When you attach it for the first time (two different sizes
for Note10 or Note10+/5G) and press the power button, the Note10 screen directs
you to download the Evo Type app from Google Play.
The case connects via NFC (peer-to-peer mode). NFC enables Samsung
and Google Pay’s use of PayWave and MST terminals – it is called Magnetic
induction for data transfer.
NFC works up to about 100mm and can transmit and receive up
to 15mA of power – similar in concept to Qi charging.
Now NFC is also very slow – 106, 212 or 424kbps, so that is
fine to capture keystrokes (perfect for hunt and peck speeds). But go too fast
and you may lose some strokes.
It replaces a typical bumper case with a black bumper case
and a keyboard flap (looks to be covered by an Alcantara like fabric) with a
magnetic clasp. There is a kickstand on the rear to stand the screen at 140°. The
keyboard needs to be in landscape mode to work.
It still works with Qi charging pads. It claims to withstand
The app has settings for power use, Auto-capitalisation, alter touch sensitivity, a range of spelling corrections and suggestions etc. It needs to run in the background. It appears to require internet connectivity, and there is a setup warning that what you type may not be secure. I suspect that is not an issue.
It does not interfere with the Samsung on-screen keyboard, and you can use it with the S-Pen. Note that the keyboard does not have any keypress throw – there is no haptic feedback. There is also gesture control – swipe left/right or up/down.
GadgetGuy’s take – Tech21 Evo Type if you miss a Blackberry
After a week of use and 110g extra weight, I suspect that it is not for me – at least all the time. I may use it for travels and for writing longer tomes, but I doubt that I would use it daily. But that is just me. Don’t get me wrong – at $99.95 you can afford to buy and try.
Blackberry users are heartily sick of waiting for the Key2 – and it may just suit them. The world’s best phone now has arguably the world’s best (and we suspect only NFC) keyboard.
Or if you are not fussy about such a close integration, many
battery-operated Bluetooth keyboards will also work.
Rating this is hard. It is unique, well made, it works as advertised, and Tech21 is an excellent company. All those are positives – it is the ‘use’ case that really sells this.