as the sleek looking model in all its colourways is, like Nokia has said, the X3 isn't the only touch and type phone around.

So, what are the other candy bar mobile phones out there that you might want to consider instead? Come along with Pocket-lint and we'll show you the way.

Sony Ericsson G900

Screen
2.6”, 240 x 320px, 262k colour

Size
106 x 49 x 13mm, 99g

Buttons
12 + nav keys

Camera
5MP with flash

Extras
FM radio, 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth


Announced at Mobile World Congress in 2008, the Sony Ericsson G900 was a bit ahead of its time by the Nokia X3’s standards. It has all the compact size of a feature phone, but still boasts some rather interesting specs within that small frame, not least of which is the resistive touchscreen. The display is typically small, so there’s a stylus thrown in to make using it all the easier. It runs a simple Symbian OS and, despite fairly humble looks, still packs a 5-megapixel camera, video capture credentials, excellent sound, an MP3 player, FM radio and features hand writing recognition software along with the Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth holy trinity of connectivity. You’ll still be able to pick up apps, if that concerns you, and it’ll fit in any pocket you like without ruining your clothes. Not too shabby for £150.

 

 

Sony Ericsson W960i

Screen
2.6”, 240 x 320px, 262k colour

Size
109 x 55 x 16mm, 119g

Buttons
12 + nav keys

Camera
3.2MP with AF

Extras
8GB flash storage, Walkman


While the Nokia X3 asks you to touch and type, the Sony Ericsson W960i endorses touch and play. The touch is the responsibility of the modest QVGA resistive layer at the top, the play is all about the Walkman features handed over by Sony. The W960i is designed to playback music and comes with download facilities as well as a whole 8GB of flash storage to keep it on. The main camera’s not as powerful as the G900, but there are front facing optics to make video calls as well. FaceTime eat your heart out.

Again, the phone runs on Symbian, so it means you can be as app happy as you like and you’ll get the most out of what you download with all the 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to back you up. All yours for £212.

 

 

 

 

Palm Pixi Plus

Screen
320 x 400px, 2.63”, 18-bit colour

Size
111 x 55 x 10.85mm, 99.5g
Buttons
Full QWERTY

Camera
2MP + flash

Extras
Multitouch, accelerometer and more


If you’d rather more of an entry level smartphone touch and type, than a clever feature phone, then the Palm Pixi Plus is well worth a shout. The excellent webOS does well to bring you into the fold without over-complicating things, the touchscreen is a great advantage, syncing with Synergy is great and all of that comes with a very pocket-friendly form factor too.

The downside is that it’s a little underpowered, having a boys processor but a man’s apps to deal with, and it can lead to a frustrating multimedia experience. The battery life could do with some attention as well. That lot aside, you do get the benefit of a full QWERTY, a capacitive multitouch screen and as much Homebrew as you can stuff onto the 8GB storage. Free if you pay monthly.

 

Nokia X3

Screen
2.2”, 240 x 320px, 262k colour

Size
106.2 x 48.4 x 9.6mm, 78g

Buttons
12 + nav keys

Camera
5MP

Extras
16GB memory card, FM radio, 3G, Wi-Fi

Of course, the one that got our brains ticking over to begin with is the recently announced Nokia X3. It's not only the teeny-tiniest of the lot but, despite its freshness, it's also the smallest and the least expensive too. All the same, it packs the titchiest touchscreen with just 2.2 inches of real estate to jam your fat fingers onto, so perhaps not one for the giants who walk among us.

It does have the benefit of modern good looks, the Ovi store, a whacking great microSD card in the box and very healthy camera as well. We'll bring you our review as soon as we get our hands on it, but it promises to be a very stylish mid-range feature phone indeed. Around £100 when it arrives.

 

 

Sony Ericsson Aspen

Screen
240 x 320px, 65k colour

Size
117.0 x 60.0 x 12.45 mm, 130g

Buttons
Full QWERTY

Camera
3.2MP

Extras
Wi-Fi, Office Mobile, Bluetooth, aGPS

It seems the list couldn’t possibly be complete without yet another touch and type from Sony Ericsson who looks to have been all over this form factor for years now. The Apsen is the second full QWERTY of this lot and offers the Windows Mobile smartphone alternative to the Palm Pixi Plus.

It certainly appears to be more heavily aimed at the business bod with Office Mobile pre-installed and a modest amount of colours on the screen, but there’s still MP3 playback, Google Maps and video streaming apps as well. Considerably cheaper than most QWERTYs at £240.

Have you seen any other touchscreen candy bar phones out there with a keypad as well? Is this the form factor of the future, are you excited about this move from Nokia and which other manufacturer do you think should take up the idea? Let us know in the comments below.