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printed October 20, 2014
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Review: AT&T Quickfire

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The AT&T Quickfire resembles a bar of soap more so than any phone I've ever encountered. The reason I say soap is because the Quickfire is a thick phone. The back edges are all rounded nicely, but there's no denying that the Quickfire is thick and feels thick. The edges surrounding the front face of the phone are (unfortunately) sharp. Sharper edges than I've seen on any phone in recent memory. This makes them dig into your hand when you grip the Quickfire.

It is a weighty phone, with plenty of heft. It is not kind to tight pockets. There will definitely be a bulge if you store the Quickfire anywhere in your clothing. The smooth-ish back surface does, however, help the Quickfire to slide in and out without too much difficulty.

The front face of the phone is dominated by the large touch screen. Only three buttons are found on the front, and they are located at the very bottom (or right side, if you have the Quickfire in landscape orientation). The three buttons are the send and end keys, which flank a menu key that is wedged in the middle. All three have good travel and feedback, though the action is a bit loud and cheap feeling if you ask me.

In the left side of the phone is simply the volume toggle. It stands out nicely, and both sides of the button feel good to press and are responsive. The right side of the phone has the camera key and the voice command key. These buttons also stand out well from the side of the phone. If you have the button sounds enabled, these two buttons produce different pitches, so you can tell which one you've pressed.

On the top of the phone is a large hatch covering the microSD port and charging/data port (there is no 3.5mm headset jack, nor a mini or microUSB jack). The hatch peels back easily, and inserting/retrieving microSD cards was painless. Next to the hatch is the power/unlock key. This key is flush with the surface and takes a little but more time to discover with your finger.

The Quickfire is a messaging phone, and has the full QWERTY keyboard to back that up. To get at the keyboard, you have to hold the phone on the landscape orientation and slide the screen up. The sliding mechanism felt a bit cheap, and the top half was not as securely fastened to the bottom half as we would like. There was plenty of play and wiggle room. The slider is spring-assisted and snaps open and closed with a solid "chunk".

The Quickfire's keyboard has 4 rows. This means there are three rows for letters/numbers and one row of function/navigation keys. I liked the keyboard a lot. It's just the right size. Not too wide, and not too tight. Each key has nice travel and feedback. Some sliders in this form factor have hard-to-reach keys on the far right and left sides. That isn't the case with the Quickfire. I was able to get my thumb to all of the keys without problem. The keys themselves could be a little bit more defined if you ask me, but otherwise I give it a thumbs up.

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