PKB vs VKB – the battle rages on!


One of the many things that BlackBerry are known for are their first-in-class physical keyboards (PKB). Some of us actually use a smartphone for more than selfies, gaming, or photos of meals, you know – productive things, like documents, email, even texting. In those instances nothing excels at cranking out the words, especially when you combine predictive text and flicking. When you tie-in the shortcuts, typing on any other smartphone is like trying to do word processing on an IBM Selectric (Google that).

So let’s simply cut to the chase. In a similar vein to another ‘Battle Royale’ – BB10 vs BlackDroid, there are those of us who prefer PKBs to virtual keyboards (VKBs). I won’t hide my preference, although I’ve used both forms extensively, I’m a huge fan of the VKB. I know each form has their plusses, it’s just my personal preference – at the end of the day there is no right or wrong answer.

That being said let’s try to get some real audience participation. We’ll start with a ‘Survey’ and finish up with sounding off in the Forum – so there is no reason your voice won’t be heard!

Just a few things that come to mind in no particular order-

Long press reveals character options

Tactile feedback from PKB

Speed of typing

Lose of screen landscape

Public perception of PKB / VKB

Market perception of PKB / VKB


Don’t forget to sound off in our Forum!



kayaker co-pilot Tucson, it's a dry heat!

  • kingRidiculous

    My first smartphone (a Windows MDA) had a PBK. When I was looking for a replacement I went with a Samsung (BlackBerrys were too expensive.) I never got used to the VBK on the Samsung. When the Q10 came out I got one (hey it runs android too.) Boy did I miss the PBK! I think people who have not experienced a PBK (the vast majority of smartphone users today) do not know what they are missing. Full Android (meaning Google Services) and a PBK? Insta-buy from me.

    • Robert Friedman

      So are you going to give the KEYone a go?

      • kingRidiculous


  • anthogag

    VKB are for 160 character limited twits.

    I could care less about “speed” for differentiating the two. I’m probably faster on my Z30’s VKB but it’s no contest compared to the Passport. The immediacy of the PKB can’t be beat. The Passport experience does combine the PKB with a VKB.

    • Robert Friedman

      The PRIV also combines both PKB and VKB

      • anthogag

        The PRIV keyboard is not touch enabled. You use one of the other, right. With the Passport you’re using both at the same time.

        • Yep. It sure is. Capacitive physical keyboard like Passport. Flick away. And four-row too. But also has the BlackBerry VKB if you don’t slide out the keyboard.

          • anthogag

            I forgot if the PRIV keyboard is touch enabled. It has been a while since I demoed it.

            • Demo it again with all the updates. I absolutely love this phone now.

              • anthogag

                Carriers are really bad for having the latest OS on a device. They give each other medals if they can keep the phones charged.

    • Prem_Watsapp

      Yeah, could type this without looking at the keyboard. Rather, let the spice… ahem words flow… :-D

      (disclosure, I used the hybrid for the dots, lol…)

  • zensen

    Now that the keyboards allows swipe to delete, flick up for words and navigating websites the BlackBerry PKB is even better.

    I love the z10 for the flick and swipe and one of the things I was going to miss going to the classic.

    From all accounts the KEYone will have a similar responsiveness to the classic with the goodnes we got from the priv/passport gestures that make the VKB from BlackBerry such a welcome change on an all touch device.

    Now with that awesome space that light lights up when requiring a fingerprint makes its more useful alongside the shortcuts and typing accuracy.