No U.S. carrier for latest Fastap phones, yet

Fastap phones still under wraps

ZTE D90 has a Fastap keypad
ZTE D90 has a Fastap keypad CNET Networks/Nicole Lee

Earlier this year at CES, we promised you that Digit Wireless would release a new Fastap phone in the U.S. before the end of the year. As you might recall, Fastap is this unique keypad layout that incorporates raised and lowered keys into a single keypad to facilitate quicker text entry (The first U.S. Fastap phone was the LG AX490 for Alltel). Well it's almost the end of October, and it hasn't happened yet. The ZTE 90 (also known as the ZTE D90) that we showed you in January is only available in Canada (via the Telus network) and the Ukraine (via Peoplenet, sold as the ZTE Evolution).

The ZTE D90 is a 3G phone with a 1.3-megapixel camera, a music player, a microSD card slot, and stereo Bluetooth. Digit tells us they're working on getting a U.S. carrier to carry the device, but makes no promises for now.

Concept phones with Fastap
Concept phones with Fastap CNET Networks/Nicole Lee

Digit did show us a few interesting Fastap concept phones with raised access keys instead of a raised alphabet. As you can see, these keys can be customized according to the needs of the manufacturer or the carrier. They can be mapped to the camera, the music player, music-player controls, messaging, or any other function. It's a shame that these were only concept phones; we would've liked to have seen them in action. However, Digit is again saying they're trying to convince U.S. carriers to carry some of these phones. We're not entirely convinced of the usability of these keypad layouts, but it's good to see some innovation in cell phone design that isn't all about making thin phones.

About the author

Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.

 

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