Some phone shoppers bemoan the steady disappearance of physical keyboards. But having one means your phone will be heavier and fatter than most. Plus there's the possibility of suffering "BlackBerry shame."
But you aren't necessarily stuck with the small selection of keyboard phones. The electronics maker Favi makes a portable Bluetooth keyboard with a touchpad that can add a complete set of physical keys to a phone.
The Favi Mini Bluetooth Keyboard with Touchpad Mouse Plus Laser Pointer will connect to any Bluetooth device. To accommodate the full keyboard and the touch screen, the $80 device is a bit larger than the average mobile phone. It easily fits into a pocket, but not perhaps at the same time as your phone.
The keyboard has keys that are specific to Android, like Back, Home and Menu keys, and also keys that you won't find on common phone keyboards, like audio and video controls. Although the keyboard works with an iPhone, some of the functions didn't, including the touchpad.
Pairing was easy. There is a clearly marked Bluetooth button that you tap to connect with other devices.
The company claims a battery life of about a week in use, 30 days in standby. The keyboard can be found online and in Staples stores.