Despite the popularity of touchscreen interfaces in smartphones, some people will never want to give up the finger-friendly feel and utility of an old-school, physical keyboard. Unfortunately for these digit-centric folks, nearly all the top-shelf handset releases of the past year have been decidedly keyboard-free. A series of leaked images purportedly of the QWERTY-licious Droid 5 may be reason for keyboard fans to have hope, however.
The images uploaded to the Chinese microblogging site Weibo and first noted by the newcellphones blog show a 4.3- or 4.5-inch device with a 5-row slide-out QWERTY keyboard. According to the initial report, the new device will feature wireless charging, support NFC, and will be resistant to water and dust.
It should also be noted that the phone is branded with a Verizon logo front and center. We have reached out for comment from Verizon on the images and will update with any response.
The similarly keyboard'd Droid 4 was released early in 2012 and we gave it a generally positive review, specifically for its physical input and zippy processor (though we took off pints for a poor camera and screen).
Unlike the recently unveiled (and truthfully decent) Moto X and trio of non-keyboard Droids, the Droid 4 was a product of a Motorola still working its way through its pre-Google acquisition pipeline. A new Droid 5 would almost certainly be the result of the new Google-Motorola partnership, which has proven itself adroit at creating quality, innovative products.
So rejoice, #TeamQWERTY! An all-around decent QWERTY smartphone may just be on the horizon. It's been a while.