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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been thinking about sliders, and IMHO, in talking with people, I think that most actually like the idea, but vendors for some reason just don't want to make them. That being said, I think that there is a lot of room for advancement which could make sliders much more appealing to the market overall. I don't think that phone makers are really advancing the market for such phones, instead, they are just thinking of profits, and "chasing Apple", which has lead to no keyboard phones, since fewer parts==higher profits. I wanted to start a thread with the MT4GS community on what they would want in a slider, and start off with with a few suggestions to begin with to frame the discussion. Ideally, someone in the vendor community would take note (or we can forward the discussion to our favored vendor) and ideally get what we really want in the future. Who knows, someone could start a company based on the discussion!

First off, I wanted to say that the push to larger (screen) phones IMHO may be partially driven by the onscreen keyboard need. By providing a solid slide keyboard, I think that smaller phones (width+height) make sense within reason, so a standard size of such keyboards could be made effectively and likewise screens. There are applications that fit the form factor of a phone, and those that fit a tablet--there is no need to just make bigger phones, but with onscreen keyboards it results in pushing the limit so fingers fit. Sliders help prevent this. Therefore, the first need is to have a good keyboard. My wife got a Samsung relay with a 5 row keyboard, and I think makes a lot of sense--it matches the main keys on a normal keyboard, allows special characters that map to the shift/number combo to remain the same as a normal keyboard, etc. As such, I think a 5 row keyboard would be part of my wishlist. I can't tell you how many times I have ended up typing a "1" on my MT4GS when I wanted a ! because I am a touch typist1.

Next is that the screen should have a replaceable bezel. This should provide an option to have a slightly raised edge, which will help protect the screen from impact in the case it is dropped. There should be enough room around the screen so that it doesn't impact the keyboard, as most third party bezels do for sliders.

Third, the ideal weight of a slider should have the most mass close to the middle of the keyboard itself. It should be as light on the screen side as possible. This makes it easy to balance in your hands.

The next idea I want is that the screen and core section should be able to be detached and replaced easily. As such, you could keep a "core" phone piece, but replace or upgrade the screen with a minimal cost. This would allow a screen that drains less power or has higher density/brightness to be attached to a phone core with a minimal cost, in effect reviving an old phone.

The next idea is that the cpu/gpu core should be a module as well in the core phone, which can be swapped out. This would allow a new cpu to be added to the system (and graphics) with minimal cost. This also allows potentially specialized cores to be build for particular industries, say to include crypto capacity, yet not impact the overall phone design, nor to advertise that a special phone is in use.

The keyboard should also be replaceable in the event it wears out or you want to select a different keyboard. With the design of current sliders, I expect this should be fairly easy, as they are fairly thin (the keyboard itself). This also insures that custom keyboards could be designed and fitted for custom applications, which allows for industry specific tasks to be supported easily. Each key could then become a unique function, with the onscreen keyboard being a general purpose keyboard when needed. Think medical or shipping purposes.

The Camera should be a unique module as well with a well defined API that code could access, providing for zoom functions, etc. If a lens gets scratched, or a higher resolution is desired, this should be able to be replaced easily. Why have to buy a new phone when you just want a better camera?

What that leaves is a phone with:
1. A core phone unit and a screen module;
2. The core phone unit would be composed of the following:
A cpu/gpu module;
A core GSM module (which may access an antenna in the screen module for space);
A camera module (optional), it could be designed as a bar-code scanner, or a card-reader as needed;
A thin keyboard insert;
Battery connection space, which would allow for a thicker battery and cover if desired;
sim card space (ideally space for 2).

There may be room to reorganize things, like putting the screen, cpu and gpu into the same module, or the screen and gpu together, but not the cpu. This is just an initial idea. Now, one concession I admit to--to make a modular phone like this, it would have to be thicker than the current generation of phones that companies are pushing. Personally, I think the push to thin is a waste of time. The idea is that it "should fit in a pocket easily" in my mind. Once you fit that goal, the incremental value of making it thinner isn't much. I'm interested to hear if others agree on this.

I think that a better phone could be made--the whole "make it thinner" idea is just limiting what a phone can do.


· Registered
7 Posts
I would like a Galaxy Note 2, either as a slider, or as a clamshell with external smaller display somewhat like the Nokia Communicators.

if the slider/keyboard didn't extend the full length of the device (like the original G1 and some Sidekicks) there would be more room for a decent camera module.
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