March 6, 2015

AndroidGals: Where are the Girlie Android Phones?

The first smart phone that I truly fell in love with was a Blackberry.  I loved it so much that I never thought I would see the day that I would switch to another phone.  To me, the Blackberry form factor was very female friendly.  There were two big things that appealed to me as a girl; It came in a variety of different colors and I could also buy hard shell cases to change with my moods.  The other was that it offered a full keyboard, with raised letters and great spacing.  Women with acrylic nails know what I am talking about.  Texting and writing emails were very quick and effortless. 

Near the end of my relationship with my BlackBerry, I  started gettting some operating issues, and began to consider a new phone.  Android had been out for a year and I was aware of the cool, new apps I wouldn’t be able to download if I stayed with BlackBerry.  I would have switched to Android earlier, but there weren’t any “girlie” phones out there and I had some specific needs as well. The G1 was completely out of the question because the chin made it difficult for me to type.  The soft keyboard of the G1 and myTouch 3G didn’t help because the screen is a capacitive display.  My previous experience with a Windows Mobile phone (T-Mobile Wing) was nice because I could use my fingernails in place of stylus on the resistive screen.  Along comes the Motorola CLIQ.  This would be the most appealing phone that I could find with Android on it.

I didn’t visit a store to try the CLIQ out before buying it because I didn’t want to over-analyze the phone and find features I didn’t like.  I liked the idea of the keyboard without a chin and the camera was quite a step up from the one in my BlackBerry.  After a few months, I can safely say that I am definitely not in love with this phone.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Android.  In fact, the apps are what have kept me from going back to BlackBerry.

I feel like I am using a man’s phone.  Call me picky, but I don’t like that it only comes in “Winter White” and “Titanium”.   The phone is somewhat bulky and rather heavy.  As thick as this phone is, I would expect more raised buttons or something easier for me to type quickly on.  I know it sounds like I hate this phone or that I wouldn’t recommend it to others, but that’s not the case.  It’s just not for me and my needs.

I’ve looked around at other carriers and don’t see anything else that really appeals to me.  I find the DROID to be downright ugly and lacking personality.  I know all that it can do inside, but on the outside it is very box-like and cold.  All of the Android phones I have seen so far have capacitive touch screens or don’t have a full keyboard. 

I remember seeing an upcoming HTC phone called the Salsa.  To me, that’s the perfect design.  At least from what I can tell in the pictures.  It would be a step down in camera quality, but I’d give that up for the 4-row QWERTY keyboard, directional pad, and full touch screen.  It looks just like a BlackBerry to me and I love that.

For now, I will continue to put up with my Motorola CLIQ and wait for something like the Salsa to come along. In the meanwhile, I see a bunch of Android phones on the horizon that appeal to males and/or the uninformed.  By that, I mean that I didn’t even know there were two types of displays – resistive and capacitive.  I learned the hard way that not all screens can be tapped with a fingernail.  I can imagine someone going to a carrier tomorrow to buy the “latest and greatest” and end up with something that doesn’t fit them like it should.  Over time, though, this problem should go away as more carriers and handset makers put out new products with unique features and designs.

I guess in the end, I just wish I had more choices as a female at this point.  Android has been out nearly a year and a half and I feel like my demographics doesn’t matter.  I’d love to sit in on some of these focus groups or test products for companies like HTC and Motorola. I think they could learn a thing or two about what us girls want in a phone.

Talk Back to Me!

Are there any other AndroidGals out there who feel like these companies aren’t speaking to them?  What is it that you want or need in a phone?  Are you happy with your Android phone or are you like me and just putting up with it?



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113 Comments

  1. dotster
    Reply

    I'm looking forward to the Dell Mini 5. It's perfect for a purse!

    I read that it's going to come out in different colours. The bigger screen means on-screen keyboards will be easier to use — plus, with Swype out now, on-screen typing is not such a big deal anymore.

    As for the "cute" phones, the specs are always not up to snuff. e.g. Moto Backflip is Android 1.5 and has limited apps, the Sony X10 Mini has a QVGA screen which limits apps that can be bought, and the Motorola "Shadow" (the last rumoured Nexus Two) doesn't exist.

    Dell Mini 5 for me, please!

  2. Jessica
    Reply

    I too went for the cliq as it was the most stylish and functional android available.. it's left me missing my blackerries as well.. I love android… hate the cliq.. agreed on the droid.. ugly phone.. my touch is too small for an on screen keyboard when you txt and email as much as I do. Why oh why are all the androids coming out as plain box phones and called sexy in the reviews? Nexus one.. also ugly handset.. I love what's inside… don't love the packaging..

  3. njbianco
    Reply

    Wow first person ever that i ever herd of the prefers a resistive screen over a capacitive. Personally im glad majority of android phones are capacitive i cant stand resistive screens.

  4. Martina
    Reply

    It's a question of personal preferences I suppose. I have a HTC Hero (European) and I find it very beautiful and elegant. Being a female myself I know I would never go for a "girlie" phone.

  5. romius t
    Reply

    Have you thought about the Samsung Moment? Full Keyboard that is raised and easy to type. Though it is quite big and bulky.

  6. Rene
    Reply

    Nails and a phone, an epiphany…. Do the handset manufactures know about this?!!?!

  7. b87
    Reply

    how about a poodle with Android 2.1 in it….would that stand out as a "girlie" phone?
    N.B to author: I have been using the G1 for more than a year, and I know that it's kinda ugly, but as far as the chin and the keyboard, the whole rumor with "not being able to type because of chin" is bull. Probably if u'd ask a 3-4 year old child they couldn't use it, because their fingers are tiny, but in no way does the chin effect typing in any way whatsoever.

  8. Bluepork
    Reply

    I totally agree with the writer of the article, and I'm writing from the point of view of a gadget loving man. My wife is looking for a new phone, and she knows how excited I am about Android, but what gets her going is a stylish form factor and a pretty colour. Her last phone was pink.

    She's not stupid or anti technology, but I don't want to have to "push" Android technology towards her. I want it to just appeal naturally.

    I guess the Android phones out so far may be male appealing because men tend to be more into their toys and are more likely to be early adopters of this sort of thing. Hopefully as the platform matures, we'll see phones with a greater range or appeal come out.

    • Angel Webster
      Reply

      "Android phones out so far may be male appealing because men tend to be more into their toys and are more likely to be early adopters of this sort of thing" I do agree with you there. But I really feel women are coming around more when it comes to new phones and "toys." Maybe we aspire to be like men. : )

    • Jenna
      Reply

      “I guess the Android phones out so far may be male appealing because men tend to be more into their toys and are more likely to be early adopters of this sort of thing.”

      This is true, but it is only true because manufacturers make new gadgets for men first and foremost. The reason women come to new technologies later is only because manufacturers don’t make women a priority in the first couple years. If the android phones were to come in an assortment of colors that fit a purse and able to be used with long nails, they would have seen an enormous number of women buying them. But they didn’t and so they continue (and so do most people) to think that women are not as into technologie as men. That is total bs.

  9. Nonymouse
    Reply

    As a female owner of the Nexus One… no. I spit on the “girly phones”, because the vast majority of them look effing tacky. Cheap. Awful. Tasteless. Not to mention that most of them have terrible specs. Give me that Snapdragon chip, that easily unlocked bootloader, and a bevy of developers so I’ll have a range of custom ROMs to flash. And fuck the pink and purple plastic: I want class; I want something that feels good in my hand, not a plastic piece of crap that looks like it’d go with a Barbie set.

    Speak for yourself if you want, but please don’t presume to speak for other women. “What us girls want in a phone” makes you sound vapid and gives me secondhand embarrassment. Just because your taste runs toward godawful tacky Barbie-esque pieces of crap doesn’t mean every other woman’s does, too. GTFO.

    • cochise
      Reply

      now this is a real women right here. how old is the author? perhaps the author should get a pink sidekick with glitter chips or some stupid crap like that lol

    • sisterchick
      Reply

      Wow…do you really need to use that kind of language to express your opinion? I fully agree that I much prefer function over form. I've got a rooted G1 and thoroughly enjoy the custom ROMS, but I DON'T enjoy or support those who lower themselves to profanity and exploitation of women. I've stopped using one of the flagship custom ROMS because of the soft porn wallpaper included in the last rev. I would like to remind manufacturer's and devs alike that this isn't a boy's locker room. Intelligent women who want a solid phone are out here too!

      • Ratnok
        Reply

        I agree totally. We can express our opinions without being insulting. Nonymouse had great points, but it got lost in the acidic attitude.

        • Nonymouse
          Reply

          Acidic is all this kind of idiocy deserves. It's not like the stereotype of women being vacant-eyed, tech-dumb ninnies needed more perpetuation.

      • Nonymouse
        Reply

        If "fuck" is all it takes to offend your delicate sensibilities, do yourself a favor and get off the Internet forever.

    • Typedink
      Reply

      I agree here. I have a MyTouch white with a retail black back. I think it has a nice look as well as function. It is rooted and I can customize it as I want when I want, down to changing the font used in the phone. This article is ridiculous. I agree with everything this commenter says, and yes if "fick" or "crap" is offending, you need to grow up and get a thicker skin.

  10. alexjbutcher
    Reply

    LG GW620 (aka InTouch Max); resistive keyboard and a slide-out keyboard – sounds like it meets "girlie" needs described in the article. Not sure about the colours or cases, though.

  11. shake
    Reply

    Using your nails on a touch screen doesn't sound like the best of ideas to me. You're going to have.a hard time finding resistive screens now and days because capacitive screens are much more accurate and responsive. Oh and here so hoping the motorolla shadow is more than a pretty render. That thing was downright sexy.

  12. jonessj
    Reply

    Yep the LG GW620 is resisitive and if your lucky to find the right operator they come in a range of colurs other than black or white. Resistive screen so nails or stylus can be used as well as finger touch. Trouble is most are stuck on android 1.5

  13. Kathi17
    Reply

    I found the G1 perfect for long fingernails. My dream phone would have the specs of the Nexus or Desire, but a slideout 5 row keyboard. I would prefer HTC, and it must be easy to root. I don't like the Motorolas or Samsung at all, and I understand that Sony uses Memory stick. I have a ton of SDHC cards.

    For color, I would like kind of a burnished gold shade with cream to match my Guess purse and wallet.

    I agree that the capacitive screens are difficult to type on with fingernails, which is part of the reason I want a physical keyboard. I don't know why HTC doesn't think about this.

    I also like the Dell Mini 5, but unfortunately T-Mo is getting the 10 instead.

    I don't want a Barbie phone, I want a powerful minicomputer with a G1 type keyboard!

  14. @IsThatBlueSoup
    Reply

    This article is a total embarrassment to smarter women. I openly laugh and mock women who purchase the "pink" phones with minimal specs just because it's "pink". Why dumb yourself down that way, why let the men who build them dumb you down that way?

    I am a woman. I am smarter than you. I am a Nexus One owner. I have the BEST smartphone available in any market. I have the sexiest phone available on the market. Enough said.

    • Ratnok
      Reply

      Again, could we PLEASE agree to disagree without being insulting? I personally think that the Nexus One is a sexy phone, but I wouldn't insult someone who doesn't think it is.

      • @IsThatBlueSoup
        Reply

        In no way do I mean to be insulting, but if the 5 inch, pointy toed boot fits, the truth usually hurts.

        This is an article written on a blog named "ANDROID GUYS", let's guess how many men read these articles. I have one here at home that said, "yeah, I saw that, but I didn't pay attention. It's probably a whiny little bitch writing that." Mm-hmm, that's exactly what I want men to think of women. You may want a sparkling phone, but don't put that on blast on a male-oriented tech blog. It is an embarrassment to the rest of us who don't think like you and don't want to giggle at everything just for the attention. M'kay.

    • Nonymouse
      Reply

      Hear, hear, sister.

      It has nothing to do with agreeing or not agreeing whether a particular phone is smart. The tone of “look at me I’m a GIRLY GIRL and GIRLS LIKE PINK GLITTER,” on the other hand, makes the author sound like vacant-eyed tween girl.

    • Momsdroid
      Reply

      I am a REAL woman who loves her Droid and I would NEVER, EVER have a pink phone in my possession! Don't dumb yourself down that way ladies! <shudder>

  15. Miguel
    Reply

    Weren't the Blogs criticizing Verizon Wireless for their women-oriented Palm Pree ads? Seems like Verizon might have had a good point….

    BTW, my girl loves her Cliq.

  16. Ratnok
    Reply

    What about the Droid Eris? That's a sleek and sexy phone. In fact, it's much more attractive than any Blackberry out there- especially the Bold. To me, Blackberrys are extremely male centric in their designs, except for the fact that you can type with your nails. I agree that Android needs a high powered phone that adds more sexy. Blackflip is goofy, my own G1 is ugly, the Hero is a good compromise, the Behold 2 is clunky, the myTouch 3g has too many buttons, the Moment has a cheap, thick look, and the Droid looks like an engineer's phone. The Cliq looks like a midget. The most stylish phones are the Nexus One and the Droid Eris, but neither come with a real keyboard for nail-typing.

  17. The Wombat
    Reply

    Have you looked at the HTC Tattoo? Small form factor (fits as well in handbag or pocket) resistive screen fine for nails – although you might want to get a screen protector if you do that a lot – and replaceable covers in any style you want. Personally I like it with the default black case with the cute android guy doing a Kilroy (Kilroy woz ere) on the back but then I am a bloke.

  18. dotster
    Reply

    Wow, I go to bed and wake up with an email box of comments for this thread… love it! I have a few thoughts:

    I'm certainly not a girly girl having grown up with three other brothers and having chosen programming as my main career choice but it saddens me to not really meet as many other women in my daily life who love technology as much as I do. I currently freelance and can say that in my 6 years working, I have NEVER worked alongside another female programmer EXCEPT for a woman *I* helped hire!

    So when I initially read this blog post, I kind of thought about brushing it off but like some of the other ruder commenters but if you really look at what this article means, it's really saying: WHERE ARE THE WOMEN AT THE COMPANIES CREATING CELL PHONES? Are they not part of the design team? Do they not get testers of all shapes and forms? OR, are they mostly just men?

    Here's a recent article that I read that asks the same questions, first example being the "racist" HP laptop camera that didn't recognize an African American face because that minority wasn't part of the creation and testing process:

    http://www.austinchronicle.com/gyrobase/Issue/sto

    • Ratnok
      Reply

      Just to let you know- "dark- skinned" people constitute the majority of the world's population.

  19. AndroidsOfTara
    Reply

    My wife, who is 'girlie' and previously wanted an iPhone, got a Motorola Droid a couple of weeks ago after seeing me use mine for a few months.

    She texts a lot, has nails, wanted a physical keyboard (having never had a smart phone before) and has not complained a bit about the capacitive screen.

  20. dotster
    Reply

    FYI, I'm Asian. There's a LOT of Asians out there but I'm still a minority in the many regions of the planet (except for, of course, Asia).

  21. Ben
    Reply

    I think that the male/female installer base for Android speaks for itself. (95% male) though I am not sure I agree with this statistic: http://www.androidguys.com/2010/01/04/the-average

    I know as many women as men with Android phones.

    What I do know is that the Verizon Droid is very masculine with welding going on the background, and robots, and discussion about the speed and power of the phone. It certainly doesn't come in pink.

    This argument mirrors what my female co-worker said about her phone. She went to Verizon and the salesperson just assumed she wanted the Droid Eris because the Droid would be "too much for her". I think its time to leverage that cute green Android mascot to define a softer, less technical image.

    • Mouse
      Reply

      And… what's wrong with a technical image? I'm female. I dig the robot/machine ads, even though I didn't get a Droid as I'm not a fan of hardware keyboards.

    • @IsThatBlueSoup
      Reply

      The problem is women like the author of this post make other women out to be idiots. So when a woman does go into a store looking for a Droid, the male salesmen offers a dumbed down, sexy version because this is obviously what all women want. I mean, the media says so.

      Complete rubbish, this article. Gah…I hate being in the same category with women like these. How embarrassing.

    • WomenWithDroids
      Reply

      Those stats (I'm assuming you're referring to AdMob press release) from from ads placed in apps, so they're likely biased.

      If you search Twitter for "my droid" (which is admittedly not the most scientific way to find out), usually almost half of the posts are by women.

  22. WomenWithDroids
    Reply

    Just because the Droid doesn't have a feminine form factor doesn't mean females won't like it! Girls that care more about how a phone looks than its functionality would likely go for another phone, however, there are a bunch of us that LOVE the Droid. So much, in fact, that we've started a blog – womenwithdroids.com!

    P.S. Several salespeople I've overheard at Verizon have no idea how to sell a Droid to a woman. Most women I know with one went in to the store looking to get it. I pay my bill in-store and have heard some salespeople totally losing sales because of their approach or things they failed to mention.

  23. G__
    Reply

    I have been trying to get my grilfriend to spaw to an Android phone and allthough she doesnt care about pink but she does like the "gimicy"ness of the side kick, so i can see your point. Also I think if they where to make a "Clam shell" style phone (with a good keybord) I think both the guys and gal's would enjoy it…

  24. Angel Webster
    Reply

    Wow so many comments! Before I thought to write this OPINION post I wondered how many different ways people would take it. Interesting the way an opinion can be taken. I'm not looking for a Barbie type phone in any way. I'm looking for compact size for small hands, resistive touch screen, and curves. Thanks for your opinions and feedback !

  25. Kyle
    Reply

    its funny that in my school im the only guy with an android phone (telus motorola milestone) there two chicks i know, one has an LG Eve (horribly specced tho android 1.5 lol) and the other one has a dream (G1) and shes always listening to music with it the one with the lg eve must think its a semi-smart feature phone but i have seen her move and add widgets before on the bus

  26. Grace
    Reply

    I'm a female and I recently purchased a Droid Eris which I love. It's stylish, fits in my pockets or my purse and is a great "tech appeal" also. I would consider myself a girlie girl and I love the looks and functionality of my phone. But I do agree about the Droid it might have better specs but is an ugly phone.

  27. kimikat
    Reply

    I agree the handset companies haven't really been reaching out with variety in their designs. You'd think there would at least be a little green phone by now. I love my Eris (especially now with the 2.1 leak from xda) and I'm definitely not just putting up with it, but there is always room for improvement. In two years I want to have the great OS with more options in the looks department. In the meantime, that's where the accessories come in I suppose…and at least the super cute android robot is creative commons. Hello Kitty can't say that.

  28. Allie
    Reply

    What's wrong with the HTC Magic? It's nice in my hand as it in plenty curvy, not oversized and slips nicely into that little mobile phone pocket they sew into handbags or my jeans pocket. Plus, more and more housings are becoming available from parts dealers to change from the stock black phone (personally, mine is pink and has been themed to match). And if typing with an onscreen keyboard is a problem, which I never found and I've always got acrylics on, then there are apps out there like Swype that make life easier. Claiming a lack of 'girly' android devices seems a little silly to me.

  29. krazytrixxxsta
    Reply

    sound like the iphone might before you, it a girlie princess like phone

  30. riley
    Reply

    You can make any phone girlie with a little creativity. I got a moto droid because I love the amount of options (I was using a blackberry and hated the interface and poor screen quality so i returned it.) At first I thought it was masculine too, but I bought a cute pink case, added a tokidoki wallpaper and some cute icons with open home and viola. techie and girlie. what's not to love?

  31. xarophti
    Reply

    @ shake: capacitive screen more accurate than resistive? Really? When you have to use a capacitive screen with your big fat finger and can use a resistive screen with a pinpoint stylus? Not one manufacturer has come out with an accurate capacitive stylus yet. Just big clunky pads and brushes for pushing icons. And I think the Tmo G3 and new G3 Slide has a pretty nice form factor. Yes, @IsThatBlueSoup, it doesn't have the specs of the N1 (I want one; got my G3 before the N1 was out, not eligible to upgrade), but still a nice phone. Does what I want and I don't play games with it.

  32. sasima
    Reply

    It is nice reading your article about “AndroidGals: Where are the Girlie Android Phones?”. It is really different and friendly; women with acrylic nails know what I am talking about as texting and writing emails were very quick and effortless.Central Air Conditioning Units

  33. frek of nature
    Reply

    I think ever living flesh with a heart beat and a skeliton warm and soft is not realy on the streets the real one is Scott Florance at myspace.com he sensitive to paina hot flame would send him screaming in esxcruteating agaony in 20 seconds or 15 seconds. He sneezes burps laughs farts coughes itches all involutarty mostly iching is only partially thaat wway he need 50 to 75 degrees farinhight prefererbly 80 degrees warm 0 degreees is deadly

  34. Jenna
    Reply

    I think some people are getting a little off point here. The author never said that she wanted a dumbed-down phone just so she could have pink. I personally like colored phones and feel that all phones should come in a variety of colors as well as have all of the features of any other phone. I also happen to have a BSc and graduated with honors so this subject of usability by pretty women who like color is obviously not just limited to dumb bimbos. Keep in mind that the author also said that she is using an Android phone because of what it offers despite not coming in her color of choice and not being as easy for her to type on- so clearly she is not just picking a pretty pink ‘glitter’ phone but merely expressing a wish that phone manufacturers would consider her needs for easy typing with nails and small size, in addition to those needs of men.

    Also, I cannot say that I care about what some man thinks of my opinion if he automatically thinks “yeah, I saw that, but I didn’t pay attention. It’s probably a whiny little bitch writing that,” because he very likely thinks that of most women anyway, without any evidence to support his presupposition. A person who thinks like that is not worth my trying to please him by conforming to his ‘standards’.

    Also the need for colored phones is more than just something women want, men would like color variety too sometimes; my husband likes brown phones. What’s wrong with expressing your personality people? It’s fine if your personality leans toward black like every other person on earth, but just because someone doesn’t care for that color doesn’t mean they are an imbecile.

  35. wednesday
    Reply

    I am a woman and I hate pink phones. So, it was bugging me too. But, I felt bad after I read the comments. I can understand the author’s point but I do feel a lot of generalisation on women and hence this uproar. And, I’m sure there are some men who like curves and colorful phones too. So, whatever..

    Anyway, if you don’t happen to care for color or curves and more for capacity then G2 is the best phone for now (although it does have a pretty good shape imo).

    Very speedy phone. The phone runs on android 2.2 and has video capability of about 720p. I have it rooted and the internet is fast and use can use it as a wifi hotspot! I get up to 9-10 mbps sometimes in my apartment. However, I don’t think t-mobile’s HSPA+ (4G ish) is everywhere in the US. The only thing I’m not that happy with is the weight. Because of its both keyboard and touch screen, it is a little heavier than other phones. But you get used to it. I don’t use the keypad but it’s really classy and slides gracefully.

    Best phone I’ve had so far.

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