still waiting for the Pyra ....


SAS

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Jan 10, 2019
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A couple of quarters later - and still anticipating to get Pyra 'soon' / in 2 months TM :p - my experiments with 'always on' devices with hardware keyboard continue.

First I got Motorola Droid 4. Read the rapturous comments and decided to give it a chance. Hackable. Pocketable. Many people consider it successor of N900. Replaceable battery. Easy to get custom recovery and root. So far so good. Initially tested it with Sailfish OS, but had too many glitches with NextCloud sync and bluetooth audio streaming. So I returned to Lineage as main OS. But after three ROMs I tried it with - it was simply slooow. My 'daily driver' has 312 MHz CPU. I live quite happily with LP on my SG Note 3. And I definitely do not expect X years old device to behave 'like new'. But the Droid 4 just felt sluggish. Slower than the same age Nexus 5. Or Nexus 7 2013. It took couple of seconds to switch between applications. I felt like with PPCs from the early 2000s. It was simply not suitable for my daily usage. And I mean basic usage - like e-mail client & IM client & browser with 2-3, maximum 5 tabs open. So in less than 3 months I retired it.

Then, I got excited - and started making compromises. As a general rule, my Android devices are supposed to have mSD expansion, removable battery and possibility for root. But I discovered EJ-CN920 keyboard attachment for Samsung Galaxy (SG) Note5 / 8. My main Android device for many years is SG Note 3 and people I care about around me - and care for what they are using - are with SG Note4 /last model with both mSD & removable battery/. But the temptation to have rootable Android device & high-end model /for its time/ with stylus and hw kbd was too big. And - the disappointment was big as well. The EJ-CN920U has severely limited language support. OK - I can understand Samsung for not making the effort to support more than X languages. But - why do they prevent 3rd party products / alternative keyboards for use with EJ-CN920U is beyond me. The official support was abysmal and despite the /too much/ time invested - I could not find solution online. So it was usable only with English input in my usage scenario. Combined with lack of arrow and functional keys - it turned out to be just another accessory with rare usage. And the Note 5 - though I liked the build quality - ended up in the drawer with the Droid 4.

So, in order to use hw kbd with more recent Android device I settled with Blackberry Priv /thanks @Askarus for the inspiration ;) / I was ignoring it for a long time due to the locked bootloader and the impossible root. However, after the disappointing experience with SG Note 5, I was eager to experience again a reasonable hw kbd. And I went for Priv, spent too much time reconfiguring regularly used applications /missing Titanium Backup/, settled with NetGuard instead of AFwall+ /sacrificing VPN connections because of this/ and limited apps to personally used /e.g. no kids games because of lack of dedicated adblocker/. For more than 6 months I use it daily and cannot complain. It works OK, but definitely not something I'll terribly miss once I got Pyra in my hands ...

Still passing current hw keyboard devices like Cosmo / FxPro, as their prices are not justified for me for tertiary device. I am seriously tempted by PinePhone as they probably will have hw kbd accessory soon. Removable battery, active development, attractive price. If SantaED is too busy preparing gifts for the good kids :D - maybe a multiOS gadget like PinePhone will be the toy to tinker with this Christmas ....

What are you presently using, anticipating the Pyra?
 

Askarus

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I'm still using my Priv.
Some month ago I finally figured out it's possible to completely remove (not disable) Google and other software via ADB (command line via PC).
Now I finally like my phone again.
Not having a custom ROM is not that of a big deal as long as I can remove all the crap I don't want to have.
Root privileges is not really important to me as I don't do much with my phone except Web-browsing and Telegram.
 

elvissteinjr

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Jun 19, 2010
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My current phone is a F(x)tec Pro1. I'm terribly big on phones at the end of the day, but lack of keyboard is not something I want to compromise on. It's a hard to justify piece of hardware at its price but it's not really an outlier in pricing on the few recent hardware keyboard phones that started existing again. Also got it a tad bit cheaper than the normal price.
Has its quirks, but it's a neat device. I do use it as a cool phone though, not really much as a pocket computer.

In a way I'm not 100% sure if I'll use my Pyra much. But I'm too far on this journey to question if I want it or not. There's a lot of cool stuff to be done with it, I just somehow don't see it as the device I'd always have with me.
Might be more on me and the lack of situations that would really take advantage of having that thing lately, though.
 

Swordfish II

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May 20, 2015
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I grabbed a pinephone a while back. Opened it to run the hardware test suite to make sure everything works, then put it back in the box to await the keyboard. I am looking forward to it.

Don't get the Cosmo Communicator. Do NOT Get It. The hardware is great. Planet is terrible with the software. Each update either doesn't fix existing bugs or it breaks something else.

For instance battery saver: broken, if enabled your phone will reboot itself 2 or more times a day. Battery life is about a day without it and maybe a day and a half with.

If I call my voicemail from the front. When the phone locks the front screen won't respond so I can't enter my voicemail pin without opening the keyboard. Same for switching to/from speakerphone during a call.

Their Linux port has taken 1+ year to be remotely functional and it's just built on the android Kernel. In order to use mobile data you have to swap out network-manager with ofono (why didn't they just build it in? Its annoying)

The promised Sailfish port never happened.

These are just a couple issues there are many more that shouldn't exist on an almost $800 phone.
 

ClockworkCoder

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Jan 21, 2016
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Any idea as to the release date? Cannot wait to get mine.
That might depend if/when you pre-ordered.

Purportedly there are units to go out before the end of the year, but this is still yet to be officially confirmed. After that, I suspect that it will take two or three months for existing pre-orders to be sent out.
 

superatarian

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Jun 20, 2009
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272
That might depend if/when you pre-ordered.

Purportedly there are units to go out before the end of the year, but this is still yet to be officially confirmed. After that, I suspect that it will take two or three months for existing pre-orders to be sent out.
I pre-ordered on 7/27/2016.
 
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