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Slider QWERTY vs. Fixed QWERTY; Why I Love the HTC Vox
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Kris Kumar
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Joined: 02 Jul 2003
Posts: 4472
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 10:45 am    Post subject: Slider QWERTY vs. Fixed QWERTY; Why I Love the HTC Vox Reply with quote

The Windows Mobile Smartphone devices have evolved over the years; from the early chunky candy bar to the pocket-able QWERTY devices, we have come a long way. There is still room for improvement and perfection, HTC is proving it by introducing the Vox with its slider keyboard. I love this design primarily because it brings back the "phone first" approach that was so appealing about the Smartphone devices. The recent wave of QWERTY devices have degraded the phone functionality a bit, and the other thing I don't like about the current QWERTY devices is that they still look like calculators (and BlackBerries). Yes, they are extremely slim and small compared to BlackBerries but the resemblance is there. The new Vox will be a true phone first device, and will look like a regular mobile phone thanks to the slide out QWERTY. The second reason why I love the HTC Vox design is because of its size.



It is small. Thanks to the sizeeasy Web site, check out the size comparison with some of the other popular devices. Don't you love this form-factor because of its form and function? Which one do you think is a better design? The slider QWERTY, the fixed QWERTY or the touch panel QWERTY? Another size comparison image after the break.

Figure showing the size comparison from various angles. Click on the image for the hi-resolution version of the image.

For more information about the Vox click here for the photographs and click here for the preliminary specifications.
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SteveHoward999
Smartphone Ponderer


Joined: 31 Dec 2005
Posts: 54

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've not used a slider-keyboard other than to play with demonstration models. I currently own a Nokia E62, and Toshiba E830. I LOVE having an actuall keyboard on the phone. I never did get on with on-screen keyboard on the PDA for anything but brief notes, and while hand-written notes are great on a touchscreen, my handwriting is hideously bad and rarely recognised by the device.

Anyway - keyboards are in for me. My heart says a slider keyboard is better, but that's because it leaves more room for a larger screen, instead of dominating the entire phone with keyboard Smile

I laugh when I look at devices like the Q, my E62 etc. Apparently part of the reason for the drop in popularity of VGA PDAs is that no-one wants to carry about such a 'large' device ... yet you could easily double the size of the screen on any of the fixed keyboard machines if you toss away the keyboard ... so the physical size of the machine is not actually the barrier at all!

I'm looking forward to a decent slider device with a large, clear VGA screen Smile
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T-Will
Smartphone Intellectual


Joined: 08 Aug 2003
Posts: 194
Location: Sacramento, Kalifornia

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah I'm really eager to see the Vox in person, it looks like a great form factor, but I'm still extremely happy with my Dash, so I won't be upgrading any time soon.
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Mike Temporale
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Joined: 07 Jul 2003
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Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not sure about having a sliding keyboard. Sure it gives back some space, but it's also a fair amount thicker than the Q or the BlackJack. My wife uses the Wizard - it's a good device, but I don't know that I want to slide out the keyboard everytime I go to type something. In the end, it will really come down to the feel of the keyboard. I don't think you'll see much in the way of raised keys - which can be harder for people to type on.
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Mark Larson
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Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 165
Location: MN, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm waiting for Samsung to bring over some of its world-firsting over to PPC or Smartphone devices - with the thinnest phones in the world, Samsung is the one who can manage to bring us a Pocket PC or Smartphone with a sliding keyboard at or under the 15mm thickness mark.

Personally, I don't think the iPhone is that innovative - touchscreen keyboards are old hat, literally the oldest trick in the book.
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scottb
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Joined: 17 Sep 2004
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a Samsung i730 (PPC) and never could get used to the slide out keyboard. It always gave the device a "loose" feeling. I am willing to sacrifice the larger screen for the keyboard. For me it just has a more solid feel.
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Kris Kumar
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Joined: 02 Jul 2003
Posts: 4472
Location: Rochester, NY, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Temporale wrote:
... but I don't know that I want to slide out the keyboard everytime I go to type something. In the end, it will really come down to the feel of the keyboard. I don't think you'll see much in the way of raised keys - which can be harder for people to type on.


It may not be the best device for typaholics. I believe that most people use their Smartphones like me, mostly to stay on top of emails, calendar, checking contacts and surfing using the favorites for news sites etc. Keyboard is used only for the few email replys or calendar entries.

I think the keyboard makes the device bigger, the current devices like Q and BlackJack may be slim but they are wider and taller. Not to forget the calculator looks.

Sliders will lead to wider keyboards. Keys will be spread out. Bigger keys. they don't have to be raised much if they are spread apart and are bigger.

I am concerned about how quickly and how well the software will switch from portrait to landscape mode.
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Kris Kumar
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As for the thickness, I have lived with the SP3i and 2125. The Vox is only as thick as those.
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Kris Kumar
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Joined: 02 Jul 2003
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mark Larson wrote:
Personally, I don't think the iPhone is that innovative - touchscreen keyboards are old hat, literally the oldest trick in the book.


I don't think it is revolutionary, but it has in the typical Apple way managed to get all the things the common man looks for in a single package, along with the right buzz words. Wink Whether the common man can afford it, is another question.

Steve Jobs was very critical about the omnipresent keyboards on the modern mobile devices, I think the slider overcomes that problem.
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Kris Kumar
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Location: Rochester, NY, USA

PostPosted: Tue Jan 30, 2007 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

scottb wrote:
... It always gave the device a "loose" feeling. I am willing to sacrifice the larger screen for the keyboard. For me it just has a more solid feel.


I agree the design must be good. I believe HTC has a lot of experience with the sliders.
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