Posts Tagged ‘QWERTY keyboard’

Slighly revamped Portrait QWERTY on Nokia N8?

May 20, 2010 1 comment

For landscape typing, QWERTY is the way to go, be it in physical keys or virtual keyboard.

When typing in portrait, and especially with one hand, I prefer the traditional T9 style as S60 5th edition portrait QWERTYs are somewhat on the terrible side (so small you need to use a stylus/plectrum!).
@macintosh (via blog-n8) has snapped up a photo of what’s supposedly a QWERTY portrait for Symbian^3 on a preproduction Nokia N8

I don’t know if that’s the actual portrait keyboard or just the one for the search as there isn’t any punctuation keys.

From Symbian ideas board, you’ll see a similar looking keyboard but looking a whole lot more functional. Note the S^4 style back button.

And here’s what it would look like in landscape.

The only thing I’d like to see is an apostrophe button. Full stop, comma and apostrophe are the three most used basic punctuation keys and shouldn’t need secondary keys to press them (the horror for N97 users. terrible keyboard design).

Apart from adding an additional button, one solution maybe to actually double up comma and apostrophe. Double tap would bring out apostrophe and that would be fine as double commas are NEVER used.

Just over half of the screen is used. Notifications bar steals quite a bit of space though infinitely better than S60 5th which epitomises space WASTING on a touch screen.

I would prefer if we didn’t have to go to a separate text editing window and just see our text input being integrated into whatever text box is chosen, be it in messaging or a search engine box etc. I dislike it when the Nokia virtual qwerty keyboards detach me from my task to place me in a separate text editing window.

Ah, looking back at S60 5th edition implementation of keyboards/QWERTY/T9, it just gives me headaches. It seems built for absolute confusion.

Maemo 5’s QWERTY implementation is probably the best so far on Nokia’s virtual keyboard lineups.

There are also some third party apps that offer different QWERTY keyboard skins.

This is from a Mr. Milk redesign by Chrisk22 from Symbian-Freak. It includes Greek letters. The point I’m trying to show is integration with the text field and not a separate text field.

Secondary keys…at least some of them

An odd looking T9. Ignore the layout, again just integration with the text field.

Interesting portrait QWERTY

@macintosh via blog-n8

Video: Nokia E72 vs INQ Chat 3G vs Blackberry 8900 Curve

March 27, 2010 4 comments

Ben of IntoMobile takes a look at the Nokia E72, INQ Chat 3G and Blackberry 8900 Curve.

He compares keyboards, size, and build quality.

Nokia’s E72 (which has recently been in high demand with 3’s subscribers) gets Ben’s praise due to the stupendous Eseries quality build (BB feelinig cheap and plasticky, even worse than the INQ)

Just a note: Ben says that he likes the BB trackball, but E72 and INQ stuck with a joypad. E72 does have an optical trackpad (albeit, not as smooth as the BB when I tried it). I wish Nokia revived trackball. No, not copied from Blackberry, Nokia’s had trackball since the 7650 back in 02.

Also, in terms of Ben’s BB keyboard preference, it is worth noting that it doesn’t mean the E72’s keys are bad (not said but could be inferred). They feel really nice to type on and has been verified in many reviews, including one from aptly named “Trusted Reviews” peeps who says

“One of the best things about the E71 was its superb keyboard and thankfully Nokia hasn’t messed around with it too much. The excellent bubble-style keys look and feel very similar to the original and the four line layout remains….So we’re happy to report that it remains one of the best mobile phone keyboards around and in our opinion even trumps the keyboards you’ll find on Blackberry handsets.

Finally, in terms of OS. it’s part and parcel to dis the S60 UI, but only in 5th edition where it’s obscenely out of date. For 3rd Edition, S60 non touch is really quite excellent.

The New Nokia C6 – the best keyboard from a Nokia touch/QWERTY hybrid?

March 14, 2010 6 comments

3.2" touch screen, 640x360. 4 row QWERTY keyboard.

On Friday, a touch-qwerty hybrid from Nokia’s Cseries surfaced. The Nokia C6.

I wasn’t expecting anything like this from the core series. I thought they’d at least be non-touch like the recent C5.

The C6 seems like a QWERTY/Touch hybrid for the masses. This is exactly the reason why Nokia’s range of smartphones might have a significant proportion that’s technically ‘underpowered’ compared to the competition. (I’m assuming it doesn’t have 1GHz processor)

NOT because they are helplessly lagging behind as Ovum’s recent “report” suggested.

But because Nokia is catering for mid-low end consumers who may want a piece of the smartphone pie but can’t or don’t want to pay high end prices. (Eventually those high end features trickle down, take the 5800 – Nseries grade circa 2008). This might be big if it hits 150-240GBP range.

Superficially, the C6 appears to be one of Nokia’s 5800 with a side slider QWERTY keyboard. However, it has the tiled homescreen interface reserved for Nokia’s N97/mini/future Symbian^3 devices.

  • Is it Symbian^3? It’s using the Symbian^3 style theme/wallpaper (and some other slight changes).
  • But to have Symbian^3, it would need to have processing power much higher than the N97/mini right? (If not, great news for N97 users if it means you might get S^3).
  • So could this be the first 600MHz Symbian touch phone from Nokia and NOT the fabled X10?
  • That dialpad is more reminiscent of S60 5th Edition rather than having those “dot indicators” of which homescreen you’re in.
  • Most likely, it is S60 5th.

Anyway, onto the keyboard. It seems a standard Nokia fare at first but there are some marked improvements.


  • Love it or hate it, the C6 has a D-Pad which eats a lot of space that could have been better served by having more keys. (Potentially 8 more – see crude paint job below)
  • I don’t know what Nokia has against having a dedicated numbers row.
    • When they have a 3-row, an extra row would bring numbers row with secondary symbols as standard keyboard layout, but no.
  • However, Ignoring the dpad/arrows, C6 has the most buttons on a Nokia touch/QWERTY hybrid keyboard.
    • More than the N97 (33), N97 mini (34) and N900 (34) as C6 has 39 buttons!
  • It has two shift buttons for toggling caps lock, one on the left, the other on the right.
  • It retains the symbols button to get additional symbols (easier than maemo 5’s silly 2 button combination)
  • There’s a Control button. It seems it can also put the phone into silent mode. Control might be for easier copy and paste.
  • Function button. The diagonal arrow suggests this is for secondary keys (like N900).
  • Basic punctuation keys have dedicated buttons so you won’t need to press a button first to activate full-stop, comma or apostrophe .,’ This was a silly flaw in the N97, slowly improving with the N900/N97 mini (though it was still stupid to have apostrophe on the M)
  • The Spacebar is in the middle (technically) when you’re holding the C6 (again see crude paint job below)

The only uncertain thing is the tactile feedback which I can’t glean from images alone. But if it’s on the same level as the N97 mini or N900 (fingers crossed, better) the C6 might potentially have the best keyboard from a Nokia Touch/QWERTY hybrid.

That’s not to say it’s the best out there (hello Touch Pro 2). Nokia is slowly getting the idea that if it’s worth putting a QWERTY keyboard, there should be investment in making a really good one (as opposed to just ticking a box). Ideally I’d have something like the N920 concept keyboardor this N900/n92o keyboard mashup but that’s just me.

Not shown as it would take too much time...A dedicated numbers row could be achieved if the QWERTY shifted one key to the right (like N900) so you have Function/Control/Symbols on one side, freeing up the bottom row to take the z-m row of letters. The spacebar would then move to the right like Nokia likes.

Twin Screened Toshiba K02 and side slider K01

October 8, 2009 Leave a comment


The side sliding K01 has a huge 4.1″ QVGA screen, full QWERTY keyboard and is 15mm thick.

Although you’d expect this to be huge, with that 4.1″ screen (like the TG01), just check out how little space is wasted either side of the screen! Great job toshiba!

It’s even manages to fit an odd, but pretty full 4 row QWERTY keyboard (though no dedicated numbers row). Most likely it will have the same 1Ghz processor showcased by the TG01.

I hope the “5th Step of the Nokia-Maemo Journey” will see the return to 4.1″ screen sizes.

3.5″ is great but 4.1″ is awesome, and as Toshiba shows, bigger screen doesn’t necessarily mean bigger phone, as long as you don’t waste space by having unecessary bulk left and right of the (landscape) display.

Pity the K01 and K02 both run on Windows Mobile 6.5




The k02 is an odd, but interesting DS-like dual screen clamshell phone. The screens are smaller at 3.5″ but hey, you’ve got two. I don’t know if both are touch screen or if it’s just one. Must be a heck of a battery muncher though.



This third traditional slider – I’m not sure what this is. It looks really lanky.


Akihabaranews via unwiredview

Just announced: Nokia 7705 brings a light ring and a new twist to messaging.

September 10, 2009 2 comments

It’s existance has been rumoured since April. It had been cloned before being officially announced.

Yesterday we saw some actual photos .

Today, Nokia has officially announced their latest messaging centric device.

The Nokia 7705 Twist

Nokia 7705 twist 2

It’s mid tier, and normally doesn’t get my attention – but has got a quirky design and this new “light ring” feature. Supposedly that circle at the bottom right lights up so that it

“can be customized to identify a message or a call from those listed in the contact directory.”

The design is unconventional like the Nokia Surge, but it actually looks kinda nice, albeit having something rather feminine about it. (It’s petiteness, the swivelling, and that mirror….and the purple back – though I think it comes in black too.)


  • 3MP autofocus camera with flash and dedicated camera button [Is the flash AROUND the camera? If so that’s pretty cool, although may be detrimental to low light photos]
  • 2.4″ QVGA
  • Full QWERTY Keyboard
  • 2.71″ x 2.71″ x 0.59″ (68.8 mm x 68.8 mm x 14.9mm)
  • 3.44 ounces or 97.5 grams.
  • Built in Mirror << definitely for the ladies.
  • 2.5mm jack
  • 3G
  • S40?
  • Short cut buttons for messaging, camera, web, voice cammans, speaker phone options and  V CAST Music with Rhapsody®

It’ll be coming to Verizon from September 13 for  99.99 USD with a new 2 year contract. Note this 99.99USD is after a mail-in rebate.

Also worth mentioning is the Nokia 7705 Twist’s charity connections.

From Oct. 6 through Oct. 29, while supplies last, customers who purchase the Nokia Twist online at will receive a free picture frame phone lanyard to raise awareness of HopeLine® and support domestic violence prevention.


Via Nokia Press Release


7705 purple

Image via Nokia Conversations and mobileburn

Video: Review of the Nokia 6790 Surge

August 12, 2009 Leave a comment

Here’s a two part video review of the messaging oriented Nokia 6790 Surge by Michael Oryl from MobileBurn.

It’s a Symbian S60 3rd Edition side slider, with 4 row QWERTY keyboard, 2.4″ QVGA screen and a 2MP camera for AT&T. Software custamizations and additional shortcut buttons are nice on this unconventional looking device. 2.5mm jack and no Wifi = 😦

Full technical specifications, click >>here<<

Part 1

Part 2

Price details of the Surge from MobileBurn

“US$79.99, after a $50 rebate, when purchased with a new two-year agreement and $30 monthly data subscription”

The European version, the Nokia 6760 Slide, will retail for 199 EUR but will come with a 3.2MP camera and apparently slightly better battery life. It’ll be coming to Carphone Warehouse around October.

Nokia N97 Free on £35/month contract! £109.99 on £25/month contract!

June 11, 2009 9 comments

The Nokia N97 has already been on sale at the NY Nokia flagship store. The UK however, has to wait until June 19th (also the release date of Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen :D). Good news for UK customers is that we get the option, unlike the US, to get the N97 subsidized on contract into somewhat more easily manageable and hopefully better value package.

Currently, unlocked Nokia N97 retails for £499.99

Add a moderate £20 monthly usage, and over 24 months (the standard contract length), that equals £979.99

This post covers three Nokia N97 deals from Vodafone, O2 and Orange.

As of today, these prices look very promising, especially for a brand new handset. The aged predecessor, the Nokia N96, was much more expensive than the N97 when it was first released. Even after almost a year of price reduction to the N96, the N97 is amazingly only £70* more in terms of total ownership cost.

(*from here)

For proceeding estimated plan worth:

  • Text messages at 10p/text
  • Calls at 30p/min
  • (internet not included – “unlimited” mobile data plans are still crap in the UK)

Contract Deal 1: Vodafone

contract 1

Over at, they have the Nokia N97 for free on a £34.26 contract over 24 months.

Total Cost: £822.24

Plan: £30 per month + £4.26 Unlimited Mobile web

  • 700 minutes
  • A somewhat paltry 250 text
  • Unlimited Landline.

Estimated plan worth = £1135/month

  • 700 minutes = £210
  • 250 text = £25
  • Unlmited landline (cap, 3000 minutes) = £900


Contract Deal 2: O2


Over at, they’ve listed the Nokia N97 for £109.99 on a £25 contract over 24 months.

Total cost 709.99

Plan: £25 per month (effectively £29.58/month with £0 for handset)

  • 600 minutes
  • Unlimited Text
  • Unlimited Web

    Estimated plan worth = £380

  • 600 minutes = £180
  • Unlimited Text (cap 2000) = £200


Contract Deal 3: Orange

contract orange

This comparison site basically has the Nokia N97 for free at £45 on an 18 month contract

Total Cost = £810**

**£770.85 with cash back.

Plan: £40 + £5 unlimited internet

  • 900 minutes
  • Unlimited Text
  • Unlimited mobile internet (500MB)

Estimated Plan Worth = £570

  • 900 minutes = £270
  • Unlimted Texts (cap 3000) = £300


iPhone 3G S, Contract Deal

contract 3

In comparison, expected price plan for the upcoming iPhone 32GB 3G S stands at 175.19 on a £34.26 contract over 24 months.

Total cost: 997.43

Plan: £34.26 per month
600 minutes
500 text
Unlimited Web
Estimated plan worth = £230


Winning Deal

BTW – I am not sponsored by any of these networks to promote these contracts – these were simply deals I came across as another average consumer and wanted to share them with you guys :).

There are other price plans available, but the ones I chose were the cheapest options.

At the moment, by far the best value for money is the Nokia N97 on Contract Deal 2: O2 at £25/month, £109.99 for the handset, with an excellent monthly plan with 600 minutes,  unlimited texts and “unlimited” internet (250MB). Effectively, that’s £29.58/month for a free handset.

Total ownership cost, £709.99. That’s a saving of:

  • £270.00 from the unlocked price
  • £113.24 from the vodafone plan
  • £101.00 from the orange plan
  • £288.43 from the O2 iPhone 3G S option.

Best deal found by reader, JoeL. Thanks!

It’s actually with T-Mobile, £115.99 for handset at £34.26 for only 12 months!


Total ownership cost, £527.11.

You finish the contract within a year, and most possibly will get to upgrade again after 9 months.

The plan is:

  • 300 minutes
  • 200 text
  • Unlimited web

That’s the cheapest total ownership price at the moment. If you find any better,please post below. If you need more mintes/text, a higher monthly contract option maybe better for you. T-Mobile does seem to have some pretty decent deals for the Nokia N97. Seems I maybe switching and saying goodbye to O2.