If you once loved a physical keyboard you’re going to feel your age a bit here because we’re officially living in a world where more people have typed on glass than have used physical buttons. So it is a little surprising that in 2015 the physical keyboard on smartphones has made a bit of a comeback. Samsung with the keyboard case for the Note 5 & S6 Edge and most notably Blackberry with the Priv.
Let’s get the elephant in the room out of the way, returning the a physical keyboard isn’t about speed, but there are somethings besides nostalgia that might get you back to clicking your way through messages.
1. Muscle memory allows you to type with out looking, so if you’re walking or moving around you’ll be able to pump out accurate messages with out having to look down.
2. More screen real estate when typing, in conversations you can track more without scrolling.
3. When you do have to scroll using the keyboard as a touchpad and cursor is genius.
3. The sound the slider makes is substantial and when you flick it open to turn on the phone dash off a quick message, it is incredibly satisfying
4. Easier to type passwords, names, urls & the occasional second language. Auto correct can get in the way if you spend a lot of time entering passwords, or even proper names. Multilaunguage support on software keyboards is good, but it’s nice to just be able to write what you want with out autocorrect jumping in.
5. Older fingers type more accurately, no need to get your glasses out to type on virtual keyboard, muscle memory has your back.
6. If you have long nails…touchscreens with glove mode are getting easier for people with long nails to just press, but it’s not the same as a physical keyboard.
I’m not going to say that I can’t live without a physical keyboard, the moment I’m back on another phone I’m right at home. But I can see the niche segment that appeals to, highend first class hardware with the diversity of android’s app ecosystem with Blackberry’s security features. The massive update it just got in December also made it much less glitchy and improved the low light on the camera. But I get ready to move onto the next phone for review, I have to say I’m going to miss the Priv..and not just because I am Canadian.