I like the tactile response that I get from physical buttons. At the same time, I appreciate the vastly increased versatility that a touchscreen is able to provide. Fitting somewhere in the middle is this new phone from Samsung.
Easily the most notable feature on the Samsung Alias 2 is the “Magic Keypad.” IT makes use of electronic ink technology to change the button labels on the fly, operating in a similar way as the screen on the Amazon Kindle.
As a dual flip phone, you can open the Alias 2 one way and reveal a numeric keypad. Open it the other way and you gain access to a full slate of QWERTY. Further still, you could be given app-specific buttons, like the calculator shown here. Presumably, the web browser will provide buttons for back, forward, refresh, and so on.
To see this ModeShift e-ink technology in action on the upcoming Samsung Alias, be sure to check out the videos embedded below. This is a pretty nifty compromise between the physical feel of a real keypad and the versatility of a touchscreen one.