Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 29th Apr 2013 16:27 UTC
PDAs, Cellphones, Wireless The Verge reviews the BlackBerry Q10: "Maybe you're here for the keyboard. As superb as the Q10's physical keyboard is, I keep thinking about the six-year evolution of the soft keyboard since the introduction of the original iPhone. They've gotten so good on every platform - iOS, Windows Phone, Android, even BlackBerry's own Z10. The argument used to be that physical keyboards were for serious users who needed to burn through email, and I just don't think that holds water anymore. Yes, this is the best of a dying breed, but for the life of me, I don't know why someone who's accustomed to a full-touch phone would come back to this." I disagree. Touchscreen keyboards have not improved considerably at all - in fact, I find them just as terrible and unpleasant to use as when they were first introduced on Palm OS and Windows Mobile. A properly designed hardware keyboard - preferably landscape (like on the E7), but portrait will do too - will always run circles around those frustrating software keyboards. Major respect to BlackBerry for sticking to their guns. To anyone making a quality phone with a landscape hardware keyboard (rebadge an E7 for all I care) running Android or Windows Phone: please, take my money. Please.
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RE[3]: Comment by Antartica_
by phoenix on Mon 29th Apr 2013 20:36 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Antartica_"
phoenix
Member since:
2005-07-11

As much as I value the advantages of hardware keyboard for SSH and similar activities, I believe that you were simply using the wrong onscreen keyboard before.

There exist special keyboard apps which make SSH and coding decidedly less painful. Also many support a transparent mode so you see what is going on underneath. Thanks to Android, switching between them is very easy.



Yes, I know, I've used them. I even mentioned one in my responses above (Hacker's Keyboard). None of that changes the fact that hardware keyboards are easier to use for non-SMS/e-mail situations. Especially considering you don't lose any screen space to the keyboard (transparent keyboard is not a solution to this).

And as you mention English messages: Input of non-English words is often much easier if you can switch the layout, which is more convenient with onscreen keyboards. Using the excellent Multiling keyboard app I can communicate with my international contacts or input names/places in local writing system when traveling.


You do realise that phones with hardware keyboards also have onscreen keyboards, right? ;) IOW, your options actually increase when you have a physical keyboard compared to only having onscreen ones:
- unlimited portrait keyboards + unlimited landscape keyboards + physical keyboard
vs.
- unlimited portrait keyboards + unlimited landscape keyboards

Which one has more options? ;)

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by Antartica_
by chithanh on Mon 29th Apr 2013 20:55 in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by Antartica_"
chithanh Member since:
2006-06-18

I understand your point. A detachable/bluetooth keyboard might be another alternative worth looking at.

Which one has more options? ;)

But these options come at a cost. They reduce the choice you have on the handset market and increase size/weight of the device.

Reply Parent Score: 3