Harry in Port Heron, Michigan listens on AM800 CKLW The Information Station and asked: “I want to get a cell phone. I have a flip phone but it doesn’t have 4G. I need one with 4G. Also, I need to be able to use my voice to send a text message. And the phone needs to have text to speech on it, because I can’t see. Looking for a phone with a real keyboard on it and it needs to have Wi-Fi. Right now I’m using a Samsung Gusto 3, which is a flip phone.”
A phone with 4G, speech recognition, text to speech, and Wi-Fi is easy, basically any smartphone will do, now a smartphone with a physical keyboard is a different story though… those are hard to find these days.
You could try getting a Samsung smartphone paired with Samsung’s snap-on $60 physical keyboard, or an iPhone with something like a Typo keyboard, but Samsung’s keyboard will hide half of the screen, and a Typo will make an iPhone huge.
We should note about that Samsung clip on keyboard that the half screen it covers will be the software keyboard that still displays. The Samsung keyboard cover is a capacitive device, meaning that it presses on the screen and makes contact as it if were your finger.
So you won’t actually be covering up any screen real estate displaying content, when using your keyboard cover. It is only available for late model Samsungs. The Note 5 and Galaxy S6, S6+, and S6 Edge, specifically.
You can still look into a Blackberry phone, but you probably don’t want a pure Blackberry, since even the company has given up on them, the solution might be the Blackberry Priv instead.
The Priv runs Android and it has a physical keyboard. Since it runs Android you shouldn’t have any issues with text to speech or speech to text, however we should mention two things: 1) It costs $700 and 2) We haven’t tried it ourselves, but it is by all accounts a bad phone. Reviewers have been generally underwhelmed by it.
Unfortunately, physical keyboards have fallen out of favor and are pretty much extinct right now, so you don’t have too many options.
You could also check the used market for 4G LTE phones featuring physical keyboards. They’re out there, still, but they will not have, and likely never will have, the current version of Android.
What we’re really saying is, it might be a pain in the thumbs, but you should learn to cope without a physical keyboard, and with accessibility features.