One of the most common questions we're being asked in the aftermath of our HTC HD2 unboxing is how its on-screen QWERTY keyboard compares to one of the other eye-catching smartphones of the quarter, the Nokia N900. We've staged a quick size and keyboard comparison, and you can find the gallery - and read our early opinions on both devices - after the cut.
In our HD2 unboxing yesterday, we suggested that "Even in the short time we’ve had the HD2, we’re already faster at typing on it in [landscape orientation] than we are with most hardware keyboards on smartphones." That's because of the combination of the on-screen keys being large and ideally sized for two-thumb typing, holding the HD2 horizontally and reaching across with each digit, together with HTC's excellent auto-correction and predictive text.
In comparison, the N900 - despite having a hardware keyboard - is more cramped than the HD2, and while we appreciate the tactile feedback of the physical buttons (the HD2 does have haptic feedback, buzzing briefly when each on-screen key is tapped) they're smaller than on the HTC. Meanwhile there's no error correction on the N900, only word-prediction, and as we commented in our initial unboxing of the smartphone, the top row of keys can be uncomfortably close to the lower edge of the screen. Right now we're quicker at typing on the HD2 than we are on the N900, despite having had the latter for far longer.
As for overall size, while the HD2 is obviously longer and wider than the N900, it's considerably thinner. The HD2 measures 120.5 x 67 x 11 mm, whereas the N900 comes in at 110.9 x 59.8 x 18 (19.55 if you count the lens cover); thanks to the HTC's curved profile, it feels thinner again. Of course, there's a significant difference in screen size, too, with the HD2 having a 4.3-inch capacitive touchscreen and the N900 having a 3.5-inch resistive touchscreen, both running at 800 x 480.
We're still working on both our N900 and HD2 reviews, so consider this just a brief comparison between the devices. Each has its strengths, but it goes to show that the QWERTY keyboard debate is not so clear-cut as physical versus on-screen.
HTC HD2 unboxing:
Nokia N900 unboxing: