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Don't laugh: 10 reasons why physical keyboards on phones still rock

As we recently highlighted in our History of Android series, in the early days of Android it wasn't uncommon to see a physical keyboard. At that time, BlackBerry was still the number one smartphone maker in the world and the touch-only iPhone was still proving itself, so Android phones like the T-Mobile G1 and original Droid went the BlackBerry route and shipped with physical keyboards.

Rather quickly, Android handset manufacturers pivoted, ditching physical keyboards in favor of full touch slabs, and we have seen very few exceptions to that rule in the years since. In the past several years, practically every Android phone that tried to come to market with a keyboard failed to gain traction.

What goes around apparently comes around, and as we near the end of 2015 we're suddenly talking about physical keyboards on Android phones again. Samsung, surprisingly, brought back the hardware keyboard to their Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge + in the form of an accessory that clips onto the phone. Making an even bigger commitment to the physical keyboard, BlackBerry has released the BlackBerry Priv which features a physical keyboard you can slide out at anytime under a big 5.4-inch display.

We live in a phone world where more people have typed on glass than have ever typed on physical keys

Clearly these companies feel there is still a market demand for a physical keyboard, and as we found out from our interview with BlackBerry's President of Devices, they believe this a growth opportunity and not just catering to longtime keyboard users. One thing I've found interesting in the many conversations I've had recently about the Priv is the lack of understanding about the benefits of a physical keyboard, both among smartphone enthusiasts and more casual smartphone users.

I get it. We now live in a phone world where more people have typed on glass than have ever typed on buttons. Even those of us, myself included, who have transitioned from a physical keyboard to touchscreen can actually type faster on a touchscreen than we ever could on a physical keyboard.

So if it's not flat-out fast typing speed that makes a physical keyboard desirable, why would you even want to get a phone like the Priv where you can slide out a keyboard with buttons?

In no particular order, here are my top reasons why you shouldn't laugh when you see someone using a physical keyboard on a phone:

1. Whether you're moving, walking, or riding in a car, physical keyboards are faster and more accurate when you're "doing stuff".

When I'm standing or sitting still, I'm typically faster on a touchscreen keyboard than on a physical keyboard. But start typing while I'm in motion and the physical keyboard is far more likely to win the typing race. Walking down the street with phone in hand, I can put my head down and pump out the messages with gusto on a physical keyboard. Having physical buttons for your fingers to push increases dexterity and ensures your button presses are accurate.

Physical buttons for your fingers to push increases dexterity and ensures your button presses are accurate

On a touchscreen it's hard to tap or swipe as accurately while your body is in motion. When stationary you don't even have to think about your thumbs in relation to the smartphone that's sitting still in your hands. When you're out-and-about, your thumbs have to hit small targets on a moving platform. Simply put, it's harder. Doesn't matter whether we're talking about walking around or riding in the back seat of a taxi — the physical keyboard rules the motion environment.

2. Muscle memory means you can learn to type without even looking

You've gotta love muscle memory! If you log enough hours on a physical keyboard, you'll find yourself being able to type on it pretty much without even having to look at it. Most are already that way with a desktop keyboard — if you spend any time at a computer, you left hunt-and-peck in the past years ago. Typing on a touchscreen is different. Your fingers have no tactile reference points on a sheet of glass. You need actually look at what you're doing and focus, even if subconsciously, on where your fingers are. Without doing that, it's just too easy to tap in the wrong spot and run your sentence into a string of nonsensical characters (especially once autocorrect starts to kick in). Touchscreen keyboards require concentration that a physical keyboard just does not.

Depending on who you are and what you do for a living, the benefit of being able to type on your smartphone accurately while only paying minimal attention to it as a BIG one.

3. Easier typing for long fingernails

For those of us with longer fingernails, physical keyboards are more fingernail friendly. Touchscreen keyboards demand contact with flesh to register the touch, and a fingernail just won't do — so those with long fingernails found they had to resort to awkward flat-thumbing to type on glass. But with a physical keyboard your options are open — type with the pads of your thumbs, with the tips of your fingernails, with whatever — so long as you can push down the key, you're good. BlackBerry's customer base skewed female for many years, partly due to this built-in advantage for physical keyboards.

4. Better accuracy for older fingers

As your fingers slow down with age and your eyesight begins to wane, the instant response of a touchscreen tap can become hard to manage. With a physical keyboard you can get your fingers firmly on the right button, then press down with confidence. There is also the matter of familiarity — a physical keyboard on a smartphone is a rather direct translation of the QWERTY keyboards we've been using for decades on typewriters and computers. Touchscreen keyboards use a similar layout, but the concept is not necessarily a familiar one.

Again, this may not apply to everyone, but I've found a preference among the older people in my life for physical keyboards. For both my mom and mother-in-law, who I have furnished with both touchscreen and physical keyboard phones over the years, their preference has been for the physical keyboard.

5. Easier to type passwords, proper names, URLs, email addresses, etc.

If you type a lot of passwords and proper names, etc. all day long on your phone, you'll likely find a keyboard faster and more accurate for getting this done, especially with auto-correct getting out of your way.

6. Physical keyboards give you physical shortcuts to apps, contacts, and more

For power users and power communicators who care more about utility than simplicity and design aesthetic, a (properly implemented) physical keyboard offers productivity benefits. Being able to dial contacts directly with the quick press and hold of a button, or launch into apps or universal search can save seconds every time you pick up your phone. Of course, the software on the phone needs to support that, and it just so happens the BlackBerry Priv does.

7. Less embarrassment when you re-read messages you sent the night before while drinking

I can confirm from years of personal experience that drunk texts come out more accurately when delivered via a physical keyboard

For many of us, drinking and texting happens. And somehow the more you drink, the more difficult it becomes to be for the intended recipient of your messages to figure out what you're trying to say. It's a mystery science will never be able to solve. From many years of personal experience battling with this, I can confirm that drunk texts tend to come out more accurately when delivered via a physical keyboard.

8. It feels like you're dancing with your fingers!

One of the benefits of a touchscreen is that it's effortless and it doesn't make any noise (both good things when you're lying in bed using your phone and trying not to wake your significant other). The disadvantage to this though is that there's a lack of feel in the typing experience compared to a good physical keyboard, where you can really develop a rhythm while typing that is extremely satisfying. Your fingers literally dance off the keys. This doesn't just apply to smartphones of course, but to computer keyboards as well. I'm an extremely fast typer at the computer when I get into the zone. And the same is the case on a physical keyboard on the phone. I don't just type on a physical keyboard, I have a relationship with it.

Your fingers literally dance off the keys

Sure, that's kind of arbitrary and a personal thing, but there's something to be said for getting real tactile feedback (looking at you, Apple "taptic" engine) from your device.

9. BlackBerry Priv Bonus: more screen real estate when typing

When Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, he made a very correct argument: physical keyboards on the front of a phone took up a lot of space that could have been used for the display. "Why have a keyboard present if you often don't need it?" he asked. But we can flip that argument on its head: now when you're typing the keyboard takes up half of your available screen real estate, and when you're on what's today a small phone like the iPhone 6s, that's not leaving you with a lot of space. Suddenly you're only able to see a small portion of your conversation in SnapChat or WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger.

But a slider physical keyboard like the BlackBerry Priv? It has no such issues. Sure, you can use the software keyboard on it if you really want to, but with a satisfyingly snappy slide up, you've got both a physical keyboard and the entirety of your display at your disposal.

10. BlackBerry Priv Bonus - Gesture control for scrolling and cursor placement

BlackBerry first implemented this feature with the Passport and they've carried it over to the Priv: the "gesture keyboard". That's to say that the keys themselves are touch sensitive and you can swipe over them to scroll the app you're looking at or move around a cursor in text. Instead of smudging up your touchscreen scrolling through long webpages or your inbox or Twitter feeds, you can scroll a lot with short swipes on the keyboard. Or when it comes to trying to get the cursor into the perfect spot in a long string of text, you can drag your finger across the keyboard and get it easily placed without the fuss of your finger blocking the screen you need to see to place the cursor.

Which of these reasons resonate with you?

The last couple of years I've been living on full touchscreen phones. I dabbled with some of the new keyboard-equipped BlackBerry phones when they came out, but ultimately also always had a full touch device in my other pocket. Despite a long smartphone history with physical keyboards, I've adjusted to typing on glass and mainly forgot about the benefits that a physical keyboard can bring. I'm excited for the BlackBerry Priv though, as it's bringing forward a design with minimal compromise: a full screen touch experience and a keyboard I can snap out for those moments when I need it. What I've found even more exciting is that the experts here on Android Central are liking the keyboard implementation on the Priv. As Russell Holly noted in Android Central's BlackBerry Priv Review, the presence of the physical keyboard actually enhances the software experience of Android.

If you used a keyboard back in the day, I'm sure at least one or two of the points above resonated with you. And maybe those of you that have never tried a physical keyboard smartphone see something to my logic — there are ways in which it's simply better. Physical keyboard fans and potential converts, drop your own reasons in the comments.

I've been writing about physical keyboards for a while — in fact, I'm reiterating some of my points from an editorial I wrote nearly two years ago, and a year before that during Talk Mobile: Buttons vs. Pixels, The Great Keyboard Debate.

159 Comments
  • Wow, one phone gets released, now physical keyboards are great once again. No thanks. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Can you
  • Physical keyboards were ALWAYS great, touch screen is nothing but a gimmick which wore off like in 2007.. Touch screen is no longer new or hip its just a fu*king glass and not an actual button. What would you rather have? An ACTUAL button or a Fake picture that acts like a button when you touch it?
  • Samsung keyboard was a joke. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • post enough
  • People need to stop walking and typing. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • https://youtu.be/bGpVpsaItpU Posted via the Android Central App
  • Ha, exactly the video I was thinking of when I typed the comment, plus I have had some close calls walking down the street with people not paying attention. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Maybe you should pay better attention as well.
  • I do , that is why I said close calls. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • separate posts?
  • Lol Sony Xperia Z2
    Nvidia Shield
    Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
  • Lol ikr! Talk about an excessive need to grab attention... Posted via the Android Central App
  • Just get one of those guys: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNyTqIsrk0w
  • Or get an actual phone which naturally comes with physical keyboard unless your phone is just a toy.
  • The Blackberry keyboard is very nice and the extra screen-estate (As mentioned in this article) is a plus. I can't wait to get my hands on this once at&t's exclusivity is released.
  • how much you got paid?
  • how much you got paid? Posted via my amazingly smexy Nexus 6 running Mallows of the Marsh yo
  • $19.70 and you? Posted via the Android Central App
  • That was unncessary Posted via the Android Central App
  • Between you and me? I still miss the amazing Sidekick keyboard. I still have a lot of contempt for the BlackBerry keyboards and anything else that was squished and compromised. But the Sidekick's 5-row full keyboard (with a control key for easy commands! A trackball so you could shift-select text!) was as good as mobile keyboards got, and everything else is a compromise.
  • I never hated the BlackBerry keyboard but I did prefer the sidekick keyboard. The touch pro 2 was the best though. Thanks for making me remember my age. Posted via the Android Central App
  • We have to agree to disagree... I had a Touch Pro 2 and it was as good as things got in the post-Sidekick era, but -- well, understand, I was one of those people who'd hang out on Sidekick forums in threads where we all debated which Sidekick keyboard was better. (Talk about remembering your age...)
  • None of those reasons resonate with me. If the Priv had the form factor of the Z30, with updated hardware and ran Android, then I'd consider it. I haven't used physical keyboards in almost four years and never liked sliders, so this device is a no-no for me. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I don't get the "I don't like sliders argument". The keyboard is there if you need it. You can also opt to rarely or never use it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It adds extra space that isn't needed and adds to the price of the device. If I'm not going to use it, I won't buy a device that has it. Posted via the Android Central App
  • The space is really minimal. BB really designed this phone great. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Something tells me the "selling price" for the phone would have been the same... keyboard or not.
  • And those are perfectly fair points Posted via the Android Central App
  • What extra price. When keyboard phones first came out they had the top software and that was the drive for price. I now own the last of the keyboard phone the motorola photon Q and it coasted a measly 280 dollars compared to my wife's HTC m8 at over 600. The keyboard was the number requirement for me and this phone is the reason I went back to contract. I've tried to use my wife's HTC and friends I phones plus my large sum sung tablets, they all share the same issues. I can't type and look at where I'm typing. Every time I click on a spot to type I have to wait for the keys to show up then my page dissapears. And swipe is a joke, it never reads my gestures right and autocorrect/predictive software is more accurate when you use a physical keyboard. For me the photon Q has met all power needs almost and has a large screen for the small size of the phone. My other qualm with new touch only phones. They are too big. If you need a large phone get a tablet or do yourself a favor and get a dedicated laptop.
  • 100 times this, z30 with stock 6.0 would be more appealing.
  • I have a Passport, and with the device being so wide, typing on the physical keyboard would make my accuracy and productivity slow. When using my Note 5, my fingers fly through the keys. Although, I do hate the auto-correct. Now, if BB were to make another Android version with a keyboard, a larger keyboard maybe like the Bold 9000, or even the 9900, then yeah I might consider it. However, since this is their early version, I might wait until there are tons of updates to , let's say the Hub, OH and after the price goes down.
  • Like the previous poster, my last PKB was the Sidekick. Always hated typing on glass, but didn't go the BB7/10 route. Why? I saw that the same history was repeating itself that Commodore went through with my old beloved Amiga. For better or worse, it's about the functionality provided by software, and these are really voice enabled pocket computers these days. Now, I don't have to compromise.
  • I had (actually still have) an Amiga. I don't get your analogy. Can you explain?
  • Slackers! There are still a few articles on your home page that aren't about the BlackBerry Priv.
  • That's what I'm thinking, I'm still waiting on the other Rom articles they promised after they went PR mode Cyanogen "a fanboy, DAT that sh...I don't like"
  • I used to have the T-Mobile HTC G2 phone, with a sliding keyboard, and thought this was awesome. Eventually some keys stopped working and it was hard to type. Ever since I moved to my Nexus phone and learned to type on the screen, with Google Keyboard, I won't ever move to a phone with a physical keyboard.
  • If HTC remade that phone with modern specs I'd pee my pants. I want that phone again so bad. Probably my favorite android phone of all time...
  • I like reason number 9 and 10 Posted via the Android Central App
  • Reasons 3, 6, and 9 for me. The tool belt of the old-school BB devices has 4 reasons to exist in and of itself, too.
  • Wow! You really want this phone to succeed don't you.
  • If it succeeds, BlackBerry becomes another potential advertiser.
  • And their brethren at crackberry still have jobs. N6/9
    Posted via the Android Central App
  • And competition will increase among manufacturers therefore resulting in better product development and pricing. Win win. Why complain?
  • What's wrong with another viable take on Android? I don't see anything inherently wrong with what's happening here. It's new. It's different. It's Android. And it's a BlackBerry? You pretty much have to cover it and give BB credit, even if it is a few years late.
  • Well he did use to be the editor at crackberry lol. 
  • I still miss my blackberry tour at times. I think Blackberry should do a priv style, passport style, and classic style (minus track pad and menu keys) all on android. I like the lack of carrier branding, I like that they put a lot of engineering into the hardware and software, and I like that their phone does not resemble anyone elses. A whole like of android devices could bring blackberry back. Heck I might even use BBM if people start using it again!
  • I wish it was a slide out landscape keyboard. I had one on my old phone 5 years ago, and honestly, it was my favorite way to type. It was fast and I didn't make as many mistakes. I was never a fan of Blackberry keyboards being tight together and not spread out like on landscape slide out keyboards, but this seems interesting.
  • Love the article and agree with all the points. It's something about having a physical keyboard that is simply awesome. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Me too. I love good competition and choice for consumers.
  • I am one of those guys. I can type over 100 words per minute on PC keyboard. And I need that speed for my job. I just can't get any speed out of a onscreen keyboard. I know there are those who can, but I can't. I use to use physical keyboards on phones and was very fast, but back then, there wasn't much productivity that could be done on a phone. Today, we have mini computers in our phones, but I can't take advantage of it without that keyboard. So for me, this may just be the answer. And think I am not alone. Some of us need to be highly productive with our phones, and this will only help. I would venture to say, many of you younger readers have never used a physical keyboard on a phone in a post iphone world. Try it before you knock it.
  • What job requires you to type 100 words per minute?
  • Transciptionist
    Subtitling
    Data Entry
    Translator
    Journalism
    Court Reporting
    ....
  • None of those require someone to type 100 words per minute. Try again.
  • Actually you're wrong. Anything involving transcrbing speech in real time would requre someone to type near 100 wpm to keep up, as that's within the range of how many words per minute the average person talks.
  • Doesn't matter , no one is typing 100 words per minute on a phone. What job would require this? Wrong tool for the job. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • He want asking to. He just said he could type 100 words a min on a pc. And needs to frequently.! He never said he needed a phone that he could type 100pm. Get over it already.. Lol Posted via the Android Central App
  • It's the wrong tool because it's the wrong tool. Fix the fundamental problem with it and it becomes the right tool. :-)
  • Priv will resonate with professionals having the full screen to view the email while replying is a great feature of this device, more options the better are my feelings, I currently use the Passport but also use the Z30 as I do miss the VKB. Personally I will give the Priv a chance I hope a lot of the functionality and productivity features from BB10 will be there
  • None of those reasons resonate with me. I honestly have no desire for a physical keyboard on my phone. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Kevin obviously hasn't used a BB phone in a while, so I'll help with point 11...flick typing. As you type (sometimes even without looking) you can use the autocomplete suggestions by flicking up the words using the touch sensitive keyboard. Android already has suggestions, but accessing them with a minimal flick movement works very well from the keyboard.
  • But you can flick type on both a touchscreen or physical keyboard. So it's not a clear benefit of a physical keyboard, which was more so what this post was about.
  • The title of the article did not say "a clear benefit" though...it is "why physical keyboards on phones still rock". Flick typing on a physical keyboard rocks.
  • Flick typing is a BlackBerry feature, other devices you have to lift your finger to select predicted words above the virtual keyboard, on the passport and priv this can be done on the pkb as well.
  • Good one... Too be honest I'm faster on a virtual keyboard because of word prediction and being able to flick. With the touch sensitive keyboard of the PRIV you can now do this on a physical keyboard. That said the cost for BlackBerry's keyboard is going to be a tough sell, for something most people have moved on from.
  • lol
  • Smartphones operate in both landscape and portrait mode, why doesn't BlackBerry add another slide out keyboard to this phone for when the its in landscape mode? Two physical keyboards would be great, or maybe a third in case I'm using my phone in landscape right instead of landscape left.
  • Yes, let's have a device with four physical keyboards. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • I think and really hope his comment was a joke :-) Posted via the Android Central App
  • Did anybody forget about the Samsung alias and alias 2. Before android when 3g first came out the keyboard was LCD so the you cold flip the phone vertical or horizontal and the keys wld change orientation. I rocked it for over 2 years and it still works but its pre-android. Oh yeah as for the one hinge being weak, over 2 years of heavy use the hinge still locks both ways closed and open. And my current phone is a year old with no screen protector and has almost no scratches on it. Just take care of your device and it won't wear out.
  • I've had phones with physical keyboards, my first work smartphone was a blackberry torch, which I hated.
    I will admit, that I didn't spend a long time with physical keyboards on smartphones, my first personal smartphone was an iphone 3GS which I think I got pretty much around the same time as the torch. I also hated the torch with a fiery passion. Blackberry was never for me.
    So if you want to cry prejudice you may not be entirely wrong. I could see the argument on muscle memory if the keyboard just wasn't so small.
    On something the size of the blackberry passport, with it's big keys for sure that would be great and I'd love the addition of a physical keyboard. But physical keyboards on smartphones were always too small for me, (at-least the ones in portrait) maybe I just have big hands, or big thumbs at least.
    they actually gave me hand cramps.
    with a virtual keyboard it doesn't matter how big your thumbs are because you can type with so little pressure your finger doesn't have to completely press down, which makes it much easier for me. I'll stick with my google keyboard, they aren't winning me over on a device of normal smartphone size.
  • To everyone who doesn't like/need physical keyboards on Android devices, go f............ind any one of a bazillion other Android devices, there's tons of choice! :D Seriously though, all I'm saying is there's a not an insignificant number of us who really don't like typing on glass, but needed/wanted the Android ecosystem. Oh, and losing most of your screen when putting in passwords really sucks..
  • The post asked how we felt about physical keyboards, relax I don't begrude you your blackberry priv.
    many of us just don't like physical keyboards.
    What's the point of comments if only the people who agree with the post comment?
    that's not a discussion, it's a circle jerk.
  • This is the crackberry fan boy way.
    So wish they left the Priv crap over there because the majority of people commenting are from there. They are just seeking out any negative comment ready to attack. Posted via Android Central App
  • You mean like the android central trolls that have been running around on Crackberry for months? Posted via Android Central App
  • I read the stuff from time to time over there and all the you guys are arguing with yourselves. The majority of Android central users don't go there and don't care.
    The majority of people commenting on these BB Priv articles are from Crackberry.
    All you guys are doing are circle jerking each other and attacking people that don't agree with you.
    You guys could have left that crap over in Crackberry.
    If you guys had noticed but hardly any of AC daily readers are commenting.
  • I'm not arguing with anyone. Take your holier than thou attitude to the side for a second. There are a dedicated few ac trolls that showed up stirring the pot when Priv was announced to be android. Some were there before that. I agree, there are some really unreasonable, passionate folks over at Cb. Heck I only joined when I got a BlackBerry 10 phone so I could learn. Given that some folks REALLY resist change over there then it's really not cool to have the trolls from android making things worse. I'm here because between the two sites I'm learning about what is likely my next phone, from a BlackBerry perspective and an android one. Posted via Android Central App
  • Gytdlok What's this crap you are referring to?
  • The CrackBerry attack anyone that disagrees with them mentality.
    It's so bad that I see a few AC regulars are over at Android Police site to get a break from this.
  • All of you physical keyboard nuts should by the Priv. The rest of us will buy something else. The Priv will flop due to low sales volume and that little experiment won't be repeated again. Cell phone features are determined using the 80% rule. There's no money to be made creating a device for the 20%, especially by catering to them you are inconveniencing the 80% that might buy your product otherwise.
  • Scott You do know the Priv has a VKB, right?
  • Only 20% of the entire population are also intelligent, the other 80% are just blind followers, I have good reason to believe what the guy who pays you a salary wants supercedes what you want.
  • I have no problem with you liking physical keyboards on smartphones, but since I've been using my Nexus 4 I haven't typed at all, I swipe, apart from passwords, although now I use LastPass I very rarely have to type in passwords anyway. If you are trying to type you are doing it wrong. Not having to type surely means that you can input more words more quickly than you ever could typing, once you've got proficient enough at it. I don't find any of the arguments convincing.
  • Crackberry Kevin is officially on actual crack. Crack is whack, yo!
  • Yeah last time physical keys had a swipe feature was never. Posted via nexus 6P. Posted via the Android Central App
  • With all due respect, this feels like trying to put lipstick on a pig.... :)
  • Hahaha physical keyboards are garbage. Take that phone to the beach and you'll be having a great time trying to keep sand out of that vagina of a phone. Posted with my NOTE 5 on damn verizon!
  • That same sand will scratch the heck out of your double glass sided phone of choice. To each their own right?
  • Not at all. I'm talking about sand and what ever else getting in between the phone and slide out keyboard. I can only imagine the sound... Posted with my NOTE 5 on damn verizon!
  • Um...the Priv has a glass screen as well. So it will have a scratched screen and a malfunctioning slide mechanism before you have to reapply your sunscreen.
  • I have a blackberry q10 it dropped so many times with no damage even fell in the water lol are u talking about iPhones? Lol blackberry phones can take a beating and will still work after a years of use
  • Hahaha you must be a Vagina the to take any phone to the beach.
  • Best of both worlds, I've been dreaming of an Android powered BlackBerry after using the Bold 9700 and Bold 9900, and now a Nexus 5. Can't wait to pick it up!!! Miss the physical keyboard and tactile accuracy it provides for long typing for work emails. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Nope
  • So Kevin is back on the BlackBerry bandwagon? Posted via the Android Central App
  • He's hoping they'll port his $500 Blackberry clock app.
  • I want to drop my Note 4 for this beauty so bad. BlackBerry was my first smartphone in 2008, so this is homecoming to me. Wish them luck, hope I can sell this thing quick.
  • Physical keyboards never stopped being cool. People just thought they did. I still miss the keyboard on my Droid 3. The best mobile typing experience I've ever had, and no soft keyboard compares. And reason #9 was always my favorite. Even though the D3 had a tiny (by today's standards) 4" screen, when web browsing, I had more screen real estate than people with much larger displays. Fuck the haters. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I have a six inch screen, plenty of real estate here. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • You browse the web with the keyboard open? People are trying to justify an obsolete feature really hard. Posted via the Android Central App
  • You type without a keyboard? People are trying to justify an inferior typing experience really hard.
  • I type without looking quite often, no physical keyboard here. Posted by a Nexus 6
  • I never had a phone with a physical keyboard and then I tried a blackberry from ATT and I couldn't type on it all I was worse on that then on a regular software keyboard. (Whatever they're called) Posted via the Android Central App
  • I used to love physical keyboard back in the day, notice I say back in the day. I am an older user and I still don't want something I used back in the day. I'm with a lot of the people here that it just feels like a step back.
  • Touch keyboards is the worst lol auto spell takes up the whole page lol no wonder ppl mess up text message with crappy auto correct lol ppl look slow and dumb using touch lol
  • If it wasn't for Swype in 2010, I would have gotten a keyboard phone, slider. Lucky I found a crude, but usable version of Swype before it became available and started using Shapewriter. Without a swipable keyboard, the phone industry might have had more sliders as it was difficult to tap type on 3.2"screens. Posted via the Android Central App
  • My last physical keyboard was the LG Vue Plus, but I've had several, including two BB's. The landscape mode is way better; you can have larger keys and it makes it easier to hold the phone. But, I have to say I don't miss them one bit. The landscape on-screen keyboard is bigger than the kb on the Priv, then there's that little mic icon, lol. Besides, I have my laptop bag at work, and it takes seconds to whip out my full BT keyboard and mouse for composing several pages faster than any chicklets ;) Not saying physical keyboards are not as good, just that there other viable options which do not make them a make it/break it deal anymore. One thing I will not complain about is the slider mechanisms. Yes, cheap ones are cheap, but good ones will last for years of hard use. I still have my 2001 Palm Tungsten T3 which saw very hard use until last year. I was bleeding edge in the Palm world and my devices saw a week's worth of use every day. The slider mechanism is still smooth and solid after fourteen years, and... dang! Battery is down to 38%! I'll have to charge it before this month is up, lol.
  • Can I swipe on it? Posted via the Android Central App using my Note 5
  • Yes, you can actually.
  • On the physical keyboard? That's impressive Posted via the Android Central App using my Note 5
  • I suppose you can only scroll pages with it. At least that was the movement that I saw on a video. Might be mistaken though.
  • Not on the way you are thinking. You can swipe to delete a word or pick from the suggestion, but you can't trace words on the keyboard. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I think if the Priv was a bit smaller I'd give it a shot. But it's already measuring what like 5.4 inches plus the keyboard? Gtfo Posted via the Android Central App
  • My Galaxy S1 Epic was the best phone I ever owned, all the qwerty phone since then were a disappointment (or exclusive to a carrier I wouldn't switch to). This phone is really tempting, finally a keyboard on flagship level hardware. My only hesitation is that it is a portrait slider, I'll have to see it in person before I pull the trigger.
  • Best phone you ever owned? Ever since you must be rockin flip phones. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Used to have a mytouch 2 slide. I miss the keyboard...... Posted via my amazingly smexy Nexus 6 running Mallows of the Marsh yo
  • Seems to be people's full time job today to discredit phones they have no interest in owning.
  • I notice that too, lol. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Weird, I do not recognize half of these people posting. Posted via Nexus 6 running on any data plan I want
  • Actually I am not interested in the BB Priv, but I recognize that you are the troll of this forum by large margin.
  • You. Are. A. Troll. So much so, that I had to log in and comment when I NEVER do that. Physical keyboards will be great for MANY people that have a real job that require a lot of emails. JUST BECAUSE YOU DON'T THINK SO DOESN'T MEAN IT'S LAW. I get a crap ton of emails daily, and I get furious trying to type on a damn software keyboard. I am sure there are many people with significant jobs that rely on email for their primary mode of communication that will greatly enjoy this feature. Go find something productive to do with your time instead of sitting on phone comment boards writing annoying comments that don't contribute to the discussion of physical vs software keyboard. The perception you give is that you're a bored teenager that does nothing productive with their time, hence never need proper grammar and correct spelling. If that's the case, great; make one comment and walk away. The BlackBerry Priv is not the phone you need. Even this post required several stupid edits because the auto-correct and spacing are awful. I have always done better with physical keyboards and am eager to try this one. Posted via the Android Central App
  • It seems like BB is one of the few who can get physical keyboards on phones right. I don't why, but every other one sucks in comparison to BB's one. The new Hamilton Beach SD toaster. Powered by the Snapdragon 810.
  • I can't stand those keyboards. So far, typing on my 6p has been very good! Posted via the Android Central App
  • I come from the land of Palm: I had a treo 650, centro, a Pre and a Pre2.
    When I migrated my data away from webos there was 200,000 words of text. Yes, I did the equivalent of 2 novels on Pres. I went to a Note2 then a G3 and my text capture is so much lower. I could hold my Pre under the conference table and take notes, while still making eye contact with the other humans. And the advantage of the portrait slider is, at least for something pre sized, you can type one handed. Not sure how that will work on a @6" phone, though. Posted via the Android Central App
  • I'm a former Palm-ie as well, but I was that way with Graffiti; keeping eye contact while writing away. Still have a Tungsten W, the cheap M130, my daily driver T3, and an M505 that I play the original Lode Runner on almost daily. Still looking for a way to convert my memo pad notes and e-books from the T4 though. Posted via the Android Central App
  • This. Soooo much this, kigmatzomat. I had the Pre, Pre2, and Pre3. Even with swiping and SwiftKey's predictions I am nowhere near as fast as I was on those PKBs. It's been a bad year, so I can't get a Priv just now, but if I could...
  • I can relate to all of them except 7. Cause I don't drink. :-) Posted via the Android Central App on my Galaxy S3 Neo Dual Sim which thankfully doesn't have S-pen and does not have a horrible metal body.
  • I loved my G1's slide out keyboard. If Samsung did what blackberry is doing but in the portrait orientation, I'd be very interested Posted via Galaxy Note 4
  • great picture of blaze and i want a priv just waiting for big red to carry it
  • Still waiting for a Droid 5.
  • I've gotten used to typing on glass. Swiping is really quick at times, too, although it means relying on autocorrect. I do miss having a physical keyboard at times, but it's not as big a deal as I had thought it would be when I switched from my Tour to Android. One thing I always liked about my BlackBerry was word substitutions. I could type HRU and my keyboard write "how are you?". I had a whole bunch of these set up to make for faster typing. I have that set up in Fleksy now, but it was something I really liked about my BlackBerry.
  • BlackBerry vkb and I assume the pkb still do this. For example, I got tired of typing cross country when talking to my daughter about practice or meets. I set up x c as the shortcut and it spells it out in the text. Pretty cool feature. I do that on my z30, it sounds like the Priv vkb will be identical. Posted via Android Central App
  • #2 is the main reason I still sometimes miss the old keypad on the Razr (the flip phone, not the smartphone). Being able to type text replies without looking really came in handy; while voice dictation is good, you still can't get away with it in most situations.
  • You're doctor will love you when you get carpal tunnel.
  • I'll challenge ANYONE on here that gets this phone to a type-off while I use Swift Key. NO way they can type faster. And as accurately without looking.
  • I accept the challenge, but with a physical keyboard, without TRULY looking at it and writing in 3 different languages. Under these conditions, no way you can type faster with Swift. ;-)
  • i'll still take the challenge, and I can do it in 2 languages. But you also have to have all proper accents. And I wont need to look, trust me.
  • Dude its a BlackBerry, keyboards make up a big part of its DNA, both physical and virtual, the pkb also has suggestions except it's a quick flick up halfway into the word while u still have to swype out the entire word. I'm pretty sure anyone will type faster on this phone coming from any other phone.
    Swype at the time of my reply is now a stock typing option as well. Lol
  • I challenge you to take a better selfie.
  • AC can't win for losing. The priv is the newest phone and its getting articles.
    People cry when there are too many Samsung articles, too many priv articles, too many LG articles.
    What the hell are they supposed to write about. Maybe they should do some on old phones no one has any more.
    Can we get some G1 articles, some moto razor flip phone articles? Posted via the Android Central App
  • Actually, we HAVE gotten some G1 articles recently :P "the history of android" :)
  • Everyone gets lots of articles cept moto.. Hmmm Posted via the Android Central App
  • 2 and 9. Can't argue against those two reasons because they are completely true. The rest are meh excuses. Posted via the Android Central App on Moto X 2014/Moto G3/Moto G1/Lenovo Tab S8/ Lenovo Yoga 11 on $35 Cricket wireless plan.
  • I can't wait. As a sysadmin, the day keyboards left mobiles is the day my productivity when i'm out and about stagnated. The closed I could get was with the Xperia Z Ultra, because the screen was just so big. As soon as my Priv comes in, I don't plan on letting go of it.
  • All of these resonate with me. The thing I love the most about the Priv is that it's different from every other flagship out today.
  • A reason TO laugh at people using a device with a PKB: "You are an immature idiot and you are worried that the whole world doesn't know it yet." But that guideline applies to "laughing at people for their choice of smartphone form factor, OS, screen size, screen resolution, case design, use, or lack-thereof, etc,"
  • Ah, makes me remember my old E70...
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_E70
  • No pining for a physical keyboard but I would probably use it if I get the Priv. I doubt it will cause a resurgence in people wanting physical keyboards. The touchscreen keyboards are here to stay IMO. The security is a nice feature!
  • Nokia N900 had the keyboard for champions Posted via the Android Central App
  • Its really ridiculous to attack someone for wanting a physical keyboard. Posted via the Android Central App
  • Top 10 facts about cellphone keyboards! Number 7 is craaAaAaAazy!!!?!?!
  • The only concern I'll have with smartphones with slider keyboards in general is the durability if the mechanism and chassis. In an age where about every smartphone owner has dropped their device at least once, you don't want just one drop to ruin the entire phone for ya when the keyboard portion snaps off. Cynicism Evolved
  • I used my droid 4 for years and waited patiently for droid 5. I wore the first droid 4 out and bought a used replacement. Now it is well worn, you can't read the e r or n on the keyboard anymore and the space bar has a big hole worn in it. I ended up getting a droid turbo with no keyboard. I'm using it now to type this. It's very time consuming and tedious. The viewable screen is 1 inch by 4 1/2 inch. TINY. So now I do all of my serious typing on droid 4, book it to a computer via USB cable and then email from there. The droid turbo COULD have been a serious business class phone IF it had a keyboard.
  • After 4 years typing on glass i became demented. Sometimes i am so angry that i push on the phone's glass..... anyway... congratulation to the genius who invented this stupid thing called touch screen
  • I'm with radivas96 (above) on this.
    I love my Samsung S3mini but I HATE HATE HATE the glass touchscreen for all of the reasons other people dont like it.
    However, when I'll be able to afford a decent qwerty keyboard....:-(
  • Nokia E7-00:
    BEST.SMARTPHONE.CHASSIS.EVER!
    Me and my Dad use our E7s for full 5 years now and type/browse/mail every day! But it's hard to find propper apps nowadays for Symbian OS.
    Not a single button has weared off and the hinge is still smooth and precise. Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokia_E7-00 I wished so bad that Blackberry make the Priv-PKB in landscape set up :(
  • I love physical keyboards, especially slide-out landscape mode pkbs. My fingers always hit wrong keys on vkbs. I've been using a Samsung Stratosphere for 4+ years and now my carrier says they probably cannot find another refurbished one for me. So it looks like my only option will be to go to this new BB. Nothing ever happened to my keyboard; it never broke or wore out. I've rarely dropped my phone, and I've always had a case on it. I don't really care for the larger phones nowadays; it's hard to fit them into my pockets; and with vkbs, I've been avoiding them like the plague. I've been typing longer than most of you probably have been alive, so the physical keyboard on the phone was a no-brainer as far as I was concerned. The physical keyboard allows for better speed and accuracy, while still being able to see what you're doing on your screen.
  • Physical QWERTY keyboards, in particular four row "slide-out", as I have on my current SAMSUNG (SCH-u450) phone, I do not want to be without. However, I've been informed by Koodo (Telus) that they are shutting down their CDMA network, and as such, my perfectly functioning phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard can no longer be used. (It was suggested by "Koodo" that I get a "Moto G Play", which has a "virtual keyboard".) I want a physical QWERTY keyboard. So, I have to "find" a reasonable priced phone - with a physical QWERTY keyboard (preferably with a full "slide-out") - that will operate on the "HSPA" network... Any suggestions?
  • Now, what with the BlackBerry Hub crippled in the latest iteration banishing threaded SMS and calls, I have renewed interest in scrounging for another device. Alas, so far nothing good in the offing the only one being this: https://www.reddit.com/r/Android/comments/avfv0d/the_keyboard_phone_is_b...