8 Bluetooth Keyboard Cases for the iPhone

The iPhone's revolutionary multitouch screen has proved so popular that it's hard to imagine a smartphone without one. But not everyone loves typing on a screen (that's one reason that the BlackBerry is still popular). While some people have no issue with the onscreen keyboard, others long for a physical option with keys they can feel. It's pretty unlikely that there will ever be an iPhone with a keyboard, but that doesn't mean that people who prefer them are out of luck. These cases provide keyboards for the iPhone that make texting, writing email, and composing text a snap.

01
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BoxWave Keyboard Buddy

Boxwave Keyboard Buddy
image credit: Boxwave

BoxWave's Keyboard Buddy case demonstrates one of the most common form factors for these cases: a slab that the iPhone clips into which includes a slide-out keyboard on the bottom. The keyboard, which connects wirelessly via Bluetooth, works with any app where the onscreen keyboard would appear and can be hidden when not in use. It adds 0.68 inches to the thickness of the iPhone, which isn't terrible.

BoxWave offers versions of the case for the iPhone 4, 4S, 5, 5S, 6 and 6S and with and without backlighting on the keys (which is helpful for typing in low-light situations).

List Price: US$79.95

iPhone 6 version
iPhone 6S version

Weight: Unknown
Backlight: Yes (though there's also a non-backlight version)
iPhone 7 Support: Not listed, but possible since they're similar to the 6 series
iPhone 6 Plus/6S Plus/7 Plus Support: No
iPhone 6/6S Support: Yes
iPhone 5/5S support: Yes

boxwave keyboard for iphone
Boxwave Keyboard Buddy - Vertical Edition. image copyright BoxWave Corp.

This version of BoxWave's Keyboard Buddy case takes the same basic idea—a slide-out keyboard that is attached to the back of the iPhone—and re-orients it. Instead of sliding out from the side of the iPhone so that it can be used in landscape mode, this keyboard slides out from the bottom, letting you type with the iPhone in portrait mode. Which version you'll prefer depends on how you like to type on your iPhone, but BoxWave is the only company I'm aware of that offers these options.

Because BoxWave makes these keyboards specifically for the iPhone, they include buttons that control iPhone features like screen brightness, media playback, hiding the keyboard, and more.

List Price: $79.95

Weight: Unknown
Backlight: No
iPhone 5/5C/5S support: No
iPhone 4S support: Yes
iPhone 4 support: Yes More »

You won't find any special features on the HIGHOT case. It's a solid, straightforward affair that offers what you'd expect: A keyboard case that you can turn off when it's not in use, USB recharging, and a backlight. The appealing thing about this option, really, is its price. At just $21, it's easily the least expensive option on this list.

List Price: $20.99

Weight: 4 oz
Backlight: Yes
iPhone 6/6S Support: Yes
iPhone 6 Plus/6S Plus Support: No
iPhone 7 series Support: No
 

04
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Minisuit Ultra-Thin Bluetooth Qwerty Keyboard Case

Minisuit Ultra-Thin Bluetooth Qwerty Keyboard Case
Minisuit Ultra-Thin Bluetooth Qwerty Keyboard Case. image copyright Minisuit

Minisuit's keyboard case offers a pair of things many other keyboards don't: support for the iPhone 5/5S and an integrated stand. Similar to the IMOD case, this model includes an on/off switch to conserve battery life. But where it differentiates itself is its built-in stand that allows the user to prop the iPhone at an angle for easy viewing.

List Price: $59.95

Weight: 6.5 oz
Backlight: Yes
iPhone 5/5S support: Yes
iPhone 5C/4S/4 support: No

The Moguls King keyboard case is another budget-conscious option with a no-frills feature set, but an appealing price. It's got generally the same features as many other cases on this list—slim design, keyboard buttons for things like the Home button, Function key shortcuts for things like controlling music, etc. I don't see any mention of backlighting on the keyboard, though. Still, the price is nice.

List Price: $59.99

Weight: Not listed
Backlight: Not listed
iPhone 6/6S Support: Yes
iPhone 6 Plus/6S Plus Support: No
iPhone 7 series Support: Not listed
 

NUU's MiniKey is a lot like the BoxWave and Kiano models: it clips onto the back of the iPhone and offers a keyboard that slides out when in use and can be hidden when not. Like those models, it also requires that you use the iPhone in landscape mode. It offers backlighting, but doesn't have any iPhone-specific keys.

One nice feature of the MiniKey is that it's one model that works for both the iPhone 4S and 4, rather than having a different model keyboard for each phone.

List Price: $59.00

Weight: 3.2 ounces
Backlight: Yes
iPhone 5/5C/5S support: No
iPhone 4S support: Yes
iPhone 4 support: Yes
 

The TOP Shock Proof PU Leather Case takes a hybrid approach, combining the keyboard cases we've seen on this list so far with a popular, folio-style leather case. Instead of having the keyboard slide out from behind the phone, the case flips open to reveal the keyboard. Prop up the iPhone and you're ready to type. The case's flap also contains a slot to hold credit cards or a license. 

List Price: $49.99

Weight: 6.4 oz
Backlight: Not listed
iPhone 6/6S Support: Yes
iPhone 6 Plus/6S Plus Support: No
iPhone 7 series Support: Not listed
 

08
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OEM Slider Keyboard

OEM Slider Keyboard for iPhone
OEM Slider Keyboard for iPhone.

This one is a little tricky, since you'll see a keyboard that looks a lot like this for sale under many brand names. As far as I can tell, that's because this is an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) Bluetooth keyboard that companies buy and import, then put their own names on and sell. If I'm wrong about this, I'd appreciate it if any of the companies listed here contacted me.

This keyboard is another model that clips onto the iPhone and slides in and out for use. It doesn't have a backlight, but does offer a single accessory that works with both the iPhone 4S and iPhone 4. It has shortcut keys for home and Spotlight.

Sold under the following brands: Concord Keystone, EStand, iMounTek, Ion, Hipstreet, Naztech

List Price: $49.99-$79.99

Weight: 2.8 oz
Backlight: No
iPhone 5/5C/5S support: No
iPhone 4S support: Yes
iPhone 4 support: Yes

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