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Thread: Does Anyone Here Use a Bluetooth QWERTY Keyboard Case w/ Their Phone?

  1. #1
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    Question Does Anyone Here Use a Bluetooth QWERTY Keyboard Case w/ Their Phone?

    I'll admit it: I am a throwback, one of the last of a dying breed. I've been using smartphones for an entire decade, maybe even 11 years now. I experienced first-hand the glory days of the T-Mobile SideKick and the BlackBerry. I also took Touch Typing in High School. I will NOT give up having a REAL, physical, QWERTY keyboard on my phone. I HAVE to be able to type my messages by touch on a keyboard with PHYSICAL FEEDBACK. These touch screen only phones are not now, nor will they EVER be, for me.

    Unfortunately, no one wants to make a top-of-the-line, bleeding edge smartphone with a physical keyboard anymore... well, except for BlackBerry, but their latest and greatest phones aren't top of the line, bleeding edge devices. They're at least 2 years behind everyone else in terms of the hardware's capabilities.

    So, it looks like I only have one option left open to me: I'm going to have to upgrade to a Samsung Galaxy S4 or S5 (I'm leaning towards the former, because I can get one for HALF the price of the latter right now) and get a case with a built-in Bluetooth QWERTY keyboard, like this:

    Name:  SBLUT013600_01_L.jpg
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    So, do any of you have any experience with these devices? If so, what was your experience like? Is there a particular brand you recommend over others?
    Photobucket's policy changes SUCK!

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    Anyone?




    Anyone?




    Anyone?




    Bueller?




    Bueller?




    Bueller?

  3. #3
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    So, I went ahead and ordered the model shown for my new Galaxy S4. I ordered it in black, to match up to the color of my phone.

    PROS:
    • You can add a physical QWERTY keyboard to popular touch screen only phones, such as the main Galaxy S series and the Apple id10tPhone! This is awesome for those of us that touch type without looking at the keyboard!
    • This model is back-lit, just like the built-in keyboards on QWERTY slider phones.
    • Keyboard is detachable for when you need to use your camera and flash.
    • It doubles as a phone stand that lets you tilt your phone up for watching videos!
    • If you're one of those that, like me, is still using an old, outdated smartphone because you refuse to give up your physical QWERTY keyboard, but you need to upgrade to a more capable phone, this is how you can have a top of the line smartphone with a physical keyboard!


    CONS:
    • The price varies WILDLY, depending on where you purchase it. I've seen them as low as $20, and as high as $100, FOR THE SAME MODEL, so shop around to get the best deal.
    • There is only ONE manufacturer making these, and they're in China, so the quality is not at all a match for the quality of the high-end smartphone you'll be pairing it up with. But unfortunately, NONE of the higher quality makers of Bluetooth accessories have chosen to make these. You can't get it from Samsung, or Motorola, or Plantronics, or Jabra... only the Chinese manufacturer that makes this one. So have REALISTIC expectations of the quality you're going to get.
    • Make SURE you buy it from a retailer that will let you exchange it or get a refund for any reason. I recommend Amazon.com, because the first one I received was Dead On Arrival, so I had to return it and order another.
    • As a separate Bluetooth accessory, it has its own internal battery that needs to be charged. To maximize usage time, I recommend turning the keyboard off whenever you know you won't be using it in the next couple minutes.
    • As with most BT accessories, the battery is permanently sealed in and can't be replaced when it loses its ability to hold a charge. For that reason, at some point I'll be ordering a spare keyboard.
    • Just as Android phones with slide-out QWERTY keyboards are thicker than models that lack the slide-out keyboard, using this product will make your phone noticeably thicker, about twice as thick as the phone would be using just a standard protective case. That's the tradeoff for having a slide-out QWERTY keyboard again.
    • The case that attaches to your phone doesn't provide the phone with much protection, really only protecting the back (i.e. battery door) and most of the sides. The top, bottom, face (i.e. screen) and corners are left unprotected. If you're going to use one of these, I recommend going to one of those mall kiosks that applies protectors to phones and have them wrap your whole phone to give it some extra protection against minor damage. The keyboard itself also doesn't feel especially rugged.
    • Also make sure to keep a firm, secure grip on your phone while using this, for the same reason. If you drop your phone, it could still get damaged. When you're not using it, make sure to carry your phone & keyboard together in either a very secure pocket (preferably one that zips, snaps or buttons shut) or in a secure belt pouch.
    • As you can see in the pics above, this keyboard has keys laid out in a grid, with no separation between them. So if you're not paying close attention, it's very easy to hit the wrong button. The Screen Lock button is in an especially bad location. They really should've designed the keyboard based around the ones used by T-Mobile's old Sidekicks, and/or the Samsung Galaxy S Relay 4G, with a 5-row design that's spaced out better, more like a computer keyboard:
      Name:  SamsungGalaxySRelay4GAngledView.jpg
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    All in all, there's only 2 products of this type available (the other one, from the same manufacturer, is a "RAZR" model with aluminum face, ultra-slim design, magnetic attachment to the case for easier removal, and NO back-lighting, which is a major failing of it) so if, like me, you HAVE to have a physical keyboard with your smartphone, I still have to recommend it, but I'd only give it, like, 3˝ stars out of 5. It's good, but it could be better.

    Now, who do we have to kill to get a PROPER Bluetooth accessory company to start making a better quality version of these, something that WOULD earn a 5-star rating?
    Last edited by Jack T. Chance; 01-16-2015 at 01:14 PM.

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    Exclamation

    UPDATE: I've only detached the keyboard from the phone case a few times, and already, the corner of one of the tabs that connects the 2 is cracking and about to snap off. These REALLY need to be made by a QUALITY manufacturer!

    Anyway, I'm dropping my rating down to only 3 stars due to the weakness of the tabs that connect the keyboard to the phone case. Very disappointing. There's a 2nd model that uses strong magnets to connect the 2 and has an ultra-slim metal keyboard inspired by the look of Motorola's old RAZR phone line...





    ...but it has no back-lighting, and it also doesn't double as a stand to tilt the phone up for watching videos, the way the one I have does. Plus there's no telling how well the magnet system actually works. I really, really wish there was another company making one of these.

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    Exclamation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack T. Chance View Post
    There's a 2nd model that uses strong magnets to connect the 2 and has an ultra-slim metal keyboard inspired by the look of Motorola's old RAZR phone line...





    ...but it has no back-lighting, and it also doesn't double as a stand to tilt the phone up for watching videos, the way the one I have does. Plus there's no telling how well the magnet system actually works. I really, really wish there was another company making one of these.
    UPDATE: I've now had to switch to the model shown above, after going through FOUR of the models with back-lighting. The tabs that keep the phone case connected to the keyboard are too weak, and one of the tabs will break completely off within the first month or so of use.

    On the other model, the magnets are VERY strong and work very well, but the keyboard is polished silver-tone metal, with the markings on the keys just etched into the keys. So, you have a silver-on-silver color scheme going on that makes it hard to see the markings on the keys in anything other than optimal lighting conditions. But at the present time, it's the only option that actually works.

    I think it's very telling that the Galaxy S5 model combines the 2, giving the user the the first model of keyboard with the back-lighting, but attaching it to the phone case magnetically:

    Name:  SOTKE001800_01_L.jpg
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    In the near future, I'm going to actually order one and see if the magnets in the keyboard line-up with the magnets in the Galaxy S4's magnetic case. I might've gone with the Galaxy S5 as my phone to begin with, if it didn't cost fully TWICE what I was able to get the S4 for.

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    THIS IS AWESOME!
    thanks for your analysis! i am one of the few left wandering the internet in search for a physical qwerty case. you've given me hope!

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    Quote Originally Posted by dialup_sounds View Post
    THIS IS AWESOME!
    thanks for your analysis! i am one of the few left wandering the internet in search for a physical qwerty case. you've given me hope!
    Things just got even better. There's now a new generation of Bluetooth Keyboard Case for the Galaxy S4, and it's the best one yet! I'm using it now, it's now got keys with the same beveled shape that BlackBerry introduced several years ago on their QWERTY keyboards. MUCH easier to type on!

    Right now, they're only available on the Bay of E. Here's the link to the Buy It Now auction I bought mine from: CLICK HERE.

    The Chinese factory that makes these has also made a version of it for the iPhone 6. That was the first phone the new model showed up for. I'm still waiting for them to release the updated version for the Galaxy S5. At the present time, the existing S5 models are discontinued, hard to find, and going for extortionist prices when you do find them. The new version has to be coming out soon, it's just a question of when.

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    any updates on the quite bluetooth keyboard front? i'm thinking about just getting the Nexus 6P or Turbo 2, purchasing one of these popular iphone s5 slideout keyboard cases and filing it down and creating my own custom keyboard :-l

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    Lightbulb My mod

    Hello! I registered to this forum because of this thead. Happy to see that there are still some other qwerty-lovers left!

    I almost bought Galaxy S4 (I9506) and qwerty slider case to it but then I found out that Xiaomi Mi4C and iPhone 6 share almost same dimensions. Then I got great idea! I decided to mod iPhone 6 qwerty case to Mi4C. It is not perfect match but you can make it pretty good.

    I already bought Mi4C and the case. The first prototype is now ready and I have been using my mod couple days. I like it! First what I did was cutting the edges from the case. Then I used double-sided tape to put phone and the case together. The camera fits to the camera hole but LED flash is covered. I will drill the camera hole bigger so that I can take pictures with LED flash when the slider is opened. Also I need to drill holes for the speaker in the cover part of the case. I will not touch to the keyboard part of the case (obviously ).

    Mi4C has a removable back cover and you can order original spare parts (about 15$). I'm going to buy one so that I can glue the back cover to the case. I think that double-sided tape is not good method in the long term run. If I want to use my phone without physical keyboard then I can change the back cover.

    For the software part I rooted Mi4C. Then I installed Keyboard Manager by ne0fhyk (sorry, I can't post links but you can find it from xda) and Null Input Method by Apedroid from Play Store. With Keyboard Manager you can choose keyboard by orientation. I chose Null Input Method for landscape and Google Keyboard for portrait mode. In both orientations I can write with physical keyboard. In landscape there is no virtual keyboard messing around but in portrait there is. I think it is cool this way. However this method is not working in MIUI rom but you can use CM12.1. (There is pretty active development going on for Mi4C (CM13 already)).

    I will post video link and pictures later if you guys are interested.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

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    THIS IS AWESOME! thanks Flash-A-Holic! I will definitely look at the iPhone6 dimensions and see what i can muster up. there is still of us that just like QWERTY, we gotta stick together If I dive into that and mod a qwerty case I will post here too.

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    Tip of the day!
    Since almost every qwerty slider keyboard cases are 4 row keyboards they are missing number row. With Minuum Keyboard you can "add" 5th row. Minuum Keyboard has a Mini Mode which has only one row. The size is pretty small so it is not disturbing (text row 80px and suggestion bar 60px, total 140px) I have been using this combination for couple days and I like it so far. Also you can add your dictionary from virtual keyboard if you like and use suggestions. I will post video next week when my Mi 4C mod is finished.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash-A-Holic View Post
    Tip of the day!
    Since almost every qwerty slider keyboard cases are 4 row keyboards they are missing number row. With Minuum Keyboard you can "add" 5th row. Minuum Keyboard has a Mini Mode which has only one row. The size is pretty small so it is not disturbing (text row 80px and suggestion bar 60px, total 140px) I have been using this combination for couple days and I like it so far. Also you can add your dictionary from virtual keyboard if you like and use suggestions. I will post video next week when my Mi 4C mod is finished.
    that is wonderful. i will def check it out.

    i recently bought the iphone 6 qwerty case. i plan on taking a dremel to it and modifying it to attached to a thin case for my new Sony Z3.

  13. #13
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    Blackberry sued Typo for making a keyboard for the iPhone

    http://nypost.com/2015/06/01/blackbe...hone-keyboard/

  14. #14
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    Hello guys! Here it is, my precious:
    imgur.com/a/Pbvpo
    Minuum Keyboard screenshot:
    http://s18.postimg.org/egh9x8qjb/Scr...127_102508.png
    Sorry for bad quality. The best camera I have is my Mi 4C . I used Sugru™ for those edges. It should last for usage and temperature changes.

    PS. Finally I can post links
    Last edited by Flash-A-Holic; 01-27-2016 at 06:56 AM. Reason: Minuum picture

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pastor Marty View Post
    Blackberry sued Typo for making a keyboard for the iPhone
    ah bummer. i ended up buying a keyboard backed by one of the shark tank guys

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