BlackBerry’s back (you may or may not have heard), and the company’s first Android smartphone, called the “BlackBerry Priv,” features the tried-and-true physical keyboard that made the company famous once upon a time. Yes, before the era of virtual, on-screen keyboards (and even in these days), there are still customers who want a keyboard that doesn’t force them to deal with autocorrect. The Priv has a rather strange name (even “BlackBerry Secret” or “BlackBerry Disguise” would’ve been better name choices; how about “BlackBerry Venice,” the codename for the Priv?), but there’s no denying that the Priv does have a commendable look and a bold entrance into the Android world. BlackBerry’s nostalgic brand name doesn’t hurt it, either.
At the same time, however, there’s one problem I foresee with the BlackBerry Priv: the nature of the physical keyboard. It’s a slide-out one, a keyboard that was designed this way to allow customers to use the keyboard when they need it, “slide it away” (like a PC keyboard) when they don’t. The design seems to have its own appeal: give customers the option to “tuck away the keyboard,” and they’ll gladly thank you for it. This design, however, comes with a risk: what happens if the physical keyboard gets jammed, or slides out but suddenly “decides” it no longer wants to slide back in place? The hardware keyboard is wonderful, but for how long? It all depends on how much you use it, of course, but it’s as sure as the sun will rise one day and the rain will fall the next that you’ll have to eventually visit a repair shop or a retail store near you to fix it at some point.
While we’ve been hearing about the success of the first Android BlackBerry, a second Android BlackBerry is on the way. Codenamed “BlackBerry Vienna” (another codename that I wish didn’t go to the trash bin), this second Android BlackBerry has a physical keyboard that is no longer a slider but part of the design itself. In other words, it’s an always-present keyboard that will force you to either love or hate the design. While the BlackBerry Vienna doesn’t look to have the same problem as the slide-out keyboard on the Priv, it, too, faces a problem: the whim of consumers. There are some nostalgic, BlackBerry faithful who will proudly rock the physical keyboard, but there are many consumers who will pass up BlackBerry’s Android devices because of it. Some people don’t view the physical keyboard as “sexy”; I think productivity is sexy, but that’s me.
In walks Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 Keyboard Cover. It’s the perfect solution to the BlackBerry Priv and the Vienna because it allows you to be productive when you need to be, and stylish and modern when you want to be. First, the Galaxy Note 5 Keyboard Cover provides protection for your device. In a world where some don’t mind walking around with their device freed from a protective case of some kind, the Galaxy Note 5 Keyboard Cover allows you to have protection for your device. Next, the Keyboard Cover allows you to have a keyboard when you need it. While the Priv’s keyboard is something you have to slide out and in, you need only detach the keyboard portion from the cover and place it at the bottom of your Note 5 to get typing. Once you’re done, detach it and slap it on the back of your Note 5 to maintain the sleek and stylish look you want. You don’t need to slide the keyboard in or out and worry about whether or not it’ll last with the Galaxy Note 5 Keyboard Cover, as you do with the BlackBerry Priv. You don’t need to worry about having to showcase a phone with the keyboard permanently attached to the bottom of the phone when you have Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 and the Keyboard Cover.
With Samsung’s Galaxy Note 5 Keyboard Cover, you get benefits in three areas: 1) protection for your Note 5; 2) productivity with writing emails, texts, typing memos, etc.; and 3) style. None of these are compromised with the Galaxy Note 5 Keyboard Cover – and you’ll spend a lot more time away from the repair shop, giving you more time with your device (that’s the point of buying it in the first place, right?).
BlackBerry took some small inspiration from Samsung with its dual-curve edges, and Samsung took some small inspiration from BlackBerry with the Keyboard Cover. However, Samsung turned it up a notch: instead of going with a physical keyboard in design that would either 1) annoy some customers or 2) prove to break and be a repair headache later on, the Korean giant decided to bring protection, productivity, and style into a Keyboard Cover alongside of the productivity and style of the Galaxy Note 5. Some customers will settle for the productivity, some want productivity and protection, and some want protection, productivity, and style. I want all three.