Galaxy meets BlackBerry: Hands-on with Samsung's QWERTY keyboard cover
While most smartphone users have adjusted to this crazy new world of touchscreen keyboards, some people still prefer the physical feedback you can only get from a QWERTY. If that's you, then Samsung may have just given you one less reason to hang onto your old BlackBerry.
We played with Samsung's new keyboard cover at yesterday's NYC launch event, and it does what you'd want it to do: making the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+ feel like a BlackBerry. It slides onto the phones, you tap its moving keys and see your letters pop up in real time.
The plastic keyboard gives you the same satisfying chunk you'd get from a BlackBerry. It also has the navigation shortcuts you'd find below your Galaxy's screen: home, back and recent apps.
If you're like us, you've probably spent so much time using touchscreen keyboards that going back to a BlackBerry type of keyboard might actually slow you down. It's been so long since I've rapped out an email on one of these that you couldn't pay me enough to switch to this thing.
This is for those who could just never quite get used to touchscreen typing.
The idea is almost identical to Ryan Seacrest's now-defunct (thanks to a settlement with BlackBerry) Typo keyboard. The Samsung accessory is two pieces: the keyboard itself and a phone cover that wraps around the back. When you don't need the keyboard, slide it off the front and stash it on the Galaxy's backside:
There's no wireless connection and it doesn't require any power, since it's just simulating touch input on the screen beneath it. Just slide it on and party like it's 2006.
The Samsung keyboard cover will be available not just for the new phablets, but also for the smaller Galaxy S6 and GS6 edge. Samsung tells us it will retail for US$80.
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It brings up fond memories of my Sony Ericsson P800. To me this is the original smart phone - it came out in 2002.
It had a removable keyboard just like this. The keyboard for it's successor the P910 is also almost identical.
Really a shame that SonyE did not continue with this product line.