Korean Phones Input Method

From Legacy Portable Computing Wiki

Prior 2010, Korean feature phones did not have a set standard codified by the government about input method for typing Korean language.

This means that typing Korean text can be different in various ways because each manufacturers have their own implementation of Korean language layout.

This page will mostly cover the well known input methods, and as such, layouts used in rather old Korean mobile phones (particularly before 2002) or layouts used by less known-brands will not be discussed.

Samsung (Anycall)

In frame: SPH-V8400 (KTF-branded)

Officially called "Cheonjin" Input Method (천지인자판 Cheonji-in. "Sky, Earth, Human") in Korea, this layout is made by Samsung Electronics for Samsung Anycall phones. This input method is also used in KT Tech's "EVER" branded phones. it is also used in a few select models of Chinese-market Samsung SGH-phones with Korean language support.

It consists of two section: Vowel (first row) and Consonant (the rest). Consonant such as ㄱㄴㄷ can be typed normally. Meanwhile, vowels are made by combining vowel block (|/./-) to make a correct shape needed. (example: ㅐ is typed as follows: | / . / | and ㅜ is typed in this order: - / .).

A modified version of this layout exist for use in feature phones made for North Korean market, particularly made by Huawei.

In frame: Huawei U121

LG (Cyon)

In frame: LG-SD340 (SKT-branded)

Also known as Narat-Gul (나랏글 Narat Geul) is a Korean input method used in LG CYON devices. This is also the layout used in all LG Telecom-exclusive phones, such as:

  • Casio/Hitachi/Toshiba "CanU" branded phones
  • All OEM handsets bearing the model name KHAI-, LT-, or EX- (Sewon, Pantech, Telson, respectively).

The keypad block is separated into three section: Vowel (right side) Consonant (Left side) and Shift (* and # keys). Unique to this layout, not all consonants are printed on the keypad, which caused high learning curve.

In a few cases, it was reported that this keypad wears unevenly (especially on * and # keys because these have the highest usage amongst others).

VEGA Hangul

In frame: SKY IM-8300 (SKT-branded)

Formerly known as SKY-II Hangul Input Method, this is the primary input method used in SKY phones. later, Curitel phones also used this layout, starting on Curitel S4. This layout used all of the available space for both consonant and vowel letters. It made this layout very easy to learn and use.

Just like before, this layout is also modified to use in handset made for North Korean market, usually in ZTE phones.


In frame: Motorola MS300 (SKT-branded)

This is the layout used in Korean Motorola feature phones. particularly starting from V series, and became standard when MS100 (and its subsequent successors) released.

Similar to CYON layout, this layout rely on Shift a lot, usually located in # key.

Handol Code (VK Mobile)

In Frame: VK Mobile VK200c

This is the primary input method used in all VK phones prior VK300c. Similar to CYON layout, it utilizes Shift key as a means to enter additional letters that can't be typed normally. However, The writer of this page do not understand clearly how does Shift in this layout works, or in what situation the shift key needs to be used.

Supposedly, there was a Windows software made by VK for anyone to learn how to type using Handol Code. but unfortunately the software has been lost. When it's available for download, we will post download link in here.

Seungri Hangul (VK Mobile)

In Frame: VK Mobile VK700c

Seungri Hangul (승리한글 Seungri Hangeul "Victory Korea") is a refined input method made by VK Mobile to replace Handol code. Since the release of VK300c, it became the primary input method used by VK Mobile handsets. It has similar structure to Anycall's Cheonjiin.

VK300c - Prototype/early batch
VK300c - Later revision

Prototype and a early batches of VK300c phones exist with Handol code layout instead of Seungri layout. These tend to be much more rare and hard to find compared to the later revision with new keypad.

Curitel Old Layout

This layout looks and works similarly to Anycall layout. except that it utilise all of the available space and vowel has been moved down to the last row (*,0,#).

It was dropped from usage since Pantech started using SKY layout

In Frame: Curitel PG-K5500C (KTF-branded)


Ever since March 2011, it was made mandatory for mobile phone manufacturers in Korea to use a standardised input method for phones. Out of all of them, the Anycall layout was chosen to be standardised. Most likely due to the fact Anycall was a very popular phone brand in Korea and a lot of people used it.