Evolution of the Mobile Phone Keyboard

  • Motorola DynaTAC 8000X

    Motorola DynaTAC 8000X
    The first mobile phone to be offered commercially featured a standard telephone keyboard with raised buttons for dialing or recall of one of 30 phone numbers.
  • Motorola MicroTAC 9800X

    Motorola MicroTAC 9800X
    The MicroTAC was the first flip phone where the mouthpiece folded over the keyboard. As this phone was considerably smaller and more portable than the DynaTAC, the keys remained the same size, the keyboard itself had a more compact design. In addition to the standard 12 button keypad, the MicroTAC had buttons for Power, Function, Name/Menu, End, Send, Clear, Store, and Recall. The left side of the phone featured two buttons for adjusting the volume up and down.
  • Motorola International 3200

    Motorola International 3200
    This was the first digital hand-size mobile telephone. The elongated shape included a more spread out keyboard on the narrow side. It contained 21 buttons — the standard number pad, plus nine others:
    MR (Recall)
    a/c (Alpha/Clear)
    Call (Send)
    M+ (Store)
    Fcn (Function)
    End (End)
    Pwr (Power)
    Menu (Menu/SMS)
    Vol (Volume)
  • Nokia 1011

    Nokia 1011
    The Nokia 1011 was the first mass-produced GSM phone. It featured a standard alphanumeric keypad, and it was the first to enable SMS text messaging.
  • IBM Simon Personal Communicator

    IBM Simon Personal Communicator
    The IBM Simon was the first PDA/Phone combo. The keyboard is integrated with the screen, via a touchscreen user-interface. Due to this feature it is considered by many to be the first smartphone. In addition to making calls, Simon was also able to send and receive faxes, e-mails and pages. You could also access an address book, calendar, appointment scheduler, calculator, world time clock, electronic note pad, handwritten annotations and standard and predictive stylus input screen keyboards.
  • Motorola StarTAC

    Motorola StarTAC
    This was the first clamshell or flip design mobile phone--allowing for greater portability as it collapsed in half when not in use. Like the phone itself, keyboard became more flattened than the raised keys in previous models.
  • Nokia 9000 Communicator

    Nokia 9000 Communicator
    The first official smartphone. It was the first cell phone that could also be called a mini-computer. When opened, the longways clamshell design revealed an LCD screen and full QWERTY keyboard. This was the first mobile phone with a full QWERTY keyboard.
  • Nokia 5110

    Nokia 5110
    The Nokia 5110 is one of the most popular cell phones of all time. Like the phone itself its keyboard has a smaller sleeker interface. With scrolling buttons the user can access the address book, calculator, and games as well as other options.
  • Nokia 5510

    Nokia 5510
    This phone and mp3 player featured a full QWERTY keyboard. This keyboard is divided on the left and right sides of the front panel, with the 84 x 48 monochrome display at the center, and the navigational buttons below it.
  • RIM's Blackberry 5810

    RIM's Blackberry 5810
    The very first BlackBerry device with a phone, the boxy 5810,
    RIM's Blackberry 5810 was the first Blackberry to incorporate a mobile phone. The QWERTY keyboard was a large as its large screen, allowing for easier keying for e-mailing, text messaging, and a WAP browser. Read more:
  • Danger Hiptop / T-Mobile Sidekick

    Danger Hiptop / T-Mobile Sidekick
    The Danger Hiptop (sold as T-Mobile Sidekick) had a screen that flipped 180 degrees to reveal the qwerty keyboard. There are two buttons on the left side of the device ("menu" and "jump") and also two on the right ("back" and "cancel") which can be accessed while the phone is closed. This phone was one of the first to integrate an instant messaging client, making it one of the best-selling phones with the deaf community.
  • Nokia 7600

    Nokia 7600
    The phone was primarily aimed at the "fashion" market, it had unique teardrop shape and a variety of interchangeable covers were available. The number keys were located around the large screen. This 7600 was notoriously awkward to use, requiring both hands to text or use the menu.
  • Motorola Razr

    Motorola Razr
    The motorola Razr was marketed as a fashion phone. The phone had the thinnest profile at the time on a clamshell set, featuring an electroluminescent keypad made out of a single metal wafer.
  • LG Migo

    LG Migo
    The LG Migo is aimed at the 5 to 10-year-old age range, as well as people who prefer simplicity in their cell phone. It is designed for kids to stay in communication with their parents. The keyboard has a simplified design consisting of five buttons—four speed dials and an "emergency" button.
  • LG Chocolate VX 8500

    LG Chocolate VX 8500
    The face of the Chocolate has no tactile buttons, but rather touch-sensitive panels with red-orange illuminating symbols to designate 4 touch-sensitive corner buttons (Left option, right option, Call, and Return), and a wheel. The four sides of the wheel behave like a direction pad. In the music player, they work as scroll up/down, and next/previous track. The OK button in the center of the wheel doubles as Pause/Play in the music player. The phone slides up to reveal a alpha-numeric keypad.
  • Apple IPhone

    Apple IPhone
    The original iPhone revolutionized how smartphones are designed today. It was released with an auto-rotate sensor, a multi-touch sensor that allowed multiple inputs while ignoring minor touches, and a touch interface that replaced the traditional QWERTY keyboards.
  • LG Versa

    LG Versa
    The LG Versa has a full touch screen and onscreen QWERTY keyboard. The Versa also accepts handwriting recognition or gesture control for entering phone numbers and typing.
    Unlike other smartphones, the LG Versa featured a unique, foldout QWERTY keyboard that was detachable.
  • Samsung Galaxy Note

    Samsung Galaxy Note
    The Samsung Galaxy Note is an Android smartphone/tablet computer hybrid ("phablet"), noted for its 5.3-inch screen size—between that of conventional smartphones, and larger tablets—and its included stylus pen. Text can be entered by: a plain on-screen keyboard, with handwriting recognition using the stylus, and using the Swype keyboard input method, which replaces direct typing of a word with a single movement of the finger or stylus across the desired keys.