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.
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. Read the full review of the myTouch 3G Slide
The G2 packs a well-designed keyboard with plenty of helpful shortcut keys, a 720p camcorder, and plenty of battery life. We wish the Z-hinge design were sturdier, but overall the G2 is a steal. Read the full review of the T-Mobile G2.
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. Read the full review of the earlier Droid 2.
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. Read the full review of HTC Evo Shift 4G.
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. Read the full review of the Samsung Epic 4G here.