Physical keyboard

Hi Everybody,
I am new here. I feel the Fairphone project is a step in the good direction.
I am considering the idea of acquiring a Fairphone when mine is over in a couple of year, I guess.
But… appart from the equity of the means of production ease of use is also important. And I have to admit, that I am not a great fan of touch screens. For ergonomic reasons (but also for conceptual reasonslike dematerialization).
For the moment, I am using a phone with a qwertz physical keyboard, like Blackberry or Jio.
But I do prefer to buy from fairer manufacturers in the future.

Welcome to the forum @rnx.
I don’t see a single question in your post, but I’m going to answer anyway.

You can read up on some prior topics about this with the tag #hardwarekeyboard.

Though if your current phone will survive a few more years there is a chance that the FP3 will be out then and that could be a whole different story as to which keyboards will be compatible and what issues they might have.
Also in case you are wondering: I’m pretty sure the FP3 will be a touchscreen device too.

You could buy an additional hardware keyboard and attach this to your smartphone via USB OTG or BT.

If Fairphone succeed in their mission to have an impact on the industry to move towards fair as a whole, and a range of manufacturers become fair, there could be fair phones with a hardware keyboard out there in the future for you to choose from.
At least it’s not impossible, keep your fingers crossed :wink: .


Hi, thanks for your answers.
Yes, of course, I was talking about the physical keyboard being part of the phone and not external ones.
So, since FairPhone is a very interesting project, I was wondering if that idea had already been considered. If the third version could be granted with a second model, perhaps on the same bases as for a touch screen model but with a different screen and front.
If some people are already thinking or even conceptualizing it, or if no one is interested in phones with physical keyboards anymore…

In my opinion a physical keyboard is kind of a “waste of space”. I don’t know how typing on one compares to a touch keyboard, but the thing is that contrary to a touch keyboard it is always there, whether you need it or not, therefore the actutal usable screen is a lot smaller (Steve Jobs already mentioned that 11 years ago, for me one of the few things where Apple was right). Moreover, you cannot type while holding the device vertically.
However, I still like some kind of haptical feedback, so I activated the vibration while typing, maybe that is some kind of possible compromise for you, too :slight_smile:

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I agree that a pyhysical keyboard could be seen as waste space. But…
Typing on virtual keyboard has this much less precise feeling which some peple get used to. Many people are still using “dumbphones” and not only because some of them don’t feel the urge for all the pocket PC functions, but also because, but also because some people can’t stand touching a flat surface for typing.
Personnaly, I very much enjoy the use of qwerty like keyboards and I very much dislike the unease of use of the tiny virtual keys. Whivh is not the case with tablets by the way.

That is totally wrong. Actually It’s twice the contrary.
You can’t type when a physical keyboard is hold on horizontal position.
It’s the virtual keyboard that is more difficult to use when hold vertically, rather than horizontally so the keys are a little bit bigger.

This is very unadequate in terms of energy saving…
Personnally I really don’t feel this mimic does the trick. On the contrary it ads on the fake side of the feeling.
Of course these considerations are more a question of feeling after all and there are perhaps some more urgent question like how to cook a good meal…

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Well, physical keyboard buttons actually have to be the same size, since your phone doesn’t get larger only because it has buttons on it.

Oh sorry. Of course I meant horizontally. Vertivally is wrong, as you already stated.

Yes and sometimes perhaps even smaller, but this is the magic of our little finger. Since they are very sensitive you don’t need to confirm with your eyes wether the finger is at right place. The feeling alone tells your brain what a good position is, where the key is…
You are kind of seeing through your fingers.

But that is to say, many people’s priority is more about the ergonomy and the communication features of a smart phone. So, considering that no need for a large display for gaming or video. I don’t see any problem having a video call within the proportions close to a square ID picture.

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I see some younger people who actually appear to type really quick on a virtual keyboard. I’ve also seen people who type very quick on a physical keyboard. I won’t be able to catch up on either, but I feel much more at comfort with a physical keyboard. Perhaps an age thing, having grown up with physical keyboards.


The lack of keyboard is also the only reason why I don’t own a fairphone. I’m here cause my wife owns one, but for me the lack of a keyboard is a no go.

Unfortunately that doesn’t leave many options. Fortunately 2019 will bring two new ones:

I currently use a Droid 4 as main phone and a Planet Gemini , but the latter is not really fit to be used as a phone. More like a PDA.
Of course all of those options are not very fair… So also still hoping for a FP3 hardware keyboard or the already mentioned effect auf fairphone on the industry :wink:

You mean a Planet Gemini PDA I suppose. Planet Gemini’s Cosmo Communicator is going to be able to be used as a phone (its made in the spirit of the Nokia Communicator). Of course it isn’t a fair product, but it is a small company, has a hardware keyboard, and is going to be able to run Sailfish. Like the Gemini PDA it sports a MTK so unfortunately its doomed to run an old Linux kernel.


Concerning typing, it’s not about which one is the fastest but which one do you feel comfortable with. If you are making spelling mistakes all the time, after a while you get bored and your sms language becomes more cryptic!
I took a look at the PDA… It’s a PDA and can’t fit in a pocket. I think it’s to be put in a bag.
For the other model, the F(x), they don’t give much informations.
But for those found of physical keyboard, Blackberry mobile phones are still manufactured, I don’t know if they have any fairtrade policy since it changed of manufacturer. But I wouldn’t hold big expectations.
Perhaps now it is the time, for people who like physical keyboards on mobiles, we start thinking how it could be possible to have one on a FairPhone…

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