smartphone with qwerty keyboard versus large screen
Thread poster: Olly Pekelharing

Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:00
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
Jun 11, 2012

My Nokia e72 with qwerty keyboard is running out of steam (2 years old - I expected it to last longer). I originally got it because I thought the qwerty keyboard would be useful as the main purpose of the phone is to reply to job offers by email when I'm on the move. My experience however, is that the qwerty keyboard isn't that great (I'm not that fast with it), and the trade-off for screen size makes me wonder if I need to go qwerty again. Aside from the work requirements, I quite like using internet on the go to check the news etc. and I also tend to grab my phone when I want to look up a recipe for dinner etc., and this is not a great experience on the tiny screen of the e72. A larger screen would also make it easier to scan the documents in job offers to be able to assess whether to take the job. This e72 does have an excellent e-mail function (picks up emails automatically) and I can use it to hook my laptop up to the internet when away from home. Is stuff like this standard on all smartphones? So I'm considering a samsung galaxy ace (I have budget limitations). Will I miss the qwerty keyboard?

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Vikki Pendleton  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 07:00
Member
German to English
+ ...
they all have it Jun 11, 2012

All smartphones have all the email and internet functionality you mentioned and a qwerty keyboard on the touchscreen. You can also use the touchscreen to zoom in on documents so you can read them properly before making any decisions.

I have the htc Wildfire S which I also got on a budget and it's fine for all of those things, I think the Samsung Galaxy Ace should meet your needs. Go into a phone shop and have a play around - my local mobile phone shop let me spend half an hour trying out three phones before deciding which one I wanted.

I hope that helps.


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Jabberwock  Identity Verified
Poland
Local time: 08:00
Member (2004)
English to Polish
Smartphone functions Jun 11, 2012

Olly Pekelharing wrote:
A larger screen would also make it easier to scan the documents in job offers to be able to assess whether to take the job.


Yes, the screen will probably make up for the lack of physical keyboard.


This e72 does have an excellent e-mail function (picks up emails automatically) and I can use it to hook my laptop up to the internet when away from home. Is stuff like this standard on all smartphones?


Naturally. Smartphones are somewhat different from featurephones as they have operating systems with thousands of apps in the ecosystem - you can most likely find an email application that will suit your needs (free or paid). You can have both push email and poll email - it is your choice.


So I'm considering a samsung galaxy ace (I have budget limitations).


I did not go through all the specs, but it seems decent enough for your purposes. If you are a (brave) tinkerer, you can enhance it further by switching default firmware, but if not, the original one should do fine.

Will I miss the qwerty keyboard?


The beauty of Android (and other smartphone OSes) is that you can try out different keyboard applications as well. I am using Swype, where you don't select each letter individually, but rather draw the line including all the letters on the screen. The increase in speed is impressive... Of course, touchscreen will always be different than physical keyboard, so it is best you try it out on a friend's device or in the shop. It does not have to be perfect - it will get easier with time.


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Nani Delgado  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2010)
German to Spanish
I am... Jun 11, 2012

I am completely in love with my BlackBerry Torch 9800 (there is a newer BB Torch 9810 which is very similar). Please don´t confuse it with the newest Torch 9860, wich only has touchscreen. The BB Torch 9800/9810 have both physical qwerty keyboard, touch keybord on screen AND a big screen. So if you want to have a physical keyboard and a big screen, maybe this could be your choice:



I have been using it for 1.5 years now and I can do fast everything with it: get e-mails immediately (push e-mail), surf on the internet very comfortably because of its big screen and even count words on documents that are sent to me while I am not at home, so I can quote on them properly. The physical keyboard is very comfortable. While I hardly could write somehow fast with my old iPhone (only touch screen), I am able to write very quickly with the BB.

I only miss 2 things: to be able to open zip-files and Skype (there is no Skype App for BlackBerry, at least not for 9800 as far as I could see).

[Edited at 2012-06-11 11:00 GMT]


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alessandra bocco  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:00
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Question for Nani Jun 11, 2012

Hi,
I have exactly the same smatphone and I'm very happy with it but...how do you count words on documents? Every time I have to ask the client how many words is the text long before accepting a new job...
Alessandra


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Stefano Papaleo  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:00
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
BB all the way! Jun 11, 2012

Hi,

I used to have a nice Nokia e71 for almost 5 years... until I lost it:(. The screen was indeed small - at least for today's standards - but the qwerty keyboard made me soooo happy. There's nothing like the real thing, if it's virtual... it's just not real, the same goes with keyboards. On screen keyboards eat up screen space;)

I totally agree with Nani. I also have the Torch 9800 and you have the best of both worlds... big enough touch screen AND qwerty keyboard and a good camera too. With the right apps you can do anything - including FTP - with pretty much any file type including zip. It's small enough and not that heavy.

@Alessandra: if you have Documents to go (mobile office app) you have the word count option.

Have a nice day


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Nani Delgado  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2010)
German to Spanish
Documents to go premium Jun 11, 2012

Hi Alessandra,

it works with "Documents to go premium". The phone comes with a standard version of the app "Documents to go", you will have noticed for sure that you can open word, excel, pdf, etc. Although I don´t remember anymore which are all the differences between the standard and the premium version of the app, this was the most important reason for me to upgrade. To me it was an excellent investment (it costs 14.99 USD to upgrade the app to the premium version) because I already used it several times, so I could quote and confirm several jobs while I was not at my desk.


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George Fabian
Local time: 08:00
Polish to English
Kingsoft Office Jun 11, 2012

Nani Delgado wrote:

Hi Alessandra,

it works with "Documents to go premium". The phone comes with a standard version of the app "Documents to go", you will have noticed for sure that you can open word, excel, pdf, etc. Although I don´t remember anymore which are all the differences between the standard and the premium version of the app, this was the most important reason for me to upgrade. To me it was an excellent investment (it costs 14.99 USD to upgrade the app to the premium version) because I already used it several times, so I could quote and confirm several jobs while I was not at my desk.



Alternatively use Kingsoft Office (free for Android). Search the market.


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 07:00
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
My Galaxy has a qwerty keyboard Jun 11, 2012

Olly Pekelharing wrote:
I'm considering a samsung galaxy ace (I have budget limitations). Will I miss the qwerty keyboard?

It's the Galaxy I5510 and it has a really neat pull-out keyboard with individual keys (try Googling for images) - small but a vast improvement to my mind on those tiny ones where you can't feel where one key ends and the next begins.

Aside from the keyboard, I think most smartphones give pretty much the same functionality if they're running one of the major systems. Can't do without one these days.

Sheila


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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
I have an HTC Desire Z Jun 12, 2012

Olly Pekelharing wrote:
My Nokia e72 with qwerty keyboard is running out of steam (2 years old - I expected it to last longer). I originally got it because I thought the qwerty keyboard would be useful as the main purpose of the phone is to reply to job offers by email when I'm on the move. My experience however, is that the qwerty keyboard isn't that great (I'm not that fast with it), and the trade-off for screen size makes me wonder if I need to go qwerty again.


My phone is an HTC Desire Z (with Android operating system). It has a slide-out keyboard. The phone was thinner than other slide-outs because the keyboard doesn't slide out but folds out. I'm quite happy about the keyboard, although half of the time I use the on-screen keyboard. One reason why I use the slide-out keyboard less is that the buttons aren't always visible in low light, so I can't see what keys I press (they are supposed to be back-lit, but the back-lighting isn't always on).

http://tinyurl.com/7orukld

Many other phones exist that have their slide-out keyboard in landscape mode. I see Nani's berry phone has the keyboard in portrait mode -- I suppose that that would have some advantages, but I would still prefer the keyboard in landscape mode. It makes for a larger keyboard and I can view stuff larger too, since there is more horizontal space. I wonder if phones with portrait keyboards are aimed more at one-handed typists -- you won't be able to do one-handed typing with a landscape keyboard.




[Edited at 2012-06-12 08:52 GMT]


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alessandra bocco  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:00
Member (2006)
English to Italian
+ ...
Thanks! Jun 12, 2012

Thanks Nani and Stefano! I only have the standard version of the software but I'll think about upgrading to the premium one.

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Olly Pekelharing  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:00
Member (2009)
Dutch to English
TOPIC STARTER
battery life Jun 13, 2012

Thanks for the comments. What's the battery life like on these bigger-screen phones? My e72 used to last as long as a week, and now still easily lasts 3 days (though I don't use it intensively: I carry it about with me and read and reply to e-mails when out shopping, in town, in the garden, etc.). I think if I was on the phone and surfing intensively I'd get two days out of it.

Thanks,

Olly


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Stefano Papaleo  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 08:00
Member (2005)
English to Italian
+ ...
Battery Jun 13, 2012

Olly Pekelharing wrote:

Thanks for the comments. What's the battery life like on these bigger-screen phones? My e72 used to last as long as a week, and now still easily lasts 3 days (though I don't use it intensively: I carry it about with me and read and reply to e-mails when out shopping, in town, in the garden, etc.). I think if I was on the phone and surfing intensively I'd get two days out of it.

Thanks,

Olly


Larger screens surely use more battery power. Anyway, battery life depends also on the battery itself and the use of the phone. Just disable everything you don't need that somehow runs in the background and/or connects to the network. In particular, disable Bluetooth and WiFi when you don't need them. Your phone will thank you


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Nani Delgado  Identity Verified
Spain
Member (2010)
German to Spanish
I can´s say... Jun 13, 2012

I really use my BB a lot. On weekends when I am away almost the whole day, I use it the most: google maps and/or waze when we are driving to somewhere new (we don´t have a navigator system in the car, so I guide the driver), hearing to music, whatsapp, surfing on the internet, answering emails... then the battery doesn´t last more than 2 days. I sometimes take a spare battery with me if I know I am going to use the GPS apps for a long time, since they consume a lot of power. During the week I have never paid attention to how long it lasts.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Netherlands
Local time: 08:00
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
+ ...
What eats battery power Jun 13, 2012

Olly Pekelharing wrote:
What's the battery life like on these bigger-screen phones? My e72 used to last as long as a week, and now still easily lasts 3 days... I think if I was on the phone and surfing intensively I'd get two days out of it.


If I use my HTC Desire Z to read an e-book (i.e. 5 hours of continuous reading), then it needs recharging every 24 hours. If I use it as a car navigator and I have it "on" permanently, I can drive about 8 hours without recharging it (which is why I don't have it "on" all the time when driving, or why I simply plug it in while driving). If I only use it for occassional internet and mostly as an alarm clock, I can go for about 3-5 days without recharging it. Two things that really eat the battery are 3G and GPS (WiFi doesn't seem to eat at it as fast as 3G does). Taking lots of videos also have an effect on the battery life, though not as much as using GPS.


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