How do you use your BlackBerry: Torch users - do you use the physical keyboard or touchscreen?

BlackBerry Torch 9800 Keyboard
By Adam Zeis on 13 Feb 2011 08:21 am EST

When I break out my Torch I sometimes have trouble deciding if I prefer using the physical keyboard or touchscreen keyboard better. I know when I first got it I was a huge fan of the physical keyboard. It was (and still is) one of my favorite keyboards on any device, however Bla1ze was pretty much stuck on the touchscreen keyboard, so I gave that a shot as well. Once I got fairly good at using it, I had a hard time deciding which to use. I essentially just bounce back and forth but can't say for sure which one I prefer. So Torch users this one's for you - which keyboard do you prefer and use the most? Do you use the physical keyboard? The touchscreen? Or maybe you split your time between the two? Cast your vote in the poll and leave a comment letting us know what you use.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

How do you use your BlackBerry: Torch users - do you use the physical keyboard or touchscreen?


I think im the only person who never uses the physical keyboard of my Torch, seriously i never do, i got expert on selecting text with both fingers, even when i have big ones but it is all about practice, you dont need that physical keyboard at all, maybe just to perform a soft reset. It is good to know we have another typing option though.

After I had to use the Storm (cause I was stupid) and the Storm2 (cause I won it) for almost two years I am so happy to have finally a BlackBerry with a physical keyboard... Touch is nice for navigating and general usage of the phone - but when it comes to type messages/emails then a REAL keyboard is simply unbeatable - no matter how smart of swipe a vkeyborad is.

I split my time between both physical and screen keyboard. I was also one who never used the screen keyboard, but after using it for a while split my time between both.

If I'm just scrolling thru messages, Twitter, etc I use touchscreen. If I'm typing 90% of the time it's on physical keyboard.

when I first got my Torch I set out to get used to the touch screen. I came from a 9700 whichvis arguably the best BB keyboard so its fair to say after the first few days using the touch screen I wasn't too happy, but I stuck with it & after first deciding which keyboard I was happiest with (QWERTY) & text method (Corrective) & added a lot of new words in to the word substitution log, I find the Torch Touch screen to be excellent for writing messages long or short & I don't miss the physical key board at all (Though its still nice to have it there because its a great keyboard). The one gripe I have with the Touch Screen keyboard is the copy/cut & paste which I always use the physical KB for & sometimes the symbols. But on the whole I love the Touch Screen KB & use it 95% of the time.

I use the virtual keyboard for everything except longer messages or emails. I'll bust out the physical for that.

I use the touch keyboard in suretype portrait most of time and slide out the physical for longer emails or forum posts. Texts and BBM are almost exclusively touch. I'm not a huge fan of using the phone in landscape mode.

Tried the physical keyboard twice or trice. Gave up and never used it since. Virtual keyboard is very good and much more preferred.

I use the touch screen for navigation (rarely use the trackpad), in fact it was the main reason that convinced me to buy the Torch.

But for typing, I mostly use the physical keyboard. On-screen keyboard are used only to enter screen lock password and when I want to use the spell checker when typing in English. That's why I turned on spell checker for on-screen keyboard and off for physical keyboard.

I used to be an iphone owner. I think the digital keyboard on the Torch is second rate in comparison. In contrast the physical keyboard, like with any Blackberry, is world class. For writing emails I can't see why anyone would use the digital keyboard and if you do, maybe you should give serious consideration to whether a Blackberry is for you.

I hope this poll resoundingly shows that people use the physical keyboard. I'd hate Blackberry to just pursue two streams touch screen only (Monaco, Storm) and traditional (Bold/Curve/Dakota). I love the Torch and hope that RIM continue with it. If people don't use the keyboard a lot, why would they?

I have played with the touch keyboard some, but so much quicker and easier for me to quicly slide out and start typing, I absoultly love the touch navgiation and all the features touch brings in genreal but lovw my physical keyboard.

Before 6.0.450, the keyboard was completely wrong. I couldn't type a single word without making at least one error! So, before the last leaks, I used to use only the physical keyboard...
Now I use the touchscreen too, sometimes, but only to type short sentences...

I use the physical keyboard at least 95% of the time. It is the reason I bought the Torch, to have the option. Love this phone.

I prefer the physical to write with but when I need to input passwords I have to use the virtual keyboard as it displays my password as I type! So this is great!

Anything heavy is always physical keyboard and little, fast stuff I will go with touch. I am probably at 9 out of ten times using the physical keyboard over the on screen one. Its just more efficient for me.

I love the physical keyboard. I've tried the virtual, but it is an effort and takes too much concentration for these big thumbs to hit the right letter; too many mistakes. I use the touchscreen for navigation and the trackpad equally. So keyboard for me.

98% of the time it's the physical keyboard.

I usually use the virtual keyboard when writing in a different language so I know what letters I'm typing. Other than that and very short (several word) passwords or texts every once in a long's the physical board for me.

I prefer the physical keyboard. I tyoe faster and more correctly with it. I don't really like the virtual keyboard because I hate it when I typed an S and it comes out as a W. I guess I am not used the virtual keyboard yet. Also because I like to see more of the screen.

Fort short emails, passwords etc, I tend to use the touchscreen. Anything longer is the keyboard, but I do find that the Torch becomes unbalanced & top heavy when the keyboard is open, meaning that you have to splay your fingers more to support it. I also find that the kb isn't as good as my previous device (9700), but I do love the large screen!

Late at night nothing beats the touchscreen keyboard, no more complaints from my wife when she's lying next to me in bed. It's a pain to type with the keyboard while it's facing down.

I prefer the physical keyboard. I just feel more confident with it. I do like to use the virtual sometimes, but I tend to fat finger the virtual more than the physical keyboard. I do wish the physical keyboard slid to the side and not to the bottom. That would be my only improvement to the Torch.

I honestly thought I would rarely use the virtual keyboard- until I used the physical one! This is my 1st non-Curve, & I found out fast that I'm not a fan of the Bold style keyboard...I disliked it enough to learn to use the virtual one quickly, which I didn't anticipate at all. I do use the physical one occassionally & I definitely wouldn't want a touchscreen only phone, but the virtual keyboard has the upper hand for now.

I tend to use the touchscreen for quick one-word entries such as usernames and passwords and such. If I need to do some extensive text work, for messages or such, I use the physical keyboard.

I use the physical one mainly due to speed and accuracy having big thumbs/fingers, but still use touch for most everthing else. Virtual keyboard for small things or when hands are muddy and use it thru a gel case phone cover. (Reason why I got the torch as bold 9000 I had too much dirt/mud in the keyboard)

Honesty I use both. There are times when I have to pull that bad boy out (physical) because I can't see what I'm typing! I do love having the option. But why would you even have a torch to begin with? Because it has the best of both worlds. I love the Torch... Thought I'd be a curve die hard all the way (I had 3) but nope I'm hooked on the Torch!!! Thanks RIM

I had had the Torch for several months after a Bold 9000. Still use the physical keyboard for any medium to heavy use. Only use on screen keyboard for things like google searches , or quick logins.

i just love reminding my self i have a keyboard so i always slide up for the surprise! it feel great each and every time lol up down up down......

I am getting my torch this friday, and I can't help but think that it will click like a storm. I don't know why but I just do. I almost wish it clicked!

The Torch is my first blackberry, and honestly, the virtual keyboard has made it so simple to get used to. I try and try to use the physical keyboard, but I just cant get the hang of it. I'm so fast with the virtual. The only reason I use the physical is if I'm trying to spell words that dont mean nothing, like Lupid.

I use the touch screen for navigation but when it comes to typing, I couldn't live without the physical keyboard. That's probably why I lasted less than a month on the iPhone when it first came out.