Remember smartphones with physical keyboards? Most of today’s designs are almost all screen with relatively few buttons. But as anyone who has ever used a modern handset can tell you, typing on a flat piece of glass is an acquired skill. Also, it’s common for many manufacturers of Android devices to add their own keyboards. For consumers, that means it’s wise to consider keyboard quality when sizing up a potential smartphone purchase.
Though there are alternative keyboards available in the Android Market, we wanted to help evaluate the offerings from the biggest Android manufacturers. We tested five current Android smartphones from HTC, LG, Motorola, and Samsung, plus the stock Android keyboard on the Nexus S 4G. For our tests we used the Typing Tutor TypingDroid app (from 2younow), a free download in the Android Market that measures a typist’s speed and accuracy. In each test, we used landscape mode and disabled some of the more aggressive text entry functions on all devices, such as autocorrect and suggested words, since at times they interfered with our testing software.