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


ingoreis

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I want one too..
..for me the only Problem is to Pay with CreditCard.

I am totaly against Creditcards and its my Opionion.
Bank Card,Paypal...is enough for me.
A Creditcard is for me dangerous because maybe i buy too many Things where i not have the Money for.

The other Thing is that i dont know if the FxTech pass the CE Tests.
You can only import expensive Machines to Germany when they have a CE Certificate..otherwise you will not get it from the Import Post Office here.

Like it happend to the Much W1 Android Phone which they did not gave that to me here in Germany.

Importing can be a Problem too because you pay the Price for the FXTec and when it arrive here and when they have the CE Label and Certificate...
..then you must Pay for the Importing and the Taxes too.
649 + 19% Taxes + Importing Costs.

All in all a nice Phone and i want one...but too dangerous for me to lost the Money and do not get it in the Future.
 

elvissteinjr

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I am totaly against Creditcards and its my Opionion.
Bank Card,Paypal...is enough for me.
A Creditcard is for me dangerous because maybe i buy too many Things where i not have the Money for.
PayPal will return as an option after the pre-order phase. It was initially there, but then got removed. No official reasoning, but I highly suspect it's because PayPal actually has rules against pre-orders which aren't guaranteed to ship out within 20 days.

The other Thing is that i dont know if the FxTech pass the CE Tests.
You can only import expensive Machines to Germany when they have a CE Certificate..otherwise you will not get it from the Import Post Office here.
Devices are shipped from within the EU for EU customers (at the very least until Brexit I suppose) and shipped from the US for US customers. There's no additional fees from customs or the danger of it getting held back there.
F(x)tec is an UK company.
 

levi

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The other Thing is that i dont know if the FxTech pass the CE Tests.
You can only import expensive Machines to Germany when they have a CE Certificate..otherwise you will not get it from the Import Post Office here.
I'm surprised that's been a problem, because CE testing is so lax. You can basically 'run your own tests' and print out the certificate, and the idea is if you've been doing it wrong the law will catch up with them after the fact, but in practice, I've rarely heard of that happening.
 

fusion_power

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There is a fist impression on golem.de (german) from the IFA about the Pro 1 phone, it seems to be a very promising device with good build quality and good keyboard.

FX Tec Pro 1 im Hands on

Since there are not that many phones with physical keyboard in the wild anymore, it could be worth a deeper look onto the Pro 1 for sure.
 

elvissteinjr

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Nice! Currently there seems to be... some stuff happening? People are worried about them hitting the mid-September shipping date for the pre-orders and there's been silence for the last couple of days on all official channels. Supposedly you get some kind of answer via support mail, but it's "strictly forbidden to share any part of this message with any third party, without a written consent of the sender".
In the earlier phases and the Moto mod times they sounded a bit more open and honest about stuff. I get they want to be professional, but I'd appreciate honesty more if something went wrong. Maybe the Pyra project spoiled me, but still.
Odd.

Edit: Email finally came. Officially delayed till early October... maybe. Sounds like they're not satisfied with the software experience yet... just ship me the hardware anyways, man.
 
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EvilDragon

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And finally there's a quick update!

I've made a special deal with the manufacturer: Any order I place until the end of the week will MOST probably be delivered before christmas (unless a deliery service fucks up).

I've got both the QWERTY and QWERTZ version in my shop.
All of them have a power supply with US, EU and UK connectors - so you can use them internationally.

So if you're interested in getting one:
Preorder the QWERTZ version here
Preorder the QWERTY version here

More details on the specs are in the shop as well, but let me know if you have further questions.
 

elvissteinjr

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That's interesting information, thank you.

I was going to wait until the first units actually ship, but now is also a good moment I suppose.
There have been a myriad of delays and dates shifted right when the last promised arrived. Communication is sparse and spread mainly across channels which are not the official forums (which is said to be user to user only, for whatever reason), support says things but isn't really in on the status either...
The first batch has received notification that stock was assigned to their order, however. This was like a week ago I think.
They always said the first batch was going to be small, but to my surprise my order is not part of it, so... get your first impressions somewhere else I guess.

The only thing holding me up here is how the hardware is supposed to be excellent, according to a few individuals who have tried it out on community meetups or even have a pre-production unit. The last official information sent directly to customers was on October 30th saying something about the devices being sent "this week". This was right after the promised shipping date of October 29th ran out.

The flow of information is clearly sub-par. I just hope they manage to get these things out eventually. Too elaborate and genuine for a scam, but they better don't run out of money before shipping or something.
 

elvissteinjr

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First units are finally shipping to customers now. Non-EU/US first, but those should follow before the end of the week.
Still not my device in this, but I suppose they're making way for that soon™.

And as I don't think they had been posted here before, EskeRahn's blog posts about his pre-production unit are a nice read:
FXTEC PRO¹ / PRO1, 2019 KEYBOARD-SLIDER PHABLET. PRE-PROD. UNIT PREVIEW
THE FXTEC PRO, QWERTY SLIDER, FINAL PRODUCT (ALMOST)
PRO1 INVOLUNTARY DROP TEST

Edit:
First EU units are shipping now.
Edit 2:
US units were not let through customs. Affected orders were informed via email. Currently not sure when or if it's even already resolved, but they're working on it.
 
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elvissteinjr

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Hesitant to double post, but there's been some juicy developments imo, so I think it's worth it.

Some Japanese customers have received their units. This Taketyon person posted a bunch of photos here: twitter.com/JH174941/status/1195491135419867137
Links to the original resolution images:
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJc81rQVUAAZY9j?format=jpg&name=orig
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJc81rSUUAE6W4f?format=jpg&name=orig
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJc9QLAU4AAYF92?format=jpg&name=orig
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJc9QLCUcAAA_FJ?format=jpg&name=orig
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJc-_JTU4AA1LZ4?format=jpg&name=orig
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJdCDdrU4AAdAvR?format=jpg&name=orig
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJdCDdoUcAIaJAY?format=jpg&name=orig
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJnoKi0UUAE74Z3?format=jpg&name=orig
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/EJntIusUYAAgNfy?format=jpg&name=orig

My Google translate is a good as everyone else's, but there seem to be no major complaints so far. The lack of a real phone case (was switched to a sleeve recently) is still kind of a bummer, though.

There was also a semi-official unboxing and initial boot-up video uploaded (by Erik, an engineer at F(x)tec, but not on official channel):


Bootloader is unlocked by default instead of just unlockable btw. An alpha-state Sailfish build is already available as well.
They suddenly stepped up communication quite a bit again after the first units shipped.
First units for people who'll actually write something in English should arrive tomorrow or a few days later, depending on location. US units still seem to stuck at customs, however.
Second batch is supposed to depart from the factory this week. They had paperwork issues with shipping the first (well still kinda do for US I guess), so it might go a bit faster this time, knowing exactly how to fill out everything.

Edit:
Some Europeans have their units now as expected. Nothing exceptional or in-depth posted yet. They are enjoying their devices, though.

Edit 2:
US units were rejected at customs and sent back. F(x)tec has to fix the paperwork and send them again. Ouch, probably not cheap.

Some first impression writeups are being collected on the forums now: https://community.fxtec.com/topic/2484-independent-reviews/
Overall it still looks like the hardware is very solid, with some software issues here and there, which will hopefully be fixed soon.

Edit 3:
Still no phone for me, but they've not been ultra silent at least. Apart from announcing a new OTA update fixing many software issues, they also sent us pre-orderers a new email today:
Pro1 shipping update

Hello!

We just wanted to get in touch with an update on the Pro1. As you are aware we have shipped a number of devices to customers in the last few weeks.
In parallel we have been battling our way through a few more challenges, most recently:
  • A large batch of devices have been sent back to our warehouse in Hong Kong by US customs due to strict import regulations, this held up all our US customer orders. We have a solution for this now.
  • We have also been working with our screen supplier to fix a light leak issue, discovered in another batch of devices before shipping. To resolve this, we have added in a couple of extra steps to the production process and have been looking into alternative methods to ensure this improves the overall ratio of yield. We are committed to delivering devices that meet our high quality standards and customer expectations, and so we have reproduced this batch from scratch.
Rest assured the team at F(x)tec in London, China and Hong Kong are working to get your Pro1 over to you asap. Another batch of devices has left the factory on Wednesday and is making its way through the F(x)tec logistics network over the next week.
We’re working with the factory on how quickly they can get the remaining pre-order devices assembled and ready, updates will come either through us directly or a change in status to your order.
Have a great weekend all and to our US customers, wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving!

Adrian and Chen
Founders, F(x)tec
Edit 4:
Bit silent recently, but in order to pass SafetyNet, all new units will ship with a locked bootloader after all. Should still be just unlockable when desired, but one will loose Google Pay and maybe other stuff that relies on SafetyNet for no good reason.

Edit 5 (I'll probably triple post when there's more visual stuff out, I guess):
US orders are now shipping again, along with the next batch for EU and the rest of the world. Current estimate is to have smaller batches with 1-2/10ths of all pre-orders assembled and shipped per week.
Shipping again is nice. This however also means that it's pretty unlikely that any DragonBox Shop orders will arrive before 2020. Gotta wait a bit more I suppose. We are mostly patient people here, right?
Mine could still arrive before Christmas, but who knows.
 
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elvissteinjr

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I should receive the QWERTZ versions in 1 - 2 weeks.
They just sent out a newsletter today outlining future developments and how they deal with the recently encountered issues, but it was totally silent about the shipment that was supposedly sent from the factory around Friday the 6th.
I suppose you have not been told any newer details about that shipment either, right? Not your customer in this case, but if you get QWERTZ devices for the shop already, my device is certainly part of that factory batch.
 

elvissteinjr

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Well I guess congratulations to anyone who gets their unit from the shop. ED got no fault in this, but us F(x)tec pre-orderers (or even worse, people having backed the Moto Mod years ago) are still sitting here without any further details about where our phones are.
Dragonbox Shop isn't even the only retailer who has some in stock now. This is not cool.

I guess I know where to buy the next device from at least.
 

EvilDragon

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I was also a backer of the Moto Mod ;)

Well, I can imagine what went wrong:

1. They didn't want to miss out the christmas sales. Originally, that probably wouldn't have been an issue, as they planned to deliver the preordered units on October (but we all know here how easy things can be delayed...)
2. They still thought they can deliver before the preorders get theirs. AFAIK they mentioned to me that they'll deliver the units to their preorders early December.
3. Apparently, production took longer. Last week they asked me if I was okay to receive the package directly from the company in China, not from them in the UK (which was the original plan).
--> Because of that they receive the units at the same time the distributors receive them. And from there they need to ship them to their customers.
4. Angry distributors who ordered at least 20 units (some even more than 100) could be a bigger issue - they could cancel the order if they don't receive it before christmas. So one distributor cancelling the order is much worse than a few preorders who need to be refunded.

So yeah, I know it's not cool, but businesswise, it's probably smarter.
They might lose a few customers but if too many distributors cancel, they can easily run into money issues.

Nevertheless, as they should've received their units together with the distributors, they should start to ship them out soon. So hopefully, it's just a couple of days.
 
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