Samsung embraces the QWERTY with the new Galaxy Chat Android phone

Samsung Galaxy ChatHere’s an interesting question: Name a fixed QWERTY keyboard-equipped smartphone that’s not a BlackBerry. It’s not all that easy is it. Only a few spring instantly to mind, such as the Nokia Asha 303 and a few obscure ZTE handsets. Add in the caveat that it must run Android and it becomes even more difficult.

Samsung has announced a new phone that could change all that, as although the specification is hardly mind-blowing, it’s a good-looking little device that has a few tricks up its sleeve.

The phone is the Galaxy Chat, and one of the primary reasons it’s of interest is that it runs Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. This alone sees the Chat enter into an exclusive club, occupied by just 10-percent of all Android phones in the world, and refined even further by the presence of that QWERTY keyboard.

Samsung has given the Chat a 3-inch touchscreen, so don’t worry about being forced to navigate it using a D-pad, plus three standard touch sensitive buttons sit below the screen.

It’s not all good news though, as the Chat is a budget phone, and therefore has some very budget features. There is a 2-megapixel camera on the rear of the phone, and the screen has a resolution of just 240 x 320, meaning the Galaxy S3’s spot at the top of the range isn’t in jeopardy.

The Chat does connect to 3G networks though, and it has 4GB of internal memory, a microSD card slot, Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi connectivity. Pre-installed apps include the Samsung cross-platform messenger ChatON, and the S Planner scheduler, plus Quick Office too.

Expected to go on sale in July, the phone will first make its debut in Spain, then filter through to the rest of Europe, Asia and Latin America before the end of the year. The price hasn’t been confirmed, but Samsung says it will be “competitive.”

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