F(x)tec Pro¹ - Slider Smartphone with physical keyboard

Kyodraken

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I am actually pretty surprised (or maybe just too stupid to use the search) that I didn't see anyone talk about this.
Well, to be honest I just found out that this device exists a day or two ago and don't know that much about it yet - it is expected to launch this month - and am very curious to hear what you guys think about it.

F(x)tec is a London based startup company, including team members from Team Livermorium, who planned to release a keyboard mod for the Moto Z, which unfortunately didn't go exactly as planned. You can read more about that here .



SPECIFICATIONS
DESIGN
Dimensions: 154 x 73.6 x 13.98 mm

DISPLAY
5.99-inch 2160 x 1080 (FHD+) AMOLED with curved edges
Corning® Gorilla® Glass 3

KEYBOARD
Physical Keyboard layout: 5-row, 64-key, staggered, backlit, landscape QWERTY keyboard
Keyboard mechanism: sliding (angled)

MEMORY
RAM: 6GB LPDDR4
Storage: 128GB, expandable via microSD card up to 2TB

CAMERA
Front Camera: 8MP, fixed focus, f/2.0
Rear Cameras: 12MP (Sony IMX363), f/1.8, 1.4µm pixels + 5MP, fixed focus, f/2.0

VIDEO
Video: capture up to 4K @ 30fps, playback up to 4K@60fps (supports H264 (AVC), H265 (HEVC),VP9)

PROCESSOR
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 MSM8998

NETWORK
Global LTE (FDD+TDD), WCDMA/UMTS, CDMA/EVDO, GSM/EDGE
Cellular Bands;
GSM: 2, 3, 5, 8
WCDMA: 1, 2, 4, 5, 8
CDMA/EVDO: BC0, BC1
TD-SCDMA: 34/39
TDD-LTE: 38/39/40/41(100mhz)
FDD-LTE: 1, 2/25, 3, 4, 5/26, 7, 8, 12/17, 13, 20, 28

CONNECTIVITY
WiFi: 802.11a/b/g/n/ac (WiFi 5)
Bluetooth: 5.0 + LE
NFC (supports Google Pay)
USB Type-C with HDMI support

BATTERY
3200 mAh
Talk time 10hrs
Standby time 480hrs
Quick Charge™ 3.0

SIM
Dual Nano SIM with microSD support (shared with SIM #2),
no SIM tool needed

CUSTOM APPLICATIONS
Landscape-optimized apps: launcher, calendar, email

SOUND
Speakers: dual, stereo
Audio connectivity: 3.5mm TRRS headphone Jack
FM Radio

NOTIFICATION
Flash: dual colour, dual LED
Notification light: Yes (RGB LED)

SENSORS
Fingerprint reader: Yes (side mounted)
GPS/A-GPS, Accelerometer, Magnetometer, Gyroscope, Proximity, Ambient Light, Hall effect

BUTTONS
Power/lock key, Volume rocker, 2-stage camera shutter key

OS
Android 9.0 Pie
Bootloader unlockable, supports other popular OS’s (Lineage, Sailfish etc)

As you can see the hardware is, while not being the latest, actually pretty decent, but not open (e.g. Snapdragon 835).
Personally I quite like the modern design, although I don't think a curved display was the best decision, especially when paired with the older Gorilla Glass 3.
They advertise support for Lineage and Sailfish OS (Bootloader unlockable).
Regarding the price: I am pretty sure I saw it for ~650€ yesterday or the day before, now it's listed for 778.80€
A German QWERTZ version is available as well.

I am currently looking for a smartphone with a physical keyboard and this one seems to be one of if not THE only modern devices which still offer that, apart from Blackberry. And of course the Planet Computers PDAs if you want to count them as well.
What do you guys think about this?
 

jurop

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There is a long thread on the subject @ talk.maemo.org - I don't remember if this forum policies allow external links to other forums so I avoid to post it but there's always DuckDuckGo...
 

elvissteinjr

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We had a thread, but I only really found it since I remembered posting there: https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/threads/f-x-technology-android-phone-with-a-slide-out-keyboard.83522/

This is almost exactly what I want from a phone (you could keep the curved screen, but nyeh). I got a pre-order in and were part of that old Moto mod Indiegogo thingy, so I got a discount too.
Also helped a bit with the QWERTZ layout with the community there. It's better than the QWERTY one to be honest.

The new price is steep. The old one was already pretty much the limit for me. Otherwise this is shaping up to be a fine device imo.
I'll let you know if it's actually shit when I hopefully get mine mid-September. At least the latest information (last week) is that they're still on track for that.
 

elvissteinjr

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Is there anywhere to try this in London?
There was a community meet-up in London last June. So you kind of missed that I guess.
Now you'll likely have to wait until the device ships. Perhaps you'll find a soul eager to let you try the phone then.

iirc they also mentioned selling through Amazon at some point. Worst case you could make use of their return policies to try it then? Iunno.
 

EvilDragon

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I knew about this for quite a while, as I've been a backer of the slide-our keyboard for the MotoZ (and this is the evolution as the keyboard never happened).

I was in contact with them about reselling it in my shop... but at some time, they simply didn't answer anymore :/
 

Grench

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I am currently looking for a smartphone with a physical keyboard and this one seems to be one of if not THE only modern devices which still offer that, apart from Blackberry. And of course the Planet Computers PDAs if you want to count them as well.
What do you guys think about this?
I'm not sure I understand the sideways comment about Planet Computers. Yes, the Gemini was PDA first phone second, but it is a quite serviceable phone - just not much of a camera, which people tend to lump into 'phone' these days.

The Planet Computers Cosmo is currently in production and should be shipping in a couple of weeks. The Gemini's 'missing phone features' have been pretty well eliminated in the Cosmo. Second screen on lid, fingerprint reader, 24MP camera, Answer/No toggle switch... all the 'phone features' are there now.

I think that the thumb keyboard slider above in the OP has it's place in things - hope it does well. But if you're going to talk about 'smartphone with a physical keyboard', you should most definitely include the Planet Computers PDA/Phones - especially as they are the only ones that can actually be set on a desk and typed on in a mostly traditional manner. Does make for a huge phone though.
 

Kyodraken

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Nearly same price as Pyra. But android is not much fun even with keyboard.
(Edit: I read "Nearly same as Pyra", while overlooking the word "price". Sorry.)
Well I can't really agree with that. Yes, they both have a physical keyboard, but that's about it. The Pyra is a full mini computer with additional buttons for gaming, running Linux. The Pro1 is a smartphone. And if you want to use apps (for me mainly messengers like Signal, Threema etc.) the choices are pretty limited. I think a LineageOS, with as little Google stuff as possible, is still one of the best options. What OS are you using for your smartphone, if you have one?

The new price is steep. The old one was already pretty much the limit for me. Otherwise this is shaping up to be a fine device imo.
I'll let you know if it's actually shit when I hopefully get mine mid-September. At least the latest information (last week) is that they're still on track for that.
Yeah, same with me. I didn't want to preorder it immediately for 650€, but the ~779€ they are asking now.. no thanks, at least for now.
Thanks, I'm looking forward to your opinion when you got your Pro¹ :)

I'm not sure I understand the sideways comment about Planet Computers. Yes, the Gemini was PDA first phone second, but it is a quite serviceable phone - just not much of a camera, which people tend to lump into 'phone' these days.
[...]
I think that the thumb keyboard slider above in the OP has it's place in things - hope it does well. But if you're going to talk about 'smartphone with a physical keyboard', you should most definitely include the Planet Computers PDA/Phones - especially as they are the only ones that can actually be set on a desk and typed on in a mostly traditional manner. Does make for a huge phone though.
Sorry, could have worded that better I guess. But you kind of gave the answer yourself why I did not really count them as a smartphone with physical keyboard: They are PDA first. As I am planning to make my Pyra an everyday-carry, there is no need for another bulky device, so a thinner smartphone would be welcome. Devices like the Gemini or Cosmo have the "problem", that you can't use them vertically. That might not be a problem for everyone, but if I just want to check the news, the weather forecast or reply to a group chat if I'm coming to the pub today or not, I imagine it would be much easier if you have a device you can pull out, do that, put it away. Maybe even with one hand if you're on a crowded bus or train.
Edit: If you could optionally "yoga" the Cosmo Communicator like you can with the OneMix3s to use it as a tablet, that would really make a difference, at least for me. But as far as I'm aware that's not possible.
 
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docbroke

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@Kyodraken Where you didn't agree ? I couldn't find that from what you have written.
About your other question, I use Moto X4 at present with lineage OS, without GAPPS, but I am tired of android, even when you are not using google, the OS is limited by design. You depend on apps for anything you want to do. There is nothing much you can do with terminal, ( I know there is options like termux, and I use it), just to give an example you cannot even easily start an app from terminal or run a systemwide cronjob. Which makes keyboard useless, as there is nothing much to do with it, other than typing messages.
 

Kyodraken

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Oh man, I'm an idiot. I completely overlooked the word "price", I just read "Nearly same as Pyra". Sorry for that.

Hm okay, I can understand why you are not happy with Android then. For me I HAVE to use at least messenger apps to stay in contact with friends, family and colleagues, so not much choice apart from iOS and Android based OSs unfortunately.
 

kuru

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I'd go as far as calling those specs too high. I'd be fine with a 1080p screen, 3GB RAM, a cheaper SoC. What do people run on their phones that requires the things on offer here? I don't get it.
All my display devices at 12.5", 17", 27" and beamer are 1080p and I'm fine with that.

I'd spend up to 400€ on this if I could run maemo or similar on it. But 800? Meh. I like it - the keyboard looks awesome - but I'd never spend that kind of money. The Unihertz Titan is what, 250€? I talked my boss into getting one, looking forward to having a play with it in a few months.
 

WizardStan

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Physical Keyboard layout: 5-row, 64-key, staggered, backlit, landscape QWERTY keyboard
YES YES YES YES YES!!
Rear Cameras: 12MP (Sony IMX363), f/1.8, 1.4µm pixels + 5MP, fixed focus, f/2.0
Nice nice nice
Bootloader unlockable
Wouldn't have it any other way!
Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 MSM8998
Oh. That's... I guess I can live with that, for a physical keyboard.
curved edges
And I'm out. I guess I could've started with this and saved myself a lot of up and down.

There is a long thread on the subject @ talk.maemo.org - I don't remember if this forum policies allow external links to other forums so I avoid to post it but there's always DuckDuckGo...
They're allowed, but I think you need to have made at least 10 posts before it'll let you.
 

elvissteinjr

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Euro price is back to 649€. Apparently the 778.80€ were an error.
There were talks about a price increase though (which did already happen iirc). But from the looks of it, only for non-EU countries? Not sure.
 

AnimatedFreak

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I do want one, just for the keyboard. So hard to get me interested in any smartphone today. It's however out of my price range currently, (I even had to cancel my pyra pre-order because of financial difficulties) so this one is definitely out of the question. That being said my current phone old as hell (Galaxy S4) with a broken screen. So this might be my next phone if it drops in price.
 

NetBLOKS

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YES YES YES YES YES!!

Nice nice nice

Wouldn't have it any other way!

Oh. That's... I guess I can live with that, for a physical keyboard.

And I'm out. I guess I could've started with this and saved myself a lot of up and down.


They're allowed, but I think you need to have made at least 10 posts before it'll let you.
Just out of interest:
What is so bad about curved edges?
This is no phone for me, as I am waiting for the Cosmo and think that it is far superior and everyone buying and thinking something different than me is, of course, wrong ;), but curved edges are not the problem I have with this product.
 

WizardStan

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What is so bad about curved edges?
Where are you supposed to grab without accidentally touching the screen when the screen is so large it literally wraps around the case?
I'm also opposed to flat, bezelless screens for the same reason: just give me that slim mm of plastic so I have something to hold onto, please!
 
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