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Old 10-06-2009, 08:37 PM
christexaport christexaport is offline
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Thumbs down QWERTY beats T9?!? Yeah right...

I respect Steve's insight, and consider him a visionary. However, this "test" seems uneven and a bit biased.

The biggest alarm was the speed of texting on the iPhone. I've proven Nokia's flavor of T9 to be faster on various phones against any mini QWERTY device, especially a haptic free iPhone, and explained the results anatomically and logically. There is a long list of victims that lost $20 wagering against my proficiency with T9. For objectivity, there was also an article similar to this with nearly the opposite results, though I forget exactly who wrote it. So I'm stunned and curious as to how your test drew such opposing results.

I'm a mobilist, and only use desktop computers in emergency situations. My primary device is a Nokia N95 8gb. I compose all of my forum posts and articles on Symbian-Freak and PhoneReport on my device while walking my 78 lb. pit bull, including the long-winded open letter to the Nseries director featuring drawings of my Nokia N-XT concept device design. I rarely experience fatigue, and only type with one thumb. I'm ambidextrous with T9, but primarily use my right thumb.

I will assume your scores were abnormal because you prefer QWERTY, primarily use it in full size desktop devices or handhelds, and hardly have much experience with T9. It is proven in my real life usage that one thumb is faster using 12 keys than 2 and 33-40 keys. It requires less hands, no need to look at the screen or keypad with a few exceptions.

Instead of trying to add words to the limited T9 spelling list, spell words in syllabic pieces, for instance "Not-ting-ham" for Nottingham, and save those dictionary listings for regularly used words.

On a desktop QWERTY board,I type around 60 wpm, and around 30 on mini QWERTY, but closer to 45 on T9. It requires familiarity patience, but its well superior.

For more in depth conversation, contact me at or

Old 11-06-2009, 07:22 AM
slitchfield slitchfield is offline
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Fair points, and I'll agree that I'm not the fastest T9-er in the world. But I'm not especially slow either, compared to the lumbering efforts of my entire family tree. I guess I'm trying to quote speeds the *average* person might get with each device. You, clearly, are super-fast!
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:04 AM
juwlz juwlz is offline
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Punctuation, etc.

Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I like to use punctuation and appropriate Capitalisation when I'm typing, even on my phone.

On my E90, the QWERTY keyboard makes this easy. I'm planning to get an N97, but I'm a little concerned that all of the characters that used to make "proper" typing easy on the E90 or any full-sized keyboard (numbers and punctuation) look much more difficult to access on the N97 keyboard.

As to T9, I briefly had a Motorola phone, and much preferred their implementation of T9, which has (multiple, selectable) predictions of what you're typing, and an easy way to make a long word out of two short ones (e.g. if "breakdown" isn't in the dictionary, you can type break<enter>down to create it without breaking stride.


Old 11-06-2009, 08:34 AM
TheUndertaker TheUndertaker is offline
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well, its kinda hard in qwerty mode, but i can get a comfortable 40+wpm with the t9 virtual keyboard on my 5800. In fact, i think its the best t9 input ever made!

Old 11-06-2009, 10:10 AM
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It's not only speed that counts...

Hi Steve,

This is an excellent article comparing the speeds and probably one of the few fair and objective assesments. Personally however I think WPM is much less important than highlighted. When writing, most poeple tend to write in bursts of a few words at a time so all out WPM rate is not really the most important factor.

Comfort is more important: What's MUCH more important is the comfort and positioning of the keys. I think the value of actual keys or haptic feedback, comfortable grip, these are all factors that add much more of an "experience" to typing. I think it would be more useful to comment on this factor subjectively and provide a 1-10 rating.

Touch screens typing: Touchscreens like 5800 or Iphone uses up approx 70% of the screen real estate for the keys. Typing longer emails or texts therefore will require scrolling, and reviewing is much more of a hassle. One may edit / review / copy and paste and change their text and therefore having adequate viewable lines or space is very valuable. Therefore I think full touch only screens should be penalized for the reduced viewing space.

Old 11-06-2009, 12:38 PM
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JCB_Digger JCB_Digger is offline
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I regard myself as a decent typist (I've been typing with decent keyboarded computers since the my first TRS80 in the late 70's).

I managed your sentences on my T-Mobile G1 (with it's 5 row keyboard) in 67 seconds.

To put this into perspective I can manage the trials on a PC keyboard in just 26.

The problem is that after a while you know where the keys are on a full sized keyboard and can hit them 'blind', on an mini-keyboarded phone you still know where the keys are, but it's impossible to touch type as the keys are just too small so you have no option but to actually look at the keys.

Old 11-06-2009, 04:39 PM
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David John Moore

A good review - can we see the E75 in this list as I expect it to be better than the E71/E61i and about the same or better than the 9500.

I owned a Psion 3c once and missed out on getting a Series 5 - it is without doubt propably the best portable keyboard available and may never be beaten (Series 5 that is).

The 'trend' seems to be to sink the keys down, experiment with the distance between them and take out the dip that stops your fingers sliding.

The 9500/9300 keyboards are 1 part casing and therefore very useful when using the device open in the rain. The E90 has a stiffness and like many of the others a travel problem.

It seems that the front-phone keys have improved (both my 9210's had the 2 and 5 keypad keys stick) and the usual keyboard got worse - note the number of recent devices that don't even give you number keys on the top row.

Keyboards are a very subjective issue with the best I have used using being a SUN type 5 and the worst being the ZX81.

Please do a review of various small bluetooth keyboards and include details of the typing speeds and how well they handle the special keys when paired to our phones.

Final point - anyone know a program that that adds the 'hid' BT profile to the E90 so I can use it as a keyboard for something else.

Old 11-06-2009, 08:27 PM
midtoad midtoad is offline
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need a keyboard

first I tried the speed test on my iPod Touch using the Firemail app (allows you to compose, then I tried it on my Nokia 5800 using the landscape on-screen keyboard, next with the 5800 and the handwriting recognition pad (can't do that on an iPhone!), and lastly with an Apple bluetooth keyboard paired with my Nokia (you can't use Apple bluetooth keyboards with the Apple iPhone!).

My results, based on aiming for 100% accuracy:

iPod Touch: 70 seconds, no errors remaining
Nokia 5800 on-screen keyboard: 105 seconds, still one error remaining after multiple corrections
Nokia 5800 handwriting recognition: 58 seconds, many errors even after correcting
Nokia 5800 w/BT keyboard: 32 seconds, zero errors.

Comment: With all on-screen keyboards, there's too much mental effort involved in just thinking about where to tap. With the external keyboard, if you know how to type, you just do it and the words appear; you don't have to actually think about each letter. If speed of text entry is important to you, something like a Nokia device that supports external bluetooth keyboards is unquestionably the way to go.

Of the on-screen keyboards, the Apple handily beats the 5800 for a number of reasons:
1) the capacitive screen is more sensitive than the 5800's resistive screen, meaning fewer missed letters.
2) Apple's word correction software, as limited as it is, does a surprisingly good job of fixing errors. You can also basically forget about bothering with caps or apostrophes, as it will correct those as well. In contrast, my 5800 is crying out for similar software. I've tried Adaptxt but it does NOT work on the 5800.

Developers are you listening, we need word correction / completion software for the Nokia touch-screen devices!

[Edit]: After seeing another reader's request for comments on bluetooth keyboards, I want to add the following:

In addition to the Apple bluetooth keyboard, which is wonderful for typing on due to its low-profile keys (like the corded aluminum Apple keyboards), I also have an iGo bluetooth folding keyboard originally purchased for use with a Palm TX. It works great with the 5800 and my earlier N82 due to its included stand for the phone. Because the keyboard folds in half when not in use, it takes up little room in my bag, so I carry it everywhere. Yes, there's some time involved in diggging it out, opening it up and setting the phone on it, but that overhead is quickly paid for in the time saving during text entry. If I have to enter more than a paragraph of text, it's worth my while to dig out the keyboard. So, I don't use it for SMS, but I sure do for replying to emails.

The iGo has a limited number of keys, so punctuation characters are accessed by a green Fn key, and numbers are accessed by a blue Fn key. Since I'm not usually typing a ton of numbers, this works okay for me. But naturally the Apple keyboard provides the experience closest to a desktop keyboard, and is my preferred accessory.

Last edited by midtoad; 11-06-2009 at 08:34 PM. Reason: added iGo

Old 12-06-2009, 06:47 AM
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Additional comparison

Could you enlarge the comparison by putting candy-bar QWERTY such as E71 & E55 & other sliding QWERTY such as E75/5730XM?

Old 12-06-2009, 07:16 PM
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Smile Hello!

Very good article!
So,I tried to typing this phrase (Train arrives... 32 words) on my nokia n78(using T9) and this is my result: first typing of this phrase(I read it prom piece of paper) took near 2 minutes...but the keybord light was switched off; then I practising to type it for 2 time,and 3th time my latest result is 1minute and 25seconds.So I've typed ~23wpm.
Don't forget,that usually I type in Russian, also my telefon tried to give me russian words instead of English.
P.s. I had many telephones and I think that n78's keybord is best of all rest gadgets for one-hand-typing ,especially then the user is walking.
P.p.s. I from central Russia,my icq:456301131.

Old 05-11-2009, 06:04 PM
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E55 QWERTY and T9

Be nice to see how the E55 compares. I've an E71 for work and an E55 for personal and its waay quicker than the E71. The nicely sized keys, mini-qwerty keyboard, predictive text and nippy processor makes for some very quick texting/messaging...

Old 11-11-2009, 06:37 AM
pollyanna03 pollyanna03 is offline
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hello i am very glad to come here

Old 02-08-2010, 06:00 PM
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Test a blackberry

You must include a BlackBerry for us to take this review seriously. BlackBerry keyboards are phenomenally fast and comfortable.


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