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HTC Vision a Desire With Physical Keyboard?

Gordon Kelly


HTC Vision a Desire With Physical Keyboard?

Love the HTC Desire, but still convinced you can't learn to type on a fast, responsive and intuitive touchscreen keyboard? HTC may well have something lined up for your inadequacies...

Late last week reference to an HTC handset called the 'Vision' emerged and now we understand it is going to be an HTC Desire with a physical Qwerty keyboard. Nothing more, nothing less (note: image a mock-up).

Consequently all the Desire goodies will be on offer: 3.7in WVGA OLED display, HSDPA/HSUPA, GPS, 1GHz CPU, 5MP camera with flash, etc, etc though whether it will come with Android 2.2 is unknown at this stage. If the Vision plans on launching any time in the next month, probably not.

Should the rumours bear out (most HTC leaks do) the big question will be how much bulk does the keyboard add onto the Desire's 119 x 60 x 11.9mm dimensions and 135g weight. As a guide, when HTC stuck a keyboard on the Touch Diamond and renamed it the Touch Pro the thickness jumped from 11.3mm to 18.1mm and the weight from 110g to 165g.

My tip: a virtual keyboard really isn't that hard to adapt to...



Image courtesy of BGR


May 24, 2010, 7:09 am

Shame you can't get a silver Desire though..


May 24, 2010, 8:30 am

I don't get the dislike of the virtual keyboard. Even on the portrait mode you can just type away as fast as you want, not worrying about getting every key press spot on, and the predictive text will drop in the word you meant. If it doesn't find it automatically, 95% of the time the word is the second or third option on the list and that just requires a tap. If the word is a long the predictive usually picks it up half way through typing and you just have to tap it to complete. Of course that's on Android... the iphone lacks such help and might well be frustrating.


May 24, 2010, 12:53 pm

Although I (eventually) got used to virtual keyboards I utterly hate touchscreen controls for emulators. I would be interested in a keyboard if it made mario 3 playable. Saying that my battery would never make it through a whole day again


May 24, 2010, 2:25 pm

I still sometimes prefer a real keyboard because it doesn't use any screen space. This is important when I'm editing documents or presentations on my way to meetings when getting the laptop out is a pain (I know I shouldn't leave things to the last minute......).


May 24, 2010, 3:26 pm

I'm with Teabag on this one. I don't like losing so much of the screen space, particularly when I'm typing in response to a text or email (I like to see the original), or if I'm filling in a webform. I practically never use the virtual keyboard on my N900 for that reason.


May 24, 2010, 3:54 pm

I don't suppose there is any chance that this will result in a drop in price for the non-keyboard Desire will it?

Actualy, I think I can already guess the answer to that one...


May 24, 2010, 4:27 pm


I'm guessing your guess is probably right :)


May 24, 2010, 5:10 pm

Yes please!!! I completely agree about it eating up screen space! You end up with just the tinest viewing window on my BB Storm when using the keyboard, which is rubbish. This is the phone I have been waiting for!


May 24, 2010, 5:48 pm

@jopey: It's not necessarily a dislike of the virtual keyboard. I've used the Hero's virtual keyboard quite a bit, but I really do type around a third faster on my TyTN 2's physical keyboard. This isn't particularly significant for quick emails, for which the virtual keyboard works just fine, but I often end up having to bash out much longer bits of text because I've put off revising a document until the last possible minute. A Desire with a physical keyboard would be a godsend, and might even let me finally retire my TyTN 2.


May 24, 2010, 6:21 pm

I would think a Blue-tooth keyboard is the best of both worlds, use the touch-screen for occasional emails etc, and get out your BT keyboard for more demanding stuff.


May 24, 2010, 7:11 pm

@Keith: Yeah, but then you're carrying round the bulk of two batteries, both of which need to be charged, and you can't really use the whole shooting match with just two hands while standing.

It's probably a fine solution for some people, but not quite the best of both worlds.


May 24, 2010, 7:48 pm

@Chris: Maybe a clip-on keyboard then?.


May 24, 2010, 8:53 pm

@Keith: I suppose that's the ideal, if you can find one that's genuinely usable, ergonomic and not too bulky. Tall order.

Shame, really.


May 25, 2010, 1:08 pm

OK - how about a virtual keyboard with the option of a slide-out keyboard for when you're standing, and an optically projected keyboard http://en.wikipedia.org/wik... for when you've got the space? To me that REALLY would be the best of mobile keyboard combinations.

David 17

May 27, 2010, 3:36 am

I for one miss a physical keyboard after loving my Kaiser & Rhodium.

A decent physical keyboard can be used while walking much more easily than a touch screen one. Also, as pointed out in another comment, you can see the whole screen and also enter text, which is better for editing documents.

Finally, writing documents of any length on a touch screen becomes annoying, while on a decent physical keyboard it's a lot more comfortable.

In the end it depends more on your use of the device than anything else - if you never type anything longer than a text, then there's little point having the extra weight & bulk of a physical keyboard.


May 27, 2010, 4:40 am

@David - as I said, it's all just practice AND having a capacitive touchscreen handset with a good virtual keyboard (the iPhone still has the edge on Android here). I've regularly written 400/500 word stories on my 3GS when at press events, I can conduct interviews taking notes using it, etc etc - it's JUST practice.

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