£120 Motorola Fire Is Cheapest Android Smartphone With QWERTY Keyboard

It is hard not to be impressed by the Motorola Fire; after all, it is the cheapest Android smartphone on the market with a QWERTY keyboard and comes with some pretty impressive specifications for what is an attractive outlay.

For £120 at Expansys, you get a handset that comes with a capacitive touchscreen display (2.8-inch, 320 by 240 pixels), a four row QWERTY keyboard with keys not unlike the RIM Blackberry Curve series or the HP Pre, Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread, a Qualcomm MSM7227-1 chipset clocked at 600MHz (like the HTC Wildfirre or the Orange San Francisco), 256MB RAM, 512MB ROM and a microSD card slot.

Motorola has also thrown in a 1420mAh battery with a three-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 480p video recording, microUSB, GPS and a "Moto Switch" user interface, all in a very compact 13.5mm thick chassis weighing 110g.

You won't find much competition at this price especially if you want a proper keyboard to type on. The Motorola Milestone 2 is more powerful but also clunkier and more expensive.

Ditto for the HTC Desire Z which shares the same form factor as the Milestone 2 (a vertical, slideout keyboard). It is a shame that other manufacturers haven't picked up on that trend and released more smartphones with a proper keyboard.