The Physical Keyboard: Is it really THAT difficult to use?

Discussion in 'Android General Discussions' started by 640k, Jan 6, 2010.

  1. 640k
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    640k Silver Member

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    I've used touch devices since 2001. My first iPaq had a near standard-sized keyboard that I could attach to the data port and take notes and create documents. Even then I knew that doing work on a small screen was difficult at best and that using a physical device was much simpler than a virtual one.

    Fast forward to just a few months ago and here I was making excuses for my HTC Touch, it's small screen and its virtual (on-screen) keyboard.

    Since getting the DROID, I have not looked back, nor have I had ANY desire to use ANY on-screen, virtual keyboard at any point.

    When I take the DROID out of my pocket, I don't even touch the power button. That's far too difficult. Instead, since I'll probably be using the keyboard anyway, I just slide the keyboard open, which turns the screen on. For me, that's the same amount of steps that it takes to locate and press the power button.

    How easy is it to just slide the phone open and it's on??

    As far as usability goes, I think the size is slightly awkward, but my average sized, man-hands (size large glove) seems to thumb the keyboard just fine.

    I send text messages at teenager speed and am able to play emulators as if I were on a PC with no joystick. Web browsing has never been more enjoyable and I feel like I don't have a need for a laptop any longer as the DROID does everything I could ever want as far as mobility goes.
  2. Big Cam
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    Big Cam Member

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    From the little I've played with one at the VZ store, it seems to work as good as my curve keyboard which I currently love but hate the small screen and lack of apps.
  3. Groucho
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    Groucho Member

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    It's not the greatest physical keyboard I've ever seen on a phone, but it works fine for my purposes. The top row is a little hard to type on because it's right up next to the screen, especially if you have some sort of cover on there.

    That said, last night I downloaded Swype, and with that app I suspect my physical keyboard use will reduce dramatically.
  4. lumpysherman
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    lumpysherman Member

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    Personally I don't see why the physical keyboard is on the device, just adds mass to the phone. i love the virtual keyboard and will continue to use it. I guess that's what make the Droid such an incredible device multiple ways to input that appeal to everybody, some love the physical keyboard and some love the virtual. Once again Droid Does!
  5. les017
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    les017 Member

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    I also do not find the keyboard to be "bad" to use. But that said, I am migrating more and more towards onscreen kybd, especially with using Swype. But for forums like this, as well as many other instances, I am SOOO grateful for the hardware keyboard. It is so easy to flick open, use D-pad for cursor placement, free up the whole screen, etc.
  6. raven1911
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    raven1911 Member

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    I think its like any other keyboard in that when you get used to it, it is functional and fast. I like physical keyboards, which is one reason I bought the Droid.
  7. 640k
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    640k Silver Member

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    what? what a terrible observation. the DROID is the thinnest flip-out keyboard phone currently on the market. all of the meat and potatoes are behind that keyboard.
  8. Steve H
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    Steve H Member

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    I have had my Droid for one month now, I came over from an enVtouch. The virtual keyboard on the enV was awful and the "real" keyboard is great. I find just the opposite with the Droid. To me the Droid keys are too flat, thus making it easy to hit more than one at a time. I was very leary of the Droid virtual keyboard at first thinking that it seems small but I have found that is is very easy to use.
  9. droidilac
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    droidilac Member

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    I have to agree with most of the people here. Once you get used to the keyboard it seems like more of a "normal" feel to it. I can't say I have any complains about either keyboard. My only concern was wear on the physical keyboard. Anybody know how well it holds up to wear and tear?
  10. 640k
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    640k Silver Member

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    Really? Too flat? I think they're raised just enough for the type of layout they're in. Better than the pager-style keyboards in my opinion. I can slide between keys, which really helps with typing fast and game play.

    My wife came from a BB Pearl. Since moving to the DROID, she hasn't looked back. She's almost as addicted as I am.

    I have a pager that has the separated, indivdual button style. It's near impossible to type on in comparison to my DROID. I hate using it, and when I'm forced to reply, I only respond with one or two words.
  11. 640k
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    640k Silver Member

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    i'm concerned as well. although it seems like it's moisture resistant, it's yet to be seen how durable it actually is. in reality, it's going to only be as good as the contacts underneath it.

    i feel that since the entire keyboard is one piece, there's less room for problems. but then again, the whole thing could peel up one day.
  12. DP03
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    DP03 New Member

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    My only real complaint about the physical keyboard is that the enter key is right below the backspace/del key, and I have more than once hit the enter instead of backspace and sent a message before I was done it.
  13. 640k
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    640k Silver Member

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    that i'll agree with, although i don't know how they could have made it much different. they're both technically where they should be.

    the two blank spaces should be buttons too. and the dpad should be on the other side.
  14. DP03
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    DP03 New Member

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    Yea, I agree that's where the keys belong, but I never had this issue on my Curve keyboard........
  15. gardobus
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    gardobus Silver Member

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    I love the physical keyboard. Is it the 100% best one in the mobile world? No. Is it REALLY damn good for how thin it is? Yes! I prefer this keyboard and the nice thin Droid to a fat phone with a nicer keyboard. I love having the keyboard open because you still get to use the entire screen. The damn on-screens kill so much space on the screen! Don't get me wrong, if I'm in some kinda hurry or lazy or something, the on-screen is GREAT but the physical keyboard was one of the main features that made me want the Droid after my stupid Storm...
    IMO
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