Comparing Smartphone Keyboards Highlights Bold Advantages and Storm2 Disadvantages

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Paul Ockenden of PC Pro put together a test comparing smartphone keyboards. The test was pretty basic, and while we can argue about the accuracy of the results, I think BlackBerry users can agree on the conclusions. The test involved typing the first couple of verses to Lou Reed’s “Pale Blue Eyes”, a telephone number, a web URL and a username/password. In each case, the operation was timed and accuracy noted. The results of the tests are shown in the above table.

Each phone was in its default mode, as it would be out of the box. One error is logged for each wrong word in the main text and for each wrong character in the phone number, web address, username and password. In each test, Paul tried to not look at the screen, and type as fast as he could, allowing the phone to correct any errors. Overall, the goal isn’t to type the fastest, but to get an idea for the speed to error ratio.

Obviously, the results we’re particularly interested in are those related to BlackBerry. According to the results, the Bold 9700 clocked in at 1M 44S with 0 errors. This was actually the best score across all the smartphones tested. These results are definitely something to be proud of, and as a Bold 9700 user myself, I can stand behind the results.

Now lets take a look at the Storm2 results: 3M 24S and 9 errors. These results show the Storm2 to have by far the least efficient character input across all smartphones tested. Again, as someone who has used the Storm2, these results are on par with my own experiences.

Personally, I think these results highlight how RIM made a fatal error with the Storm2. Their attempt to keep up with the Johnsons led them to develop a product that lacks the competitive advantages of a BlackBerry: speed, efficiency and productivity. While I love the Storm2 for its ability to open up the market for new apps and its large screen that makes rich media look so good, I can’t help but think SurePress was the Achilles Heel.

If Paul were to redo the test, I would ask he try the Bold 9000. I bet its large keyboard would beat the 9700′s by a significant margin.

  • DenverRalphy

    I don't think a test like this with only one person is very reliable. It should have been performed with multiple people each with experience with a different input method. All this test really shows is that Paul Ockenden is a horrible typist on touch devices.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000713832949 facebook-100000713832949

    physical keyboard rulesssss

  • http://home.comcast.net/~kimberly961/&http://my.opera.com/sjkimberly/blog/ sjkimberly

    this is why i like the physical keyboard!

  • dnovitch1

    I like my S2, but the results aren't surprising. I think any device w/ a physical keyboard will beat any one w/ an on-screen keyboard. It takes time to type on the on-screen keyboard…. + I think the spell correction or auto correct on the S2 needs drastic improvement……

  • kylemcinnes

    ha..I see what you're saying and I agree, the test is by no means scientific and it's very anecdotal. I still think it highlights something we all know to be true: the Bold is a very efficient device and the Storm2 isn't.

  • DavidB

    I think what we KNOW is that using SurePress in portrait mode on a Storm/Storm2 is not very efficient. This tells us nothing about the accuracy of using any of these device's landscape mode full QWERTY keyboards nor how that compares with proficiency to a physical keyboard. Now I'm not saying that anyone would ever get to be AS proficient on these phones as they would on a phone with physical keyboard, but this comparison of physical keyboard devices to virtual keyboard devices is essentially worthless as it's comparing apples to oranges. Compare a Storm/Storm2 to an iPhone to a Droid or whatever in landscape mode and you have a valid comparison. Otherwise this “report” is in essence a “no duh”.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Kyle McInnes

    ha..I see what you're saying and I agree, the test is by no means scientific and it's very anecdotal. I still think it highlights something we all know to be true: the Bold is a very efficient device and the Storm2 isn't.

  • DavidB

    I think what we KNOW is that using SurePress in portrait mode on a Storm/Storm2 is not very efficient. This tells us nothing about the accuracy of using any of these device's landscape mode full QWERTY keyboards nor how that compares with proficiency to a physical keyboard. Now I'm not saying that anyone would ever get to be AS proficient on these phones as they would on a phone with physical keyboard, but this comparison of physical keyboard devices to virtual keyboard devices is essentially worthless as it's comparing apples to oranges. Compare a Storm/Storm2 to an iPhone to a Droid or whatever in landscape mode and you have a valid comparison. Otherwise this “report” is in essence a “no duh”.