Mobile phone users who are only just migrating from phones with hardware keyboards, like BlackBerry devices with QWERTY keyboards, might find typing solely on a touchscreen uncomfortable and prefer an optional hardware QWERTY keyboard. The Brando iPhone 6 Slide-out Bluetooth Keyboard comes with a form fitting case that can hold and protect your iPhone 6 and a slide-out keyboard with built-in Bluetooth. The Bluetooth keyboard offers many useful features such as backlight, LEDs for battery, Bluetooth and charging status, and a couple of dedicated phone buttons. But can the typing experience beat Apple's excellent on-screen keyboard?
The Brando iPhone 6 Slide-out Bluetooth Keyboard has a slim case that holds the phone and a slide-out keyboard underneath the case. The combination of the case and the keyboard adds considerable amount of thickness and 3.4 ounces of weight. The hinge connecting the two parts feels solid and moves smoothly. The case is very slim however, and it's very easy to install and remove. The case protects the long sides of the phone, but it doesn't cover anything on the front glass. The case also has generous cutouts for the side buttons and rear camera and flash through the keyboard deck, giving you easy access to these buttons and functions. The top and bottom of the case are quite open, so you can use the Lightning port, audio port, mic and speaker easily. The Bluetooth Keyboard comes in black and white versions.
It's very easy to pair the Brando iPhone 6 Slide-out Bluetooth Keyboard with your iPhone 6. The first time you turn on the power using the power on/off slider, the keyboard goes into Bluetooth pairing automatically. You can also press the connection button on the left side of the keyboard to pair. The keyboard goes to sleep when it's closed shut, and it wakes up when you press any key on the keyboard. We had no trouble with pairing and connecting the keyboard with our iPhone 6.
Typing experience on the Brando iPhone 6 Slide-out Bluetooth Keyboard isn't as good as we expected. The wide keyboard gives plenty of room for a QWERTY keyboard, but keys feel cramped together on the Slide-out keyboard. The key travel and tactile feedback are both very good however, and the 4-row keyboard even has backlighting. The letter keys have normal positions, but you'll only find one Shift key on the bottom row and a shortened Spacebar. Number keys and symbols must function with the Fn key pressed with exception of comma and period keys. The keyboard also offers multimedia playback controls and screen brightness adjustment, which are peppered on Fn shared keys. The keyboard also has a Home screen launcher and a lock screen key, though the screen lock key is so close to the letter "A" that you'll accidently lock your phone's screen often.
The Brando iPhone 6 Slide-out Bluetooth Keyboard's deck is quite wide, which means you might have to reach over to the other side for a key when you need the other hand to press down the Fn or Shift key. The nice width does offer plenty of space for a large Enter key and four directional keys. Aside from the hardware, iOS often doesn't know that the hardware keyboard is at work with the phone. The on-screen keyboard comes up even when the Bluetooth keyboard is connected and the phone's screen sometimes turns off due to inactivity even when you're in the middle of typing on the keyboard. Another thing that's missing when you use the hardware keyboard is that the OS won't provide any auto-corrections as it would with the on-screen keyboard.
The Brando iPhone 6 Slide-out Bluetooth Keyboard has a built-in rechargeable battery and comes with a USB cable for charging. The battery is very long lasting and standby time is excellent. The keyboard has a power on/off slider so that you can turn it off when you're not using the keyboard.
If for some reason you dislike or unable to use the on-screen keyboard on the iPhone, the Brando iPhone 6 Slide-out Bluetooth Keyboard comes in handy as an alternative. The keyboard has plenty of features to offer including a built-in case, backlighting, easy Bluetooth wireless connection, but the cramped keys make it hard to speed up the typing. And without the benefit of the auto corrections, typing on this keyboard can be a struggle.
Editor's Ratings (1-5): 3
What's Hot: Handy slim case that's very functional, keyboard has backlight and smooth Bluetooth connectivity.
What's Not: Cramped keys, has only one small Shift key, Screen lock is too easy to press.
Web site: Brando
Reviewed by: Tong Zhang
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