Thoughts on the G1 keyboard

I spent the weekend using a T-Mobile G1 as my exclusive phone and wanted to post some of my initial thoughts on the handset and the promising Android operating system from the perspective of a day 1 iPhone user.The keyboard is atrocious (as in Blackberry Storm atrocious).

I spent the weekend using a T-Mobile G1 as my exclusive phone and wanted to post some of my initial thoughts on the handset and the promising Android operating system from the perspective of a day 1 iPhone user.

http://images.intomobile.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/tmobile-htc-g1-2.jpg

The keyboard is atrocious (as in Blackberry Storm atrocious). The benefit of having a true QWERTY device is supposed to be the inherent typing efficiencies that come from having a hardware keyboard, but I'm not feeling it with the G1. Its keyboard is low and flat with almost zero tactile difference between the high and low points of the keys practically negating the benefit of having a keyboard at all. The keys need to be a little taller with a little more travel to be able to touch type with. Right now it's all hunt and peck for me.

My typing accuracy is horrible on the G1 resulting in hilarious SMS typos and truncated Tweets. Granted I'm still not fully used to the device (and have an iPhone bias) – If I'm going to pay the price of extra thickness I want a really nice hardware keyboard. A keyboard-less HTC G2 is rumored to arrive in mid-May

Also, there's currently no iPhone-like virtual keyboard on the G1 so you have to slide out the keyboard at every text entry field (sms, email, twitter, etc.). Although a virtual keyboard has been spotted (video) in the "Cupcake" development branch, it's not ready for prime time.

When I use the G1 keyboard I realize how fast I've really become at typing on the iPhone's virtual keyboard.

What's your keyboard preference, QWERTY or virtual?

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