Tactile keys and The New York Times

Regardless of the reason, it's nice to get noticed by the New York Times.

The Samsung Alias 2: You can touch and feel its keys. Corinne Schulze/CNET

You know you've arrived when a New York Times writer takes notice of your work, even if it's to make a snarky remark about it. CNET got such an honor Monday when David Pogue, the newspaper's tech and gadget columnist, included us in a tweet about one of his pet peeves.

Here's what Pogue twittered: "CNET writes 'All the keys feel tactile.' HELLO? 'Tactile' means 'You can feel it.' What the hell is a 'tactile feel'!?"

Now, I'm not 100 percent sure, but I'd wager that Pogue was referring to my recent review of the Samsung Alias 2. I admit that "tactile feel" is redundant, and I regret any confusion I might have caused. I'll try to clear that up now.

The quality of a phone's controls are an important factor in CNET's cell phone reviews. We look for keys that allow you to dial without looking at the phone. We examine a handset to see if its keys are raised and if they're separated from each other by a ridge or crevice that you can feel. Either way, we keep the feeling of the keys in mind when figuring the final rating.

At CNET, we try to look for those "little things" that will annoy or please consumers over time. Too many phones have flat, slippery keypads that resemble one big touch pad. We don't think such handsets are easy enough to use so, at the end of the day, we're looking out for you.

About the author

Senior Managing Editor Kent German leads the CNET Reviews editors in San Francisco. A veteran of CNET since 2003, he still writes about the wireless industry and occasionally his passion for commercial aviation.

 

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