Which BlackBerry 10 device will you choose: all touchscreen or physical keyboard?

By Michelle Haag on 19 Jul 2012 10:00 pm EDT
BlackBerry 10 will have an awesome virtual keyboard!

If you've been following the news regarding BlackBerry 10, then you likely already know that the first BB10 device will be a full touchscreen, with the QWERTY version following close behind. This decision has shocked some people, making many wonder why RIM would go such a route when one of the most popular features of BlackBerry, and arguably one that RIM has perfected, is the QWERTY keyboard. When Kevin asked him about this decision, RIM CEO Thorsten Heins had this to say:

 "There's two reasons for this. The first reason, without being arrogant, I think we own the full qwerty market. The Bold 9900 is doing a good job of this in the market with our corporate customers. In the US we're most under pressure with the BYOD movement in enterprises, so we need to get in the battle. That's why we need the entry card, which is the full touch device, so we can go to enterprises and say, hey look at this, this is the full touch from BlackBerry and it does things way better than what you have today. And I think it's going to be way better. And then the qwerty comes immediately thereafter."

"The second reason is technology. Building the full touch device on this platform is more complicated than the qwerty one. So it's natural that you make the more complex product first that actually clears the pipeline for the platform."

The reasoning behind the decision makes a lot of sense, and hopefully will prove to be a wise one. Plus, that new virtual keyboard we've seen peeks of looks hot! Maybe it's enough to turn even the most devout physical keyboard users' heads?

CrackBerry nation, we want to know which BB10 device you're lusting after. Does the smooth, all touchscreen device have your curiosity piqued? Are you planning to stick with the tried-and-true QWERTY model, even if you have to wait a little longer to get it? Let us know in the poll above, then leave a comment below letting us know why you chose what you did!

Michelle Haag Michelle Haag "@_Miche11e_ and C0001B3B5" 1214 (articles) 1695 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Which BlackBerry 10 device will you choose: all touchscreen or physical keyboard?


Same here!
It will be my first touch screen. I WILL enjoy that biiig screen. I'll get used to that keyboard which seems nicer than those on Droidz or iCrap

Blackberry BOLD 9900

I'll probably Jump on the full touch once its out, but will KEEP my 9900 as backup AND THEN when the new qwerty comes out, I see myself jumping on that one as well.... GOTTA HAVE 'EM ALL!!!

Bold 9900 & PlayBook 64GB Wifi

Waiting for the keyboard version. So many have said how great they think the full touch keyboard will be. I do agree there. But look at it this way:
As good (great) as the keyboard is on the 99xx, imagine how good it will be on BB10! :)
* BlackBerry by choice *

I won't want a full touch one. Can never get fully used to a touch screen only device.

I'll be testing it once the units arrive in carrier stores, not dummy units, actual working units. :)

Waiting on the physical QWERTY and also hoping it has a trackpad!! This is the two-hit combo that makes the physical QWERTY BBs a hit, without the trackpad, text selection will be a slowed down process. Really hoping they don't get rid of it.

I've had many devices now, Android & iPhones, the physical QWERTY is tried and true. Just like a desktop keyboard, you can learn the keys to the point where you can type away without even looking at the keyboard. I yearn for this feeling again, waiting for BB10....

Although I don't think that it's happening, I'm totally with you here. If there is no trackpad, and I'm sure there won't be, there will be a level of disappointment on my part and some others. There is a lot of usefulness in the trackpad. I end up using it on my PlayBook at least a few times a day. Still wish there was a virtual trackpad on the lower right corner of my PlayBook.

what if they have a track pad like section of the touch screen or even anywhere on the screen that you can scroll like using a trackpad but its actually just the touch screen. sort of liek rolling your finger and having a sort of mouse appear or beign able to scroll through the icons.

would be a really cool feature and it can be done

EDIT: or what if it has a scroll wheel on the side like the old school berries had, but used only for scrolling through text and scrolling up and down on the interweb or e mails

Attention Devs!
If RIM doesn't do this, and it's possible to make a 3rd party app that will do it flawlessly, you will be the top grossing Dev For BB10 :)

Edit: not the scroll wheel obviously lol. Hard to make an app for that :p

there would be a few possibilities with the BB10s gesture boarder, making it so that you run your finger side to side over the gesture boarder to scroll side to side and on the side sliding your finger up and down to get the curser to move up.

frankly this is even possible when using the all touch screen also and i hope RIM reads this and says "hey Leo you're fantastic and have a fantastical way of thinking, we're goign to use your idea heres five bucks :)" as long as it helps RIm soften the hold apple has on the market :P

i don't think the PB needed a trackpad, but i do like the idea of a trackpad on a smaller device (anything under 4").... i really do hope the new BB's have a trackpad too, i'll be sad if they don't, but i'll still buy one :)

My current phone is the Bold 9900, but when the all-touch arrives, I'll be upgrading my bold!

The problem is, if no keyboard then every smartphone is good...but if there is a keyboard then blackberry is the king and yes a mouse trackball style will be perfekt i miss that but have to be better then before....somthing special that no other smartphone company have....blackberry was so near before with storm to have a full touch smartphone but they miss it so make high quality qwerty phones please..thanx a big rim fan from switzerland...im nearly alone here...switzerland is a an iCountry. Here the teenes have to mutch money to buy everthing from apple and samsung:-( how to let them buy agaun blackberry??? Before paris hilton she push it here also and all the blockbuster movies shows blackberrys but now to mutch focus on iphone...so blackberry have to focus to 20 years up customers....or in asien countrys and africa and india

I have a neurological disorder that makes my hands shake. I MUST have the tactile feel of a physical keyboard. I'll be waiting.

I gotta try the all-touch myself first. I'd be likely to go to a slider if they were launching one (and they might later as I understand it) so that I could try the physical keyboard without committing to going without the physical QWERTY, but in the absence of that possibility I'll just have to make sure I log lots of try testing out the touch one first so I can decide.

Or if they only give a certain one to developers, I'll just take whatever I can get in exchange for apps and then I don't have to make a decision :)

I'm a 9900 user and a QWERTY lover, but I'm getting the "All Touch BB10" phone. I think the touch keyboard will be amazing so I won't be missing much.

I was going to wait for a TOrch / slider model but I can't wait anymore - will be getting the keyboard model in Jan.

Look out man!

I have the 9860 which is allt ouch. Its very smooth and responsive, but I am horrible at typing on a touch screen and miss my 9700, so I will wait for the physical keyboard phone.

i don't like the 720x720 resolution on the physical kb version, still, i will wait to see and then decide.

I am touch all the way but it would be nice to have a case with an extra battery and a slide out bluetooth keyboard on an as needed basis.

The keyboard on the 9900 is a dream. I'll wait for the keyboard version. Hopefully the phone will be the same size or close to the 9900 but with less of the black border to increase the screen real estate :)

That is wishful thinking on my part since BB10 might require the border for the gestures...

I expect the screen to be as large as the iPhone at a minimum but small enough to fit in your pocket. I love the concept of pairing your device with a case that suit your needs. Like a purse.

I'm getting the Qwerty and the wife is getting the London so ill be able to have both at my disposal although my PlayBook will give me plenty of screen realestate to enjoy BlackBerry10 with.

Man is it good to be a BlackBerry user. BlackBerry10 will show...and prove.

can some c--t from crackberry.com contact me and help me change my user name, when I placed an order for some carp you let me register with my email address as my user name. I now want to change it so every p---k doesn't see may email address

Nice your were able to call the staff at CrackBerry and it's users a nasty name all in one sentence.

P.s I sir am not a p___k thank you very much. I'll now forward all emails from my spam account to you.

I specifically got a Blackberry because of the qwerty...no brainer that I will wait for the qwerty BB10.

I suspect there won't be many apps. available for the keyboard device at launch, you may want to wait until developers have ported over their apps.

i am waiting for the device like 9900.full keyboard and also touch which is versatile....
and the most important thing,please make a phone with battery more than 3000mAh..As u know.every user charge their phone once a day or even more than 2 times,we need a device that very reliable.

Two reason I'm staying with the qwerty keyboard are simple.

1. I love buttons which double as shortcuts.
2.I don't want to be mistaken for someone that just switched from an iphone or android phone, I'm a BlackBerry user, have been for 5+ years and most dedicated users have a qwerty board to get *#<& done.

CrackBerry Is My Choice Of Drug

A smart blonde, a dumb blonde, a BB10 device all touchscreen and a BB10 device physical keyboard are all in a race. Who will cross the finish line first?

The dumb blonde, because the other three don't exist.

I'll wait for the hardware keyboard model, for sure. I am not due for a subsidized hardware upgrade for a while anyway, I'll make do with a BB10 upgrade on my PlayBook (hoping it doesn't take long to be released).

I haven't got a clue about which one to get, because I've used a torch slider and I love the full size touchscreen, but I also find the physical keyboard to be a necessary part of it, so I'm not sure about which one to get.

I'm currently using my 9800 & I love the fact that I have the best of both worlds so I'm holding out for a slider. If ever RIM decides not to make one then it's full touchscreen for me =P

Physical keyboard. I switched to the Torch 9860 and have been thinking about switching back to the Bold 9780 in the past few days.

I'm undecided right now...I'll decide after launch...physical kb is very reliable and I love that but that huge screen is very tempting! If the physical kb will b as good as d 9900 it will b a very hard choice.

I've always been a fan of the QWERTY keyboard form factor but I think it's time to move towards the all touch screen form. I currently have the Bold 9900 for AT&T

Add me on BBM 29D52713

I jumped ship from my HP Pre 3. Now I am using 9810 and falling in love it. So if I could vote, slided keybroad would be the only choice.

Too early to say, If touch screen phone has same feel like a physical keyboard i might give it a try.
But if the touch screen keyboard phone is same like all other touch screen phone i am sticking with the physical keyboard. i believe what blackberry has with the physical keyboard is like a signature. Its a good thing they have going on their and should keep it and not take it away from their phones.

The QWERTY seems to me to be the niche device, I see lots of ex-BB users now using full touch devices and being okay and quite competent with the keyboard. I will go full touch because I want to see how it feels and works, I will get competent on it and then start showing it off to those who think BB can't do touchless and hopefully they will see something that inspires them to consider BB10 for their next phone. To return to relevance RIM must make in roads with touchless, as a fanboy I want others to jump over, many or most want full touch.

I would prefer a slider but I doubt that will be an BB10 option anytime soon. As much as I love a physical keyboard, screen real estate is more important to me now, so I'm going with the full touch BB10. I also want to shock the shit out of my smug iPhone/Android friends when they see my new phone, think I *finally* defected and realize its a BlackBerry!

You guys all hoping for a trackpad... you know they're not gonna have trackpads... right?
As members of CrackBerry, you should all know that by now.

I've never had a qwerty BB. Started with Storm2 because the buttons were too small on the only other model VZW had at the time. I now have the Torch 9850 and love it. Looked at the Bold but didn't like the smaller screen. BB has done a great job improving their touch keyboards and the one on BB10 looks amazing!

I've been thinking about this whole keyboard thing since it started, "Why doesn't BlackBerry design the shape of the screen keyboard ergonomically, like the physical keyboard on the 9900?" I often find that that is part of the inaccuracy of "flat" screen keyboards. I mean sure we get used to them but, the incredibly unique design of the 9900 BlackBerry keyboard; how it fits under our fingers and in our palms is what makes it so easy to type. It would be cool for them to break the mold and actually offer that 9900 shape as an option of the screen. In other words, the way the 9900 keyboard looks would be under an amazingly sensitive flat screen, but with the ergonomic accuracy of the 9900! No one else is doing that!!! All screen key boards are the same; flat, square and boring. There is no consideration for the actual natural shape of our curved fingers! No matter how good the software intelligence is, our accuracy is limited by the shape of our hands. Shape the "software keys" as they look on the 9900, with the slight upward curve on the edges and even the delicate raised slope on the keys, look almost three dimensional, and I bet it will revolutionize keyboards forever.

Just a though Mr Thorsten and team!


I guess it would have make sense to add sliding keyboard to the poll to have a full picture. Even if it's planned later, I think it would have given a better trend.
As a developper I already have bb10 DevAlpha and i tested it, not as a phone, but just for the keyboard, and touch screen is not better (for me) than other products, i'm still slightly slower on it compare to a physical.
I was thinking as Koool1, but having used and still using devAlpha, I guess I'll wait for the physical or for the torch 9810 equivalent when the roadmap will be clearer.

Well my contract for my 9800 runs out after both phones launch so ill be looking at both very close lol. At the moment I'm going full keyboard as the playbook size what I'd use if I need extra screen space lol

Well, I will wait for the "qwerty" physical keyboard.

Before I switched to an Blackberry Bold I used an HTC Z Desire with the slide-out keyboard; I liked this because you maintained the full-screen but, had the physical keyboard to use as well.

I would love to see a similar design on the the new Blackberry 10 - big screen + physical keyboard = heaven!

I am a bonafide Blackberry fan but I have long reached a stage where its criminal to trade my screen real estate off for anything.
I feel silly surfing, gaming or watching videos on my 9900's little screen. Even wallpapers look less impressive on that little window.
If you've used something with a bigger screen you start understanding why RIM has been haemorrhaging market share so fast.
In today's content-centric, HD-centric, Game-centric market there is little room for devices with screens like prison cell windows.
The keyboard take up just too much space and yet does one thing only. Not everyone who buys a smartphone is always pumping out emails 24/7. These qwerty devices must start taking a back seat for RIM going forward.
This poll highlights how crackberry fans have driven RIM into the ground by leading RIM to believe that physical keyboards are still key when in actual fact global smartphone figures strongly indicate otherwise.

Gee, what an awful business plan, actually making a product your fans want . . . (sarcasm) . . . That's why they're making two phones bozo, one for the qwerty crowd and one for the touch crowd.

+1 Boffin. I left the small screen real estate market a couple years ago. I got tired of buttons. I do use my 9800 as a work horse but I want to have fun as well. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly just would not look the same on a two inch screen. I saw a first person shooter game on a Droid that left me itching for the same game on the BB10. A larger screen real estate works better for my needs (and everyone who jumped the BB ship for iClone and Droid)

Easy. I'm going to have both the touch special edition to play with and the keyboard version to work with.


Full screen all the way. Keyboard is nice, but the big screen experience with BB10 will redefine the experience and make qwerty keyboard phones look like yesterday's trash :)

Okay its not like im totally crazy about full touch phones in fact i prefer typing on a tangible keyboard it thinks its much more user friendly then a touch screen key board the big reason i need the new full touch screen BB10 phone among other reasons, I need the ability to switch between a portrait view and a landscape view these are both very important to me.

I have a Storm 2 and have been waiting for the new phone. I will definitely go back to a full keyboard! So disappointed in the touch screen on the Storm 2. I could upgrade now but will wait anxiously! Hurry up BB 10 !!!

its not the phone storm 2 only but os too as you are still using os 5 (which sucked on storm 2) but 9850/60 is a good phone.you should try that if some one has one just to feel how os 7 .You won't be disappointed.

I am definitely waiting on the full querty because with all touch there is a short delay. But the full physical is like butter being sliced by a hot knife. So will wait that extra two weeks and get my boo boo :o))!!!!

Well, I love my Torch so I'd like a slider, but if they don't make one I will go somewhere that I can try the full touch. When I try to use the touch keyboard on my Torch, the keys are too small and I end up with too many typos. My two years with the Torch will be up in March so I will have some freedom to choose at that point.

I will be waiting to try them both out. With BB10 it will be my first Blackberry phone so I have to give each it's fair shake before I make my decision!

I will go from my 9850 to the full touchscreen BB10, but will really miss the trackpad! However this time, I won't scramble to get one on launch day because I'm pretty happy with the 9850. This is a bit different because I was upgrading to OS7 from my original Storm last time and it just wasn't getting the job done.

I will be going for the full touch. I just hope the is stronger than the one on the iPhone. I have seen too many cracked iPhone screens. Maybe I will just treasure it with my life and not drop it...

The first two phones are all touch, very thin and sleek and the second is a slider. It will be a long time (Christmas 2013?) before there will be a non slider with physical keyboard

I can see it coming, RIM will release the phone with no apps, no words with friends, no netflix, etc. I will look at the blackberry, see it has no apps, and switch to iphone.

Recently retired my 9780 in favour of a new all-touch 9860 to get me used to the form-factor before picking up the all-touch BB10 device.
The combination of that and my PlayBook will definitely see me through til Jan/Feb.

I will know better when I see what the physical keyboard model looks like, but if they put out a great looking device I will sacrifice some screen space for a full keyboard. I never typed as fast as I do with my 9900 and for that reason I wouldn't go back to a touch keyboard. HOWEVER I think rim has nailed the touch keyboard and that I still wouldn't be disappointed.

Gotta see how its executed.

So glad to see BB family are sticking to the true smartphone who started it all and not betraying like the ones who jumped ship at the first signed of trouble!!! Let's ROCK AND ROLL THIS RIM!!!!!!!!!

I expected the qwerty device to get support, but I'm surprised it is getting more support than the all-touch device. Perhaps Crackberry has more qwerty lovers :) That certainly isn't reflecting the dominance we're seeing in store sales with iPhones and Android all-touch devices! All-touch devices are winning more and more people over because of multimedia -- it seems people just expect more out of their devices these days, but they should not expect the world. Compromises are always made. It's reality -- you'll never get one device that does it all well.

The new BB10 all-touch device looks to be slick with the innovative predictive text entry method. Will that win over some qwerty lovers? It remains to be seen. Certainly, physical keys are better for some folks and there will always be a need to support these devices... at least until voice input is perfected.

My voting choice, "still waiting for a slider" wasn't listed, so I put, "undecided." I am not really interested in either of the 2 choices initially being offered.

Shouldn't we wait to see what they will look like before having such a poll? For all we know, BB 10 may never see the light of day. I had the 9930 and now I have a Evo Design which is all touch screen. Buttons don't make or break the deal anymore, it will be based on looks and performance.


The first two phones once again are......Full Touch.....and Slider....there will be NO Bold 9900 type device with BB10 at first.

These polls have been funny since RIM started on the decline. True polls would have "neither" or "i have no plans to try BB10". But obv, Kev is in their pocket so he is trying very hard here...

I'll go with the physical keyboard. For touchscreen I'll use my PlayBook. I suppose that when BB10 comes out for the PlayBook it will include the awesome keyboard shown on the full touch BB10 phone. If it is like that I will have the best of both worlds.

I'm beginning to think that the keyboard device will be a Slider, with the same screen size/ resolution as the full touchscreen. This would eliminate any difficulties with having apps. ready to go on the keyboard device.

I hope so, I really like my 9810...The size of a full device with the slider. It's not bulky at all like the critics claim.

I switched from a BB 9630 to a Droid Charge as I wanted the larger screen and figured I needed to get with the rest of the world. I love the screen and apps but hate the keyboard, especially having to edit any misspellings - major frustration without the track pad. Thanks to BB, I'm all thumbs and hitting the right key on the Charge keyboard is challenging at best, hence lots of mistakes unless I use my index finger to hunt and peck. It seems no one knows what the QUERTY keyboard will be like with BB10 with several comments having been made about waiting a few weeks for the QUERTY. It must either be the best kept secret or it will not follow the fullscreen BB10 initially released so quickly, or we'd probably have some better insight by now. I'm likely gong back to BB with a 9930 as I can't stand typing on the virtual keyboard. I guess I've had the QUERTY too long but I have tried to make the change.