HTC-dude, where’s my keyboard?

In spite of my almost religious view on the ideal mobile phone, I bought a HTC Hero last week.

But let there be no doubt; it’s a great handset! My Hero sports a beautiful touch-screen, a nice -albeit young- Linux-based OS and a top notch webkit-based browser (with Adobe Flash 10, a first for a mobile device). The price is considerably lower then that of an iPhone and the platform is very open (esp. if you  compare it to the golden cage Apple created for its ecosystem). I’ve installed several free apps from the Android Market and downloaded and installed a great AR-application from outside the Market without having to jailbreak anything (more on Android-apps in a later post).

But there’s one thing I really miss on my fancy device; a physical keyboard. Because as ancient as my Nokia e61i might have been, I really was more productive (as in “writing mails”) on it thanks to the (small) physical QWERTY-keyboard it sported. And while friends and colleagues assure me that I’ll get used to the virtual keyboard, and I’m sure things will indeed get better, we should not kid ourselves; nothing beats a real keyboard. Ever! So let the quest for a small compatible bluetooth keyboard begin!

13 thoughts on “HTC-dude, where’s my keyboard?

  1. Dieter@be

    I’m gonna wait a bit on the nokia N900. If all goes well, it will be the perfect device. including hardware keyboard and maemo (which is also Linux-based but with a normal userspace so you can run all the usual tools).

    And if it turns out to be less then that, I’ll re-evaluate my options :)

    Reply
    1. frank Post author

      that n900 sure looks like a great device, but i’m curious what the price tag will be; as it’ll be positioned above the n97, it might be rather expensive?

      Reply
      1. Dieter@be

        No official announcement yet, but most rumours expect it at the end of this year and mention a price of 550 euros, which I think is very reasonable if the devices proves to be as great as it is said to be.

  2. Henri De Roeck

    "platform is very open" … hear hear! Looking for a next phone (currently Nokia E51), and afraid I will miss the 0-9 hardware input possibility. Full hardware keyboard makes the phone instantly more "heavy". Keep on sharing your experiences with the Hero, Frank. Very interested! (Mentioning "Linux based OS" was a tad too much however ;-)

    Reply
    1. Dag Wieers

      It is amazing how things have advanced in less than 6 years. When I wrote the above, cellphones were mostly slow to interact with and interactions were mostly text-based. A keyboard in those days helped greatly to communicate using text on small low-res displays.

      Today the keyboard is mostly taking up valuable screen estate :-)

      Reply
      1. frank Post author

        True, but in spit of some nifty swype-like soft-keyboards, I still do prefer using a hardware-one to enter text that’s more then let’s say 100 characters. Call me old-fashioned ;-)

  3. Frederik

    Bought myself a HTC Hero a week ago. I must admit, I’m quite satisfied with it.

    But I experienced a big drawback, since sept 11 there is ROM update available but it won’t install on my phone. Apparently it’s locked to Mobistar. HTC support sent me to Mobistar website/support but nohting there. (not even a support section for the phone) So I called the help desk, but they didn’t even hear about the update.

    The Mobistar person explained me that I should contact HTC helpdesk, so back to square one :s

    Reply
      1. Jeroen

        Exactly the same issue here. It IS unacceptable and I do hope it’s only a misunderstanding, but I’m afraid us customers with Mobistar-branded Hero’s will be left out in the cold…

      2. Jeroen

        Mobistar helldesk told me they would communicate via their website if there’s an update. The key word here would be “if”.

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