Samsung Epic 4G in hand
Jason Hiner is Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He writes about the people, products, and ideas changing how we live and work in the 21st century. He's co-author of the upcoming book, Follow the Geeks (bit.ly/ftgeeks).
I've been looking for a replacement for my nokia 6800 for a while. It opens to a split keyboard with screen in the middle. This (Epic 4G) is the first I've seen where numbers aren't shifted. Too bad they didn't add another column or 2 to include a couple of unshifted specials like / ; ' = - + Anyone find a keyboard they like?
The problem with the hardware keyboard is that each button can write one letter, and some of ther buttons two letters. The rest of the time it just sits there making the phone heavier and thicker. Plus, it can only show you the letters of one language, maybe two. Why would anyone continue creating phones with hardware keyboards? Everyone is using touchscreen phones with software keyboards and more flexibility. I used to have a phone like this one, and I thought it was the best. Then I tried a software keyboard, and now I can't go back.
...my Samsung Gravity 2 with a few differences. The qwerty keys and arrow keys are identical as near as I can tell from the photo. Good keyboard, for anyone who's wondering.
So whats the deal with the 1 & 2 keys? ! and @ ... you keep a qwerty keybaord as close to original as possible and *those* two keys show no characters on them other than 1 & 2? Why?? Oh fine ... they've mapped ! to . which *shifted* would be > and oops they've moved > to Fn'd J... oh. I see.. where things didn't fit they just squeezed something else out.. QWERTY isn't just the alphabetic letters people.. its being hell bent on standards. Where keys can't fit, you move them to Fn controlled keys, otherwise.. sure some of this keyboard is great, the rest, just another idiots idea to get around a defined standard. I should note, the keyboard I've loved the most was on my SideKick ... second most was Sidekick II. Mostly because the way there was thumb placement at either end of the phone, which gave you positional feedback on where your thumbs where. It seems almost obvious that in the rush to make thinner phones and "stylishness" improvments, that the makers of these devices aren't keeping some of the ques people didn't realize they used. With the sidekick, the pressure to keep the phone in hand was under your thumb, in the area between your hand and your thumb's first joint. This made one handed thumb typing easily possible. Newer phones like this seem to make you apply pressure by squeezing your hands closer together. http://content.techrepublic.com.com/2347-13416_11-462356-462476.html?seq=1&tag=content;leftCol Check that picture ... so how would the person use their left thumb to hit the 1/Q/A/Z or even as close in as 2/W/S/Z? There's a lot more to designing a killer (or King) keyboard than just the fact that it looks like a qwerty keyboard..
I agree with your Sidekick point. I briefly used a G1 and had to switch back to my Sidekick. With the Sidekick's demise, I will probably switch to the Epic on Sprint. I am nervous about the keyboard function and GUI, but I imagine it will just take some getting used to. What phone do you currently use, TG2?