It would appear that LG wish to keep one of the rarest smartphone art-forms alive, as a leak for the LG Optimus F3Q suggests that the phone will feature a full touchscreen, alongside a slide-out qwerty keyboard.
The leak was posted in the form of a picture by Twitter user @evleaks, who is a well known and generally on the ball source for phone and tablet leaks, and shows an LG device with a fairly standard screen, sporting a slide-out qwerty keyboard.
A full physical slide-out qwerty keyboard on a modern smartphone is always a strange sight, some might argue that the benefits to this type of phone are obvious, you can enjoy a large and expansive touchscreen and still have a physical keyboard for entering text.
Unfortunately it is rare for the execution of the slide-out keyboard to be this ideal, as screen size is normally below par on these devices, the keyboards themselves are never actually that satisfying to use and the specs of the devices in this category usually match the low-end market of more common smartphones.
Even when companies to try and create high-end smartphones with a sliding keyboard their efforts are normally in vain, due to the fact that Android software just doesn’t get on with a physical sliding keyboard, this was shown with Motorola Photon Q 4G LTE (shown below), which was a great phone it its own right but became unstuck because of how the software reacted to the keyboard being opened.
It is surprising also that LG appear to be releasing another phone with a slide-out keyboard, as their last attempt, the LG Mach, never really took off and fizzled into the annuls of history.
Obviously as the leak comes in the form of an image it is impossible to tell any sort of detail about the phone, but it can be assumed that it will be running Android, due to it’s Optimus name.
If this assumption is correct and the F3Q does come running Android then it can also be a pretty safe guess to predict that it will be running Google’s latest version, 4.4 Kitkat, as Google claim that the latest software offering will be supported by phones boasting as little RAM as 512MB.
Time will tell just how much LG are committing to try and make this release work, it may be a case of market fodder, meaning its life span and attention will not be huge. If they do go all out and the phone boasts impressive specs and the hardware and software work well in tandem then the Optimus F3Q may be a success for LG, unfortunately I can only see this product as market fodder but time will tell.
What do you think? Are there ever times you miss a small qwerty keyboard while typing on a touchscreen? Or are you an endorser of the sliding keyboard and have a success story of a recent device that makes it work? Let us know in the comments below.