SureType vs QWERTY – Which is faster?

31 Comments

To start, I want to disclose that my personal tests should be considered biased, for obvious reasons, and that they will likely vary from your own results. I have no science behind my opinions, aside from what’s best for me. I’d like to hear some feedback from our readers here at BlackBerry Cool on their personal preferences, as well.

I used a BlackBerry Pearl since last October through mid-March, at which time I upgraded to an 8800 model. Prior to the Pearl, I used an 8700 for approximately six months. Prior to the 8700, I used a 7100t since it’s launch on T-Mobile in September 2004. I have a nice history of going back and forth between the SureType and Full QWERTY devices, so please don’t think I’m being too biased one way or the other when I say that I find my best experience, to date, with typing on a BlackBerry comes with the Pearl not the 8800, or even the 8700.

After I received my Pearl from my good buddy Boy Genius, I was somewhat cautious switching back to the SureType layout from my tried-and-true 8700. Within two days, I was typing at my normal rates, possibly faster. Of course, at first, there are always some errors and mistakes that require your attention – heck, two months down the road, I still found myself typing duck rather than one of my favorite words of choice.

I know a lot of people mention that they move to a SureType device for the convenience of having a phone-size BlackBerry-enabled device, although they soon find themselves moving back to their previous QWERTY device, such as the 8700, or upgrading to an 8800 to provide them with the level of comfort they used to have with the single-letter keypad layout format.

Needless to say, two weeks into my use of the BlackBerry 8800 device, I’m finding myself typing an ever-decreasing number of messages than before. Perhaps it’s just the Cingular model, but I find that there’s little to no feedback from the keys on the right-side of the keypad. The keys are extremely small, compared to previous successful efforts in this particular device format spectrum, even for my tiny hands and fingers.

Anyhow, your thoughts and experiences?

  • http://www.rimarkable.com/ Robb (RIMarkable)

    Jibi,

    I have been a fan of SureType ever since it first appeared on the BlackBerry 7100t. I have since moved to the 7130e and I can honestly tell you that I can type faster on the my 7130 than I can on the 8800 that I have been playing around with for the passed few weeks.

  • http://www.rimarkable.com Robb (RIMarkable)

    Jibi,

    I have been a fan of SureType ever since it first appeared on the BlackBerry 7100t. I have since moved to the 7130e and I can honestly tell you that I can type faster on the my 7130 than I can on the 8800 that I have been playing around with for the passed few weeks.

  • John

    I used a 7100i for 9 months. It was my first blackberry. I switched to a 8703e to get a full keyboard. After 9 months I was still making mistakes with the suretype. Have been using the 8703e for one weeek and love it. Will NEVER, NEVER, go back to suretype. It what just works for me. Everyone has their preferences.

  • John

    I used a 7100i for 9 months. It was my first blackberry. I switched to a 8703e to get a full keyboard. After 9 months I was still making mistakes with the suretype. Have been using the 8703e for one weeek and love it. Will NEVER, NEVER, go back to suretype. It what just works for me. Everyone has their preferences.

  • John

    I used a 7100i for 9 months. It was my first blackberry. I switched to a 8703e to get a full keyboard. After 9 months I was still making mistakes with the suretype. Have been using the 8703e for one weeek and love it. Will NEVER, NEVER, go back to suretype. It what just works for me. Everyone has their preferences.

  • pearluser

    I used a 8700 and now use a Pearl. I used an 8800 for about a week and I couldn’t type as fast as either the 8700 or the pearl. After about two weeks with the Pearl learning the ropes and getting comfortable with it, I type faster than the 8700.

    Pearl is by far the best phone I have ever used and its size is perfect. The 8300 daytona looks like it has better sized keys similar to the 8700 than the new 8800 keys.

  • pearluser

    I used a 8700 and now use a Pearl. I used an 8800 for about a week and I couldn’t type as fast as either the 8700 or the pearl. After about two weeks with the Pearl learning the ropes and getting comfortable with it, I type faster than the 8700.

    Pearl is by far the best phone I have ever used and its size is perfect. The 8300 daytona looks like it has better sized keys similar to the 8700 than the new 8800 keys.

  • Alex

    John-

    The 7100 series and the 8100 series are different monsters. I hated the 7100 series suretype… i tried it for 4 months then ditched it. i LOVE the pearl suretype 3.0 however, it works much much better. And i can spell my own name since it scans my address book ;)

  • Alex

    John-

    The 7100 series and the 8100 series are different monsters. I hated the 7100 series suretype… i tried it for 4 months then ditched it. i LOVE the pearl suretype 3.0 however, it works much much better. And i can spell my own name since it scans my address book ;)

  • Alex

    John-

    The 7100 series and the 8100 series are different monsters. I hated the 7100 series suretype… i tried it for 4 months then ditched it. i LOVE the pearl suretype 3.0 however, it works much much better. And i can spell my own name since it scans my address book ;)

  • Crimson

    Thank you guys, this is just wanted I wanted to hear. I have an 8700 and was debating moving to Pearl but I preferred its size. I think now I’m going to switch.

  • Crimson

    Thank you guys, this is just wanted I wanted to hear. I have an 8700 and was debating moving to Pearl but I preferred its size. I think now I’m going to switch.

  • http://www.blackberryitalia.it/ B@sher

    for sure is that suretype devices are handy for writing messages when you are driving. one hand on steering wheel and the other blackberrying ;)

  • http://www.blackberryitalia.it/ B@sher

    for sure is that suretype devices are handy for writing messages when you are driving. one hand on steering wheel and the other blackberrying ;)

  • http://www.blackberryitalia.it B@sher

    for sure is that suretype devices are handy for writing messages when you are driving. one hand on steering wheel and the other blackberrying ;)

  • http://www.myspace.com/connietrieu connie

    i love suretype!!! on the other blackberry devices that have the full qwerty keyboard,i feel like i am typing at a much slower rate than on suretype. i was intimidated when my company gave me the pearl to use. the key is really intimidating! but you are right, after a couple days, i am typing so fast! :-)

  • http://www.myspace.com/connietrieu connie

    i love suretype!!! on the other blackberry devices that have the full qwerty keyboard,i feel like i am typing at a much slower rate than on suretype. i was intimidated when my company gave me the pearl to use. the key is really intimidating! but you are right, after a couple days, i am typing so fast! :-)

  • George

    I’m also a big fan of SureType, didn’t really know what to expect considering I was using QWERTY for years. I made the leap after the Pearl came out due to the size and camera(albeit shitty) and have never looked back. The 8700 is

    The major pluses are the ability to type with one hand and the smaller form factor. And no, the 8800 is not good enough because I’ve tried it and it’s just too wide to fit in most pant pockets comfortably.

    One downfall if you’re vain is that not too many people would realize the Pearl is a Blackberry. They’ll just think you’re a hardcore texter.

  • George

    I’m also a big fan of SureType, didn’t really know what to expect considering I was using QWERTY for years. I made the leap after the Pearl came out due to the size and camera(albeit shitty) and have never looked back. The 8700 is

    The major pluses are the ability to type with one hand and the smaller form factor. And no, the 8800 is not good enough because I’ve tried it and it’s just too wide to fit in most pant pockets comfortably.

    One downfall if you’re vain is that not too many people would realize the Pearl is a Blackberry. They’ll just think you’re a hardcore texter.

  • Scott

    Switched from 7130 to 8800 about a month ago. The first couple of weeks were extremely tough after being used to Suretype. However, now that I’ve used the 8800 I couldn’t go back. I’m able to type longer messages much faster with the full keyboard than I would with the 7130. I’m able to respond to more messages on my blackberry versus my laptop than ever before. I’m not switching back!

  • Scott

    Switched from 7130 to 8800 about a month ago. The first couple of weeks were extremely tough after being used to Suretype. However, now that I’ve used the 8800 I couldn’t go back. I’m able to type longer messages much faster with the full keyboard than I would with the 7130. I’m able to respond to more messages on my blackberry versus my laptop than ever before. I’m not switching back!

  • http://www.intercitydata.com/news David

    I’ve been using mobiles since ’94 when I was programming numbers into analogue handsets using codes – doing a few hundred per day will get you proficient in working a phone keyboard.

    Been offering Blackberry and other QWERTY handsets since their introduction and have always found them slow to type, I never use the keyboards on PDAs at all.

    With the introduction of the Suretype in the 7100 I finally found myself able to type as quick as I can think!

    Little bit awkward on the Pearl at first but again it is now second nature – always remember that QWERTY was introduced to slow down the typist to avoid old manual type writers sticking and it’s just a holdover from the 19th century – we should be using Dvorak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard

  • http://www.intercitydata.com/news David

    I’ve been using mobiles since ’94 when I was programming numbers into analogue handsets using codes – doing a few hundred per day will get you proficient in working a phone keyboard.

    Been offering Blackberry and other QWERTY handsets since their introduction and have always found them slow to type, I never use the keyboards on PDAs at all.

    With the introduction of the Suretype in the 7100 I finally found myself able to type as quick as I can think!

    Little bit awkward on the Pearl at first but again it is now second nature – always remember that QWERTY was introduced to slow down the typist to avoid old manual type writers sticking and it’s just a holdover from the 19th century – we should be using Dvorak http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dvorak_Simplified_Keyboard

  • JHelperin

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to add SureType to the 8800? I’d love to try this.

  • JHelperin

    Does anyone know if it’s possible to add SureType to the 8800? I’d love to try this.

  • Ryan Davies

    SureType is simply the most efficent, quick and easy-to-use form of input I have ever used on a mobile device.

    I have been a BB user since 2003.

    In the last 2.5 years I have used 7100 series BBs; two SureType devices.

    Recently I “upgraded” to a Curve. The full keyboard was a shock, and comparitvely unusable. I returned the device to the supplier.

    I dearly hope that BB will continue to release BBs using SureType!

  • Ryan Davies

    SureType is simply the most efficent, quick and easy-to-use form of input I have ever used on a mobile device.

    I have been a BB user since 2003.

    In the last 2.5 years I have used 7100 series BBs; two SureType devices.

    Recently I “upgraded” to a Curve. The full keyboard was a shock, and comparitvely unusable. I returned the device to the supplier.

    I dearly hope that BB will continue to release BBs using SureType!

  • James

    Love SureType!!!

    Been using the bbpearl for about 2 years, now i’ve been on the Tour for about a month and I really miss suretype. Nothing wrong with full qwerty, but I think the suretype layout is naturally more efficient. It is a full qwerty with approx. half the buttons.

  • James

    Love SureType!!!

    Been using the bbpearl for about 2 years, now i’ve been on the Tour for about a month and I really miss suretype. Nothing wrong with full qwerty, but I think the suretype layout is naturally more efficient. It is a full qwerty with approx. half the buttons.

  • Huda

    I used a Pearl 8220 for quite sometime, then used the Bold and then the Storm. When a person's first BB device has the Qwerty keyboard, it becomes a bit difficult for one to shift to the SureType, but however, typing on the SureType is much faster than the Qwerty because of T9.

  • Huda

    I used a Pearl 8220 for quite sometime, then used the Bold and then the Storm. When a person's first BB device has the Qwerty keyboard, it becomes a bit difficult for one to shift to the SureType, but however, typing on the SureType is much faster than the Qwerty because of T9.