For review today I have a mini bluetooth keyboard from brando.com
I recenly got a HD2 and the one huge issue I had going from the touch pro 2 to the HD2 was the keyboard. I know there were several debates between hard physical keyboards and soft virtual keyboards but I used to use my phone keyboard more than my computer keyboard [I know I am pathetic] to type emails and my mobility digest articles, so going to the hd2 virtual soft kyboard was the hardest thing. I figured I could get an external keyboard so I searched online for bluetooth keyboards. My citeria was to get a small bluetooth keyboard that was about same size as a touch pro 2 keyboard. My options were very limited but I saw that Brando.com [which has all kinds of cell phone gadgets and accessories] had three keyboards that I was interested in and I ordered one of the keyboards for review. [this entire review was typed using the bluetooth keyboard]
First impressions: Pretty well packed, comes with a CD rom and micro usb cable. The usb cble is the same as the HD2 so you don’t have to carry two cables around to carge the keyboard and the phone. The CD rom contains drivers for the computers, windows mobile, and android devices. It also contains a service manual/user guide.
The keyboard it self is very light I could not believe how light and how thin the keyboard was. It is black in color with white lettering and a red super script lettering for special symbols. The keys are big and decent size but I did not like the feel of the keys they felt like they were buttons from those old model financial calculators. The keyboard has 5 rows of keys, the top row dedicated for numbers. I also noticed the backspace key was not right above the “enter” key where you would expect it. Overall I was impressed with the look and feel of the keyboard except for the feel of the keys.
Functionality and Use:
I did not have to install any drivers that were in the CD rom maybe it is because I am on a custom 6.5 rom. I turned on the keyboard into the find mode and then made my phone search for devices and it picked the keyboard up right away and worked perfectly.
The keyboard also works on a PS3, iPhone and iPad. I tested it on all of these devices but I did not use it extensively on them because I mainly plan on using it wth my HD2. This keybaord was mainly made for the iPad because all of the special symbols and multimedia buttons work with the iPad but they do work on the HD2.
The keys on the keyboard are the perfect size and are spaced nicely but I do have some issues with how much I have to press down on the keys I wish the keys were a more sensitive and did not need as much pressure. The keys have to be pressed in the middle and have to be pressed with a little force but I am sure a little practice and breaking the keyboard in should solve the problem.
Another thing to note about the keyboard is that when you want to type one of the special symbols and capital letters you have to press and hold down the “fn” and “shift” keys respectively. Unlike our cellphone keyboards you can not just press it once and leave it. Also on the keyboard there is no symbol for parenthesis you only have the square brackets and the squigly brackets which I think is odd. This means I wont be able to do this ” :) ” in my emails or instant messages.
The battery life on the keyboard is great I have not had to charge it even once till now and i have used it for about 7 hours now on half a charge and i still dont see the low battery indication. The keyboard does not have a back light and this a pretty big drawback for me because I tend to use my phone a lot when I am in bed.
Overall Pros and Cons
|+Small, Light and sturdy
+Great Battery life
+Works with multiple devices
+Great spacing of the keys
+Dedicated number row
|– Does not have a back light
– Keys feel awkward and are not sensitive enough
– Nothing replaces a phone with a built in slide out keyboard
Price: $38.00 [$5 cheaper than when I ordered my review unit] for this model but there are other models at Brando.com which are cheaper. So check out their site for all kinds of cool cell phone gadgets and accessories.