Russian Motorola Milestone Keyboard “Nearly Impossible To Use”


Some people would say a QWERTY is a QWERTY is a QWERTY. And those people have no clue what they’re talking about. Even with QWERTY phones having the same layout, the experience of typing out texts and emails varies greatly between handsets. Not to mention that QWERTY isn’t exactly “QWERTY” in other languages with different characters completely.

Take the Russian Motorola Milestone for example.


The Russian alphabet is longer than the English one so they cram multiple characters on single keys. They also mistake “Ze” and “E” characters and totally omit a comma. Russians are apparently canceling their orders and many are saying the mistakes make the Motorola Milestone “nearly impossible to use” for Russians.

[Via Mobile-Review]

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. Maybe they shouldn’t have lost the cold war, then I’m sure comrade Sanjay Jha would have given the the Milestone a better Russian keyboard!

  2. They can’t use those blank buttons on the bottom?

  3. The comma key is there, just below the “l” key, it’s also twinned with the semi colon

  4. >The comma key is there, just below the “l” key, it’s also twinned with the semi colon
    But we have to switch to english layout first to type it, then switch back.

  5. To use comma in russian we need to switch language from en to ru.
    Stupid motocowboys

  6. > The comma key is there, just below the “l” key, it’s also twinned with the semi colon

    Well, it’s not. When Russian layout is active, that key acts as “yu”, a Russian letter. Would you imagine switching layouts just to use comma?

    I’m one of those who cancelled their orders.

  7. Well, wouldn’t the onscreen keyboard be as convoluted?

  8. > wouldn’t the onscreen keyboard be as convoluted?
    Hardware keyboard is (was…) one of the selling points.
    Besides… potential (or should I rather say former potential?) buyers in Russian feel just plain insulted with Motorola’s attitude.

  9. @ digital: comma that you mention belongs to English layout (like all letters & symbols in yellow). So to type comma from within Rus. layout you need to switch to Eng. layout, type it, then switch back to Rus. layout.

  10. 2digital
    Yep, comma is there, but we should change input language in english, press comma and then change input language in Russian again. Comma used in Russian language very often, that’s why it’s very uncomfortable use it on this keyboard.

    About mistake with “З” and “Э” characters. Just imagine, that man, who did keyboard for you confused “Y” and “V” characters because they look alike. Will this keyboard comfortable for you?

    Best regards from Russia :)

  11. 2 KBlack
    They did onscreen keyboard same like hardware with these same mistakes.
    Yep, we can install keyboard from Android market and use it, but we think, that device ( cost of Milestone in Russia is about 740 USD ) shouldn’t have such errors.

  12. This is a great mistake done by Russian Moto branch. Comma is totally absent in Ru layout, so u need to switch to English to place comma. That’s 3 buttons pressed. I am not taking in consideration misplacing of 2 different letters which is totally absurd.

  13. In Russia, comma omits *you*!

  14. @Poboy That’s what i thought the blank keys were for

  15. They should have redesigned for the Russians.

  16. Dang, Clavis beat me to it!

  17. There is no comma. The one in alternative layout doesn’t count. And they paired the rarest characters on four keys. I agree – although they are rarely used, they are still needed in every tenth word, and switching to Alt mode for a regular letter sucks.
    Frankly, I convinced a colleague to buy Milestone on Telus when they launched it, but while helping him with day-to-day issues, I realize that Motorola dropped the ball big time. Issues with magnetic holsters, proximity sensor problem with long hair, and stuff like that make even local English version worse than my HTC Dream (as a phone of course). It reminds me Apple’s approach – Motorola makes consumers use proprietary USB cable, specially designed holsters, makes it impossible for them to buy accessories in a China-town.

  18. As an American speaker (and frequent writer) of Russian and owner of the Droid here in the states, I think that doesn’t look all that bad. Sure, it kind of sucks that they had to cram multiple letters on to some keys, but they likely couldn’t have changed the whole hardware design of the phone and added another row of keys just for the Russian market. I don’t know about the stock Russian soft keyboard, but there is actually a pretty good free one in the Android market (at least in the USA) that I use for all my Russian typing needs on my phone. I bet that any Russian users will get used to the on-screen keyboard as fast as I did, and completely forget about the hardware one.

    Желаю удачи своим Русским собратьям!

  19. that really sucks. i feel sorry for the people in russia that were eagerly awaiting this phone. hopefully you guys get an android phone with a keyboard that works for you soon.

  20. what a mess! not only is the keyboard form factor sucky… now the actual layout doesn’t even work for the russian dudes…

    motorola = fail on so many levels…

  21. I’d just like to point out that this keyboard meant for English. Though more could have been done, what do you expect? The matter is that a phone for russian keyboard needs to be desigined otherwise this will keep happening

  22. in soviet russia… no one makes mistakes

  23. I would like to point out that I can’t believe anybody actually likes the Droid/Milestone keyboard at all. The keys are flat, smushed together, and not staggered, making it very hard to type on, no matter what language you’re using. The TP2 keyboard flat out puts it to shame. The Droid sold big because of Android 2.0, a large screen, and a screaming processor, but Motorola really needs to refine their user interface designs, because that’s where they fall flat on their face. So far all of HTC’s big, powerful Android phones lack a physical keyboard, but if they released a big Snapdragon-based phone with a keyboard that rivals the TP2, I think Motorola is going to start losing a lot of sales.

  24. .I in fact enjoy swype so much that I even use it on my Dream.I already decided that my next phone won’t have a physical keyboard

  25. crazy russians and their crazy letters.

  26. Russians should boycott the milestone

  27. @Brad the problem is that this is the only decent qwerty smartphone running android and hardware keyaboard is quite a good helper when you are aiming to use your phone primary for such things as e-mail, im etc.
    There was a lot ways to do proper localization (see n900 russian layout).

  28. I can confirm it. As russian I’ll never buy such a strange device with keyboard that has no proper layout for russian alphabet. We often use to type texts that contain words in two languages, and cwitching from one alphabet to another just to type dots, shashes or commas is terrible. It makes hardware keyboard useless. I’d better buy device with virtual keyboard.

  29. @Andrew… Phones get tailored to individual markets all the time. Take the HTC Hero getting its chin removed for the American market for example. And that was just for aesthetics. Tailoring a phone to a certain market to make it usable just makes sense.

  30. @ Kyle
    Soviet crazy russians will come and enslave you, rednecks
    remember my words

  31. and @Pieter

  32. @stalin
    you gotta wait in line, china has dibs.

  33. Happily, Israel is not expected to have such problems with the Hebrew keyboard.

    Moreover, early reviews talk about 2.1 being available with the phone out-of-the-box so the future looks bright if you ask me.

  34. in Soviet Russia keyboard types you

  35. Not a big deal, but I hate this key layout anyway, I wish there was a smart developer to make a Russian Keyboard app with an option to reassign russian keys to whatever you want, like A to A, S to S, etc.

  36. The german QWERTZ keyboard of the Milestone has no umlauts (ö,ä,ü) and is also extremely hard to use. That explains why Milestone can’t become that popular in the world as it is in the US.

  37. I bet it doesn’t help you get to the Moon first either.. stupid keyboard.

  38. Buong giorno a tutti,
    finalmente ho trovato un sito che occupa teleonini con lingue cirilliche.vorrei sapere, anche se fuori tema, se qualcuno di voi sa come acquistare dall’italia telefonini con layout russo e se può cortesemente indicarmi a chi rivolgermi. comunque grazie per l’attenzione, saluti.

  39. Face it, the milestone keyboard is shit in all languages. Why do they put a stupid D pad on it that takes so much space? Motoidiots!

  40. i am owner of milestone a853 android motorala mobile.by mistake i changed the english to arab language .i want to change back to english.i need help because every step on touch screen is in arab.thanks

  41. i want to change the screen language from arab to english.

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