I’m sure you remember when you got for first phone with a keyboard. Going from awkwardly texting on the numpad of a Motorola Razor to typing 100 words per minute on a slide out keyboard was feeling of relief. When Apple launched the iPhone back in 2007, the era of smartphones began and nearly every phone lost its physical keyboard, until now. With the newly released Key2, BlackBerry is bringing back what we have all forgotten, the physical keyboard. Sadly, it won’t be slide out this time. Instead, it is placed on the face of the phone right below the screen. With little room to spare, the small keys are squeezed against each other which is going to be a deal breaker for everyone that loves to type in landscape.
Since new features like typing with your voice and swiping to type with apps like SwiftKey, does anyone actually want to go back to having to press each button for a letter to appear. With new advanced in AI and machine learning, our phones can predict what we want to say better than we can. Unless you are inputting a weird string of symbols or a number, you really don’t need to press each key to type out a work.
Well clearly this produce is targeting the niche group of individuals that actually prefer to type with a keyboard. I really don’t think there are that many of them, but BlackBerry must think the opposite. Or maybe this is just an advertising ploy to get people talking about BlackBerry phones (well it worked). Come to think of it, the people that might be interested in this phone are the ones that dislike using a touch screen. With no feedback besides the whole thing vibrating, it can be hard to tell if you have pressed a key without looking down. This phone looks like a great stepping stone for someone elderly who is looking to make the switch from a dumb phone to one that is a little bit smarter.
Why stop at a keyboard? Blackberry should bring back the classic games like snake and let us purchase ringtones. This would be amazing for anyone stuck in 2006. I’m not kidding 100%. It might be a good idea to look back at older phones and see what else our current smart phones are missing. Maybe not as ambiguous as a physical keyboard, but there could be some interesting things we are missing out on.
The phones specs aren’t even that bad. It has a dual 12-megapixel camera that can take sharp photos and handle depth of field. It of course has a selfie cam as every other phone has but it lacks a quality sensor. The phone also has a built-in finger print scanner right on the spacebar. The physical keyboard takes up screen space, so the screen is a bit smaller than you would expect from a smart phone. But that might not be a bad thing. Instead of wasting electric displaying a keyboard, why not just add a physical keyboard and shrink the screen. I’m sure it has longer battery life thanks to the display.
The phone costs $650 which is a bit cheaper than the current flagship devices, but if price is important to you, it would be best to wait or purchase a different phone. There are plenty of used or refurbished devices that come cheap but still have great specs.
None the less, smart phone innovation hasn’t stopped, and we are constantly seeing new and unique products. Check out your local or favorite online retailers to purchase BlackBerry’s Key 2, a keyboard smart phone.