My Dream Mobile Phone
Ever since I fondled the XDA II mini, I've been convinced that it definitely is on the right path to the perfect mobile phone form factor. Big screen, few buttons and most importantly, rotatable orientation so you can use it easily as a phone and as a browsing device as well. But of course, that form factor isn't great for games or text entry (I *hate* pens), so like I said back in January, it needs a little slide-out keypad or keyboard of some sort as well.
Well, the HTC Wizard is getting pretty close. It's a much bigger device, but it's on the right track of keeping the front of the device clean and useful as a one-handed phone, and then the slide-out keyboard is great for messaging and browsing. But what about gaming? Portable gaming is key for mobile phones, even for the business-oriented user.
Thus keeping in mind my mobile device form factors post from back in March, I tried to come up with what I think is a perfect converged device combining several different form factors into one. It would be the same size and weight as my current Nokia 6680, but the entire front would be a 800x320 resolution screen. The pixels might be a bit small, but that's okay. Navigation would be with a scroll wheel - an idea stolen from the new Blackberries and iPods. I think scroll-wheels are a great navigation device - you can move through big lists quickly, as well as web pages as well. It's very intuitive - much more so than a 5 way joystick.
Opening up the slider keyboard, holding it vertically, you'd see a set of numbers at the bottom for dialing phone numbers, holding it horizontally you'd see a keyboard for typing out messages. It'd also have a set of PSP-like game controls - navigation on the left (analog and directional) and four control buttons on the right. ( Maybe we could throw some shoulder buttons on the back as well? That might be a bit much though. ;-) ) These are great for navigating the web (as I'm finding out now with the PSP's new web browser) as well as for advanced games.
What do you think? It might all be a bit cramped, but we'd get used to it. Hell, look at the size of the Gameboy Micro - and that thing is going to sell like hotcakes. :-)