Monday, February 28, 2011

Day 8 with the HTC Desire HD: Typing Speed and Size

The big 4.3-inch screen really enhances hand held web browsing
Typing Speed. For the nearly 5 years I have been using a phone with a physical QWERTY keyboard. When I got my first QWERTY messenger, a Nokia E61i, I swore that this was the perfect form factor for a phone. Great for typing SMS and firing up emails. When deciding to make a shift to a touchscreen phone, I thought about long and hard about getting one with a slide out QWERTY keyboard. The HTC Desire HD decision was an impulse buy. When I went to the store to buy a HTC, I was pretty much set on getting the HTC Desire Z. But seeing the 4.3-inch screen in action was just too compelling. 

As I feared, my typing speed went down. While a physical keyboard with small keys lends itself to touch typing, a small keyboard on a touchscreen does not. Most of my friends type on the touchscreen phones in landscape mode, and I did not find this too comfortable. So I persisted using the phone in the portrait mode with the virtual QWERTY keyboard. My typing speed slowed down due to plenty of wrong key presses. Experimenting a bit, I tried the Compact QWERTY keyboard, and my typing speed is back to normal. The Compact QWERTY keyboard is near as I can tell identical to BlackBerry's SureType keyboard.  The Compact QWERTY keyboard has two letters in one key, which means bigger keys. It utilizes T9 technology to determine which of the two letters you wanted to select.

Size. This is a big phone. It measure 123 x 68 x 11.8 mm. It does not lend itself too well to single handed operation. I did not realize how big it was, pretty much since coming from a pair of QWERTY messengers I am used to manipulating a phone with two hands all the time. I used the even wider E61i for two and a half years, which measures 117 x 70 x 13.9 mm, I guess I have gotten used to large phones. Still, the HTC Desire HD is a lot bigger than my last QWERTY messenger which measures in at 111.8 x 59.6 x 12.6 mm.

The size of the HTC Desire HD is a big part of its charm. The big screen endears. The wide case needed to hold the large screen might a bit to big to be usable for some.

All for now.

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