When it comes to messaging and e-mailing on a mobile phone handset, the weapon of choice for many users is a device with a fully Qwerty keypad. By allowing each letter to have its own key, they provide an experience much more similar to typing on a larger unit such as a laptop or PC. The first phone that was released boasting this feature was the Nokia Communicator way back in 1990. Since then the keypad has become a key feature of the Blackberry range of handset, perhaps the most famous users of such a system. The obvious downside of incorporating so many keys onto the front of the phone is the inevitable increase in size, that was until somebody came up with the idea of locating them on a hidden slider only to be used when required. Since then we have seen numerous models, with the current two vying for customer attention being the Nokia E7 and the HTC 7 Pro.
So if you are in the market for such a device, which of these is the handset for you?
The primary difference between the two models is the operating system that they employ, with Nokia sticking to their favored Symbian platform whilst the HTC sports the glossy new Windows 7 format. The latter is undoubtedly the best looking, with a homescreen bursting with colour and a wealth of information displayed instantly. This however is a new style of interface, and many users may find the familiarity of the Nokias icon based system more comfortable. Stepping away from the software side of things for a moment and looking at the build quality of the devices, the E7 scores highly. A combination of both a rugged and stylish aluminium chassis together with a toughened display made from Gorilla glass stands the phone in good stead against the HTC’s slightly less impressive exterior. Lets not forget either that Nokia have 13 years experience of developing Qwerty keypads, whereas HTC are relatively new in this area.
Obviously these phones are not only going to be used for messaging, but a host of other functions, so how do the other facilities shape up? In terms of screen size, the Nokia E7 wins the race hands down by offering a 4 inch screen that is nearly half and inch bigger than its rivals. The benefits of this are obvious when its comes to tasks such as movie playback or web surfing, and the extra size also give the keypad that lurks beneath a little more room over which to spread its keys. Both phones offer the user the opportunity to capture photographs, with the E7 also scoring highly in this area thanks to its 8 mega pixel offering in comparison to the 5 million pixels found on the 7 Pro.
It seems that for traditional business users, the E7 will prove the more popular handset for the reasons above but lets not write off the HTC, the OS will appeal to the younger audience, and with many teenagers turning to slider phones in order to chat with their friends, their is a place for both handsets in the marketplace.
The Nokia E7 and the HTC 7 Pro are available now