I can’t make a call using a phone! Samsung Galaxy S2 UX Failed!

Finally I’ve gotten myself a touchscreen phone. If it wasn’t for Jollideal I would still be using my loyal Nokia E71.

2 days into the phone, I still think a hardware QWERTY keyboard beats touchscreen typing hands down. But I am willing to give it a try. 1-2 months and see if I am able to overcome the obvious limitations of virtual keyboard.


But this post is not about typing. It’s about “Making Calls“. At least I thought what I got is a phone. No doubt it’s a “smart“phone, but it’s still a “phone” right? I’m supposed to be able to make calls using a keypad/dialpad right? You know the ones we used to have in phones? This one:

Keypad / Dialpad



Ok I have to admit that it’s not entirely true that calls can’t be made. If you sync all your contacts from your previous phone or from google or from somewhere in the cloud, you should have no problem calling anyone. That is because all the contacts should already be in your “Contacts”.

But what if what you have is just a number, say 91737779? And you urgently want to call the person without adding him into your “Contacts” yet? Or it happen to be an acquaintance’s number that you don’t want to include it in your “Contacts”? Or maybe you saw an accident and you want to call “999“?

Ok, these might be special circumstances but I’m sure there are a lot more use cases for a keypad/dialpad?

But where is the keypad/dialpad in Samsung Galaxy S II?


Yesterday I passed the phone around in a table of 5 people, 3 people looked at it, fiddle with it, try out different combinations. But no, we can’t figure how to activate the keypad/dialpad! Mind you, those 5 people are heavy weight geeks, much heavier than me. But nope, Samsung decides to design their UI such that no geeks will know how to activate the keypad/dialpad. (Please leave a comment if you intuitively found out about how to activate the Keypad)

So I went to sleep yesterday thinking that perhaps Samsung decided to ditch the keypad. Perhaps they have gather enough user data about the keypad being useless. Oh well…..


sienz face

Well, turns out i’m wrong. There is indeed a dialpad/keypad on Samsung Galaxy S II! But it’s UX design completely baffles me! If it’s just me, maybe it’s my problem, but 3 other people tried it and failed. Perhaps Samsung needs to rethink their UX design!

So how did I found out about it? All thanks to the mighty Googlem and surprise surprise Yahoo Answers! It’s also quite comforting to know that I’m not alone.

This is the said articleSamsung galaxy S2-how to make phone calls?

So for the benefit of all Samsung Galaxy S2 users out there, this is how you bring up the keypad.

  1. Select the Green Phone Icon (Contacts) – It should lead you to the screen where you see logs, contacts, favourites, etc.
  2. Place your finger on the “Logs” tab and swipe it towards the right.
  3. Voila! The keypad icon magically appear!!
Ok, here are some screenshots (BTW, thanks to this post, I’ve also learned how to screen capture by doing the Home+Power combo)
SGSII Contacts
Notice the small little glow at the top left corner? That is supposed to signify something is here – swipe me!
SGSII Contacts (with Keypad)
Hooray! The Keypad button is revealed!
SGSII Keypad
Hooray now I can call 999 without saving it as a Contact!