Results: Are physical keyboards a thing of the past?

Results: Are physical keyboards a thing of the past?
So, the new BlackBerry-branded smartphone, with a name that's yet to be announced, has officially been added to TCL's product portfolio. It's a midranger with Android 7 Nougat on board, a full bouquet of BlackBerry software features, and last — but not least — a hardware keyboard!

Physical keyboards have been pretty much gone from mainstream smartphones for years now, yet BlackBerry (now TCL, producing BlackBerry-branded handsets) insists on making models with the feature, and even to develop the keyboards further. Sure, it adds that one signature "thing" that is very BlackBerry. But we wondered — what to the users (and potential customers) out there think about physical keyboards nowadays?

So, we asked you. Here's how the poll went:

Physical keyboard on a smartphone, yay or nay?

Yeah, i love the tactile feel under my fingertips!
41.02%
I guess I could use one, if it packs extra useful features (like a trackpad feature)
24.11%
Nope. Virtual keyboards is where it's at for smartphones!
34.87%

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42 Comments

1. Xperia14

Posts: 1208; Member since: Sep 01, 2015

Good to see that some manufacturers are still thinking out of the box and try different things. I would not buy one with a physical keyboard as I prefer to have as musch screen as possible, but I can imagine that those who text a lot will like it. It looks very good as well, especially with that metal rim.

2. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

I checked the third option... I'm done with physical keyboards as much as I'm done with stock Android...! I used to love both... But as many know, I'm an anti-sentimental lad... And as such, I embrace the future with open arms... I bought a Nexus 5 when it was the latest and the greatest thing in the world of smartphones even though I was DEEPLY in love with my Blackberry Bold then + its PHYSICAL KEYBOARD... I also considered The Samsung Galaxy S3 but didn't like the Touchwiz based on Jelly Bean... Was too cluttered and laggy for my taste so I went with my 'Nexy'... And... I was also in deep love of stock Android (as some of you might be well aware) when I bought my current Galaxy S6... And now, I love it every single bit and I don't think I am going to try out anything non-Samsung any time soon... Perhaps an iPhone which have always fascinated me...? Oh well... G'Day!

3. GreenMan

Posts: 2697; Member since: Nov 09, 2015

In other words; I'm no fan boy...!

4. meanestgenius

Posts: 22109; Member since: May 28, 2014

Just because like something, doesn't mean you're a fanboy. It could just be something that you prefer and that it works best for you, is all.

15. LebronJamesFanboy

Posts: 671; Member since: Mar 23, 2013

Must you write like that?

16. mikehunta727 unregistered

Ahoy G'Day mate! I am going to go play with my pet kangaroo now

21. mr.reckless562

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 22, 2016

since i read everything Australian with an Australian accent anyway, i LOLED hard

20. Zeeya

Posts: 331; Member since: Mar 17, 2013

'...as many know?' Who are you? I don't know you and I give a s**t about it...

5. speedyxvn

Posts: 8; Member since: Apr 27, 2013

The fact that Blackberry phones still have it show their wish to keep on with the past. It took a company like this to lose lots of money so that they go on with Android OS finally. It needs to go full bankrupt now so that they decide to finally work on an innovative software + touchscreen input solution?

7. threed61

Posts: 259; Member since: May 27, 2011

How is Blackberry's Android software not innovative? Re the keyboard, I almost never use the one on the Priv, but the Passport's was the best ever.

9. meanestgenius

Posts: 22109; Member since: May 28, 2014

Exactly! The Passport keyboard is amazing.

8. meanestgenius

Posts: 22109; Member since: May 28, 2014

BlackBerry already have an innovative virtual keyboard. You haven't used an all touch BlackBerry device or the PRIV have you? Also, physical keyboards will remain in play for the foreseeable future in one way or another. Just look at how well physical keyboard attachments sell for tablets like the iPad, or how well hybrids/two-in-ones like the Surface have been selling.

10. jellmoo

Posts: 2600; Member since: Oct 31, 2011

Blackberry virtual keyboard is literally the first thing I install on a new Android phone. I just wish it was a little bigger (or re-sizable).

11. meanestgenius

Posts: 22109; Member since: May 28, 2014

It's the best virtual keyboard that I've ever used. The ability to re-size it would be a definite plus. Hopefully, they add such functionality in a future update.

19. Mxyzptlk unregistered

They have a version out for Android phones?

22. mr.reckless562

Posts: 162; Member since: Dec 22, 2016

... go back in your hole now; run along...

28. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Because I was asking a question?

13. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2395; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

You know what's funny is I have read this same sort of comment spewed on many different websites regarding Blackberry. Every single one of them goes along the lines of: "Blackberry is going to fail so long as they keep in the past with the keyboard" or "Why can't Blackberry move past the keyboard?" You all do realize that Blackberry has 2 devices right now that are full touchscreen? The DTEK50 which is a lower end device and the DTEK60 which is aimed at the higher end market both sport touchscreens and no physical keyboard. In fact, just to put this into perspective: for the entire year of 2016 Blackberry ONLY produced touchscreen devices. The last keyboard device (which was really a touchscreen with a slide out option for a keyboard) was the Priv which was released in 2015.

25. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3139; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

That's just Android devices. OS10 had the Z10, Z30 and Leap which were also sans keyboard. Haters love them some FUD.

18. Mxyzptlk unregistered

For users in enterprise and government, the only segment where blackberry is relevant, the PKB is a necessity. For everything else, yeah. Blackberry is still stuck in the past, which is why they probably won't be around in the future. Look at the poor sales of their last two flagships because of the price.

26. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3139; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

No genius, they're not a necessity, it's a welcome option. Mapping hardware buttons and keyboards requires more resources than just slapping an OS with onscreen keyboards, buttons and send/end keys. The hardware, and related software, costs money and therefore a higher selling price. You've never bothered to wonder why mid and low end phones lack NFC, wireless charging and other goodies? It's called maximizing profits. Something your revered Apple does best like removing earphone jacks. The sheep are just told it's not necessary and then get slammed with "ear pods" for extra money. Gotta hand it to 'em, they know their suckers, er customers.

27. meanestgenius

Posts: 22109; Member since: May 28, 2014

Exactly. 100% agree with you. They certainly do know who the $#33p are.

30. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Calls me a $#33p yet blindly follows everything blackberry. #Hypocriskey

31. meanestgenius

Posts: 22109; Member since: May 28, 2014

Lol. I didn't call you a $#33p. I wasn't even "talking" to you. YOU obviously think that you're a $#33p, and that's why you're responding to me in a defensive manner. It's obviously because of that guilty conscious you have about blindly following everything Apple. Guess you are a $#33p, and a hypocrite at that. I also like how Crispin just totally dissed you, but you're too much of a p#$$y to do anything about it. Your response to him REEKS of fear, lol.

33. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Whatever, don't insult my intelligence. You didn't have the guts to say it directly to my face. You're no different yourself who blindly follows blackberry. Fear of what? I have no problem with having a war of words with Crispin. You're just bumburned because he's more respectful than you are.

35. meanestgenius

Posts: 22109; Member since: May 28, 2014

Lol, that's pure BS and you know it, especially since you don't have any intelligence to begin with. You're no different than the blind $#33p that except everything that Apple does. I don't care about respect when it comes to you, because I don't respect you, just like you don't respect me. You're just a coward and a lapdog when it comes to Crispin.

29. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Actually I don't support the removal of the headphone jack. But they do include headphones and an adapter in the box. Btw, the adapter is pretty cheap. Come on Crispin, you of all people here shouldn't have to be educated. You're better than that. Stop before you make meanest giddy.

32. meanestgenius

Posts: 22109; Member since: May 28, 2014

You just can't help but mention my name or make some type of response to me, or try and get my attention on whatever article I comment on. That space that I occupy in that teeny tiny brain of yours is obviously overflowing now. You like when I get giddy. In fact, you love it. You're probably touching yourself right now at the thought of me getting giddy.

34. Mxyzptlk unregistered

Don't flatter yourself. I just called you out on your hypocrisy as always. Get over it. I don't care what you do in your infinite spare time.

36. meanestgenius

Posts: 22109; Member since: May 28, 2014

More lying BS. I take up so much space in that teeny tiny brain of yours that you see me whenever you look in your bathroom mirror. You always care what I do. That's why you're always seeking my attention.

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