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Nokia E63: Qwerty hits the comeback trail

If you're fed up with touchscreen phones and yearn for a handset with a full Qwerty keypad, Nokia might have the answer to your prayers

We love the Nokia E71: it's the best email phone around. So when we found out there might be a successor coming out soon, we danced a dorky little jig. Rumoured to be called the Nokia E63, this messaging-centric handset doesn't look very different to the E71. Annoyingly it's rumoured to be made out of plastic instead of the E71's luscious metal, which was part of the reason we liked it so much.

On the upside there'll be a standard 3.5mm headphone jack so you can plug in your headphones, a feature not available on the E71. Other features include HSDPA and Wi-Fi. According to several blogs, the E63 will come in three flavours, each with slightly different features, but there's no official word yet.

While many users are chasing the touchscreen dragon, there are still people out there -- sensible, sturdy types, none of your gadabouts -- who want a phone with a mechanical Qwerty keypad. So we're glad to see Nokia producing these kinds of handsets. That said, on the other side of the pond, RIM, a company famed for its Qwerty handsets, is getting a lot of attention for its touchscreen phone, the BlackBerry Storm.

Whatever your keypad preference, you'll have plenty to choose from. At this early stage we predict a wide selection of touchscreen phones flooding the market before and after Christmas -- swiftly followed by a strong resurgence from the mechanical keypad brigade, as users slowly realise touchscreens aren't always the best input option. Watch this space for more updates about the E63. -Andrew Lim