Huawei's Android touchphone details revealed
Gaze in wonder at its bizarre 'full and half Qwerty' keyboard
Exclusive Huawei may have finally unveiled a few of the specifications for its first Android handset - the U8230 - but Register Hardware has laid its hands on the device’s full feature list.
Huawei's first Android handset: the U8230
The phone supports a variety of Google applications, including Maps, Search and Talk, while relying on Google’s Chrome application for web browsing, Huawei documents reveal.
Texting and emailing looks set to be a doddle on the handset. Huawei has given it a “full- and half-Qwerty” virtual keyboard that - as you'll see from the picture below - places two characters on each key.
Full and half Qwerty keyboards have been around for a while. One such manufacturer – Matias – explained to us that the ‘Q’ key, for example, also functions as the ‘P’ key when the spacebar is pressed.
This may sound a little wacky, but the process apparently enables users to maintain a typing speed that's similar to using two hands.
Whether the U8230 uses a special shift key to allow a key's second character to be entered, relies on predictive text or both isn't yet known.
Underneath the U8230’s 3.5in, 480 x 320 display is a Qualcomm MSM 7200A chipset, 256MB of memory and support for quad-band GSM – the latter in addition to 3G connectivity. Wi-Fi is also included.
The phone has a 0.3Mp camera embedded into its front display, but around the rear of the handset you’ll find a more capable, 3.2Mp snapper with an 8x digital zoom.
The phone's 'full and half Qwerty' keyboard - odd
Content is kept on Micro SD cards of up to 8GB – it hasn’t been confirmed if one will be bundled with the phone. Bluetooth 2.0 and a USB 2.0 port are also included on the U8230.
Multimedia is catered for on the Huawei Android, in the form of MP3 audio and MPEG 4 video. But it’s our sad duty to report that the phone has a 2.5mm – rather than 3.5mm – headphone jack.
Battery life hasn’t been announced yet, but that hasn’t prevented Huawei from claiming that the 1500mAH lithium-polymer battery embedded into the U8230 boasts “the longest battery capacity of any Android-powered handset currently available”.
Huawei’s U8230 Android will be available in the UK through T-Mobile during Q3. A price hasn’t been announced. ®
Hua must mean no in chinese.
I had a Huawei 3G "data card" while in Saudi Arabia and had nothing but trouble with it.
It ran dangerously hot, warping the SIM card on two occaisions, disconnected regularly when it overheated, and did not seem to be capable of staying connected for more than a couple hours at a time... Even with a comms tower within sight in a stationary location.
Huawei? No way.
i have a pearl
and I find it to be a read-only device. Problem is, I do 60 wpm on a real keyboard, and don't read manuals. It's possible that it's a useful keyboard for those who are not used to going fast and/or who read manuals. I'm find with it as it is, though; the boss pays for it and he's not expecting me to reply from it, he's expecting me to know when gear sends me email.
I quite like the keyboard
If it works anything like the blackberry pearl 8100 keyboard. The great thing about the query half keyboard is that is works very well with predictive text (for english at least), I find you get much fewer wrong suggestions than you do with a traditional numeric keypad - probably as much to do with the fact that it is a qwerty layout as it is due to the fact that there are fewer letters per key.
@ Robert GRand
I totally agree with you, HTC's EzInput 2.0 looks even better than EzInput 1.5 (which you probably have, get the upgrade from xda devs).
Anyway, I would generally have thought that this keyboard layout would have been likened to the Blackberry Pearl 15 key keyboard. How old is that and how is this news? Unless it is the fact that someone has made a touchscreen keyboard for Android, then you should have focussed the news article on that portion of the story.
Soft keyboard = Cootek TouchPal 4
The soft keyboard in the screenshots is TouchPal 4 by CooTek - I know, I use it on a windows mobile device and it is excellent. You can achieve incredibly quick text input on it.
Their website states that they have been developing a version for Android, and they also have videos demonstrating how quick it is to use.