Samsung Galaxy Pro Android 2.2 Smartphone Sports QWERTY Keyboard

Samsung's Galaxy Pro Android 2.2 smartphone offers a full QWERTY keyboard and touch-screen for the touch- and typing-inclined users.

Samsung Electronics March 7 introduced the Galaxy Pro, a smartphone running Google's Android 2.2 operating system that offers a full QWERTY keyboard and 2.8-inch touch-screen to let users access the phone by touch and type messages and e-mail.

The Galaxy Pro is powered by an 800MHz chip and includes a 3.0 megapixel camera for pictures and video capture. The device supports Adobe Flash Player 10.1 and features Google Maps for navigation.

The gadget also offers 512MB of memory and up to 11 hours of talk time with a 1350 mAh battery. A mobile hotspot is also available.

While most handsets that use the "Pro" designation offer devices with serious corporate security (see Motorola Droid Pro), the "pro" in the Galaxy Pro is due to the physical keyboard.

This feature, a first among Samsung Galaxy devices, makes it easier for users to type e-mail in a user experience that approximates that of the enterprise-oriented Blackberry.

The Galaxy Pro also supports Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync and includes the Think Free Office Document Editor for helping users view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.

The phone is also for socialites. Pro is fitted with Social Hub Premium, which lumps e-mail, instant messaging and social networks such as Facebook and Twitter in a single central contact list, with each message accessible via a single touch of the touch-screen or keyboard.

HTC's Sense user experience and Motorola's Motoblur UI offer similar messaging integration on their Android handsets.

Samsung in its press release said the integration of the Social Hub Premium software, combined with the dual-input control, make it the "perfect business partner and social secretary."

The Galaxy Pro, which runs on HSDPA (High-Speed Downlink Packet Access) and quad-band GSM networks, will be available during the second quarter in the U.K. market followed by a rollout in other European countries, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and India. U.K. service provider Three already voiced its support.

No word yet on the Galaxy Pro's availability for the United States.

A 1GHz processor powers most Android smartphones today, including the handful of phones that are part of the current Galaxy S line.

However, the Pro's 800MHz chip (and 3MP camera) may be a signal that the handset won't break the high-end smartphone barrier of $199.99 if it does arrive in the United States.