To scientifically measure how fast we could type on each keyboard, we used So You Think You Can Type, a free Android test app available in the Android Market. We assembled a team of three LAPTOP staffers, had them complete the test four times, and then averaged the results. To avoid interference with the test app, we did not use predictive text functions on either keyboard.
During testing, we found SwiftKey quite quick, logging an average rate of 117.9 characters per minute and an average of 148 words per minute. We achieved an accuracy rate of 98.4% at those speeds on each of our three test runs.
After putting the Thumb Keyboard through the same battery of tests, we logged an average speed of 115.9 wpm. While it’s slightly slower than the pace we measured on SwiftKey X (117.9), our accuracy was a fraction of a percent higher, at 98.3%.
We typed faster on SwiftKey X but were more accurate using Thumb Keyboard. The majority of testers said that they preferred the standard layout of SwiftKey X to the “Phone: Split – Large” keyboard we selected to accommodate our HTC Thunderbolt’s big 4.3-inch screen.