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Krzysieq

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Hey, 

Anyone seen any independent reviews of the Pro1 from reputable media or tech influencers? Paste links here if You come across anything worth a read. @EskeRahn's review I think might qualify as such if we stretch a bit ūüėČ

These are from September, early peeks on pre-production units, but let's use that as a teaser :)

https://www.techradar.com/uk/reviews/fxtec-pro1

https://www.stuff.tv/fxtec/pro-1/review

https://www.trustedreviews.com/reviews/fx-tec-pro-1

Edited by Krzysieq
added a link
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Thanks. Technically independent, but so much a fan boy of keyboard-sliders, that some would say that it inflicts on being impartial, as there are zero modern alternatives.

I'm not the one to go to, to ask if a physical keyboard is worth the extra price, as well economical as size and weight. To me it is a clear YES, to others it might not be so. It much depends on the individual's usage pattern. My primary usage of a phone/phablet is sms/mms/mail and secondary calls and web-browsing. Others with other priority might feel otherwise.

If people use texting even more, the Cosmo might be an alternative,
Had they made a Yoga-Cosmo with a double hinge, and a single screen (thus increasing the versatility and reducing the weight&thickness), it would have been more of a competitor, for my usage.

There are some German hand ons too, here are two

https://youtu.be/nnE2Rz-OTTg

https://youtu.be/I2DsazO1BCw

And googling for the ones not too old

gives e.g.

https://thenextweb.com/plugged/2019/09/05/the-fxtec-pro-1-proves-theres-room-for-keyboard-slider-phones-in-2019/

https://www.xda-developers.com/fxtec-pro1-slider-phone-physical-keyboard/

(and mine)

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2 hours ago, ddark-il said:

Nice review!

On the vignetting thing. It seems to be limited to the Google app in your examples. So I guess that means the Qualcomm app are compensating by boosting the brightness of the corners? Just did a quick test here with "OpenCamera" versus Qualcomm's and I see the same.

Edit: I confused the labels as below not above the images, DOH

 

There is also what i assume is a 'calibration' issues in the Camera2 API. If you do HDR in OpenCamera the stitching gets the brightness levels wrong, leaving a dark 'halo' around a bright subject. It is hardly a bug in OpenCamera as their HDR works fine on e.g. Samsung S8-. My GUESS is that when the camera via the API is requested to do an image with specific parameter variation, they are handled slightly incorrect, so when the app try to brighten/darken as would match their parameters to do the stich, it fails to give the correct result. My guess would be a bug with handling a parameter as linear/logarithmic. That is e.g. is 25% increase in some parameter 1.25 or 2^0.25=1.19...

The image below is on a slightly older software, but it is the same bug. Best seen in very bright sunlight, and well not much of that in this wet autumn in Denmark

IMG_20190905_153726_HDR~01.jpg

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29 minutes ago, EskeRahn said:

Nice review!


On the vignetting thing. It seems to be limited to the Google app in your examples. So I guess that means the Qualcomm app are compensating by boosting the brightness of the corners? Just did a quick test here with "OpenCamera" versus Qualcomm's and I see the same.

Edit: I confused the labels as below not above the images, DOH

 

There is also what i assume is a 'calibration' issues in the Camera2 API. If you do HDR in OpenCamera the stitching gets the brightness levels wrong, leaving a dark 'halo' around a bright subject. It is hardly a bug in OpenCamera as their HDR works fine on e.g. Samsung S8-. My GUESS is that when the camera via the API is requested to do an image with specific parameter variation, they are handled slightly incorrect, so when the app try to brighten/darken as would match their parameters to do the stich, it fails to give the correct result. My guess would be a bug with handling a parameter as linear/logarithmic. That is e.g. is 25% increase in some parameter 1.25 or 2^0.25=1.19...

The image below is on a slightly older software, but it is the same bug. Best seen in very bright sunlight, and well not much of that in this wet autumn in Denmark

IMG_20190905_153726_HDR~01.jpg

 I see it on both apps, hope that you're right, and it's only a software calibration issue, other than that the camera quality is really good.

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Ah sorry, read your labels wrong, they are above, not below the images.... Silly me

What I was talking about as a calibration issue, was the HDR when using the API, as e.g. with OpenCamera.

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1 hour ago, EskeRahn said:

Nice review!

On the vignetting thing. It seems to be limited to the Google app in your examples. So I guess that means the Qualcomm app are compensating by boosting the brightness of the corners? Just did a quick test here with "OpenCamera" versus Qualcomm's and I see the same.

Edit: I confused the labels as below not above the images, DOH

 

There is also what i assume is a 'calibration' issues in the Camera2 API. If you do HDR in OpenCamera the stitching gets the brightness levels wrong, leaving a dark 'halo' around a bright subject. It is hardly a bug in OpenCamera as their HDR works fine on e.g. Samsung S8-. My GUESS is that when the camera via the API is requested to do an image with specific parameter variation, they are handled slightly incorrect, so when the app try to brighten/darken as would match their parameters to do the stich, it fails to give the correct result. My guess would be a bug with handling a parameter as linear/logarithmic. That is e.g. is 25% increase in some parameter 1.25 or 2^0.25=1.19...

The image below is on a slightly older software, but it is the same bug. Best seen in very bright sunlight, and well not much of that in this wet autumn in Denmark

IMG_20190905_153726_HDR~01.jpg

Your dog clearly absorbs sun energy. He will release it someday with a violent burst!

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1 hour ago, Doktor Oswaldo said:

Your dog clearly absorbs sun energy. He will release it someday with a violent burst!

Nice try! There is no dog! It's just empty space where the Opendogcam inserts a random dog in the middle of the photo.

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58 minutes ago, Noir said:

We had a similar thread before:

 

Thanks, yes. But I did not want to merge them as they are very old, and I guess people want some more recent stuff.

I closed the old thread and added a pointer to this one ūüôā

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https://www.golem.de/news/fx-tec-pro-1-im-hands-on-starkes-tastatur-smartphone-fuer-650-euro-1909-143673.html (German)

Google web page translation doesn't work well because of their ads and their specific (laudable) approach in offering visitors several ways to get rid of ads, so I took the liberty to add the deepl.com translation (unedited) below.

Quote

 

FX TEC PRO 1 IN HANDS ON

Strong keyboard smartphone for 650 Euro
Ifa 2019

Smartphones with a physical keyboard are often clumsy - unlike the Pro 1 of the startup FX Tec. The device offers an extensive keyboard with good pressure point and stable slide mechanism - as proven in a first short test. When folded, the smartphone is surprisingly thin.

A Hands on by Tobias Költzsch
published on 5 September 2019, 17:00 hrs

The British startup FX Tec showed its Smartphone Pro 1 at the electronics trade fair Ifa 2019 and announced the market launch. The Pro 1 is a slider smartphone with an integrated physical keyboard, which you don't see at first glance. In the short test, the smartphone convinces with a clever and stable opening mechanism, a good typing feel and a reasonable price.

At first glance, the Pro 1 could pass for a Samsung smartphone from the front: The 6 inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2,160 x 1,080 pixels is rounded on the sides, which reminds of Samsung's Galaxy S series. The colours are good and the display is very stable in viewing angle. This also makes sense due to the slide mechanism.

If we hold the Pro 1 horizontally and press slightly against the upper half with our thumbs, the screen will jump upwards with a rich noise. Underneath, a QWERTY keyboard with cursor and numerous function keys appears. The keyboard has a total of 66 relatively small keys, but they have a good pressure point and are still big enough to type on.

Good typing feel in landscape format

This is best done in landscape format with both thumbs. Even when placed on a table, you can type on the keyboard of the Pro 1, but we can't use more than two fingers. It's practical that FX Tec uses shift and FN keys on both sides of the keyboard, which greatly simplifies typing. The smartphone can also be ordered with a QWERTY keyboard, but we didn't have a corresponding model available.

Using the keyboard, we can also use shortcuts, for example to open certain apps. Also combinations known from PCs like CTRL and C for copying are possible. This is helpful when editing text.

When folded, the Pro 1 with almost 14 mm is considerably thicker than other modern smartphones, but we think it's okay with the keyboard stowed inside. The device can be easily stored in the trouser pocket and used like a conventional smartphone without the dimensions bothering us.

Snapdragon 835 and dual camera

Away from the keyboard, the Pro 1 is a smartphone with good features. Probably also to keep the price down, the makers have decided to use a former top SoC: Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 is used, which has meanwhile been replaced by the 845 and 855 models, but still offers more than enough power reserves in everyday use to allow smooth operation of the smartphone. The 6 GByte RAM helps here. The flash memory is 128 GB. A slot for micro SD cards is built in.

On the back there is a dual camera consisting of a 12-megapixel main camera with an IMX363 sensor from Sony and an additional 5-megapixel camera for depth information. Given the lack of comparison and the not yet final software, we cannot yet judge the quality of the images. The front camera has 8 megapixels and is classically installed above the display. Accordingly, the screen doesn't have a notch.

The battery has a nominal charge of 3,200 mAh and is quickly chargeable thanks to Quick Charge 3.0. The Pro 1 is delivered with Android 9, on which FX Tec has installed its own launcher. This launcher is optimized for landscape use and allows you to set up your own keyboard shortcuts. The bootloader of Pro 1 is open, so users can also install alternative Android versions or Sailfish OS - as soon as there are versions for the smartphone.

Conclusion

With the Pro 1, FX Tec launches a keyboard smartphone that looks like a conventional smartphone at first glance. Thanks to a clever and stable slide mechanism, the Pro 1 offers a very good keyboard that contains the most important keys.

Display 6 inch AMOLED, 2,160 x 1,080 pixels, rounded edges
Rear camera 12 megapixels main camera (Sony IMX363), 5 megapixels accessory camera
Front camera 8 Megapixel
Chipset Snadragon 835
Memory 6 GByte RAM, 128 GByte flash memory, slot for micro SD cards
Network LTE, WLAN 802.11ac, Bluetooth 5.0, NFC, GPS
Dimensions 154 x 73.6 x 14 mm
Battery 3,200 mAh, Quick Charge 3.0
Android 9.0 operating system with its own user interface
Special features of retractable hardware keyboard
FX Tec Pro 1 - Specifications

The Android system is well suited for keyboard use. From a technical point of view, the Pro 1 corresponds to a top smartphone from the year 2018. Thus, the makers find a good compromise between good performance and a not too high price.

FX Tec wants to have 650 Euro for the Pro 1, the smartphone should be available from October 2019. In view of the good keyboard, the already in the prototype clean processing and the performance, we consider this price reasonable.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

 

 

Edited by Rob. S.
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8 hours ago, Rob. S. said:

https://www.golem.de/news/fx-tec-pro-1-im-hands-on-starkes-tastatur-smartphone-fuer-650-euro-1909-143673.html (German)

Google web page translation doesn't work well because of their ads and their specific (laudable) approach in offering visitors several ways to get rid of ads, so I took the liberty to add the deepl.com translation (unedited) below.

 

This german article is "old". It's not a test of someone who ordered the device and received it but from someone who saw and used the Pro1 on the ifa2019

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On 11/24/2019 at 10:39 PM, adidas88 said:

This german article is "old". It's not a test of someone who ordered the device and received it but from someone who saw and used the Pro1 on the ifa2019

Of course, I never claimed anything else. Who would have received a production device at this point in time anyway, and would have had the time to write up a serious review to boot?  

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On 11/24/2019 at 2:15 PM, Rob. S. said:

https://www.golem.de/news/fx-tec-pro-1-im-hands-on-starkes-tastatur-smartphone-fuer-650-euro-1909-143673.html (German)

Google web page translation doesn't work well because of their ads and their specific (laudable) approach in offering visitors several ways to get rid of ads, so I took the liberty to add the deepl.com translation (unedited) below.

 

I just wanted to remark how well this text was translated. I can rarely find a difference between the original text and the translated one, in my view it's much better than Google translator.

Very impressive!

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2 hours ago, Rob. S. said:

Of course, I never claimed anything else. Who would have received a production device at this point in time anyway, and would have had the time to write up a serious review to boot?  

@netman might have if he'd gotten his already. :)

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1 minute ago, silversolver said:

@netman¬†might have if he'd gotten his already. ūüôā

I am innocent! ūüėĄ But yeah I'll be sure to write something once I get the phone.

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On 11/22/2019 at 3:19 PM, EskeRahn said:

There is also what i assume is a 'calibration' issues in the Camera2 API. If you do HDR in OpenCamera the stitching gets the brightness levels wrong, leaving a dark 'halo' around a bright subject.

My guess above was wrong, this seems to be related to some automatic system that ensures a minimum mean brightness, that they forget to turn off, when not in Auto.

Have a look at this overview of images taken with manual mode in the Qualcomm app

The rows are Iso 100, 200, 400, 800 and columns are -2, 0, +2 EV

579225996_Screenshot_20191126-20342201.thumb.png.5055fe6b250b23c1a0e60116cf895beb.png

And clearly the EV is ignored/overruled for ISO100 and -2EV looks all too equal.
My guess is that something is boosting too dark images brighter.
A functionality that can be quite handy in Auto, but should be turned off when the API get explicit parameters, and this obviously will confuse HDR-stitching, and tampers with people selections in manual mode.

 

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2 hours ago, SchattengestaIt said:

@EskeRahn Could the problem lie in the camera app not being able to change specific settings (because it was not yet programmed for this device)?

That way it wouldn't be FxTecs fault but a function not yet implemented.

Well I think the problem lies with the driver for the camera. but if that is FxTec or someone else I do not know.

For the narcissistic camera we CAN get very dark images in manual mode, but some automation is kicking in here also, though I'm not exactly sure how.

And attempts that would require longer exposures than 1/7 s are truncated to 1/7 s (for the front, 1/8 for the rear)

Here is a table of the used exposure times for the 12 images you see in the collage above, and except for Iso 800 and +2EV it looks well: Odd
(And even for Iso800 it is not entirely OK, as +2EV should have been about 1/4 s )

Capture.PNG

(And note that the camera CAN go down to quite quick exposure times in a lot of light, I have seen 1/95048 s)

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Is the 1/95.000s shutter speed right? I thought my Sony Alpha with 1/4000s to be fast...

I see two potential issues, which are the reason why I asked.

The driver has limited ranges in which the standard app can do the same as the external app. However, the standard app is further limited to prevent noise, blurred images and so on.

The other option I see is that the external app can't access or change all settings of the driver and therefore has to use standard settings which are written in the driver.

From your description I'd expect it to be the second version.

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1 hour ago, SchattengestaIt said:

Is the 1/95.000s shutter speed right? I thought my Sony Alpha with 1/4000s to be fast...

I see two potential issues, which are the reason why I asked.

The driver has limited ranges in which the standard app can do the same as the external app. However, the standard app is further limited to prevent noise, blurred images and so on.

The other option I see is that the external app can't access or change all settings of the driver and therefore has to use standard settings which are written in the driver.

From your description I'd expect it to be the second version.

It seems awfully fast yes, but maybe this is synthetic by changing some other parameters. I tried to put it right next to a large LED-pane in my ceiling, turned to max, requesting -2EV at ISO 800, And It actually gave me something not just 'white' but dim. But could be synthetic, by darkening the 'real' image captured. I do not know.

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On 11/22/2019 at 6:30 AM, ddark-il said:

Thanks. As a former Gemini owner, ads for this phone keep showing up in my FB feed and I'm tempted. But I really wanted to see photo comparisons before I took the plunge.  (If I take the plunge. I'm actually fine with mid-range phones at this point in my life.)

Do you know of any similar close-up/ macro comparisons? 

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