Just two weeks ago Samsung’s “unboxing” event didn’t generate much excitement or applause, but it definitely made some of us laugh. The Galaxy Note 5 and the S6 Edge+ are not so much upgrades as downgrades in some respects. And one of the biggest fails was the samsung keyboard; most people at the event were simply baffled as to why Samsung introduced and showed off a small, lightweight QWERTY keyboard that would fit right on top of the screen. It appeared to be a desperate attempt to inject some life into a somewhat boring unboxing.
Back in 2010 BlackBerry introduced the Circa. It featured a QWERTY keyboard and a touchscreen. As a matter of fact, it looked a lot like the Samsung Note 5 with the keyboard strapped on top of it. The Circa was a fail, not because the keyboard was bad but because it was too little, too late.
Today, you can buy the Circa for under $50 on eBay, so we have to ask why Samsung want to charge us $80 to turn a pretty good-looking Note 5 into a Circa! Especially the Circa actually had a very good keyboard; it was responsive for the most part, but Samsung’s keyboard does not even work. In our testing, we made more typos using the keyboard than without it. So, this $80 accessory is a disaster and might even end up sinking the Note 5.
One important point to note that the keyboard was even harder to use on the Edge+. It kept slipping and the quick launch menu kept opening up for no reason. The edges made the keyboard hard to use and so it’s a big “NO” if you have the Edge+.
Why Does the Keyboard Suck?
At first glance it has the air of being made by a teenager in their parents’ garage. Made out of the cheapest plastic known to man, the buttons are horribly designed. After using it for around 10 minutes I felt my fingers going numb. It was a frustrating experience because the keys don’t seem to be correctly arched,as they were on BlackBerry phones. This means when you’re hitting ‘H’ your thumb will also hit ‘G’ making it difficult to type.
The intention, apparently, is to make the virtual keyboard easier to use, so you need to make sure that the physical keyboard is aligned directly over the screen keyboard. Obviously this was not the sophisticated solution you were hoping for, after paying $80 to answer a couple of emails on the go!
If you really need to use a keyboard with your Note 5 or even your Note 4, then there are many better options to choose from. Logitech and a couple of other manufacturers sell Bluetooth keyboards which do not rely on your ability to line up the keys with the virtual keyboard. You can even get a foldable Bluetooth keyboard that you can take along with you on trips, and all it requires is a one-time pushing of a few buttons to sync it with your device.
The Stunning Gadgets Bluetooth keyboard is the best so far. It’s designed to be durable and the keys are easier to use than that of Samsung’s $80 keyboard, plus it’s a lot more versatile – you can use your device in any orientation.
Or you could try using the S Pen! It’s free, and comes with your Note 5. It has evolved greatly over the last 5 years, and I would recommend it over the Samsung keyboard anytime.
What Now For Samsung’s Keyboard?
Well, I guess it will suffer the fate of other products that just didn’t catch on. I think Samsung should learn that gimmicks simply do not work anymore. The focus should be on developing high-quality accessories which are really worth the price, because there are already thousands of alternatives out there for a lower cost. Perhaps the only way that Samsung will be able to recoup manufacturing costs is to sell it at $20 a pop; then maybe people who don’t care much about their fingers will buy it to have some fun.