One of the best things about Android is that you're not locked into a one-size-fits-all design. There's a wide range of form factors, from big touchscreen-only phones (like the Evo 4G and Droid X) to BlackBerry-like designs (like the Motorola Droid Pro). Those looking for a physical keyboard and a big screen in one package will find the best of both worlds in an Android-powered slider.
There's nothing necessarily wrong with typing on a touchscreen, but a good slider should provide better accuracy. A physical keyboard doesn't cover up important content, either, like a touch layout does. (This is especially annoying when composing e-mails.) Plus, if you want to bang out a quick reply or enter a URL on that capacitive screen, the option is always there.
Here are our top 5 Android slider phone picks.
5. T-Mobile myTouch 3G Slide
It's not the newest or flashiest slider on the block, but the myTouch 3G Slide still has plenty going for it, including a sturdy and comfortable keyboard, convenient voice recognition features, and the ability to create multiple user profiles.
How do you make the sequel to the Droid that started even better? You add a faster 1.2-GHz processor and quad-band GSM global roaming for the same price. Although the keyboard is a bit stiff, the Droid 2 Global is the best slider money can buy on Verizon Wireless.
The little brother to the Evo 4G is the newest Android slider--and also one of the best. For a reasonable $149, you get blazing 4G speeds, a spacious keyboard, and the ability to share your web connection with up to 5 devices. The Evo 4G slide doesn't include HDMI or a front-facing camera, but we can live with those trade-offs.
Ah, this is typing bliss. The Samsung Epic 4G sports one of the best keyboards we've ever used on a smart phone. The large layout offers superb tactile feedback and just the right amount of click when you type. Add an awesome 4-inch Super AMOLED display, 4G speeds, and a zippy 1-GHz processor and you have the ultimate Android slider.
Responsible for the editorial vision for Laptop Mag and Tom's Guide, Mark Spoonauer has been Editor in Chief of LAPTOP since 2003 and has covered technology for nearly 15 years. Mark speaks at key tech industry events and makes regular media appearances on CNBC, Fox and CNN. Mark was previously reviews editor at Mobile Computing, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc.