Why phones with real keyboards still exist

Touchscreen keyboards are the de facto standard on smartphones now - so what's with the diehards that won't let go of their old-school BlackBerry devices?

BlackBerry Q10 keyboard
By Simon Sage on 5 Jul 2013 04:45 pm EDT

It may be preaching to the choir coming to the CrackBerry community to espouse the virtues of a real, physical keyboard, but when it comes to today's Talk Mobile topic, a lot of folks on the outside figure the debate between buttons and pixels has long been over. Sure enough, the market has spoken with its wallet and gone with all-touch smartphone models, but at this point I think that has just as much to do with a lack of options as anything. The all-touch revolution was kicked off in no small part by the iPhone, and ever since, finding anything other than a minimally-featured slab of glass at your local carrier store has become a challenge. For many, an all-touch device was their first smartphone (heck, it was probably their second, too), and they adapted from the get-go to virtual on-screen keyboards. For those users, a physical QWERTY keyboard on a phone is an oddity, and it's for them that I'd like to highlight a few of the reasons why phones like the BlackBerry Q10 and Q5 are still being made. 

There's something to be said for the touch slate form factor, of course; all of that screen real estate opened up by ditching physical keys means you can see more of a web page, view fuller images, watch videos more comfortably, and interact with more of an app. Yet, I kept using a BlackBerry Bold 9900 right up until the launch of the Z10. Yep, I went to CES and got lots of weird looks from fellow tech press. There are two major reasons why I stuck to the physical keyboard before anything: prediction and focus. 

As far as predictive texting has come since the T9 days, it's still not perfect, and until we start getting telepathic phones, it never will be. When people say they can type at least as fast on a pane of glass than a keyboard, I believe them - after all, it only takes smooth feathery touches to spit out text. I tend to have a few follow-up questions to statements like that. "How accurate is your writing? How many times a month do you have to go back over what you wrote in order to erase or correct something? Can you confidently and happily hit that 'send' button without reading over what you wrote a second time? If you can, how often do you send unintentionally-worded messages? How much work is it to write on a touch device? Enough to make you hesitant to start a message in the first place, or write something shorter than you would prefer?"

Okay, so maybe that's a bit aggressive, but you get my point. The challenges introduced by predictive texting are not insurmountable, but I think they've been naturalized for many smartphone owners to the point that they forget that these are issues they live with daily.

Maybe I take writing too seriously, but anything worth saying is worth saying well - yes, even in casual instant messaging conversations from my phone. I'm sure a lot of folks aren't that picky and will take a few extra inches of screen in order to play Angry Birds more liberally and deal with occasionally sending a hilarious autocorrect mistake to a friend. That's a tradeoff I can totally understand. For me, phones are tools first and toys second - my goal is to communicate as clearly, comfortably, and quickly as possible at the expense of all else. My phone is for messaging, and the other stuff? Well, it can handle that in a pinch. I've got a tablet if I really want to get my game on or watch videos. 

Typing blind is a tier of usability that few touchscreen typists will ever be able to experience. 

Then there's focus. On most touch phones, you have three separate areas to look at when typing. There's the keyboard, where your eyes have to stay most of the time out of necessity. Then there's where you're typing, to make sure your words come out the way you expected, and ensure there isn't anything new to take into account (such as fresh incoming messages). Finally, there's the prediction area, wherever that may be - usually above the keyboard, or in-line with the text field.

I think we're all in agreement that the Z10's prediction placement right on top of the keyboard is extremely smart since the bulk of our focus is on the keyboard when typing. However, you're still scanning two separate areas. Before long with a physical keyboard, your sole focus is on the text field, just as if you're typing on a computer. When you sit down at your laptop, you're probably not looking at your fingers on the keys unless you're new to the whole thing. In these scenarios, you're getting instant feedback about what you're typing, confirming keystroke after keystroke that you're writing what you mean to write. There's minimal backpedalling, and little of it is after the sentence is done. 

Eventually you can take the leap of faith and type blind - watch where you're walking, talk to someone, and otherwise take in the outside world while still cranking out a message. Sure, you still have to double-check to make sure you haven't screwed anything up before sending, but that's every day for folks with a touch keyboard, and they need to be wholly absorbed in the task of message-writing. Typing blind is a tier of usability that few touchscreen typists will ever be able to experience without flipping on accessibility options (which means having a nice robot lady saying out loud where your finger is). Even though it still has a long ways to go and it won't become a full-blown replacement, I'm sure voice recognition will continue to help everybody across the board with eyes-free text input. 

When you get to the level that looking at the screen when typing is optional, it makes writing with your full attention far more than functional - it's altogether luxurious. I'm not saying typing on all-touch devices is a horrible experience. I'm not even saying that it's sub-par or merely passable. My point is that real physical keyboards offer a high level of comfort and efficiency that serious writers can really appreciate. For those that are more relaxed about their mobile messaging, maybe the keyboard takes a back seat to other priorities.

Reader comments

Why phones with real keyboards still exist



My main reason is I love it! There ist nothing more to say. Maybe it is... It's less mainstream than other phones :)

Posted via CB10

It feels great using the Q10. It's effortless in every way. Also, kind of rare out there. People all agree it's awesome when I show them too.

Posted via CB10

Most people are impressed every time I take my Q10 out but they always say that the screen is to small. They want to watch youtube videos and other stuff. I use my BB for communication and that´s the best way

Yeah. I find the screen to be pretty decent to use, even for videos and what not. I know what you mean though, people see these phablet devices and the immediate reaction would be just that - "the screen is too small". I love it though, I don't mind the small screen at all!

Posted via CB10

People goes with trends...thats the proplem. Today i bring my second phone that i use for digi camera, yes my iphone 4s i use only for musicplayer and digital camera..but my main phone is my bold 9900... For me the only way for blackberry will be windows os or android... Maybe im weong i dont know

Mine is touch screen keyboards p*ss me right off and it is frustrating trying to type so I don't bother messaging as much. Also the Q10 looks better (;

The Z10's keyboard is by far the best touchscreen keyboard in the industry but I just got ahold of a Q10 and I have to say it's NICE! :)

Agreed. I have never been able to comfortably handle the iPhone or Android touchscreen typing experience. The Z10 word prediction is not perfect but is very user friendly. If the Q10 had been released at the same time as the Z10 I'd probably have chosen it. I was just too impatient.

Posted via CB10

I love how it learns from how you type. Eventually the damn keyboard knows what word comes next and I just need to flick for it.

Posted via CB10

My nipples are hard... they... oops. wrong thread.

This is just another sign that BlackBerry is dead.... (what. there weren't any trolling comments so I wanted to crash the party).

I got good on the Storm, but never could type fast or accurately on my 9850. The Z10 I can fly on and when I do make a mistake, it properly corrects it. Amazing virtual keyboard.

Posted via CB10

Having faith in the Z10's auto correct is easy, because it works so good. I agree, I find it corrects 99.99% of the typos.

Posted via CB10

The only drawback is when you text in more than one language. Then the auto correct is not as useful. One must wait until it learns all the words you use

Posted on my naked Z10 via CB 10 ;)

You should've touched on 3rd party keyboards like Swype, which provide unique and faster (and often more accurate) ways to input text.

@camera531 I have tried a lot of them. Swiftkey, Swype (on Gs3) and Z10. While I can type faster on them, that does not make the experience better. Simon has touched on the high value intangible elements very well. He talks about focus. That is so true. On my new Q10, I can focus on my thought process and ideas as I type. I also don't always have to even look directly at the keyboard as I type. On the software QWERTY, I focus mostly on my typing and the predictive text selection and I cannot take my eyes off the keys. That fundamentally prevents a good typing experience if authoring blogs, long emails and the like. I am back doing that on my Q10 now. When I used the GS3 and Z10, I was more inclined to wait till I found a place where I could use my MAC Air instead.
But in our ADHD messaging world of 128 character twitter messages, 7 seconds vine videos, chats using BBM, whatsapp and the likes, the need for the physical keyboard is limited to a niche demographic that is if anything in decline.

True.. on a physical, you can just look at the screen as if tou were at a desktop.. Virtuals, you have to keep eyes in screen and keyboard... multi-tasking as you type.. Physical keeps you focused on your thought.

Love this article.

I really like my Z10 keyboard, and feel that the on screen keyboard makes typing sort of "fun," with the swiping up of words and all that, but the Q10 keyboard is just so much more comfortable for me, to be able to look at the screen and type.

I was watching a TWiT video, where they review stuff, and the lady gave the Q10 a "don't buy" rating because she didn't like how small the screen was and the keyboard made her feel uncomfortable since she had been using Android and iPhone for so long. She was kind of nice about saying she pretty much hated the Q10, but it's people like that that JUST DONT GET IT, and really have no business reviewing phones with keyboards. She didn't like the "click" of the keys because she wasn't used to it. It was like someone who always drives trucks reviewing a luxury car, or vice versa.

Anyways, I'd gladly take the keyboard of the Q10 over extra screen space. After months on my Z10, finally getting the Q10 was like meeting an old friend again. I know it doesn't have a huge screen, I know some apps are still only for the Z10, but I love my Q10 and I'll always buy BlackBerry's latest qwerty model.

Posted via CB10

I'm with u. I love my q10 and will always buy the higher end qwerty real physical keypad bb! BBtillDeath if they do die 1 day. Hope not. Need my bb! Q10 feels so good. Back cover on d hand and it peforms! And the battery is like the older bb's. Would b cool if they could have wen up more on the screen more and then u could landscape vids and inetenet. But I always have a complaint, could never be perfect for me unless they let me build it. But love my Q!!! Had Z but missed real keypad and Z battery was not to my standards

Posted via CB10

I'm all over the Z and wrote off the Q... until I held the Q in my hands. I'll never go back to a keyboard device, but the Q is definitely a wicked device.

I second sign your post...
However, i use them both, q10 and Z10 - Q for work, writing emails, blogs, giving assignments... and Z for fun, like playing games, taking pictures or videos, Facebook...

Ps. My favorite device was Torch 9810... I hope the BB10 will eventually have a sliding keyboard with a big screen estate device...

" but it's people like that that JUST DONT GET IT, and really have no business reviewing phones with keyboards. "

Maybe you "just don't get" all touch devices. Ever think of that?

BlackBerry makes the best smartphones in the world. The BlackBerry Q10, Q5, and Z10 are the best smartphones available on the market today, on the planet. The keyboards (physical and software) are the best on the planet as well. The most efficient and practical communication oriented computers on earth are BlackBerry 10 devices.

Posted via CB10

I really like my Q10, but I can't say that the Z10 is best in class necessarily. I know someone who has a Z10 that shuts off randomly (VZW), deletes the last month of emails leaving only deleted messages, and battery life is weak compared to the Q10. I'd say BlackBerry makes the best phone with a physical keyboard though, definitely.

Posted via CB10

Pen and paper work for me, LMAO.
I love a keyboard. I have the Bold 9930 and it rocks.

I'm old school and it works

For me the smartphone is primarily a communication device.

I reply to hundreds of emails every day, hundreds of Im, bbm, sms messages and my fingers are typing most of the time.

Z10 was my first all touch device but I will be getting the q10 soon. I noticed scanning for words is taking too much time as well and I find I'm backspacing a lot with the virtual keyboard.

There is a market for keyboard devices and think BlackBerry will swallow it all. It's like sedans vs pick up trucks. Most people will get sedans, other need pick up trucks. They'll always be around.

Posted via CB10

I hear you but you could always turn off the predictive text feature. I sometimes just type through the predictions... just a thought. I love the touch screen typing and I can type faster on it than the physical keyboard now. Plus I like the added screen space. But of course, to each their own;)

Did you know about the swipe R -» L backspace feature? I didn't know about it initially, and was constantly backspacing. It erases the entire previous word. It changed the game for me.

Posted via CB10

My greatest fear is the failure of the keys over time. Seen many and experienced one failure myself. More moving parts means more failure. I would LOVE the Q10, but I'm gun shy after my keyboard problems with the 9900. Would BlackBerry send me another Curve until I my phone was repaired?

Posted via CB10

Key failure (and knowing BB10 was the future...or end...of BB) were the ONLY reasons I jumped from my 9930. When a friend (works for another mobile outfit and appreciates my "equally acerbic" take on ALL brands, but with reason) told me there likely was no fixing my issues, I bit the bullet and went for the Z (couldn't hold out for the Q).

Simon put the argument as eloquently as could be expected for those who simply don't "get it." Despite the Z's touchscreen kb being the best, by far (you should see how 'tarded I am on an iP or, God forbid, a Win device), I still find myself having to correct a ton of stuff vs. a couple of quick clicks (on red lined text), and hitting send. Eyeballing the Q, but the ones at the local Verizon outfits had that shady spacebar (squeaky and "lower" depression than the rest of the keys). Not sure what's up w/that.

If you see a display with the space key like that. Try pressing it a few times and wiggling it. If that doesn't fix it then it could have just been abused by someone. Worked for me. So you know.

I get you, and I know KB failure is a possibility, as you've experienced, but actually rare, especially on BB devices. The company I work for has been issuing BB phones for the last 6 years and with an average of 15 phones, replaced every 2 years, we've not had one KB failure in that time. Thats not too bad for work phones that are used pretty hard through the week, let alone the personal use. That being said, I've never experienced KB failure and to me the odds are no more for that than a cracked screen or a bricked phone, which can happen to any phone and is easily repairable. I understand your wariness, but to me it's no more a possibility than any other phone problem, so I'll continuing to use KB phones.

In my past 2 jobs combined there were about 20 ppl with Bold 9900's and Bold 9700' s that I interacted with on a somewhat regular basis. Many of these ppl dealt with me because of my tech savviness (is that even a word?) with BlackBerry phones. In total, about 5 keyboard failures occurred. And by failure. It was mostly one or 2 keys that had problems. For my Bold 9900 it was the double hit space bar problem. Don't get me wrong, I loved my Bold 9900 and I would love to own a Q10. But my repair experience wasn't a good one either. It was a work phone and RIM supplied a Curve as a replacement. Then when the Bold was returned, the repair shop said they successfully fixed the broken screen and speaker. The keyboard problem was still there.

Posted via CB10

@eddy_berry: Tried jiggling and prodding until the sales rep looked a bit uncomfortable at the effort. Lol. Alas, no dice.
@rotorwrench: I'd honestly like to believe this to be so. It was a series of comments at CB (and my 9930 space going kaputz) that had me fiddle the heck out of the kb before I committed. Perhaps this store just got some bunk units? Not a good thing under any circumstance.
@doctorevil8: I think tech savviness is an acceptable qualification these days! I haven't written off my Q(uest), just yet, but definitely holding out for a new batch of them to show-up (or visit another store). If they go to the uninitiated or unaware, probably just more bad word of mouth for BB, though.

Thanks for the inputs, all. Really appreciate you taking the time. I miss my kb enough to give it a go, but it's got to be "right" at least out of the box, you know? Love my Z...but this editing time before sending is horrible (for someone not accustomed to doing so).

Zee 10 ees a 10!

Hahaha yea... sometimes I write "the" or "and" (real, normal, frequently used words) and it will correct them to something else. And when I swipe back to undo, the spelling was perfect.

I don't think I'd go for the Q10 though. I completely agree with the typing-while-not-looking stuff, but I think the track pad was more valuable to me than the keyboard on my 9900. I think someone mentioned in a comment or maybe it was the article: a few clicks on the red underlines and it's good to go. That's all track pad.

My Q10 is a communication and business device for me, period. I have a Nexus 7 for play time, which isn't very often. Rock on blackberry... :-)

Posted via CB10

Although it wasn't "officially" released I love/ed my HP/Palm Pre3. Although (like blackberry) the app catalog was lacking, the mod community made it an amazing experience. Like newer blackberry phones, I had the best of both worlds of touchscreen and physical keyboard. I made the switch with the Z10 (my first full touchscreen phone) and admit it is the best touch keyboard out there. Like everyone, I just hope to see more brought to the app catalog (and updates from American carriers!).

Posted via CB10

I was playing around with my brothers iphone5 the other day and found it extremely hard to type with compared to the Z10. There is no contest in this regard. Hands down, the z10 keyboard if the best keyboard out there.

Posted via CB10

IMO one of the worst keyboards is on the iPhone. I hate typing on it. Android is much better and has the option of 3rd party keyboards like SwiftKey. I also enjoyed the Z10 keyboard very much. I still don't understand when people say the iPhone keyboard is the best.

It's not just typing that is better. Multitasking is better, communicating is better, experience is better.

I'm living the enthusiasm on this thread. The exact opposite in the forums.

Posted via CB10

The Z10 keyboard is 9/10 while the iphone's (and I had nearly all the models) was really frustrating (3/10)
I never experienced a blackberry with physical keyboard but the big screen makes for me the difference for the Z10

Posted via CB10

The only time I miss a physical keyboard is for those "typing blind" scenarios, mainly when walking. I used to always be typing away as I walked with my head mostly up. Now I make all kind of typos when I try to do that, so else I end up looking down and almost run into things instead.

I absolutely love the Z10's touch keyboard but I must admit that I can't type as well while walking with the all-touch compared to a physical keyboard I had on my curve before.

I love! love! the feel of the physical keyboard on the Q10, so soft and smooth. I got the chance to play with it a few days before. I just wish I can justify (for myself) having two phones at the same time.

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

I used for many years BlackBerry keyboard phones but now I'm very excited with my Z . It fits all my business needs if I need to write fast and precisely! I enjoy as well all media with this perfect screen and other advanced options . Best phone on the market (as well Q10) ;-)

Posted via CB10

90% of what I do on a phone is type. Text, BBM and emails... The keyboard is by far the most important feature on my phone. The Q10 does it all for me. Fast and accurate typing without even looking at the keyboard! Browser is amazingly fast and better with all the keyboard shortcuts. Q10 is the best phone for my needs.

Posted via CB10

When I demo the Q10 for people and let them use the device, they all agree - it is amazing and they want one. These people are not "I need the newest phone to play with" either, they just need a phone that works great and they're usually using a Bold of some kind. They're conservative types who also like to wait for their lengthy two and three year terms expire before getting a Q10. This means, there are many, many people out there currently waiting a year to eighteen more months (literally) before they upgrade. These people don't just spend money willy nilly (that's wy they're rich) and they're not going to upgrade until it's in their favor, cost wise. They're all absolutely loving the Q10, however, so I have been trying to persuade them to upgrade early.

Posted via CB10

Exactly!! Market share is just starting to turn around. Most people will upgrade when the time comes. BlackBerry needs a good lineup this fall and the next.

I broke out of my contract because I couldn't wait. No regrets.

Posted via CB10

Me too, I also did the "early upgrade" for my Z10, and it was worth every penny. I paid full for the Q10 as soon as it arrived. I rock em' both because they're 2 different experiences but all BlackBerry 10 hotness.

Posted via CB10

I always said I would NEVER go to a virtual keyboard as long as BB was around......well, took the dive on the Z10 & will NEVER go back to a physical keyboard - haha!! I love the virtual KB on the Z10 & have never been so fast typing as I am now....Plus, I don't want to give up the screen real estate now......

Pretty much every BlackBerry fanboy ever right here.

"Screw touch screens! BB all the way!"
*BlackBerry releases touch screen phone*
"Sweet, I love only BlackBerry touch screen devices! I love the screen real estate a BLACKBERRY branded touch screen provides me! Oh, and only BlackBerry virtual keyboards work well, all the rest suck!"

I think I "turd" this comment as well.

I ditched my bold 9900 the day the Z10 came out and I do really like the virtual keyboard on the Z10s but if the Q10 came out on the same day I likely would have bought one. I do miss typing without looking at the keyboard and the actual feel of the keys. As much as I love my Z10 my next phone very well might be what ever the newest blackberry with the physical keyboard is at the time.

Posted via CB10

That's the beauty of being CrackBerrians! We have choices and don't believe in the one size fits all paradigm ;)

Posted via CB10

Agreed! BlackBerry provides awesome selection of form factors. I've always thought that is wise.

Posted via CB10

Totally agree with you Simon, great article and well put. Except that I don't consider myself a diehard, I just prefer to not be a slave to fad or style and will stick with what works well and best for me, and physical keyboards do that in spades.

Z10 best touch keyboard. Q10 best physical. Hands down. Prove me wrong isheep or android fan boys. You won't cuz you can't. Nuff said

Posted via CB10

I myself was highly skeptical if I would ever get used to typing on glass, with a long chain of BlackBerry devices already used and loved.
That, I am saying after using a Samsung Focus (first gen) for almost 2 years as a backup device in case my BlackBerry Torch drained out of battery or got bricked.

Then, I decided to give the z10 a shot, and boy am I not regretting the decision at all.
It is by far the most comfy keyboard I have ever used, physical or virtual.
Cheers to Thor and team for coming out with the Z10.

Posted via CB10

I only didn't opt for the Q10 as I wanted to try typing on glass; and at the same time, stick to my beloved BlackBerry.

Plus, I found the Q10 screen too small for myself. Maybe 3 years on the Torch made me feel so.

Posted via CB10

Hated the Torch after a while. I hardly ever used the keyboard on it. I'm thinking it was a good setup for me going to the Z. As nice as the Q is, I'll never use another keyboard mobile device.

Ditto! While some keyboard apps like Swiftkeys do work pretty fast, they do not offer the typing pleasure and freedom an excellent physical offers like on the Q10. With swiftkeys on my S3, its fast, but you need your eyes and your brain to work pretty fast in order to be effective, this is even more so with the Z10. With the Q10, you can type without looking at the keyboard, just the screen, a lot less cognitive effort and so much easier, especially if you're typing up a storm!

I have a Z10 and if you need or prefer to type one handed nothing compares to the Z10.

End of story!

Posted via CB10

I love the keyboard on my 9900 the only reason I haven't got a Q10 is cos I can't afford to upgrade at the moment.

Well I've used many many many different smartphones - with and without keyboards, and many of those were BB - Bolds, Storms (ugh) and Curves. Torch even.

So I think the challenge everyone at CB has is that you're looking at things with blinders on - i.e., an emotional view on 'BB is great!!!' and 'keyboards are great!!', because of your affinity for all things BlackBerry. You're just not looking at the market very subjectively. Is there a market for KB devices like the Q10? Maybe, but that small niche is shrinking. I know many people who've gone from KB units (BB, Treo, whatever) to all-glass touchscreen units, and not ONE of them tells me they'd ever go back. Not one.

So what does that mean for Blackberry and Q10/A10/whatever? Yes there's an audience there, but every day that number is less and less. That is the absolute reality, and if you think otherwise, you're really blind to what's going on around you......

I am about to purchase a Q10 over the Z10 or any other all touch because I love(d) the 9930 so much. And I want the BB10 expierence. Can't wait!

Posted via CB10

We'll said. I like the functionality of a physical keyboard. I can now type without looking at the keyboard. I think that says a lot about BlackBerry. They're going to outlast other competitors because there's always a need for physical keyboards on handheld devices. Period.

Posted via CB10

The keyboard for me is more accurate when typing and the fell of an actual button is better than tactical feedback IMO. Also the size of the device like the Q10 is perfect all around!

Some of these devices are getting way to big in my opinion I just need a simple communication device that works period!

Posted via CB10

Very well said, Simon.
It's not about speed - it's about accuracy and comfort.
My 9900 is for messaging and all else comes second, and it is for that reason why I'll be getting the Q10.

Typing blind is a fantastic trick to show nonKB smartphone users who tout their typing prowess. Nothing brings a bigger smile than when I would flip up the KB on my 9810 and type a long email, complete with corrections without breaking eye contact, in front of friends/family. They just gawk and ask how accurate my message was, to which I would hand over the phone and let them see. It's called multi-tasking for a reason. An even better, though more dangerous (as Kevin alludes) feat is typing blind while driving with your knees...

Hail to the keyboard, baby!

"Then there's focus. On most touch phones, you have three separate areas to look at when typing. There's the keyboard, where your eyes have to stay most of the time out of necessity. Then there's where you're typing, to make sure your words come out the way you expected, and ensure there isn't anything new to take into account (such as fresh incoming messages). Finally, there's the prediction area, wherever that may be - usually above the keyboard, or in-line with the text field."

For this reason I am leaning toward the Q10. Constantly shifting your focus to make sure you are touch typing something correctly makes it too much effort.

Physical keyboards are dead. Don't know why blackberry even still has keyboards. In my opinion physical keyboards is what screwed BlackBerry years ago when Iphone and androids came out with their touch screens.

Posted via CB10

Agree, that's why I bought a Q5 to replace my 9900 & 9790 instead of consider a iPhone

Posted via CB10 from Q5

For me the Z10 is the worse on screen keyboard I have ever used. Maybe once AT&T gets me an update that might change but right now I have to retype everything I do and half the time I'm still sending the wrong words. Again maybe a new update will fix it but there are times I've almost thrown the phone into the wall I get so mad at it

I used to only be able to use a physical keyboard. I went from a dumb phone with horizontal slide out QWERTY to a 9810 because of the keyboard. It was almost heresy for me to get the Z10. But honestly, it is the best virtual keyboard hands down!

I actually disagree with Simon when he says that you need to focus on two areas at once. I only look at the text entry area and type away madly from muscle memory alone and trust in the autocorrect. What I see on the screen is complete garbage but at least 95% of the time it's correct. Yes, the autocorrect on the Z10 is that good. It probably would be even better if I stuck to a single language, but I have French input as well. I can type so fast on the Z10 that sometimes I can't spell the words fast enough. I still miss the feel of the keyboard though. But I don't need to get a Q10 or Q5 just for the typing experience. BlackBerry really got it right with the Z10!

I've seen about an equal mix of Z10s and Q10s at my firm and there is no pattern based on age. Young associates want the Q (coming from the 9800 and 9900). Senior partners have the Z. [One is glued to a trackball Curve!] Then again, one partner told me that he should have gotten the Q instead because he missed the keyboard.

That being said, if I had to buy my phone again, I would get the Q10 or the mythical S10 slider. Why? Because my battery life is terrible. Someone seemed to have forgotten that the better the keyboard, the more people will use their phone, which means a bigger battery is required!

Posted via CB10 on Z10

As a Z10 user, but a former BlackBerry physical keyboard user, I must say that I miss my physical keyboard when I am on the move.

Posted via CB10

Have had a 9900 for last year and a bit, I love the form factor and the overall experience, however have played with the Q10 and looks and feels amazing. 2 of my 3 kids ( well young adults ) own Z10's, I have played with them and it is tempting me to possibly try for my next phone just to have something completely different than what I have been used to for so many years (never owned an non keyboard device). Cheers and Great article Simon!

Good read. Nothing compares to this Q10 for typing. Nothing. It is the most practically functional mobile communications computer ever made. It's also available now in black or white. Pick up your BlackBerry Q10 super phone today! Or, at your earliest convenience, globally, with your provider of choice. If you want the single best software typing experience ever developed, then you should purchase a BlackBerry Z10 immediately, or again, at your earliest convenience. Either way you will love the BlackBerry 10 experience, typing and otherwise. Amazing platform.

Posted via CB10

I love my Z10 to death, best on-screen keyboard but for me the answer is simple. Touch screen keyboards are by nature, counter-intuitive. I'd much rather be typing on a physical qwerty but decisions must be made (I prefer screen real estate). There's a reason offices don't have touch screen keyboards in front of their worker's computers. It simply would be too slow and full of errors.

Posted via CB10

My last blackberry with a physical kb was the 7130, I still have it, then I moved to the Nokia N900 with the landscape slide out keyboard, with a full touch screen. I did not like having the choice to think whether I should touch the screen or press a key. I just could not get used one or the other. And that was the point when I decided to go for an Android followed by an iPhone and finally the Z10. I say finally because I can sincerely say it is the only smartphone that has a virtual keyboard that comes close a real one. I wish I hadn't touched the Z10, now I really can't use anything else.

Posted via CB10

Z10 flick texting is nice, but Q10 just feels right. Maybe because I am a typer, not a texter- they are two different ways of communication. It would be unprofessional to text an email, and it would take way too long to type a text message. It comes down to what do you need your device for? Mine is work, and work while I'm playing.

Posted Via CB10 from my BB Q10

I love typing on a physical keyboard! Idk, there is something about hearing the clicks of each keystroke, the accuracy, and speed. Not to mention it is way more comfortable to type on than a virtual keyboard.

The Q10, 9900, and 9000 are the best typing experiences i've had. I will continue to use physical keyboard BlackBerrys until they stop making them.

Posted via Pilot's Q10

I have been a physical keyboard user for years and never thought I'd switch to virtual. The Z10 keyboard is awesome, and I do not regret making the switch! If you just trust the keyboard, you do NOT need to look at it. The more you type, the better it gets and will auto correct any mistakes. This whole entry took 20 seconds, and I only looked at the keyboard once. PHENOMENAL VIRTUAL KEYBOARD!!!!

Posted via CB10

Bocoz u can't use wet fingers to pickup incoming calls~thats why I'm still missing the hw buttons on my 9900, eg call, menu...

Posted via CB10

Spot on as to why I love the physical keyboard. With fear and trembling I bought this Z10 with no physical keyboard after my beloved 9900. Beyond a doubt the predictive keyboard is cool, but the lost ability to type without looking at the keyboard is a bitter pill to swallow. Happy with Z10, but missing the keyboard!

Posted via CB10

I should add that it drives me nuts how sloppy your typical iPhone user is. In my profession (law) I have noticed a major decline in the quality of emails sent by guys who have switched to iPhone from their BlackBerry. They email like little kids!

Posted via CB10

Never seen a windows phone keyboard but man is that unappealing.
I like the aesthetic pf the Z better than anything ive seen out there.

Posted via CB10

very well written Simon, thanks!!

that's why, every BLACKBERRY is designed NOT for gamers, NOT for thrill seekers, HELL NO for whatever the reason is. BLACKBERRY is for you to KEEP MOVING, and yeah, NO ONE makes BETTER keyboard than BLACKBERRY. be it the Z, the Q or whatever it is (the playbook as well don't forget), every BLACKBERRY has the best keyboard to suit your typing style.

i have been a die hard physical keyboard fan and my BB used to be the Bold series with the 9900 being my last physical keyboard. honestly when I heard about the Z10, the first BB10 phone with all-touch, I was in doubt, but nope.. even though it has no keypress feedback but the typing is as awesome as its predecessors.

but i'm also sold to the Q10 when i tried the typing over the keyboard, maan.. i really wanna own that phone too!!! money money money come to me... pleasee...

My workplace (government, health science) just made the announcement today that everyone is going to get Q10s. So yay!

I myself made the decision about a month ago to pick up a Z10 (it was going to be that or an iPhone) for personal use.

So it's cool to already have a feel for BB10. :)

Posted via CB10

I will admit, with no touchscreen phone have I ever been comfortable walking while typing, but looking ahead where I'm going. On my 9900, I was able to do that with ease. Though with my Z10, it's definitely the best touchscreen keyboard I've used (and I've had a 4S and a Galaxy S3). BB is known for their keyboards, I hope they never give them up.

I went from a Nokia E63 to a Nokia E71 and finally landed on a Nokia N900, swearing I would never give up the hardware keyboard.

When the Nokia N950 was announced, I saw my dream phone. But it was restricted to developers only!

I settled with the Nokia N9 and fell in love with the virtual keyboard. When that device went on the fritz, transitioning to a Z10 was very smooth and uneventful.

I don't miss the hardware keyboard (and I would certainly not mind a Q10 or other QWERTY smartphone), but I understand its utility for those who get actual work done.

Posted via CB10

The Z10's keyboard is awesome - far better than I expected, coming from the 9900 - and I can even type well on my Note2 with Swiftkey, but nothing beats the Q10; hands down, the best typing experience ever. On a side note, although I touch-type fine on a real keyboard, I can't type blind on my BB, even after all these years of having one.

I love my Z10 and I am really good and accurate on it.............till I try to type while in the car with my husband. I just went with him for a ride and my son was texting me back and forth........I can't tell you how many times I hit the wrong key!!!! So frustrating. I won't be trading in my Z for the Q but at times I fantasize about doing that!

I tried the Z10 for a month and at first I was not sure I really liked it or not but then switched to the Q10 when it came out and actually missed the Z10 but only for about a week. I still have mixed feelings but think if they added another inch or so to the Q10 that would be the sweet spot for me.

The Z10 is good for apps but for doing work you can't beat the physical keyboard

90% of my time on a smart phone is spent typing or reading emails and text messages. Interesting to note bbm is off the radar for me totally.

Posted via CB10

A lot of glass keyboard users have never used a physical keyboard. I love the Z10, but my 9900 was much better for typing.

Posted via CB10

Just read a comment re: comparing Virtual keybrds VS actual is like comparing desire for a 4 dr sedan VS a truck.

Hmm well, I drive a diesel truck and love my Q10... (-:

Btw: listening to my tunes on Neutron while scoping out CB10 is rather noice!

Bitumen Pwrd Q10

Ya know, I love this Q10, but I still prefer the slightly curved keyboard of the 9900. Maybe its just muscles that are moving in slightly different directions, it just seemed to "fit" if ya know what I mean. But just a minor ting!

Keybrd all the way.

DilBit Powered Q10... 10.2 where ya 2 bye??

That's because iPhone and Android users are mainly focused on apps and entertainment.... Bb users are more about messaging and email... The all touch phones are trying to be everything to everyone.... But the reality is alltouch is great for media consumption and ok messaging and the physical keyboard is great for messaging and ok for media with a smaller screen..... My z10 sucks for business communications compared to my 9900 but my 9900 sucks for watching videos or using apps. My thing is the same as Simon mentioned here being I have a tablet for media consumption... The screen on my z10 is too small for media so for mine a 9900/q10 plus a tablet is the way to go.... I want a bb to release a new 10' tab to replace my playbook

I also love the way android and IOS users go on and on and on and on about apps.... Like as if their the end all and be all of phone existence... They just don't get why most bb users have a bb and have remained loyal all these years.... Best in class communications ..... In my previous post I said that my 9900 was ordinary for apps and it is but it is hands down the best business communications phone I have ever used... I don't have a a q10 yet but am hanging to get one... I send and receive over 200 emails a day and nothing beats my 9900

If my Q10 keyboard ever has a problem, like some failure, I would buy a new keyboard for it and install it myself. I also have literally a "full coverage" insurance plan for both my BlackBerry Q and Z10's - so, if something crazy happens within the two years, I'm covered - and if anything happens after the 2 years, I have the capability to replace it myself, like I said.

However, I have seriously never personally experienced a problem with a BlackBerry keyboard. Not saying there can't be a problem, but in the case of one, just fix it. Deal with it, werd.

Posted via CB10

One more thing - lol - I see A LOT more smashed iphone screens in people's hands than I have ever seen of any broken BlackBerry phone, ever. Literally, MOST chick's I've seen here, have smashed iphone screens. I like having less risk of smashing anything simply by owning a BlackBerry device. They're built WAY better than any apple phone and when you combine normal care and attention (mindfullness) with the quality of BlackBerry smartphone hardware, what you end up with is a device less likely to have something go wrong, in spite of having more "moving parts". Another thing, I can take out my battery.

If apple were to "smash test" their phones, they would simply be breaking them all, every single one would fail. Why? Because they break, very easily.

Posted via CB10

I love the Z10 Keyboard and it's swipe up predictive text. BUT, aside from the nice physical keyboard on the Q10 I think one of the best benefits to a physical keyboard is the superior battery life that comes along with it. Surprised this wasn't mentioned in the article.

Posted via CB10

This is true. I love the Q10 battery life. And with a BlackBerry battery charger bundle, it's even better.

NOTE: the Q10 battery charger bundle fits nicely underneath the phone while plugged in as an external charger. The design (albeit similar to the Z10) is better than the Z10N as it's far easier to hold it as an external charger while using the phone.

Posted via CB10

My reason for liking the keyboard has everything to do with shortcuts, not because I type better. Unfortunately the BB10 did away with all the shortcuts, so my need for a keyboard went away as well.

Time to go back to a galaxy.

Posted via CB10

I think the post about "more moving parts = more failures" was long time ago in the thread, but I'm just saying - BlackBerry are very durable phones.

Posted via CB10

We live in a time, now, where a hardware qwerty keyboard is a unique experience. Was not that long ago that a physical qwerty keyboard was a big deal. I think the Q10 and the Q5 will demonstrate how much people miss the physical qwerty experience and I think once a bunch of people have one in there hands to try, they'll agree how much they miss this absolutely classic, iconic, smartphone form factor. Feels really good to own and use a BlackBerry Q10!

Posted via CB10

Keyboard market is 1% of the entire mobile phone market.

Not a single vendor can survive on 1%

RIM needs to wake up and focus on Big screen.


Hi there! Welcome to crackberry. BlackBerry is fully awake and aware of exactly what you just said. That's why they made two launch models. One with a big screen and one with a qwerty physical keyboard. I'm not sure what your point is.

NOTE: BlackBerry A10

Posted via CB10

What makes me most happy about BlackBerry 10 and the Q10 is how they simply focused completely upon what makes the overall BlackBerry experience different from the rest, focused entirely on what they do best in a brand new package, yet it is familiar in every way considering how iconic the style is. Extremely useful and practical.

Posted via CB10

"Enough to make you hesitant to start a message in the first place, or write something shorter than you would prefer?"

EXACTLY. I spent over a year with a touchscreen phone. I basically developed a sort of semi-literate shorthand just so I can tap the message out. I stopped correcting my sentences where previously with the Bold, it was so easy to correct, copy and paste lines of text, restructure entire pieces with confidence. I never checked my email on my computer because I had my phone.

Then I got the touch screen. UGH.. When I first got it, I tried to put up a blog post through my phone. I got it done but then I looked at the time. FORGET ABOUT IT. One-handed operation.. NOT HAPPENING! I stopped correcting my sentences. On more than one occasion a friend had to call me to decipher my text. I'm sitting there explaining why there's a B instead of an N and telling people to figure it out. My text messages got shorter. Even with short words, I had to correct so I stopped typing short words too. I became the one word responder which turned into ONE letter, K, because I know I'd tap the screen 50-leven times between the O and the K.

Constant, constant, constant errors.

I got my Q10 and I've typed more in the last week than I have in a month of having a touchscreen. I barely open the email on my computer anymore unless I have to actually download something for a project. I can't wait til my muscle memory gets back into shape again so I can get back to my Bold days of no-look typing. I hope BB never gets rid of the hardware keyboard. I think a lot of phones are going to hit the wall or floor, hard and fast, if I'm forced to deal with touchscreen only. It feels very good to be so damn productive.

And, I don't care about the screen real estate. Why have two laptops, one a high end machine, and three TVs, including a large screen, and still worry about an inch or two on my cellphone? Laughable for someone in my position.

On another note, BB needs to do something about text selection. Their solution to replace the finesse and versatility of the trackpad has failed miserably.

I don't need to generate very much text, or very often, on my smartphone. If I did, I'd probably have a Q10 instead of a Z10.

The bigger screen really helps, though, when using my phone as a remote-access device to control the screen on a PC somewhere else in the world. Then, the more real-estate the better!

I still like the 9900 better than the q10. The OS and speed and browser is all better on the q10, but man do I ever miss the track pad and back key

Posted via CB10 on my Z10

I would get a Q10 in a second if they would allow for full integration of Gmail and Google Voice. Using the 9930 and the current available interface for either just plain sucks. Someone tell me they are working out applications from Google for Blackberry 10 and I will run to the store to get A Q10

I love my z10 but I would like the q10 as well. I love the screen real a state but I'm starting to miss the feel and class that the physical keys gave me. It stands out in a crowd. I do have to say no regrets with the z10.

Posted via CB10

I've owned both the Z and Q. I absolutely love the Q. After being away from BlackBerry for awhile it was a nice welcome home.

Posted via CB10

Rocking a Z10 but find that having to look above the letters or at the space bar and review what I am typing takes too much effort. Best virtual keyboard I am sure but I miss being able to touch type - having my thumbs poised over the home keys and getting that tactile feedback.

I'll be Mr Two Phones soon enough - I can see a Q10 in my future...

Powered by Z10 on via DTAC 3G

True that! I've been missing the shit out of my keyboard. My 9930 quit on me and I had to deal with an iphone4 for about a month or so. My typing on glass improved immensely but it still doesn't compare to having a BlackBerry keyboard to use. Still getting the hang of straight keys but, almost everything else is on point with the exception of saving mp3 and video files downloaded from the Internet to the media card without having to manually transfer them from the device memory first. I look forward to 10.2 and the improvements it brings to our devices. Unleash that micro kernel usability and efficency. Refining this OS is akin to adjusting the parameters of a design on an Objet printer. Room to add more micro kerels and a main kernel that's been called overkill for a mobile OS and Oh Damn! It won't be over till the Fat lady sings and she hasn't been born yet.


Posted via Q10 form somewhere deep in the abyss that is the BlackDragon! -OOLONG

Well said, Sir.

The telephone began as a means of communication. Simply put.

And that's where it remains, for those of us who look for tools, not toys. For endeavor, rather than gratification.

From a real keyboard, w/ NO autocorrect

I've had people yell at me because I have so many typos when I use swype/swiftkey 3. I've spent months on android trying to find that perfect keyboard. Then I bought the Q10...I can already type blindly. Also, something to note is that you can turn on the virtual keyboard for the Q10 and type a part of a word and touch the screen to finish it. Really useful feature.

I recently switched my wife from an iPhone to the Z10 and noticed a marked improvement in the quality of her messages.

But for me, an IT admin, the ability to remotely connect to a Linux server and type commands with my Q10 is pure gold. And the ability to open a remote desktop session on a windows server with my playbook, while controlling the mouse / keyboard with my bridged Q10 knocks it out of the park.

Posted via CB10

I opted for the Z10 because of the screen size. It was a battle between my fingers wanting to type or my eyes needing to read.
Likewise, I've tried friends iPhones' or Androids and hated them.
This Z10 is my first virtual keyboard and maybe that was a good thing because I am getting faster all the time and after 3 months. I am as fast a typer on this as I was on the 9900.
I couldn't go back to a smaller screen now, not even for the keyboard. The strain on my eyes from peeking under my glasses to read it would kill me!

Posted via CB10

I think this article is trying too hard to sell out the virtues of physical KB ever since the Black Friday. Physical KB will remain a niche feature because mainstream agrees that screen size is too precious to be sacrificed for such a niche feature.

Posted via CB10

Well the virtual keyboard of the z10 is awesome. What I like about blackberry is how they prioritize messaging and communication above all else. They should market that in a way that grabs the attention of potential buyers.

Posted via CB10

Call me a Luddite, call me stubborn, but there's just something about a physical keyboard that I just don't want to give up. I can do so much more and type so much more accurately with a physical keyboard.

I have to write a good number of detailed emails for work and mistyping a service program could be the difference between a quick repair and a bricked machine.

As long as BlackBerry keeps making QWERTY devices, I'll keep buying them.

Posted via CB10

I can type between 60-70wpm on my Bold blind if I had to with no or very little inaccuracy. To say typing blind is something I need to do is neither required or necessary, but the fact I can simply demonstrates that that is what I'm *comfortable* with, meaning that as I write alot, the actual process requires no real focus or attention in and of itself and I can therefore focus entirely on what I'm doing instead of both what I'm doing and how I'm doing it, so, yay for real keyboards.

Great article. As much as I love my Z's touchscreen keyboard, typing on this Q is a whole different story. Now let's talk about the shortcuts, nuff said!

Posted via CB10 - Channel C00016D81

Although I love the typing on the z10, my first virtual keyboard every........

There is a charm for the Q10. There is something special about the Q10 I find.

We should get both and try. Maybe buy it from eBay.

Posted via White BlackBerry Z10 baby

Q10 excellent battery life, fast shortcuts, fantastic qwerty typing.

I put off my Z10...

Q10 stays with me for longtime...

Posted via CB10

I am in LOVE with my Q10 keyboard. Never been more confident, or excited to shoot out quick texts or a massive novel. Im always the guy who organizes get togethers, and i always look forward to just smsing everyone. And with BB10's new fast browser, it really is the perfect device for me!

Greatest blog post ever. Will be passing this along. Can't wait to get a Q10 and re-live my glorious Bold 9000 days.

Touchscreen doesn't start with iphone because they copy some nice things from other os like LG viewty photo slide. Apple make people believe they invented the stuff but touchscreen get started slowly a few years with brands like samsung, LG before there was apple. Apple marketing telling people with ads reviews this was completed something new works slowly and in 2 years they sold almost 18M phones.

These days the OS starting to look like symbian with patches all over the place and every update seems worser. The iphone losing heavenly and people buying android to get other kind of experience but the real new os these days are windows and BlackBerry.

People are so afraid having the wrong OS that windows or blackberry is wrong for there ego and surrounding even if the os is more advanced like BB10. The word isheep is not invented by apple. So in that way there is a long way for BlackBerry but still moving.

Note: the brand name blackberry in the Netherlands is branded but slowly I see more people with the Z10 and all are ex. iphone or Android users. People mostly loving the hub and people with camera allways mention the camera quality. Also the negative press here mentioning things on BB10 that people have doubts they really used/tested the phone by them self. That is also not helping. Z10 out

Posted via CB10

Real physical keyboard till the d day I die or RPK qwerty phones die. And BlackBerry is the best typing experience ever on phones

Posted via CB10

THIS. Well said buddy.

"How accurate is your writing? How many times a month do you have to go back over what you wrote in order to erase or correct something? Can you confidently and happily hit that 'send' button without reading over what you wrote a second time? If you can, how often do you send unintentionally-worded messages? How much work is it to write on a touch device? Enough to make you hesitant to start a message in the first place, or write something shorter than you would prefer?"

Posted via CB10

I love the z10 predictive text, but I do miss being able to type blind on my torch, i like having both the big screen and a physical keyboard choice

Posted via CB10

Excellent prose. Very well-written and clear, poignant. BlackBerry represents the epitome of joy the physical keyboard personifies to the user. A very personal experience with every stroke. I've used the physical from day one, but thought that I'd discipline myself with the beauty of the Z10 for six months straight, mastering the touch (I'm a percussionist).

With the idea of the "PlayBook II" coming which almost no one knows about, wait till you see the mixture option of using both. Hmm. Dream, or REALity...


Try WALKING and typing on a touchscreen; an exercise in frustration!

Keyboard forever!

(I only wish the Q10 and re-instated the TouchPad for superior text editing)

I do love the Q10's physical keyboard, i tried one today, the keyboard has a really good feel to it.

i would just like to have IOS and Android users try the Q10 ... there is a whole new generation now that probably just accepts that you need to go back and correct and double check everything you type ... I bought my torch 9800 as it was the first non sure-press BB and pretty much used the touch keyboard for a year exclusively until I just got so frustrated with errors I was making and the text prediction ... I tried the slide out physical keyboard and it was like a complete new phone .. accurate and typed exactly what I asked it to type and my love affair with the physical keyboard took hold

Dan, I know what you say about the Torch's screen keyboard. I have tried mine and it is horrid. However I have a Z10 and find it is very intuitive, I find it to be better than my Torch's physical keyboard. The only thing I miss is some of the shortcut keys.

Posted via CB10

I've got a z10 too as my personal phone and yeah its heaps better than the torch 9800.... but I I have to say my 9900 still easily beats it.. i think that the virtual keyboard still has a long way to go... but there certainly is improvement

I use my Q10 to send out business messages. I tried the Z10, but I was finding that I was avoiding messaging people back until I got back to my PC and keyboard, which sort of defeats the whole point of having a mobile email platform. I think that for sending messages to friends, a touchscreen is fine, as what's the big deal if you mis-spell a few words (or even invent some words that never existed before), but for business clients, they might find that odd (and worrying). So for me, a real keyboard is the thing. After all, how many new PCs ship out with glass keyboards...that says it all I think.

Good article. You could take it down a notch by not categorizing people who like to have a bigger screen as gamers only. Lots of professionals enjoy their iPhones because it's simple to use and offers all the app they need, unlike BlackBerry 10.

I like my Z10 but with having to charge it by noon everyday and the fact that I've had querty devices for years, I've just not gotten used to it. When the Q10 drops in price I will be running to get one. BlackBerry all the way! Touch screens just aren't for me.

Posted via my two thumbs.

Different people like different things
There is a market for keyboard devices, but it is a small niche market.

Hope BlackBerry brakes out sales of different devices

Posted via CB10

Well I left my Bold 9900 for the Z10 and I'm amazed at how fast I adjusted. I use my device for communication and media monitoring. I missed a full page of reading when on the Bold. Now the Z 10 offers me the best of both world with an amazing communicating tool and a great media consumption device. I took a chance taking the Z 10 over the Q10. Both device were available when I upgraded my phone. I sure don't regret it. I tried to go back to the Q10 within my 14 days of grace but simply couldn't after a full week on the Z. Writing with the Z10 is effortless and fast and the the keyboard is very forgiving, which is not the case for the rest of the touch screen crowd...

The only other device I could have considered is a 10 version of slider phone.... that I would have gone for... I suspect many others would too... not sure it's in the cards...
Cheers !

Posted via CB10

If ever BlackBerry qwerty phone become "extinct", Z10 is the one i'll use. In fact I used it for a good 2 months before passing it to the missus, after getting the Q10.

Bought the Z10 knowing that I will get the Q10, just to familiarized myself with BB10. Was really surprise how usable Z10 keyboard is but at the end of the day...what to say, i'm just a "hard keys" guy :)

Posted via CB10

Being a current Z10 user I have to say that I do sometimes miss my Torch. Really miss my Torch. I can type fairly well in the virtual keyboard and love the feel of the fret swipes but find myself constantly looking down at the keyboard instead of what I am typing as u am typing it.

I can honestly say if I needed one for work, I would not be able to go virtual for the reasons the author noted.

Posted via CB10

I'm going to disagree with the idea that a keyboard is necessarily more accurate. I loved my Tour's keyboard, but I find the Torch I have been using is less satisfying. I have a Z10 and find that I can type just as fast and more accurately than on the Torch or the Tour. Because I have bigger hands, my mistakes are accuracy on the keys. I will hit two keys instead of one. Since the Z10 compensated for that, I find I can type more accurately on it than the other two. I have a colleague who has a Q10. I tried her phone and the typing on it was no better. Yes I still use the Torch, but only because I have to. Head office is still approving the BES10 for our use. But that's another story. So while I agree that keyboards are great, I would argue that the benefit is a personal experience.

My last comment is that I have tried other all-screen keyboards, notably the iPhone and found them all not only to be lacking but highly frustrating. The only all-screen keyboard that I have found to be decent is the Z10.

Posted via CB10

I agree that typing on some of the touch phones can be a drag. I really disliked the times I tired to type on an IPhone or a Samsung. The experience was clumsy and awkward. Not so with the Z10. Though bare in mind that for Apple and Samsung users their keyboard is just fine.

I understand that the Q10 and the Q5 have their admirers, and the article does an admirable job explaining the pros and cons of a full physical QWERTY keyboard versus the virtual one.

Before the Z10 I only used physical keyboard phones. The Z10 is my first all touch phone experience. The was a learning curve with the Z10 no doubt, bit after a few months of usage I very certain that I wouldn't want to get back to a physical one. The Z10 keyboard is bar none one of the best I've ever seen. The predictive and auto correct features are not an obstacle to me personally. Plus the swiped typing is more than just a gimmick. I actually find it very useful on many occasions. It is much easier for me to edit, spell check and correct my grammar mistakes or spelling mistakes etc.

Another big thing for me personally, os the fact that you van program several languages into the keyboard. I speak several languages. So for example I have English setup as the primary language, I have also added Spanish, a language in which I communicate in daily. The fact that when I type an email or text message I can seamlessly switch between English and Spanish and viceversa, without having to touch any button or open any app or enable any extra setting is a god send, because it saves me time and a lot of headaches.

Well, none of these things are possible on either the Q10 or the Q5, or any of the legacy devices.

I'm not saying that it's smooth sailing all the time, but the experience I have had with the Z10, I would not care to go back to a physical QWERTY keyboard.

And yes, I don't want to sacrifice screen real estate for a phone with a physical keyboard. I like being able to use the entire screen to watch a video, surf the net or see my picture.

BlackBerry would do well to slowly bit surely get rid of the Q10 and the Q5 when the time comes.

PS For example thinking to invest company resources into yet another legacy device is a bad f**cking idea ! Promote the Z10!

Posted via CB10

That was waaaaaaayyyyyyyy to long of a write up for what he wanted to say.

BlackBerry Z10- I use it for a phone and a computer :)

Q10 keyboard is awesome! Miss the speed dial from it. Is was good to have so many speed dial access from the keyboard directly in earlier BBs.

Posted via CB10

Bottom line, you'll never be able to get the tactile feel and responsiveness from a virtual keyboard as you do with a physical one, that's just common sense. So what it boils down to is, are you ok with a rather good typing experience to gain screen real estate A la Z10 or like Kevin, is spelling, grammatical precision and proficiency of your communications the most important aspect and done best with all physical keyboard BlackBerry's including the Q10?

I know personally, even though my Z10 is used primarily for work I wanted a new BlackBerry overall experience. That meant leaving the physical keyboard world behind in order to get the rich experience of BB10 gestures. No offense to my fellow CB Q10 users but when I see the Q10, I can't help but think wow, it's slightly updated looking 9900. I'm a full on active BlackBerry user, If I'm thinking that, imagine what people that are not interested in the culture are thinking......and for that reason the Z10 is a better choice IMO to represent the BB10 platform.

Users who write more will prefer a physical keyboard. Readers / consumers prefer a bigger display.

This world will have a million times more content consumers than content creators.

That was the boat change that BlackBerry missed and future strategy needs to always mirror this shift.

Posted via CB10

I just seem to be more comfortable with a keyboard. I know that even the large touch screen on my Playbook just seems to be not as responsive as my 9930. I find myself reading my messages on the Playbook and responding, moving, deleting and such on the phone.

I liked the way Simon described the comfort of typing on a full-size keyboard and screen. I love my Bold 9900 and its keyboard, and I love being able to manipulate text easily with the the <shift> key and the trackpad just like on my workstation.

Beyond a physical keyboard, I think Blackberry should strive to reproduce the productive experience of a desktop on a smartphone. And that requires accurate and quick cursor control. I'm not saying bring back the track pad, but we need a way to manipulate text quickly, accurately, and efficiently. The little boats the Playbook and other all touch devices use don't cut it. If you write a lot, and you care about what you write this is huge differentiator.

I ran touch Blackberries (storm, torch, z10) for over 2 years. When I got the Q10 I wasn't sure if I was going to get used to the smaller screen. For about a week, I missed the bigger screen but then I haven't looked back. It's just a pleasure to type on. Faster, more comfortable, easier to spell correctly, etc etc etc.

I look at it this way: what's your focus? If it's more important to consume content, (text, attachments, pictures, video) then choose an all-touch phone. If it's more important to create text content, choose a physical keyboard.

I think that there is a lot of people out there that (if they stopped drinking the kool aid for a few minutes) would really like the functionality of the Q10. I think that many left the physical keyboard for reasons other than screen size. The BBOS got long in the tooth, the browser left a great deal to be desired, and there was availability issues. A lot of those problems are resolved with the Q10.

I should point out that typing while talking to someone is incredibly rude.

Typed blind on my Z10

Posted via CB10 on my BlackBerry Z10 on Rogers.

This article all makes sens and I think has some good points, however I have two issues with it:

1)Typing on a physical keyboard is great until you notice that you made a mistake and have to TOUCH the screen to scroll back to the word that you wish to correct. After struggling with that horrendous circle, and finally correcting your mistake, you then have to navigate back to where you left off, and start typing again. Until blackberry introduces a scrolling feature on the keyboard as has been mentioned in the forums before, typing on a keyboard will be as difficult as a touch screen IMHO.

2) Why is the only argument for a physical keyboard vs. Virtual one about typing? With a physical keyboard we have 35 buttons at our disposal at all times. 35 home buttons if you will. A better usage of the type and go feature/active commands puts the advantage of a physical keyboard WAY above one without. Imagine if we had customizable commands on the keyboard. I could call up apps and actions with out ever leaving the keyboard. Alt-f opens facebook, "alt-g" from the home screen calls your wife. Whatever. All I'm saying is that blackberry needs to take advantage of the fact that there are available buttons on the phone at all times and the user should be able to customize the commands.

Posted via CB10

Fully, agree, what's why BlackBerry needs a TouchPad for superior (pinpoint) editing for physical keyboard models like Q10.

> 1) Typing on a physical keyboard is great until you notice that you made a mistake and have to
> TOUCH the screen to scroll back to the word that you wish to correct. After struggling with that
> horrendous circle, and finally correcting your mistake, you then have to navigate back to
> where you left off, and start typing again. Until blackberry introduces a scrolling feature on the
> keyboard as has been mentioned in the forums before, typing on a keyboard will be as difficult
> as a touch screen IMHO.

Well spoken - I love the keyboard (of my Q10) but when you have to touch the screen to position the cursor, it's kind of pointless ...
Also disappointing is that there is no option (yet) to send messages with a shortcut like Alt-S ...

But I still hope (keep fingers crossed) that it will be fixed in a future OS version

For me, physical keyboard is must. I use my phone for typing way more than watching videos. So don't need big screen. Z10's virtual keyboard is great but I have to concentrate not to make mistakes. So no multitasking for me. With Q10, I can type without too much effort & do other things while typing

Posted via CB10

I type very much, and after many years on iphone/android it goes fast. But after i got my Q10 it is no return..love the keyboard. And like one already said, the design and feel of the Q10 is just perfect. :)

Posted via CB10

Physical keyboard and specifically BlackBerry is the only way to go if you want to respond to texts and emails in the quickest fashion without having to re-read. I went from iphone to Z10 to Q10 and even with the Z10 keyboard I found myself being shorter with my responses. Not anymore with the Q10, responding with full emails and including all the pertinent information. BlackBerry hit the mark with the Q10 and it's keyboard in my eyes.

Posted via Q10

Well put, Simon!

I can say that I am a lover of physical keyboards. I sold my 9900 a year ago, after having stopped using it months before that. I have been using iPhones exclusively and the 9900 just wasn't enough to draw me back in. But the entire look, feel, and nostalgia caused me to get the Q10.

My iPhone 5 is my daily driver and I really only got the Q10 to give it a go for 14 days and then return it. However, this thing is just wonderful! I'm continuously trying to find reasons to use the keyboard. I am even considering making it my daily driver and kicking my iPhone to the second line. Although the OS is much improved, it is the keyboard that is keeping me with the device.

To be fair, I type just as well on my iPhone. It just feels better to type on my Q10...

Posted via CB10

This came up when I talked to Rene at iMore about the editorial, and why I mentioned the accessibility options at one point. I'm kind of surprised there aren't braille-modified BlackBerry devices out there, but the most work really needs to be done on the software side. From what I understand, iPhone has everything else beat as far as offering the right accessibility features for the visually impaired.

Posted via CB10

With phones getting bigger and bigger I think BlackBerry should consider a "QZ10", the same Q keyboard but a larger screen. Not possible? Well, who would have seen phablets coming?

I had both Z and Q brought in for work. I stuck with the Z due to the larger screen. I like picking the Q up and love the feel, but browsing is a huge part of how we live now. An example is how we have our work files on the cloud. I can get by looking at files through the Z, the Q is pretty small but can be done.

Anyone know how to morph a Q with a Z?

Posted via CB10

For years, I had a Handspring Visor with a fold-out QWERTY keyboard. From time to time, think I'd like to use a fold-out Bluetooth keyboard on my Bold, since I've never mastered the "thumb board" as I have the keyboard. Still have to look at the thumb board while typing - never with a standard keyboard, since my fingers were trained where to go back in high school.

Me typing on a glass thumb board? Forget about it!

Think today's younger folks are as adept at a thumb board as I am with a standard keyboard.

BlackBerry is dead if what they mean by "focus" is to serve the biased needs of people who frequent this website. Pathetic.

To CB:
If you meant to promoting keyboard to grab the last batch of revenue before BlackBerry die then be it. Otherwise, if you think BlackBerry is long to survive this is stupid to dig the hole deeper for BB.

Fucus on big screen.

One positive thing from CB though:
Kevin hasn't announced his decision between Z and Q yet. I think he just wants to avoid the contravercy. The decision is Z. But it is the right thing to do for him not to announce it.


I don't that the choice only should be between a touch-only device and a qwerty device with small screen and keyboard.
I personally prefer a landscape qwerty form factor. Big screen, good keyboard and a computer-like landscape experience.

I need my keyboard. Touch is too easy too mess up writing with. All People that are shivering cant use touch.

Posted via CB10

I've got the Z10 and I miss the physical keyboard every now and then I switch back to my Bold, it gets so frustrating to type on a touchscreen and will probably buy the Q10 when I have the money.

Posted via CB10

I can see keyboards having a place, they just aren't for me. When I do serious writing I use a real keyboard and not a phone. I do sometimes use my phone to hammer out rough drafts for later polishing, but they are just rough drafts so I can deal with errors.

I feel that having the Torch form factor as an option for future BB10 devices is something that will satisfy all sides. The only problem is the potential size of such a device. I loved my Torch 9800, but it started doing that funky freeze that we're all familiar with and I had to upgrade after two years. But the convenience of having a touchscreen and a physical keyboard could not be beat.

Posted via CB10

I believe I have the most helpful suggestion for BlackBerry 10.2. When using the camera, users should be able to hit the "c" or "v" to switch the between the camera's. In addition, shortcuts for the shooting modes should be available. For example, "M" could be the key which switches between the modes. To record, press "r", and to use time shift, press "t". Truthfully these don't have to be the same. But the idea is the same, shortcuts are always good in apps. This one is a big one for BlackBerry. I

Agreed - The Q10 has a fantastic keyboard and at least a certain group of users (myself included) love it.
But the OS and the BB apps are (still??) too focused on the touch screen.

A new version should support more shortcuts in more places - We love the keyboard and as Amy said above "[we are] trying to find reasons to use the keyboard." - so BB, make it easier for us keyboard addicts ;)

Theres more to hardware keys than speed.

Used to chat at length with my friends when we all had keyboards, shortly after getting all touch phones, without exception they all started reverting to yes/no type of conversations.

I would gladly return to a qwerty phone as I do miss my Bold 9000 if BlackBerry would produce another playbook compatible with the new devices or at least produce a tablet that would project our phone like the bridge we use to have. One device, one file and app location with a mobile larger screen. Then you can work and use your physical keyboard on your phone to type like I use to do Heins. Until then, BlackBerry is dead to me. I see a company taking things away as it is spiraling towards the ground. It's sad. I use to be so BlackBerry but unless something huge changes, our company can't have a mobile solution on just a phone. We need a bridge tablet also. They had the best before.

Where's my FULL BRIDGE Mr. Heins? Please return it!

The Q10 is my first BlackBerry with physical keys. I came from the Storm and Storm II and then a couple month long soirée with the Z10. After I typed my first message on the Q10, it was over. I can't really ever see myself ever going back to a full touchscreen again. I would really like BlackBerry to release an updated PlayBook with a faster browser to bridge with the newer phones. I loved my PlayBook, but have baraly touched since getting my BB10 phones. Another 7" tablet with an even better browser and full Bridge capability will be the perfect companion to my Q10.

Posted via CB10