Best Text Messaging Phones

Heavy texters need a phone with a roomy keyboard: full QWERTY keyboards are the best. The best text messaging phones have keys that are responsive and easy to press without sticking. A large, high-resolution screen -- at least 2 inches -- is ideal for text messaging.
HTC First

HTC First

Reviewed August 2013

The Facebook Home phone is made for Facebook fanatics

Pros: Close to stock Android with Facebook Home disabled, chat Heads app allows texting within other apps, exceptional data speeds

Cons: Mid-range camera, lacks removable battery and microSD card slot

AT&T
99 cents
 
Pantech Breeze III

Pantech Breeze III

Reviewed March 2012

Affordable entry-level flip phone keeps it simple

Pros: Great call quality, affordable, spacious keyboard, spacious keyboard

Cons: Headphone jack only takes microUSB, poor image quality, looks exactly like its predecessor

AT&T
*Est. $30 with contract
 
Samsung Freeform III

Samsung Freeform III

Reviewed February 2012

Samsung's low-cost prepaid phone offers good call quality, but short battery life

Pros: Good call quality, responsive keyboard, clear display

Cons: Slow Internet, poor photo quality, short battery life

MetroPCS
from $48.88 with new contract
 
LG Cosmos 2

LG Cosmos 2

Reviewed February 2012

Like its predecessor, the LG Cosmos 2 is a basic yet excellent text-messaging phone

Pros: Roomy QWERTY keyboard, great call quality, decent music player, sharp screen

Cons: No video camera, poor photo quality

Verizon Wireless
Free with new contract
 
Pantech Crossover

Pantech Crossover

Reviewed February 2012

Affordable Android slider sports physical QWERTY keyboard

Pros: Roomy QWERTY keyboard, great battery life, decent camera

Cons: Mixed call quality, slow data speeds, small display

AT&T
Free with contract
 
Sanyo Taho

Sanyo Taho

Reviewed November 2011

Taho is a rugged phone with basic features

Pros: Durable, good navigation array, large, raised keys, good battery life

Cons: No music or video player, abundance of bloatware, no push-to-talk, mixed call quality, no social networking features, slow web browser

Sprint
*Est. $50 with contract
 
Samsung Craft

Samsung Craft

Reviewed October 2011

First 4G MetroPCS phone is a mixed bag

Pros: Bright and crisp AMOLED screen, hD video playback capability, good photo quality, standard size headphone jack, roomy keyboard, wi-Fi connectivity

Cons: Sluggish processor, slow 4G connection, limited 4G and 3G coverage, glossy body attracts fingerprints, poor battery life

MetroPCS
$300, no contract
 
Samsung Profile

Samsung Profile

Reviewed October 2011

Entry-level messaging phone with large screen and roomy keyboard

Pros: Roomy QWERTY keyboard, affordable, good call quality, large screen

Cons: MicroSD card slot located behind the battery, navigation array a bit cramped, pixelated video playback

U.S. Cellular
Discontinued
 
Pantech Laser

Pantech Laser

Reviewed August 2011

Slim Pantech phone ideal for messaging, otherwise falters

Pros: Bright AMOLED display, slim design, roomy QWERTY keyboard

Cons: Unresponsive touch screen, no 3.5 mm headphone jack, weak reception and average call quality, full of bloatware

AT&T
Free with contract
 
Samsung Messager III

Samsung Messager III

Reviewed July 2011

Cheap messaging phone is solid, but has performance issues

Pros: Wide QWERTY keyboard, solid build, sharp display

Cons: Low-res camera, sluggish browser, slow processor

MetroPCS
*Est. $70, no contract
 
LG Neon II

LG Neon II

Reviewed July 2011

Budget AT&T phone lacks compelling features

Pros: Bright screen, affordable, 3G data speeds

Cons: Touch-screen function only works for phone dialing, bloatware, poor photo quality, mandatory unlimited messaging plan

AT&T
Discontinued
 
Motorola Rambler

Motorola Rambler

Reviewed July 2011

Motorola Rambler provides great call quality on a budget

Pros: Great call quality, affordable, full QWERTY keyboard

Cons: No music player, no Wi-Fi, slow data speeds, poor photo quality and no easy way to transfer pictures, low screen resolution

Boost Mobile
Discontinued
 
Samsung Intensity II

Samsung Intensity II

Reviewed April 2011

Messaging phone for teens with an eco-friendly angle

Pros: Built with recycled components, does not require Verizon's monthly data plan, affordable

Cons: No 3.5 mm jack, slow downloads, poor call quality

Verizon Wireless
Free with contract
 
Samsung Epic 4G

Samsung Epic 4G

Reviewed February 2011

Speedy Sprint Android phone boasts excellent physical keyboard

Pros: Gorgeous touch screen, fast 4G network speeds, spacious physical keyboard

Cons: Mediocre camera quality, expensive monthly data plan

Sprint
*Est. $100 with contract
 
Cricket MSGM8 II

Cricket MSGM8 II

Reviewed February 2011

Affordable, no-contract candybar phone with basic features

Pros: Price, generous features, great GPS functionality

Cons: Cramped keyboard, poor photo quality, no media player or microSD card slot

Cricket Wireless
Discontinued
 
Pantech Link

Pantech Link

Reviewed December 2010

Affordable messaging phone with a sleek design

Pros: Thin, smartphone-like design, domed keys, affordable

Cons: Call quality is mixed, browser is slow, poor camera quality, requires a data plan

AT&T
*Est. $0.01 with contract
 
Pantech Ease

Pantech Ease

Reviewed December 2010

Easy-to-use phone saddled by pricey monthly messaging plan

Pros: Sturdy design, clear call quality, large, brightly lit touch screen, roomy slide-out QWERTY keyboard

Cons: Expensive monthly messaging plan required

AT&T
*Est. $50 with contract
 
LG Bliss

LG Bliss

Reviewed December 2009

A solid touch-screen phone for U.S. Cellular customers

Pros: Sleek, lightweight design, unique touch screen offers handwriting recognition, high-end features, including HMTL browser, excellent call quality

Cons: Plastic casing, slow-responding touch screen

U.S. Cellular
Discontinued
 
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