The Samsung Alias 2 may be a dumbphone, but it’s got one feature that (kinda!) sets it apart: It unfolds into landscape and portrait configurations, and uses the same keypad in both. How?
We heard about this flip-flopping followup to the uninspiring Alias 1 back in March, but without video or any kind of descriptive info, weren’t sure about how its vaunted dynamic keyboard would work. Turns out, as revealed by Howardforums user JenJen, it’s pretty simple, and not too exciting. The keys are partitioned in a fixed grid, and display different labels depending on the device’s orientation.
The effect is cool, but the results are lame. The keypad isn’t populated enough to work as a QWERTY, so vertical and horizontal states just show a basic number/directional pad. Even worse is that none of the phone’s apps seem to take advantage of the changing keys—custom control schemes for games or a collection of shortcut keys for a browser are obvious uses for such a system, but so far as I can tell nothing like that is built into the phone. All you can do is flip, unflip, rotate, and flip again, forever.*
*From May 11th, for $US80 on Verizon. [Phonearena]