Mobile Technology

Galaxy meets BlackBerry: Hands-on with Samsung's QWERTY keyboard cover

Galaxy meets BlackBerry: Hands...
Gizmag goes hands-on with BlackBerry's, erm, Samsung's QWERTY keyboard cover for the latest Galaxy phones
Gizmag goes hands-on with BlackBerry's, erm, Samsung's QWERTY keyboard cover for the latest Galaxy phones
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The plastic keyboard slides onto the bottom of the Galaxy's screen
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The plastic keyboard slides onto the bottom of the Galaxy's screen
The keyboard will retail for US$80
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The keyboard will retail for US$80
Gizmag goes hands-on with BlackBerry's, erm, Samsung's QWERTY keyboard cover for the latest Galaxy phones
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Gizmag goes hands-on with BlackBerry's, erm, Samsung's QWERTY keyboard cover for the latest Galaxy phones
There will be versions for the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge
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There will be versions for the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge
When you aren't using it, just slide the keyboard onto the back of the phone (case)
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When you aren't using it, just slide the keyboard onto the back of the phone (case)
The accessory also has Samsung shortcuts for home, back and recent apps
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The accessory also has Samsung shortcuts for home, back and recent apps
Samsung is trying to recruit some BlackBerry addicts with its new keyboard cover
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Samsung is trying to recruit some BlackBerry addicts with its new 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.

The accessory also has Samsung shortcuts for home, back and recent apps
The accessory also has Samsung shortcuts for 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.

There will be versions for the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge
There will be versions for the Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6 edge+, Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 edge

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:

When you aren't using it, just slide the keyboard onto the back of the phone (case)
When you aren't using it, just slide the keyboard onto the back of the phone (case)

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.

10 comments
BriniaSona
I love BlackBerry. No touch keyboard can ever replace it. Typing long posts, html stuff, writing, texting, nothing beats a true physical keyboard and I double this Sammy one is as good as my BlackBerry was. I can't wait for the new BlackBerry Slider.
vicman
Why don't they have a keyboard laid out in alphabetical order? We don't need the old keyboard set up any more.
Bruce H. Anderson
Two advantages I can see for Techneanderthals like me. You can rest your finger on a key without the phone freaking out and putting down a bazillion f's. You can type without looking at the keyboard. I wish them well and hope it extends of other models.
Joe2221
Once again Samsung is copying ideas from Apple http://www.amazon.com/iPad-Keyboard-Apple-IPad--Works/dp/B00PKJLCTO/ref=sr_1_73?ie=UTF8&qid=1434587118&sr=8-73&keywords=ipad+air+keyboard
willemco
Yeah right... but Samsung is ditching the removable back. Nice try but a waste of energy
Renan Poço
There's some kind of led behind the keys to improve the usability at night ?
Riaanh
NO, it was not an original Apple idea..... 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.
Whatever
"Just slide it on and party like it's 2006." LOLOL!!!
gizmowiz
It should be a swing out full size keyboard like the old sidekicks.....blackberry portrait keyboards suck!
Pia
I have an S6 (no edge +) and i was wondering if the Keyboardcase would actually work on my Phone as well since the two are almost exactly the same size! Any idea if it will work? Thanks!