Looking beyond the hardware, you'll need to consider the operating system that's right for you, and if you intend to use your Qwerty smartphone for work, to make sure that it will be compatible with your work's in-house email system, for example. The OS choice these days is largely between Symbian and Android, though Blackberry and Palm have their own bespoke systems.
Windows Mobile hasn't quite died the death yet, but it's losing ground to the others rapidly. Windows Phone 7 Series, it's successor, is not incompatible with the current version but has a radically different, very touchscreen-centric user interface. But phones using it won't be out until the end of the year - if any of them sport keyboards at all.
Watch out for extra costs. For example, if you use push email - which comes as standard with Blackberry, for instance - to keep your inbox absolutely up to the second, you may find that prices may be more than you bargained for. Use of Blackberry's Internet Server, which is required for the company's push email service, sometimes carries an additional charge, though that is now often being bundled into standard tariffs. In short, always best to check before you buy.
All the handsets in this round-up are mid-range to high-end smart phones, with the ability to add additional apps, many of them free, from online stores. Almost all of them also have HSDPA 3G network connections and Wi-Fi for fast web browsing and downloads. Most have GPS for location-based services too.
In fact, all are very well served on the functionality front, so we've concentrated here on the keyboard user experience. ®
Next: RIM Blackberry Bold 9700
Buyer's Guide: Qwerty Smartphones
I'd never go back, especially as the keys are in a grid instead of staggered like on most touch screens. The iphone is the best for blisteringly fast typing once you stop worrying about accuracy and just type naturally. It still comes out ok.
Ok, I can live with that.
Shirley all y'all could come up with something better?
Guide already out of date?
I replaced my E90 with an N900 a couple of months back. While a think I preferred the E90 keyboard, the N900 integrates seamlessly into the Linux desktop computer. ALL of the hassle of the older phone has gone, and I'm much more productive.
Nice comparison review of Qwerty smart phones
Can't beat tactile advantages of a real QWERTY keyboard, even in this (multi) touchscreen age.
A great reference for my next 'phone decision one day.