Update: See bottom of this post or click here for update details! **
Always known for making the best physical keyboards, it seems RIM is going to hold the title of "best keyboard' for touchscreen smartphones as well.
Read through the comments of yesterday's BlackBerry Thunder Media Player Images post and you'll find some sweet information detailing the BlackBerry Thunder's touchscreen keyboard. I've heard some rumblings in the past few weeks that were of the same nature of the hands-on findings described, and have now confirmed with two more reliable sources that the info is legit... the BlackBerry Thunder's Keyboard Kicks Ass!
Now for some of the juicy, although limited, details....
Localized Haptic Technology - when you press on the Thunder's screen, it pushes in "just" a little bit (the whole screen is sort of like a big button) and you get immediate "real" feedback - you hear an audible clickety sound, and can feel a buzz in your finger where you actually pressed on the display.
Full QWERTY and SureType entry - hold the phone in landscape mode and you can take advantage of a full-qwerty keypad. Use the phone in portrait mode and you can enter data on a SureType keyboard. You will be able to choose/change your screen/keyboard orientation at anytime.
"Amazing Implementation!" - Apparently typing on the Thunder is a "really easy and enjoyable experience." It's an overstatement to call the Thunder an iPhone killer at this point, but it is safe to say when it comes to entering text the Thunder's keyboard makes the iPhone's keyboard look like a chump. RIM always criticized Apple for putting out a virtual keyboard that was "unusable." It seems RIM is going to show Apple how it's done... How Do Ya Like Them Apples?
Awesome. Leave it to RIM to CRACK the touchscreen keyboard nut. As for other screen related details, I'm still waiting to confirm a few things. We know the display is 360 by 480 resolution. We're not yet sure yet if it is multi-touch - while I've spoke to people who have actually used the keyboard, I haven't heard from anybody yet who has seen the browser in action (but we do know it's using WebKit for its engine, which is what the iPhone uses, so hopefully that means yes). As for the screen's materials, while BBSync reported yesterday that it's made of glass, the best I can confirm is that "if it's not glass, it's at least very glass-like". We've also heard that the first Thunder production runs are starting up this week, so it's likely we'll be seeing and hearing a lot more on the BlackBerry Thunder in the weeks ahead.
Update: 3 More tid-bits of information have come in...
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