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Friday Poll: Would Consider a Phone With a QWERTY or Physical Keyboard Again?

Phones with physical keyboards – they are almost like dinosaurs or extinct birds these days. Fewer and fewer models are released now-a-days as anything but all-touchscreen. Sure we saw the DROID 4 hit stores at the beginning of this year along with a MyTouch or two on the side, but it’s clear that we may not see another for a long time. HTC yesterday confirmed that their future will likely not include anything with a physical/QWERTY keyboard going forward, so it got us wondering – do you care?

We know that many of you were holding out for the D4 as physical keyboards are a must-have, but what about the rest of you? If physical keyboards die off completely, will you miss them? Will you ever find yourself craving one again?

Would Consider a Phone With a QWERTY Keyboard Again?

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  • MooleyBooleyTroll

    I have the Maxx but miss the physical keyboard at times.

  • fauxshizzl

    I just wish some people would use full words and sentences when they type on phones. It is like some type of code in messages these days. The proper written english language is going to be dead soon. It will be replaced by Twebonics, (tween+ebonics) where every word is shortened, all grammar is lost, and punctuation is frowned upon.

  • Raven

    I definitely think it is situational.  Many people are just fine with an on screen keyboard.  Personally I cannot stand using one for more than just quick texts and I use FlexT9 which is capable of Swype like input as well.  Any time I am writing long replies to emails or sshing into a server, a physical keyboard is far superior for the buttons as well as for the fact that you can still see your whole screen.  But, what percentage of people who use smart phones today even write emails with multiple sentences, let alone even know what ssh is or know how to write shell scripts on their own phone in a Terminal app.

    I for one will always be a physical keyboard user and they will have to pry my keyboard out of my cold Droid fingers.

    • Winston

      Keyboard shortcuts help with terminal commands too. Too bad the majority of DL readers are pretty much the average Android user which is clearly reflected in these comments.

  • Well the only decent phone you can get with a qwerty is the Droid.  And Moto locks down the hardware with crazy encryption, then puts their custom crap on it.  If there was a Nexus out there with a keyboard, sign me up.  I do way too much typing, and the touchscreen just isn’t good enough.  

    I actually had the Droid 3, and WOW, what a dissapointment that was. The qwerty didn’t even work half the time. Buggy software. Just a total dissapointment. Shame too cause the keyboard itself rocked… when it worked.

  • TheRobotCow

    Hell yea i want my physical keyboard. They’re the best! I can use the onscreen keyboard but its just sooo much easier with the physical. I would love to have a droid with the razr’s build quality/choice of material with a physical keyboard since the recent droids d3/d4 feel like they have taken a step down in their build quality.Sure they’re faster and have lte but i hate how cheap and flimsy they feel. 

  • I think you accidentally a whole word in the title.

  • Butters619

    I’d love a Droid 4 with a better screen on AT&T

    • bigdav1178

      I’d love a Droid 4 with a better screen on VZW too.

      • Butters619

        Touche my friend. Touche.

  • Jordan Webb

    No.  My thumbs are too big to use physical keyboards comfortably (all of them that I’ve tested), so I have to rely on software figuring out what buttons I pushed.

    That said, I’ll be sad when the last keyboard dies.  They’re an excellent option to have available, in my opinion.  I know a few people that love them.

  • When I got my OG Droid I loved that it had a physical keyboard and used it for a good while. Eventually though, especially after using Swype and the Gingerbread keyboards, I pretty much stopped using the slider altogether. I decided then that I wanted no physical keyboard on my next device for less bulk, but I also think it’s important for those who do to have a good option or two at least. Android = options, and options should mean more than just “Do you like rounded corners on your slab or sharper ones?”

  • I always thought I’d NEED a physical keyboard. I went from one of those old slide phones, then to a blackberry for a while. When it was finally time for me to get a real smartphone, the Galaxy Nexus was just releasing and i was hoping for the DROID4 to have come out since it seemed like the one that I was looking for.

    the D4’s hypothesized release dates came and went, and I didn’t really want to get an iPhone so I went with the GNex and I’ve been a pretty happy customer since then. I’ve subsequently gotten used to onscreen typing (loving Swype), so I don’t know if absolutely would need a physical keyboard any longer but given the right specs, i might go for one.

  • aartvark

    Occasionally  I’ll use the on-screen keyboard on my D4.  I hate it because, for whatever reason, the screen does not always sense every tap.  This is true of every capacitive device I own.  If I want to power type, I slide out that keyboard.  I’ll always have a keyboard above any other feature including root-ability or boot loaders.  There will always be a market for phones with keyboards, even if it is a small one.

    • These companies need to realize that a lot of business users need keyboard phones. The reason they haven’t jumped to Android (from RIM) is they haven’t had a reason to yet. Once RIM croaks (which we all know is inevitable), those business users have to go somewhere…. and I don’t see Apple taking care of their needs.

      There is definitely a market for Android sliders, the companies just don’t want to work for it.

  • Why is there no HELL NO option?

  • Kevin Jellison

    Swype. Even when I sit down at my computer, I want to Swype. 

  • Jedi54

    tough to answer.
    I for one would not as I’ve simply become accustomed to touch screens but my GF however only buys phones with physical keyboards: she’s still rockin’ the R2 Droid and just yesterday I was looking at getting her the D4. 

  • rekmke

    I miss the portrait slider I had on my HTC Touch Dual. It was perfect.

  • Its amazing how strongly divided the physical keyboard and non-physical keyboard camps are. I think the slider haters need to relax. Far too many phones are the same old slab form factor. We need more slider phones to differentiate!

  • SolipsisticPsychologist

    Is it obvious to anyone else, that these surveys are actually put forth by the phone companies like Motorola, and they just Droid-Life as a sneaky way to get you to fill out questionnaires, that you normally wouldn’t give the time of day to. But since they pay to have this site do it, they assume you’ll be none the wiser? It’s obvious to me. I just look at the content of the question and say “What could the owners of Droid-Life benefit from the answers to these surveys, versus what could research and development of a company like Motorola benefit from seeing if people are still interested in them making slider phones with keyboards.

    Droid-Life will get paid for gathering survey results, the least they could do is not be deceptive and act like it’s them who care to know, when they could be forthcoming and state which phone maker is paying them to post the survey. Perhaps it’s because they know people wouldn’t fill out a survey for the phone companies, but under a guise, no one would question the almighty Droid-Life? Nah, I’m sure that’s not it.

    • Tweekex

      I’ve thought this exact same thing before.

      • el

        i’m sure that thought has come to pretty much all the readers here. pretty easy to think of but hard to prove.

    • Tyler Cameron

      I fail to see the problem. The phone makers clearly don’t know what they should be pushing and throwing a bunch of things at the wall and seeing what sticks is a horrible, horrible idea. Look at how many Galaxy Tabs there are! Samsung hasn’t gotten it yet. None of them have figured out price is what’s keeping them from being successful.

      What’s so bad about the makers knowing what we want? Isn’t that a good thing? Obvious troll is obvious.

  • I’d love to see all those that despise sliders and only want slate phones try to use Swype or whatnot on their laptops or desktops, HA!

    • dk81

      for the umteenth time that argument is moronic. ill turn it around for u. try typing on your desktop while holding the monitor, cpu, and keyboard. different situation wouldnt u agree. smartphones are hand held devices meant to be held at the same time. geesh

    • I’d love to see you use a 4.65″ monitor with your desktop or laptop. HA!

  • KY

    The world is over the physical keyboard, I’m afraid.

  • I am actually not a 90 year old arthritic woman so I will not be needing a physical keyboard.

    • bigdav1178

      I am actually going to use my phone for more than playing games and replying to texts with OMG, LMFAO and LOL so I will be needing a physical keyboard.

      • good comeback! 🙂
        We keyboard lovers need to unite and stand our ground vs. the slate hordes!

  • OhAaron

    It’s funny how people want these companies to trim down their offerings, but then they whine if the phone they want is cut out as “excess fat.”  😛

    • bigdav1178

      Personally, I think it’s funny how all these companies are typing so hard to diferentiate, yet they all keep pushing out slabs that look just like each other except for little details, and move away from physically different designs that could garner the attention of consumers looking for something different.

      Something else I find funny: I remember when the keyboard was a big distiguishing factor of the original Droid from the iPhone, and it was good to have options… boy how the times have changed for some.

  • Yes, I am so sad that sliders are all but dead.  🙁
    I love being able to type and not getting the virtual keyboard taking up most of the screen and they are also handy for games, emulation and non-emulation as well.

  • Jay

    If they’d finally add an extra battery, like a slim one behind the screen, then a regular behind keyboard – maybe then

  • Rick

    I wish HELL NO, was an option.

  • Skant153

    all the ladies with tiny fingers prefer those crappy on screen keyboards. sorry, my man hands are too burly for something so squished together and sensitive. i want to strike my keypad with strong, confident, thunderous blows and know that the resulting letter is the one i had intended.

    • Nick

      Being fat doesn’t equal manly.

  • Bbroderick

    I dexised to weitw my reply uainf the touchscreem keynoars to illusrrate why I newda eeal keyvoaed.

    I wrote the above reply, which was supposed to say ‘i decided to write my reply using the touchscreen keyboard to illustrate why I need a real keyboard.’ using the touchscreen. Everything following the first sentence was written using the physical keyboard on my Droid 4. I think that tnis this little ‘experiment’ did a good job of making my point

    • Liderc

      So because you’re an idiot, you need a physical keyboard…got it.

      Sorry, I could smoke you typing on an onscreen keyboard, guaranteed. 

      • How about using a virtual keyboard on a laptop or desktop?

        • You aren’t using just your thumbs and don’t have a 4.x” monitor either on a laptop or desktop.

        • TheOiulkj

           How about using a tiny 4 inch physical keyboard on a laptop?

          Your spamming of this questions is only making you look like more and more of an idiot with each post.

  • This is utter crap. Some people work better with physical keyboards. It gives tactile feedback and frees up screen space for accomplishing tasks (like SSH… try that with only the top 1/4 of the screen showing and tell me how that works for you).

    I have a Rezound and a Stratosphere… and guess which one I use more? Well… that is until I can figure out how to attach a sliding keyboard to the Rezound.

    Why can’t they just release a slate with a sliding keyboard attachment to appease everyone? It’s Android after all… give us options!

    • An attachment definitely would be nice. I’d love that on my Rezound.

    • Jacob Mastel

       It’s actually really easy with a bluetooth keyboard.  They make some really portable ones, just pair it with the phone and pop it on when you need it.  I’ve taken entire class lecture notes on my Photon through Google Docs that way.

      • Kevin

        Wait, are there ones that actually attach to the phone?

        • nicotinic

          Not for Android phones. It’s not profitable to try and figure out which Android phone will be a success and then mass produce an accessory like that for it.
          This is unlike an iPhone which is pretty much guaranteed to sell. To make matters worse the Android phone manufacturers often change the placement of ports so such an add-on would be useless for the next device as an attachment.

  • DanWazz

    Never had a phone with one. Never will.

  • Michael_NM

    II tipe just phine wihtuot one.

    • Ever heard of Swype?

      • Yep I’ve heard of swype. That is the product that makes sure the words I type are spelled right, but not necessarily the words that I wanted to type, right?

        • Swype gets the words right almost all the time. It’s understandable that sometimes you may need to make corrections. It can’t read your mind. But most of the time, Swyping allows for some incredibly quick writing of text, with no corrections needed.

          • ben7337

            but isn’t it only one finger at a time? You can only move from one letter to the next to the next swiping. I can type much faster on a physical keyboard with 2 fingers, typing the next letter almost instantly after the first. Typing so fast that a touchscreen keyboard can’t keep up and often doesn’t register a ton of my touches because it is too slow.

          • If you can type that fast, kudos to you. I never could, so to me, Swype is a god send!

      • Kevin

        What it would look like with Swype.
        “I’ll just route rotor once”

        Hey look, no misspellings, but now we’re talking about rotors instead of typing.

      • RoninX
      • Not good enough. {{-_-}}

  • brando56894

    I got the OG Droid two years ago after coming from the Samsung Alias and figured I’d use the keyboard all the time and never really use the virtual keyboard. It was actually the complete opposite, the only time I used the physical keyboard was when I was playing emulators or when I was using a terminal or ssh app. My last two phones haven’t had physical keyboard and I don’t miss it at all.

    • bigdav1178

      The OG Droid isn’t really a good example. It had a pretty poor keyboard, so it wasn’t exactly hard for an onscreen keyboard to beat it.

    • Tweekex

      I was the opposite, I used the physical keyboard CONSTANTLY. And I still can not match my words per second on my Galaxy Nexus that I was able to push out with the OG Droid.

  • kixofmyg0t

    I personally like onscreen keyboards. I use SwiftKey X on my phones and Thumb Keyboard on my Xoom(which Im currently typing this on). But my wife and a coworker of mine still prefer physical keyboards, so they have a DROID 3 and 4. 

    I couldnt imagine going back to a physical keyboard….Swiftkey does just fine. However the one keyboard I want back and would switch to in a heartbeat is the reduced QWERTY portrait layout keyboard from my old Blackberry Storm2. I was a fricken master of that keyboard. Other than that I would much rather have a gamepad like the Xperia Play has than a physical QWERTY. 

  • If a phone had good specs. Like the OG Droid but with high capacity battery and LTE. SURE! 

    • kretz7

      droid 4

      • locked bootloader.  horrid moto software.  no ICS.  poor screen.

        • bigdav1178

          You’re absolutely correct. Too bad they couldn’t give us keyboard users a better option.

        • SupG

          I was so disappointed in D4 🙁
          Still rocking Droid with CM7

    • Coming from OG to GNex was a little different. I used my physical keyboard a ton. If there was a “Galaxy Nexus Slider” that looked good and had 4G with the right specs I think I may take that over an all touch screen phone. I don’t seem to be having these typing problems with the onscreen keyboard like some people do (and yes I do have fat fingers too!). You can’t argue the real estate you save with a physical keyboard though.

  • Dylan Bourque

    Nah.  If I need to type enough that I “need” a read keyboard I’m not going to do it on my phone.  I don’t even like typing more than a sentence or so on a tablet, much less on my phone.

  • Drew56

    learn 2 swype

  • Mikel61101

    Hey I love my keyboard still for writing long emails and you get to see the whole screen while typing.

  • DrHotmann

    With all the great keyboard apps out there I don’t think having a physical keyboard would offer any advantage to me…touchscreen only for me.

  • A lot of it depends on if you use your phone for work like me. It’s not even worth having a smartphone unless I have a keyboard

    • Peters

      Exactly. Physical keyboards are for people who type a lot. You know, those who type quite a bit AND care about proofreading. Not to mention those who make use of Android’s keyboard shortcuts too. These people are usually business users. I bet there aren’t many of those around here.

      I have co-workers who used to type out long emails on their smartphones but now have resigned themselves to put the email off until they get to a computer (ie. they’ve given up). Of course, the ones who still have physical keyboards haven’t converted their smartphones to mostly a feature phone like them.

      • Brian Walker

        I disagree with this argument. I type on mine all the time, even for work, and I don’t need a physical keyboard. If there was no smart corrections on things like SwiftKey or Thumb Keyboard, maybe I would agree more, but I’m a stickler for spelling and grammar, and I do just fine.

        • Mark

          You’ll type even better with a physical keyboard. Screen real estate is great. 

          • Brian Walker

            I hear what you’re saying, but I respectfully disagree. I’ve tried keyboard phones and I could never get used to them. My wife had one of the early full keyboard messaging phones, didn’t like it. Good friend of mine had a Bold 9700, couldn’t get used to it. I used a lot of people’s OG Droids, still no good. I’m considerably slower on a physical keyboard. I’m not saying they shouldn’t exist, though, having choices available for different people is great. In fact, I wish there were more serious high-end keyboard phones so that those who like them don’t feel left out in the cold. If the Droid 4 had a better screen, I might have even gotten one to give it a full extended try.

      • If typing is that vital why not carry around a compact bluetooth keyboard? It would be much better than a phone keyboard for both speed and accuracy. Android will probably always have phones with keyboards, but if you can’t/won’t carry around a bluetooth keyboard then you can hope the droid 1-4+ line sticks around. If you want a flagship with a keyboard you are probably SOL.

  • Ceteris Paribus.

    All other things being equal I would love a physical keyboard. It is not a deal breaker though. 

  • Andrew Elliott

    I do miss the physical keyboard.  Specs and an unlockable bootloader are more important tho.  It was just easier to text without looking at the screen.  Also I cant stand that when I reply to a text in landscape that i can only see the box im typing in and not the text message thread so i can reference the text im responding to.  Just a small pet peeve.  So I would definately go back for a phone with the right specs and unlockable bootloader and good developer support.  Most likely never getting anything but a nexus from now on though.

  • ocdtrekkie

    Always preferred physical. I have a 3G Droid 3, and a 4G Droid Bionic. Guess which one I carry day-to-day? Hint: It’s the one with the keyboard.

  • Yeah definitely, right before I watch a movie on my VCR. 

    • Haha, very funny Jose. Would you like to use a virtual keyboard on your laptop or desktop? They aren’t completely inferior to virtual keyboards you know.

    • LiterofCola


  • When I had a physical keyboard on my phone I never used it.  Either the virtual keyboard would pop-up, making it a hastle to minimize and use the physical keyboard or it was always just easier, faster and more convenient to use the virtual keyboard.  I don’t miss the physical keyboard at all.

  • Guest345

    On a Nexus from an OG….never looking back….then again, that was a horrible keyboard.

  • Guest345

    On a Nexus from an OG….never looking back….then again, that was a horrible keyboard.

  • Zebra

    If it was still as thin as a Razr, sure.

  • Jared

    I bought an OG Droid because I thought I needed a QWERTY. Turns out the keyboard on it was absolute garbage AND there is no issue using an on-screen keyboard. I think people resistant to on-screen keyboards are, for the most part, people who have never given them a chance. 

    • Jonny


  • Paul

    Not looking back now. I always found physical keyboards more difficult to deal with.

  • Jeff

    I need a full keyboard because it makes it easier to play my NES and Sega emulators with

    • kixofmyg0t

      Ive found using a SIXAXIS works better for those. 

  • Andrew

    Can I get a full keyboard for Project Glass?

  • Nope, double nope.