Jan. 11th, 2014

mrlich: (fantasy artist)
So the world of phones with tactile keyboards is diminishing - much to my shagrin. There were rumors for a while of a Motorola Droid 5 with a keyboard, but they seem to have faded with the passing of the 'holy shit go out and buy buy buy' season. The situation has become so dire for those of us looking for that physical keyboard that I've seen the concept used as a punchline in a few tech posts.

With the sausages that I have for thumbs, physical keyboards have always been a requirement. Yes, I've heard the "you just need the right touch screen keyboard to be happy" argument before. If such a keyboard exists, I have yet to find it. And I've looked. A lot.

But here's the good news: Google is getting voice recognition right. No, it's not really where I would want it to be in a perfect world, but it's getting there - and fairly quickly.

It's not uncommon for me to find a situation I feel is unattainable and go in the reverse direction. Balance and all that. So what if I did that here? What if instead of focussing on the idea of a tactile keyboard I looked into a phone which satisfied all the other things that I would want from a phone?

NeptunePine


I present to you the Neptune Pine. There are some components that they're still a bit vague on (water resistant? what does that mean) but for the most part, this could very well be my next phone. In a watch.

You can read more on their site, but the short version is this: They got a lot right that the other smartwatch makers out there are not - mostly design elements that made me want to smack the other smart watch makers. There are two cameras - one front facing (Hello Hangouts from my rist. Yes, I'm James Bond. What?) It's 'water resistant' - still looking into what exactly that means. It's small (for a phone). It's Android - and a recent enough version that Google Now works on it - which opens a LOT of functionality.

It's cheap compared to most modern phones. This worried me until I thought about the size factor. This phone is designed small. Small screens = cheap. That should be enough to cause the drop in cost.

Basically, I'm not 100% sold, but at the very least, this device has opened my mind to looking in a new direction. If I get one, I'll let you all know what I think of it. The only trick will be where I order the device to since it's only available online currently.

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