Review of the F(x) Tec Pro1 Keyboard Slider Smartphone (2019)

Discussion in 'General Smartphone/Handheld/Wearable Discussion' started by Hook, Dec 25, 2019.

  1. EdmundDantes

    EdmundDantes Mobile Deity

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    I have only had one Lenovo experience (a laptop) and I was not impressed. It didn't last very long and the quality was pretty poor. One very small data point, but I thought I'd mention it.
     
  2. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    I've really had nothing but good experiences with Lenovo. My writing laptop and my Linux laptop are both Thinkpads and I was happy with my G6. It did develop a USB port ptoblem, but that happens with mid-range phones. I don't remember if the Moto Z (the first) was a Lenovo Moto or not, but it was my wife's favorite phone. So far I'm really happy with my G8 Power.
     
  3. Mi An

    Mi An Hyperfocal

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    I was going to recommend the power over the fast back when you posted, but based on your use case description, I feared it might not be worth it for you so I held my tongue. I love long battery life, both capacity and efficiency, and one bonus I've come to appreciate as my Z Play ages is the way that contributes to the lifespan of the device. I'm not comfortable prying open a double glassed device crammed with glue, so battery replacement would be problematic for me as this one degrades, but while my phone is no longer a battery champ after 4 years of degradation, it's still better than average. Hopefully in some way or another all that power benefits you.

    For example, a lot of crazy large battery devices offer reverse charging (different manufacturers call it different things), where you can use your phone like a battery pack to charge other phones or accessories. I'm not sure the power offers that or not, but might be a handy use case someday, might save a little room in your luggage on a trip that might have gone to anker or ravpower.

    As I understand it, Lenovo has wildly different standards for their thinkpads and non-thinkpads. They made conscious attempts to maintain IBM standards for the thinkpad to retain enterprise customers. Perhaps Edmund did have his bad experience on a thinkpad, anything is possible, but without knowing, I'd wager it was a non-thinkpad models. Some of those are much sketchier than others.

    I'd love to buy Dell instead someday, and if they'd do a better job guaranteeing a keyboard experience I can live with (for even one of their model lines), I probably would. As it is, reviews don't seem to share my quirky interests on keyboard design, so short of being able to see a model in person, I'm flying blind. Whereas with thinkpad I know what I'm getting even if reviewers don't cater to me, even if a model isn't available in nearby stores to go hands on with.

    And yes the Z series was part of the lenovorola era. It was clearly influenced by the Project Ara era at google, kind of a pared down version of it. It was a nice series. Solid, quality, versatile. Everyone wanted better mod support and accessibility (some of the good stuff went out of stock quick and never replenished), but then again, no other company ever produced so many phone mods nor supported them as long, so I give them some credit there.
     
  4. scjjtt

    scjjtt A Former Palm User

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    My first android tablet was the Lenovo Tab 2 A10 32 GB. I got it back 5 years ago in October. It still works. Battery is good. The reason I got a new tablet, the Samsung Galaxy Tab A (10.1") /128GB, was because my Lenevo was taking a long time to download apps from the Play Store. It was weird, the WiFi would go in and out while trying to download a new app. I was worry that something worse was going to happen and Costco had the above Galaxy Tab tablet on sale - so I bought it and today I use it for a lot of my work.

    I had considered getting another Lenovo tablet. My first tablet seem to me to be the best value at the price. But the Costco sale was good and it was Saturday and I needed something stable for Sunday. Also, it appears that Lenevo is not keeping up on their tablets. All the ones that they offer right now have Android 9 on them - so I'm glad that I went this time with a Samsung tablet.

    Sent from my Samsung Galaxy Tab A (10.1") /128GB using Tapatalk
     
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  5. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    It could very well be that my happy experiences with Lenovo are because I've only used the two brands they inherited -- Thinkpads and Moto phones. :vbwink:
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
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  6. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    I still haven't had to actually charge my G8 Power yet. Apparently it charges very fast in the car and a couple of on average 30 minute errands keeps the G8 Power fully charged. It got down to 88% this morning, but after an errand with some traffic problems it's 100% again. I've never had a phone that stayed so charged just from car connections, and that goes back to normal times when I would drive a lot. So, yes, big ass battery, but both charges quickly and retains charge for a good long time. If only it had a physical keyboard... :vbgrin:
     
  7. RickAgresta

    RickAgresta Peanut, leader of the Peanutty Forces

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    Like this? [​IMG]
     
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  8. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    I've run into a problem with my Pro1 that a few units have had. I suspect it's a problem with the early screens, lack of QA by the manufacturer of the screens, that may have been corrected with later models. In all cases, FxTec has sent replacement screens, though during the pandemic they have sometimes been slow to do so. Basically, the symptom is a row of phantom touches (not caused by fingers) that sets off anything in their path. Particularly annoying if you are working on something. You can turn on a setting to show visual feedback for touches and then you can really see it when it happens.

    It started up on mine. For a couple of weeks I was getting it every other day, then it settled down. I was watching it for a while before contacting support and I discovered I could trigger it and made video of it for support.

    http://www2.hookmt.com:8080/vid/VID_20201101_114714953-cnvt.mp4

    The nice thing is when I trigger it, it illustrates the symptom nicely, but it doesn't last long. When it happens spontaneously, it goes on a lot longer and will keep triggering things, especially in landscape where it goes from top to bottom triggering the notification shade and status bar even if there are no icons in it's path. Quite disruptive. :vbfrown: I'll see what support says, but they have been very good with folks so I expect to get taken care of. :thumbsup:
     
  9. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    Here is a new YouTube review of the Pro 1. It is probably way nore than you want to wade through. It covers the Pro 1 hardware, using SailfishOS and linux on it. It does go over Android, but not in any depth as it assumed people know Android.

    What is great about it is that all three of the people who put this together are Pro1 enthusiasts who have been using the Pro1 as their daily driver for a year. They are all three from the forum and the unofficial discord channel. It is so much better than some reviewer who gets the phone and plays with it for a week or two at most and may not personally be all that into a physical keyboard.



    It is 40 minutes of non-native English speakers talking very geeky stuff (lol, I wish I could speak another language that well), so you may end up skipping through parts, but it really is worth your time just to really see what this baby can do.

    By the way, speaking of geeky, Lineage 17.1 (Android 10) is out now, but I've switched to AICP (Android Ice Cold Project) Q, which is based off AOSP and Lineage, but adds more elaborate features. Some rough edges to be worked out yet, but I love it. It is so nice to have an easily customizable phone again. :D
     
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  10. Hook

    Hook Caught Watching Prawn

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    So my Pro1 graduated to demon possessed about 2 days ago. It comes and goes, but when it comes, it's gangbusters and lasts quite a while, setting things off, turning on my flashlight, all sorts of mischief. I decided to get in direct contact with Chen by going to Telegram, the chat platform he hangs out on. He asked me to open up the phone and make sure all the screen connections were good, that something might be unseated. I was a little intimidated by the idea, but I decided to test the theory that you could get into these phones with a screwdriver. So, with some mixture of guidance and cheer-leading from Discord as well as a high resolution teardown one of the forum members posted on Github, I did it. Well, turns out, you can open the phone with a screwdriver and an Isesamo pry bar (or guitar pick), but holy crap, you can really do it. The pry tool is not for glue but for clips that help secure the screen assembly to the body as well as the screws. I got it all open but everything seemed good with the screen cable. I did push on it to make sure it was secure, then snapped the screen back to the body (the clips) and rescrewed everything. Super easy. The only thing I found amiss is that a couple of the screws were loose. In fact one fell out when I laid everything out on the work table before I even did anything. So I was hoping maybe having th screws properly tightened would solve it.

    So I fired it up and the Pro1 started behaving. I was able to continue working for another 2 or 3 hours. All seemed good. Then, after 3 hours, the demons rushed in. :vbeek: :vbfrown:

    I got back to Chen. He was very gracious. As soon as they get another batch of screens in, he will send me one. Not sure how soon that will be, but you gotta love a company where the Co-founder and phone designer is available to you for chat. On a Sunday.

    Being back on my G8 Slab, I realize why I want a physical keyboard. I hate onscreen keyboards. But for now I'm stuck, I can't trust my screen. Defects happen, but I'm very happy with the company's response and the community support. Hope I get my new screen soon.
     
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