Spike Keyboard Case Review
By Christopher O’Meally
So the other day on my lunch hour, I was thinking about my ever growing need to type quickly and accurately on my iPhone. I have vastly improved at direct touch typing, but something was missing. I needed a small keyboard solution that I could access on demand, and I didn’t want to carry around yet another device with me, along with my iPhone 5s, and my apple watch. I thought about a keyboard case, but we all know about the majority of those cases. You get a slide or flip out keyboard that requires blue tooth, charging, and most of them only protect the edges and corner of your device. Not much protection there. I looked at a few high end keyboard cases, but they had too many bells and whistles. Then I came across the spike keyboard case. It had everything I required in a keyboard case. It provided moderate protection to my phone, it doesn’t require charging, and it’s fairly inexpensive. In this review, I will cover the pros and cons of the spike keyboard case, and why I think you should get one. First let’s start with a physical description of the case, and how it works. So if you think about a typical light protective case, you have a case that fits snugly around the phone while still providing access to all buttons and ports. Well that’s what you get here. The mute switch is exposed in a recess in the side of the case, but the volume buttons and sleep wake button are all covered. The company provided each feature on the bottom of the phone, the headphone jack, lightning port, and both speaker grills, individual holes in the bottom section of the case. While this case does not come with a built in screen protector, you can always get one on amazon. I still have not fitted one to my phone, as I am not sure how the keyboard will interact with it, but I assume a thin one would work just fine. Anyway, let’s continue with the description of the case. On the back toward the top of the phone, you have the pretty sleek looking cutout to give the camera, two tone flash, and rear microphone safe passage to the outside world. Moving down the back of the case, you will feel a slight incline. It kind of reminds me of the back of a modern cordless phone, or a smaller TV remote the way the back of the case curves out, but tapers into the sides of the case around the edges of this hump. I know what you’re thinking, a hump in the back of my phone? Why would I want my phone to randomly get thicker? Well this hump houses the keyboard itself. At first glance, I was not sure where it was, until I felt this little rectangle covered in holes. When I tugged on the edge of it, it rotated out on a 360 degree hinge, and magnetically attached to the front of my phone. It even leaves a little gap in the back of the phone to rest your fingers while typing when the keyboard is extended. Now as I said before, this keyboard requires no pairing, battery draining blue tooth, or separate charging. The way it works is, it uses little circuit boards on the back of the keys to interact with the phones touch capacitive screen. Like a touch with the finger, the key strike caries out the same function your finger would, except you are typing on a black Barry like keyboard that is sized to fit over your existing on screen keyboard. I am now going to point out a few key features of the case that I find cool. Let’s start with the bottom row. Starting over to the left, you have the more buttons, used to change keyboards, and then next to that you have the space bar. At first glance it looks like one button, but looking closer its actually separated into three different buttons, tapered slightly so as to appear as one long space bar. The first section of the space bar buttons can be used to invoke dictation. The center and right buttons can be used as the space bar, unless you’re in a web or twitter field, when these keys are changed to at or period keys. Then to the right, you have the new in key. Notable on the row above this, all the way to the far left you have the shift key, which also acts as the more key when in the number keyboard, then all the way to the far right, you have the back space key where you would normally find it on the on screen keyboard. Other than that, it’s a standard keyboard with slightly different spacing to insure all keys fit and match up with the respective onscreen counter parts. Now let’s get to the pros and cons of this case. First, the pro’s. I love how the case feels in my hand. It doesn’t add much in terms of size and weight to the device, while still retaining it’s over all functionality. All ports and buttons are accessible, including the home button while the keyboard is extended. Also, you have access to predictive suggestions, the media buttons, the text field, and the send buttons while the keyboard is extended, as it only covers the typing surface of the device. When you don’t want the keyboard out, it flips neatly around and into the back of the case, and if you want to get rid of it and leave it behind, or if you have multiple cases, you can mix and match cases and keyboards. It does not require you to keep track of its battery level, charging cable, and you do not have to worry about pairing it before going about your typing endeavors. It’s also fairly affordable at 60 dollars. Cons. It is only sold for the iPhone 4, 4s, 5, and 5s, and nothing on the web site suggests they are launching a product for newer devices or iPad. The case actually comes in two separate parts, and I fear a hard drop could separate the parts. SO in conclusion, all in all this is a cool little case. It requires a bit of practice to get used to the slightly different spacing of the keys, so turning typing feedback on is suggested when first using the case, but it works amazingly with voice over, and it’s a cool way of overcoming apples blue tooth issues, while still getting a hardware solution. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about the case, and as always, no no any I will not say happy typing.